The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Bulletin of the National Museum of Ethnology

2020-Vol. 44, No. 3

January 6, 2020 Publication

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Symposion of Universalists: Anagarika Dharmapala and Theosophy
Yoshio Sugimoto


This anthropological, genealogical study examines Sinhala Buddhist nationalism in Sri Lanka after the influence of Anagarika Dharmapala(1864–1933), an internationally reputed, Buddhist reformist and Sinhala nationalist of Ceylon. During his life, which was devoted entirely to the propagation of Buddhism and militant Sinhala-Arya Buddhist nationalism, he visited Japan four times, 1889, 1893, 1902, and 1913. The connection between Japan and Dharmapala was established through the Theosophical Society, founded in 1875 in New York, later shifted to Madras in 1879. As Dr. Stephen Kemper rightly pointed out, Dharmapala was much more deeply influenced by theosophy than scholarly accounts have averred. His family was devoutly Buddhist and Theosophist. At the age of 16, Dharmapala first met co-founders of the Theosophical Society, “Madame” Blavatsky and ‘Colonel’ Olcott, in Colombo in 1880. He joined the Society in 1884, and left for Madras to assist the work of Blavatsky and Olcott. However, tensions arose in his relationship with the Society, particularly with Olcott, mainly because of his progressive identification with the Buddhist cause after foundation of the Maha Bodhi Society in 1891.
Although Dharmapala had great sympathy for Japan, he did not later make much headway in Japan. The main reason underpinning the failure of Dharmapala’s project for a unified Buddhist mission in Japan based on the cooperation of all the Buddhist sects was the Mahayana–Theravada schism and severe sectarian conflicts. As a modernist, he was oncerned about Japanese economic and technological development after the Meiji Revolution as well as Buddhist revivalist and reformist. Dharmapala founded the Hewavitarana Industrial Centre as the first industrial training school in the country. His idea was a fusion of modern technology and economic development with traditional Theravada Buddhist values. Both Anagarika Dharmapala and Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948) were from merchant background families of South Asia under British colonial rule. As elite nationalists, they held paradoxical beliefs about British and Western modernism with traditional religious universalism based on traditional Hindu and Buddhist ideas.

Key Words:Sri Lanka, Ceylon, Dharmapala, theosophy, Buddhist nationalism



Nomadic Storytellers: Scottish Traveller Self-Representation in Stanley Robertson’s Exodus to Alford
Ryo Yamasaki


Scottish Travellers are an ethnic minority in Scotland who are known for their nomadic lifestyle. The sedentary society has dealt with them as an exotic and threatening “internal other.” This is largely due to them not being adequately self-represented in public media. They have published nearly forty books about their lives and oral traditions since the 1970s but there has been no substantial research into their writings. The present research is designed to distil an emic (i.e., insiders’) Traveller image from one of the most influential Traveller writings, Exodus to Alford (1988) by Stanley Robertson (1940–2009), which will contribute to the construction of a fairer Traveller representation.
The first part focuses on the depiction of travelling life in the Exodus to Alford and argues that the Travellers’ nomadism is not described as mere entertainment, but as an essential tradition for them to regain their Traveller identity by fleeing from the city where they are oppressed. The second part turns to their storytelling tradition, as introduced in the book, and examines how Traveller characters communicate their distinct worldview and value system by telling stories. Finally, the third part investigates literary elements in the book, namely the structure and language. These elements are idiosyncratic and present Travellers’ nomadism and storytelling not as separate activities but as one package. The book, thus, portrays Travelling people as nomadic storytellers.

1 Introduction
 1.1 About Scottish Travellers
 1.2 History of Traveller Studies and Overlooked Areas
 1.3 Aims and Materials
 1.4 Thesis and Structure
2 Travelling
3 Storytelling
 3.1 Vernacular Landscape
 3.2 Belief System
 3.3 Morality and Ethics
4 Structure and Language
5 Conclusion

Key Words:Scottish Travellers, folklore, oral tradition, autobiography, self-representation

Research Note


Changes in Two-, Three- and Four-Digit Numbers in Japanese Sign Language, Taiwan Sign Language, and Korean Sign Language
Keiko Sagara


This study examines changes in two-, three- and four-digit number expressions in Japanese Sign Language( JSL), Taiwan Sign Language( TSL) and Korean Sign Language (KSL). Comparing the forms for “10”, “100”, and “1000” and the structures in which such forms occur, the old forms that they originally inherited and their developmental paths are reconstructed. The research specifically focuses on two systems, which are referred to here as “serial-compound system” and “simultaneous-compound system” that are found in these languages. Based on the distribution and variations of these systems in currently used languages and documented forms in older stages of these languages, how the systems developed in each language after the languages split is clarified. Findings indicate that expressions of “10” and its multiples developed differently from those of “100” and “1000” and their multiples. These include changes from two-handed to one-handed expressions in Tokyo, Taipei, and Korea, replacement of a serial-compound system with a simultaneous compound system in Osaka, and development of a single morpheme expression from a serial- ompounding form in Tainan.

Key Words:Japanese Sign Language, Taiwan Sign Language, Korean Sign Language, serial compounding, simultaneous compounding