Vol.69 No.2 (2017)
Reconsidering Rural Communities in Bangladesh Through Muslim Groups Experiencing Discrimination: A Case of Villages in the South Area of Tangail District (191)
Understanding Travel Behavior by Focusing on the Traveler’s Attributes: A Case of Analyzing Travel Writings from Musashi to Kyoto (213)
Changes in Reservoirs and the Attitudes of Residents Toward Them in Izumi City, Osaka Prefecture (229)
Book Reviews (248)
Meeting Reports (266)
Reconsidering Rural Communities in Bangladesh Through Muslim Groups Experiencing Discrimination: A Case of Villages in the South Area of Tangail District
Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies; JSPS Research Fellow
Village societies in Bangladesh are composed of a number of social groups, based on differences in religion and caste. However, previous studies have focused only on Muslims as the main subjects of study, ignoring the religious minorities and those Muslim groups experiencing discrimination. Although previous development studies have criticized the views that a community is monolithic and that decision-making within the community is unquestionably democratic, a rural development project currently underway in Bangladesh assumes homogeneity of the community. This study reconsiders communities in rural Bangladesh and examines the actual situation in residential communities inhabited by Muslim groups experiencing discrimination. Specifically, the focus is on the samaj, the lowest informal unit for decision-making. Although a samaj was to be formed based on residency in a certain village or settlement, the conditions for membership in the samaj and its subsequent recognition were predicated on unequal power relations of a caste-like system among Muslims in the study area. A group that experienced discrimination had a uniformly lower economic situation and educational status. Moreover, it was subordinate politically and excluded from the samaj, comprising Muslims living in the same village or engaging in its cooperative activities. The samaj of the discriminated group depended on neighbors to settle disputes and for the construction and maintenance of religious institutions. Unequal power relations based on the caste-like system characterize communities in rural Bangladesh, and decision-making in these communities is not necessarily democratic.
Key words: community, Muslims, caste, rural development, rural Bangladesh
Understanding Travel Behavior by Focusing on the Traveler’s Attributes: A Case of Analyzing Travel Writings from Musashi to Kyoto
Graduate student, Graduate School of Letter, Ritsumeikan University
The aim of this study is to reveal the differences in itineraries and factors regarding how travelers to Kyoto in the 17th to 19th centuries chose noted places to visit by analyzing their places of departure and occupations. A total of 42 pieces of travel writing were studied, 13 of which were written by travelers from Edo, the remaining by travelers from the Edo environs. The study analyzes the duration of their trip to Kyoto, where they visited, and the route traveled. The results show that travelers from Edo went sightseeing longer and visited more places than travelers from the environs of Edo. In addition, there were also differences in their routes: while travelers from the Edo environs took a fixed route, those from Edo took a wider variety of routes and visited more places. Finally, travelers from Edo also visited nearby places, because some of them were intellectuals who had more time as well as knowledge of the noted places.
Key words: early modern, Kyoto, noted place, travel writing, Musashi Province
Changes in Reservoirs and the Attitudes of Residents Toward Them in Izumi City, Osaka Prefecture
Graduate student, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University
The author examined the attitudes towards reservoirs among farmers and non-farmers living in five different settlements, in order to elucidate factors affecting their varied degrees of involvement. The study area was Izumi City, in southern Osaka Prefecture, where agriculture depends on irrigation from reservoirs. Since the 1970s, both large-scale and housing developments have encroached on farmers and farmlands, reservoirs have been abandoned, and the number of non-farmer residents has increased. The author conducted interviews in five agricultural settlements at different stages of urbanization and administered questionnaire surveys to three of the five settlements and reached the following four conclusions. First, the varied circumstances of farming, urbanization and settlement size differentially affected resident involvement with and attitudes about reservoirs. Second, most residents believe that the water supply function of reservoirs is important. Third, the biggest concern for farmers is maintaining the reservoirs and irrigation practices. On the other hand, even though non-farmers recognize the natural value of the reservoirs, they have much less interest in them. Differences among residents emerged, based on their daily involvement and knowledge of the reservoirs. Finally, the discrepancies among the settlements were caused by not only resident-collaboration projects concerning the reservoirs but also the management styles and the composition of the local residents.
Key words: reservoir, resident consciousness, urbanization, farmers, non-farmers, Izumi City