5/ さらに、仏語訳に特有の原則も決定しました。例えば、章のタイトルでは、定冠詞を使うが、キャプションでは不定詞（つまり辞書形）の前「action de ~」（~動作）をつき加える、などである。
英語訳が対象している読者が誰であるのかは存じませんが、仏語訳の可能的な読者（仏語訳を読むであろう人）は、きっとフランス語圏（つまりフランスだけではない）の一般の人というよりも、学者の世界の人なのである。『絵引』を買う可能性が高いのは、まず大学の研究所だと思われる。ご存知の通り、フランス語圏における「郷土研究」のレベルは依然として高く、他の国々に比べて、その研究範囲に関する小論文は定期的に出版されている。しかしながら、日本の庶民の生活史に関する研究論文は少なく、使われている資料は主に筆記資料である。絵を歴史資料として使うのはまだ稀で、始まったばかりである。現在、私たちの作業を手伝ってくださっている校閲者のドイツのCharlotte von VERSCHUER(ヴェルシュアー)教授やフランスのJean-Michel BUTTEL(ビュッテル)准教授は、そのような非文字資料を使って授業や研究をしていらっしゃるそうである。
そう仮定すると、その読者の期待している翻訳のレベルは高く、近(きん)似(じ)を許せないものである。したがって、専門用語を使用しなければいけない場合は多い。例えば、建築用語の場合、「板」を「planche」と直訳するより、その板が縦板か横板なのかなどを区別して、ふさわしい専門用語で翻訳しなければならないと思う。そうすると、「板屋根」を直訳の「toit de planche」より、専門用語の「toit de bardeaux」と翻訳したほうが正確なのである。
Alexandre MANGIN va participer au Colloque sur les cultures non écrites à l’Université de Kanagawa où il fera une intervention sur la traduction qu’il mène, conjointement avec Frédéric LESIGNE, du Nihon jômin seikatsu ebiki (Pictopédie de la vie quotidienne des gens du peuple au Japon). Le texte de l’intervention sera mis en ligne ici après le colloque.
methodology could be summed up like this : systematic fieldwork,
verification of the data with scientific protocols, redaction/writing and
diffusion among the scientists then among the people. For Miyamoto’s minZokugaku
aims to edify the people, so as to ameliorate its conditions of work and
existence, in the respect of the kyôdo (or terroir) and its
traditions, trying to check the rural exodus. His conception of science
posseses its morals.
In terms of method, it is important
to emphasize Miyamoto’s two major contributions to the discipline and, more
generally, to the human sciences.
1) Maps and photographs
With his series “Watashi no Nihon
chizu” (My Maps of Japan), Miyamoto was doubly inovating : First, he
inserted big folding maps that were not glued in the book but just enclosed, so
that the reader could look at the map while reading every page. I think
Miyamoto drew those maps himself (otherwise the title of the series would not
make sense). And secondly, the pictures take half of the page and are present
on every page, constantly in dialogue with the text. [example]
It is interesting to compare the
original exemplaries (which have become rare), with the republished edition (at
Miraisha) of this series still a work in progress. In the new edition, the
photographs have not been resized, and the dates and exact locations are given,
whereas in the previous edition, the publisher tried to make the pictures more
“presentable” by resizing them. Working with the original films of the
photographs, the Miraisha’s publishers could restitute the subtlety of their
details, even if Miyamoto’s photographs were never taken with any esthetical ambition,
rather compulsively, their films absorbing most of Miyamoto’s budget. And
finally, the new publishers have added more furigana (or rubi),
i.e. the reading of some words, especially toponyms, that today’s Japanese are
not necessarily able to read easiliy. [here is an example]
Miyamoto considered maps and
photographs to be one of the indispensable ethnographical documents and he
would have liked to be able to record sounds too if he had had the money to do
it. Description – and quantified if possible – was more important, for him,
than abstract explanation, that made him rather an ethnographer than an
2) His field work (by himself) : a comparison with Yanagita Kunio
Miyamoto is known for his
participating observation of rural populations, lodging at the inhabitants,
like his predecessors Furukawa Koshôken 古川古松健
(1726-1807), Sugae Masumi 菅江真澄
(1754-1829) and, in a way, English writer Isabella Lucy Bird (1831-1904) (who
lodged in small inns), three authors about whom Miyamoto wrote books in which
he showed a deep admiration.
He is also famous for having been
the Japanese man who walked the longest distance during his life, i.e. the
equivalent of four times the circumference of the earth. He wanted to see
everything by himself, to understand the distances in his own body and evaluate
the quality of roads and paths by his feet. It helped him a lot when he wrote Shio
no michi (The Routes of Salt). But he also consulted the archives,
especially private ones (komonjo 古文書).
It is difficult for the French to
imagine how problematic it can be in Japan to base an approach on field work,
not to say that field work does not exist in Japan, but rather there is a
tendency here in Japan to delegate the field work to graduate students or PhD
students to go into the field in place of the teacher/professor and using their
data without giving them credit or just thanking them in the acknowledgments.
We had to wait until today to read about Yanagita Kunio’s tendency of using his
disciples’field notes without crediting them. Even with their consent at that
time, it seems today this practice is similar to theft or appropriation of
information. Miyamoto, similar to Shibusawa, was the first modern ethnographer
to mention every informant and assistant and what he learned from them.
Indirectly, this extreme honesty makes a contrast to the usual practice in
Japanese universities even today, where a student whose work was appropriated
by the professor, has no way to prove his right to his work. That, of course,
is one of the major taboos that subsist in the Japanese university system.
Beside that, his transcriptions of
his interviews of elderly workers of the countryside are interesting at a
triple point of view: ethnographical, historical and literary. The dialectal
structures of speech are conserved as well as all the details concerning the
daily life of the informant, even the most trivial ones.
B/ How is Miyamoto perceived in
Miyamoto, this too honest researcher
who – as we would say today in France – values transparency – represents a
threat to a certain number of professors in Japan, who therefore try to
minimize the value of his work with obvious disdain. I have two personal
anecdotes. The first time I was confronted with this attitude towards Miyamoto
was when I applied for a French adjunct lecturer position in a well known
public university. I was asked very few questions about my positionning in
terms of teaching the French language, but was violently attacked on my interest
in Miyamoto’s work and I will always remember this sentence (said in French) :
“Are you conscious that this is a controversial author?” No words could express
my surprise at that time, since I thought Miyamoto was only an ethnographer who
wrote about sandals and jars! I didn’t think that this would be subversive. The
second anecdote is about a free conversation I had with Japanese colleagues who
tought French literature (and had no link to the ethnographical world). I was
trying to tactfully formulate a sentence about his links to nationalism and his
will to make minZokugaku one of the
means to help Japan prevail in Asia. This is an objective explicitly written
about in his letters, speeches and articles which are available in public
librairies. When I said Miyamoto was more intellectually neutral, I was
suddenly told by one of my colleagues quite forcefully that I didn’t know about
Yanagita Kunio who “never spoke about politics in his works”. To be told by a
French literature professor what Yanagita had
not written – but what I had read
with my own eyes – made me experience a kind of Pascalian vertigo! In this
example, Miyamoto was indirectly the catalyst for an extremely surprising and
Finally, speaking of
interdisciplinarity in Japan, even today this is, unfortunately, often wishful
thinking in the university : ethnography, sociology, history, geography,
genetics and agronomy rarely meet in big universities, whereas in small
structures such as the Kyôdo daigaku created by Miyamoto, the most improbable
but extremely stimulating meetings can happen.
In a word, Miyamoto cannot leave
you indifferent if you are working in the human sciences. His popularity
amongst the population, and especially the rural areas and the historians of local
history, tend to show that he is responding to a need. He has a lot of followers among the young
researchers even today, people who do field work and direct observation as well
as crediting the informants as an indispensable part of their ethics. Examples
of his indirect heirs include the young researchers of Musashi University or
the elite researchers that constitute the Nihon jômin bunka kenkyûjo of
Kanagawa University, that inherited the intellectual heritage of the Achikku
myûzeamu. There, field work is privileged, honesty and modesty prevail, and the
young researchers are provided help.
To complete this
presentation, I have to state that until now, in my works, I only studied
themes that appeared to me as the most representative of Miyamoto’s work.
there remains lots of others that deserve to be studied or studied more deeply.
I hope to to do so in the future, in complementary studies, as well as to
realize on certain points from a comparative analysis of Miyamoto and some
Japanese ethnographers with foreign authors. It would be a true joy for me, if
other people, one day, try it on their own, for I have no other aim than to
contribute, as well as I can, to a better understanding, if not to help to
recognize, a remarkable man, fascinating by his approach to his lifework as
well as by the breadth of his research that I call a kind of humanism.
Voici le texte de l’intervention d’Alexandre MANGIN au congrès des Asian Studies à l’Université Sophia (Jôchi daigaku).
First, let me start with a quotation (the translation is mine):
“He was the traveller who, for a long time, and until now, has gone gone
the most all over Japan, in all directions and into its smallest corners,
indeed the kind of lands where nobody used to go. Very few are those who, at
such a point, have attentively thought about the stories that could be
interesting for us to listen to, or that we would like to listen to and that,
besides, we remember. It is difficult to discern and classify the subjects (kotogara)
that we would like the Japanese people, who will carry the future, to know in
priority, but for that too, [he], who is a great reader, did not waver and did
not take a wrong road.” 
The author of those lines is
Yanagita Kunio (1875-1962), considered to be the founder of Japanese ethnology
and folklore studies as an organized discipline, an author who is extremely
difficult to criticise for that reason, and because he produced a brilliant
work covering now some 37 volumes. Yanagita Kunio knew Miyamoto very well since
he was his master. But before trying to establish the differences between the
two and Miyamoto’s tribute to the ethnographical science of Japan, let’s
summarize Miyamoto’s life and his domain of research.
A/ Miyamoto’s life
Miyamoto Tsuneichi was born on August 1st, 1907(nineteen
O seven) (Meiji XL(fourty)) in Ooaza Nishigata 大字西方, on Suô Ooshima 周防大島 (a medium-sized island in the interior Sea of
Seto), Yamaguchi prefecture (Yamaguchi-ken 山口県), a rural area known in the old days for its
sculptors of wood. It is now suffering depopulation due to rural exodus and the
declining birth rate. Despite museums and research centers , it is a sad example of a dying
territory slowly going back to wilderness.
He was the
son of Miyamoto Zenjûrô 宮本善十郎 and his wife Machi まち, both of them agriculturists. The Miyamoto family belonged to the peasant
class (hyakushô 百姓), but his family name originates from two kanji characters that mean “at the foot (moto) of the temple
(miya)”. This tends to show that some ancestors of the family were
shinto priests (kannushi 神主).
In his early childhood, his father was absent, expatriated to the Fiji
Islands. His grand-father, a man of great wisdom, took to heart his education.
He infused in him the traditionnal values and knowledge of the rural class.
born in a house without water supply nor electricity, with a family where
everyone was wearing the traditional costume (kimono), lived long enough to see the technological modernisation
of his country (even the first computers).
not to have disliked the frugality of this life, since he always praised it,
for it makes possible to know the true value of things and to respect
traditional education provided by his grand-father, based on example and a
benevolent understanding rather than on memorization, is complementary to the
school education. This relationship with his grandfather seems to have
compensated the more distant relations he had with his father, who was a former
agricultural worker back from the Fiji Islands after a disastrous experience.
Miyamoto family is not rich, but it is known for its hospitality : their house
is called a zenkon yado 善根宿 (the ill of the good will), i.e. a refuge for travellers passing by.
therefore belongs to this generation who, born in Meiji, having grown up in
Taishô and died in Shôwa, possessed the last representatives of an education
“Meiji-ish” (« à la Meiji ») which, according to TAKEDA Atsushi 竹田篤司, was characterised by unity and assumed the
contradictions (mujun 矛盾), the interruptions
(kireme 切れ目) and the contrasts
(East-West, new-old, Western-Japanese) that it had fusionned, producing intelligence
(chisei 知性), a power of observation (kansatsu-ryoku
観察力) and a power of reading (dokusho-ryoku 読書力) which will lack amongt the next generations.
Miyamoto was interested for
some time in composing poems, but ceased rather early. After quite brilliant
secondary studies, he entered the School of the Posts and Telecommunications of
Osaka. He studied too intensely, nourished himself badly and cought the
beriberi. Many times, he fell very ill and almost died (1930, 1939, 1942,
1949). He read a lot and started
to walk long distances, to go to villages and interview the elderly. He then
entered the course of the Normal School in one year and found quite quickly a
post as an elemetary school teacher. From then on, he will go from one post to
anoher, without settling very long. In his classes, he introduced open air
lessons, which enabled him to initiate the children to the natural patrimony
and the objects of the past. He also creates with his young pupils a journal of
ethnographical studies, Toroshi, where the children write their
observations and publish their ethnographical drawings.
He founded the review Kôshô
Literature) where Yanagita Kunio will publish some articles. From 1932 on, he
endeavors himself to the field study of villages, where he goes on foot most of
the time. And he finally meets Yanagita in person in 1934. Yanagita’s
intellectual influence on Miyamoto is big, in particular concerning the history
of toponyms and the study of folk tales.
later, he initiates research meetings dealing with “terroir” (kyôdo 郷土). He himself inters the researchers’ world. During one of these meetings,
he got to know SHIBUZAWA Keizô 澁澤敬三 (1896-1963), SHIBUSAWA Eiichi 澁澤栄一 (1840-1931)’s grandson. Eiichi illustrated himself as a
successful businesman as well as the Minister of Finance during the
Restoration. Keizô will become Miyamoto’s mentor, almost a “guru”. He invites
him to integrate, as a full time researcher, the Achikku myûzeamu アチック・ミューゼアム (the Attic Museum) that he founded
on his property. It is both a museum, where Shibusawa stocks mingu 民具 (traditional craft objects used by the rural
people), and a research
center on the ethnographical study of the rural people of Japan, entirely
financed by Shibusawa. He also is a specialist of the fish names and the
painted rolls (emakimono 絵巻物). The same year, Miyamoto marries TAMADA Asako 玉田アサコ. He continues his field studies, having long interviews with the
elederly of the countryside, transliterating the most truculent of them (e(for).g(example).
SAKON Kumata 左近熊太).
later, his elder son Chiharu千晴 was born. In 1939, invited by his
former teacher Mori Shinzô to go and teach at the Mandchoury University for the
Construction of the Country, however he gave up this idea under the pressure of
the clairvoyant Shibusawa. The same year, he leaves his wife and child to
settle near Tokyo, but he starts his fieldwork again. From 1940 on, he starts
to take photographs of the people and places he visits. He is interested in the
study, the classification, and the conservation of the mingu 民具 (popular craft objects). He
multiplies his publications (articles, books and participation in collective
works of reference). In 1943, his daughter Keiko 恵子 is born.
War, we know very few of his activities. We know, for example, that his house
is completely destroyed by a bombing. He loses not only his personal library,
but also all his field notes and films, irreplaceable documents. The next year,
he goes back to farming for a time, all the while studying the other farmers,
and then he initiates a series of conferences about agronomy for his fellow
farmers, in the stream of the Shin-seikatsu undô 新生活運動 (Movement for a new daily life),
which allows him to finance his field trips.
then gives birth to a second son who dies while Miyamoto is travelling. He
continues his field studies, some on the account of public organisations (the
Ministry of Agriculture in particular) or of agricultural associations. In 1952
his third son Hikaru 光 was born. Miyamoto Tsuneichi is still very involved in study groups and
is a member of a large number of learned and scientific societies. In 1959, he
is diagnosed with an ulcer of the duodenum. The same year, he sarts to write a
PhD dissertation, Seto naikai tôsho no kaihatsu to sono shakai keisei 『瀬戸内海島嶼の開発とその社会形成』(The development of the islands of
the Interior Sea of Seto and the formation of their society), which will become
Seto naikai no kenkyû 『瀬戸内海の研究』(Research on the Interior Sea of Seto).
same time, he wrote other publications. From 1960, his works receive awards :
such as the Essayists Club Award (Esseisuto kurabu-shô エッセイストクラブ賞) and the Prize of the Chûgoku for
Culture (Chûgoku bunka-shô 中国文化賞)…
In 1961, he obtains his doctorate (PhD) at Tôyô University 東洋大学 and leaves the Shibusawa residence.
He then works briefly at the Fisheries College of Tôkyô (Tôkyô suisan
daigaku 東京水産大学) and
welcomes his family to come and settle with him. In 1962 and 1963 his two
masters Yanagita and Shibusawa pass away. The next year he finds a post as
lecturer at the Musashino Fine Arts University (Musashino bijutsu daigaku
武蔵野美術大学). Then, he starts working for television as a
consultant on a series of documentaries about Japan. And in 1967, he becomes
professor at Waseda University早稲田大学. It is important to note that he makes his first field study abroad in
1975, at the age of 67. He goes to Kenya and Tanzania. Two years later, he
makes a second trip to Chéju-dô제주도 [済州島], Korea, a
third one to Taiwan and a last one to China where he goes with his wife, their
only trip abroad together.
did he found associations and make the monkey shows revive in Japan, but he also
created the Tôwa-chô kyôdo daigaku 東和町郷土大学, a people’s university providing for low cost conferences dealing not
only with agronomy, but with minZokugaku in general. It is the time when
he makes a revolutionary series of conferences creating a synthesis of his life
work as well as introducing the new perspective he intends to orient his
reseach to. His main hope was to develop interdisciplinarity, especially with
archeology and a new science, genetics.
At the end
of 1980, his health declines. He has several stays at the hospital where he
dies January 30th, 1981, aged 73. He leaves a titanesque work (more
than 200 books, 3000 texts if one includes the
articles, dealing with the most diverse
subjects. His disciples continue to cherish his memory today.
"Before I comment
on Miyamoto’s method, I would like to say some words about the substance of his
B/ Miyamoto’s domain of research
First, Miyamoto has a way of looking at things (manazashi
rather than a “thought” for he doesn’t try to elaborate a “system”. He is
looking for an understanding which sustains his description, privileging
details to general and abstract principles. His looking at things, therefore,
is not conscripted to a unique domain, but to the territorial limits of Japan,
even if he sometimes pays attention to the movement of populations on an
international scale. In fact everything that deals with the Japanese of the
past as well as the Japanese of his time can become, for him, subject of study.
The only exceptions are the upper classes (Court nobility – kuge 公家 –
and warriors – bushi 武士, except if they are poor !) and what
relates to them. Miyamoto describes, as precisely as possible, the land he goes
through and its topography, as well as human activity such as economics (traditional
jobs, routes and flux of money, goods and people), techniques and customs,
objects and individual trajectories. Every time, he introduces the history of
what he speaks about. His minZokugaku which is as much a history as a
sociology, makes geographical comparisons, listing the common points and the
differences. He also adopts a diachronic viewpoint when he introduces the
evolution of the practices, their moves, changes and disapearance, so as to
keep a trace of them as well as to try to understand the reason for their
disapearance and to avoid that too many of those customs disapear. He is one of
the first ethnographers who introduced the history of travels and tourism, and
who, in the later part of his life, studied the origin of the cereals as a mean
to find traces of human habitations, taking into account the work of the
archeologists, the physical anthropologists (dealing with humain morphology)
and even the first geneticians.
What he left us today is a wonderful historical
material for ethno-history.
He also was interested in what should be considered as
national patrimony, a new notion that should not be limited to the upper class’
possessions, but should include the people’s material and immaterial goods,
such as techniques and all forms of oral transmission. He was extremely
conscious that this kind of patrimony was the most eager to disapear,
especially during the after-war period of growth.
All his life long, he never ceased to interrogete
himself about what the Japanese are and to try to rectify some preventions and
tenacious stereotypes, such as the myth of “Japan, a people of samurai”.
Trying to be as close to reality as he could, Miyamoto could not but shape the minZokugaku
to his image, curious and interested in many fields of knowledge, making it the
always changing living laboratory of humain sciences of Japan. Miyamoto’s minZokugaku therefore exceeds the limits
of what we call in Western countries “folklore”, “folk studies” or “folklore
ethnography”. It includes a large part of rural sociology and local History.
 Preface to the Kôdansha gakujutsu
bunko edition of Furusato no seikatsu, 1986, reprint. 2002, p. 10-11.
 Suô Ooshima kyôdo daigaku 周防大島郷土大学 (University of
the native district (the French word “terroir” is a more accurate tranlation)
of Suô Ooshima). Cf. First Part, chapt. I, and annex.
 For more details on Suô Ooshima, see SANO
Shin’ichi, Dai-ôjô no shima『大往生の島』(A passing away island), Tôkyô, Bunshun bunko 文春文庫, Bungei shunjû, may 2006, 291 p..
 This painful episode will be
related many times, particularly in Kakyô no oshie (1947).
FUJIMOTO Kiyohiko, « Bukkyô to iryô : " Miyamoto Tsuneichi no ikikata
to kotoba " ni
manabu »「仏教と医療 宮本常一の"行き方とことば"に学ぶ」(« Buddhism and medical treatment : studying "the way of
living and the words" of Miyamoto Tsunéichi »), in Miyamoto
Tsuneichi no messêji, chap. II, p. 26.
Professor of French philosophy at Meiji University (Meiji daigaku 明治大学) and essayist (born in 1934).
TAKEDA quotes some words of biologist IIJIMA Mamoru 飯島衛.
Meijijin no kyôyô 『明治人の教養』
(Meiji Men Instruction), Tôkyô, Bunshun shinsho, Heisei XIV (2002), 198 p.. Cf.
in particular chapters I & II p. 1 to 22.
 Poet, short story writer and
scientist MIYAZAWA Kenji 宮沢賢治 (1896-1933) too tought agronomy
from a humanist viewpoint.
 Cheju-do : read in Japanese indifferently Saishû-tô さいしゅうとう or Cheju-do チェジュド.
According to personal recension.
 According to Sanada Yukitaka さなだ ゆきたか, in Miyamoto Tsuneichi no densetsu 『宮本常一の伝説』(The Legend of Miyamoto Tsunéichi), Kyôto, A’un-sha 阿吽社, August 2002, 330 p., preface p.
(1) "Miyamoto Tsuneichi : Minshu no chie wo tazunete" 「宮本常一 民衆の知恵を訪ねて」 ("Miyamoto Tsunéichi : Interroger la sagesse du peuple"), Tôkyô, Kinokuniya shoten 紀伊国屋書店, collection "Gaku,on to jônetsué" 「学問と情熱」, 1999, 50 minutes, 25 000 Y en VHS, 4800 Y en DVD.