著者
Masataka SUZUKI
出版者
The Human Geographical Society of Japan
雑誌
Japanese Journal of Human Geography (ISSN:00187216)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.30, no.6, pp.541-554, 1978-12-28 (Released:2009-04-28)
参考文献数
53
被引用文献数
1 1

Spatial perception is the one of the most important problem to decide the behavior pattern in folk society where the people are living with nature. This paper proposes a study of spatial perception in folk society through the orientation in Yaeyama Islands, Okinawa prefecture of Japan. Yaeyama Islands is located in the southernmost part of Ryûkyû archipelago and therefore is the most southern of the whole Japanese area. These islands have been researched by many Japanese and foreign anthropologists, whose conclusions have had an important role in larger studies of Ryûkyûan culture. Using this anthropological approach, we will make clear up the indigenous concept of cosmology and find out the mode of spatial perception in this area.Through the analysis of myth and ritual, we may observe that Yaeyama islanders employ both the relative orientation shifting 30°-45° from the cardinal points and the absolute orientation of the cardinal points indicated by the twelve earthly branches _??__??__??_ . We call the former “folk orientation” and the latter “natural orientation”. It seems to me that “folk orientation” in Yaeyama Islands has been formed by the direction of monsoon because the term of ‘the north’ and ‘the south’ in “folk orientation” is the same as the names of wind. According to the meteorological data, the winter monsoon blows from northeast and the summer monsoon blows from southwest. Then, the pair of northeast-southwest relationship in “natural orientation” coinciding with the compass, is ‘the north-south’ relationship in “folk orientation” shifting 30°-45° from “natural orientation”. As for ‘the east-west’ relationship in “folk orientation”, the same shifting process is observed. For example, in Hateruma Island, one of the Yaeyama Islands, Simazasu in the north-western part of this island is in the islanders' conception very ‘west’ and as such connected with cape Takana in the southeastern edge of this island as the very ‘east’.On the folk village of Yaeyama Islands, these two systems of orientation are used for indicating the direction in ordinary life and make meaningful their spatial perception. For example, among the houses having three front rooms facing generally to the south of “folk orientation”, the male sides being the south and the east in “natural orientation” are superior to the female sides being the north and the west, but in religious affairs, the whole situation is reversed. Generally speaking, the pair of south-east relationship in “natural orientation” will be superior to the one of north-west relatioship. However, at the rituals on island level, cosmological concept based on a dualism that is characterized by superiority of ‘west’ and ‘female’ over ‘east’ and ‘male’, is found out. Though such value systems connected with spatial perception, are changed by the situation and the context, there are some principles formed by the indigenous concept of cosmology.In the above, we have examined spatial perception through the orientation. Lastly I will offer some interpretations of what might be called “Uyân” as it emerges in the “pan” (ritual invocations). In a passage of “pan”, “Uyân” (the deity) is praised. It runs as follows, “yuru nu isïma-ndô pïsu nu nana-ndê pïsê ôru bûyân pïsûyân” (great Uyân, Uyân looming large, who is always present during the five hours of the night and the seven hours of the day.)

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