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Journal of Japanese Philosophy

Volume 4, 2016

Special Issue on Karatani Kōjin

Kōjin Karatani, Cheung Ching-yuen
Pages 3-15

Two Types of Mobility

Mobility is the key to overcoming the capital-nation-state. It can be divided into two types: the mobility of pastoral nomads and original hunter-gatherers. It is impossible for us to find a society of nomadic hunter-gatherers in today’s world, but we can have a thought experiment by observing existing wandering band societies. Yanagita Kunio is a thinker in Japan who drew attention to nomads. He has examined various types of nomads since his earlier years but is ridiculed for insisting on the existence of mountain nomads. Nonetheless, he has never given up on the reality of mountain nomads. Even though he later focuses on farmers with fixed settlements, or the common people, he still continues his search for the possibility of the existence of mountain nomads. Eventually, he came to look for traces of mountain nomads in indigenous beliefs. These indigenous beliefs were not limited to the Japanese.

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