|Budget Amount *help
¥3,000,000 (Direct Cost: ¥3,000,000)
Fiscal Year 1999: ¥800,000 (Direct Cost: ¥800,000)
Fiscal Year 1998: ¥700,000 (Direct Cost: ¥700,000)
Fiscal Year 1997: ¥1,500,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,500,000)
This study aims at reconsidering the origin of human property or ownership, analyzing social situations in relation to 'possession' among Japanese monkeys. Social interactions concerning possession appeared clearly in feeding places. In feeding, dominance relationship affected possession : the dominant individual took a priority to access food resources and often showed aggression to the subordinate individuals. However, even the dominant did not take food in force, when it was kept in one's hand. Social inhibition such as this enables possession that may be the original form of human property. Exceptionally, mother or elder sisters sometimes snatched food from the infants' hand or mouth. In such situations, however, aggression never took place. In play situations, young individuals sometimes kept a piece of glass or an empty can in their hand. They did not scrambled for it. Before young females took care of an infant, they sometimes groom its mother, who may be regarded as the possessor of the infant.
In conclusion, the mutual tolerance system based on social inhibition may be required for stable possession. The concept of possession is related to social recognition and communication. We can find the prototype of human property in the chimpanzee society, in which food sharing occurs. In chimpanzees, food sharing has a direct social significance.