YAMAZATO Junichi Ryukyu U., F.of Laws & Letters Professor, 法文学部, 教授 (50166659)
UEZU Hitoshi Meio U., Interna-l Studies.F.Professor, 国際学部, 教授 (60279429)
MIURA Kunio Osaka City U., F.of Letters Professor, 文学部, 教授 (60027555)
TSUZUKI Akiko Ryukoku University, F.Letters Professor, 文学部, 教授 (00115601)
IYORI Tsutomu G.S.of Human & Environmental S.Assoc.Prof., 人間・環境学研究科, 助教授 (00151689)
To comprehend the position of Kumejima in Okinawan Culture, this group pursued its studies in the following two lines : the one is to analyze the 2,000 MSS and printed sources in the newly unlocked 4 private house archives in Kumejima (the Uezus, the Yoshihamas, the Yosenagas, the Miyagis) ; and the other is to do field-work in the isle's village rituals conducted by groups of 'divine women'.
This research group, consisting of diverse scholars including experts in pre-modern household encyclopedias of China and. Japan, has reconstructed the daily activities of the isle's literati ; their intermediary roles between varied Ying-Yang schools of thought of East-Asia.
The results obtained are as follows : 1. Te major concern of those literati was the knowledge of divining proper dates for grave undertakings, of geomancy, and of medicine. This made them collect a broad-range of Japanese and Chinese books for daily use besides Chinese classics, the variety of which is impressive if compared wit
h those of the private archives in other Okinawan isles such as Ishigakijima ; 2. The house masters, local magistrates themselves, while dependent on those divining books, conducted house rituals, such as ancestor worship or prayer for the fire god, and it was on such occasions that the 'divine women', most of whom were such masters' relatives, were to be involved and their intermediary talents tended to attach to male literati's somewhat bookish decisions meanings in the indigenous spiritual world. This point has been proved by the newly found numerous records of family prayers which were found in these archives.
Relating to the above 2., the symbolism in the space-structure of the houses and gardens that were used for such rituals has been studied in details. In addition, this research group examined many fragments of ceramics, which had been found on the surface of the isles' various medieval castle mounds, and reached the conclusion that many were trading goods coming mainly from l3th-&-l4th-century China. Less