|Budget Amount *help
¥2,000,000 (Direct Cost : ¥2,000,000)
Fiscal Year 1992 : ¥700,000 (Direct Cost : ¥700,000)
Fiscal Year 1991 : ¥1,300,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,300,000)
Bunpai-saishi is one of the traditional folkways of holding ceremonies for the response of the ancestors, which is found mainly in southwestern Japan. This term is defined as that the first son, an inheritor of the head family, gives his deceased father's funeral, and the second son, a starter of the branch family, gives his deceased mother's funeral. And after the funeral, each son shoud hold his father's or mother's ihai, a mortuary tablet, and conduct the anniversaries and other Buddhist festivals respectively.
Bunpai-saishi can be classified as ichinin-ichi-saishi (one person holds the rites of ancestor), which is different from the customary way of rites, ichinin-ta-saishi (more than one person hold the rites of ancestor). In my former research, a folkways that is similar to bunpai-saishi was found in Cheju Island and Chindo Island in Korea, where they called it bunhal-chesa (bunkatsu-saishi in Japanese, a partition of holding rites). Viewed in the similarity between them, one may
say that these two folkways have come from a common basis.
In order to check further and comparatively into this point, I made a research in Goto Islands, Koshiki Islands in 1991, and Yaku Island in 1992, and the following findings were obtained.
First, in all these islands many inhabitants had left their home since about 1960, that made it very difficult for the first sons and the second sons to live in a same house and to form the head families and the branch families. Therefore maintaining bunpai-saishi as in the past way seemed to be difficult.
However, secondly, it turned out that bunpai-saishi had still been handed down, that is the islanders had not abandoned it, but they had found certain expedient ways. For example, some sons who had left his islands held the ceremonies at their homes in towns, others held them when they came back home islands. And further more, a close investigation revealed that they had kept their principles that they shoud be fair even at the succession to properties-not only the first son, but other sons were to succeed the properties-.
To sum up, I have come to the conclusion that bunpai-saishi and bunhal-chesa have been handed down as a reasonable folkways, which stimulated the second brothers to start branch families, and all the brothers to held the ceremonies for the response of their ancestors, and consequently they realized the fair distribution of properties among all the brothers. Less