Environment1. Environmental problems and biodiversityDomestic Symposium

Minpaku open lecture meeting

Where is humankind headed? Dancing with watermelons and worshiping whales in festivals: landscapes of people and other creatures iving together
Thursday, 10 November 2016
6:30 p.m. – 8:40 p.m. (open at 5:30 p.m.)
600 persons
Nikkei Hall & Conference Room
No participation fees *With a sign language interpreter Sponsored by National Museum of Ethnology and Nikkei Inc.
Record of Symposium

“From the earth of living creatures to the human-centered worldSummary”

Let’s introduce a certain time sense into the history of the earth. Roughly speaking, the past 500 million years are the period during which various living creatures existed on the Earth. By contrast, only 5 million years have passed since mankind started bipedal walking, 200,000 years since Homo sapiens first existed, and 10,000 years since they have reared livestock. Civilization only appeared 5,000 years ago. What are these creatures who have risen to behave so arrogantly as rulers for the moment? That is what I would like to consider here.
ENDO Hideki
Professor of the University Museum, The University of Tokyo and author

Advocating “dead body science.” Doctor of Veterinary Science. Living with many dead bodies of animals and vivisecting them, he is trying to elucidate the history of evolution. He wrote Todai Yume Kyoju (Dream professor, The University of Tokyo), Jintai: shippai no shinka-shi (Human body: evolutionary history of failure), Panda no shiwa yomigaeru (Dead panda revivification), and Honyurui no shinka (Evolution of mammals).

“Living creatures seen from the viewpoint of modern civilization: The use and protection of wild animals including whales”

To survive in the Earth’s environments, humans have used wild animals, including whales and seals, as food and raw materials for tools from prehistoric times. In civilized societies from the 21st century onward, however, the relation between people and wild animals has been changing drastically from use to protection. I would like to consider how we can live with them based on cases of use and protection of wild animals including whales and seals.
Professor of National Museum of Ethnology and SOKENDAI (Graduate University of Advanced Studies)

Specialized in cultural anthropology and northern indigenous tribes. Doctor of Literature. He has been studying whale capture and game distribution among the Inuit and Inupiat people, indigenous tribes living in far northern regions. He wrote Kujira to tomoni ikiru (Living with whales), Hogei no bunka jinruigaku (Cultural anthropology in whale capture), and Zoyo ron saiko (Reviewing Gift Exchange Theory).

“Living creatures from the viewpoints of wild nature and culture: wild landscapes altered by domestication”

Wild watermelons were cultivated in Africa some millennia ago and were subsequently distributed throughout the world. As breeding advanced and seeds became industrialized, they have become cultured watermelons. An amino acid (citrulline) contained in African watermelons has attracted attention for health. Is the way of thinking of human social evolution developing from wild nature, through culture, to civilization a correct interpretation? I would like to explore that point by particularly addressing the use and protection of livestock and cultivated plants.
IKEYA Kazunobu
Professor of National Museum of Ethnology and SOKENDAI (Graduate University of Advanced Studies)

Biosophia studies. Doctor of Science. Elucidating the history of the earth from the viewpoints of ‘hunter–gatherers’. His theme is interactions among nature, culture, and civilization. He wrote Sansai tori no shakaisi (Social history of gathering wild vegetables), Ningen ni totte suika toha nanika (What do watermelons mean for people?) and Chikyu kankyou si kara no toi (Questions from global environmental history).

Moderator: NOBAYASHI Atsushi (Professor of National Museum of Ethnology)

Start by SAKAMOTO Hironobu (Executive Officer of Nikkei Inc., Managing Editor of Osaka Head office)
Opening address by SUDO Kenichi (Director-general of the National Museum of Ethnology)
Briefing on the lecture meeting by IKEYA Kazunobu
Lecture 1 by ENDO Hideki
Lecture 2 by KISHIGAMI Nobuhiro
Lecture 3 by IKEYA Kazunobu
Panel discussion by ENDO, KISHIGAMI, and IKEYA