MODERN ASIAN STUDIES REVIEW Vol.5 新たなアジア研究に向けて5号
21/112

Articlesoutstanding monograph on social history of popular pilgrimage in era of the Dalai Lama regime [HUBER 1999], belong, institutionally speaking, in anthropology.4 Thus, the fact that it is anthropologists who have led the way in the study of the history of modern Tibet is incontrovertible. However, we are at this point presented with an enigma. Why is it that a field of modern historical studies has been led by anthropologists as opposed to historians? From this point on, I will address this question while reflecting on the history of Tibetan studies.II The Difficulty in Conducting Field Surveys in TibetWhile we can no longer cling to the quaint image of “the forbidden kingdom of Tibet,”5 it is nevertheless true that twentieth century Tibet did not make it easy for outsiders to gain access. It is known today that Tibet’s famous closed-country policy was, at the beginning of the twentieth century, a product of international politics, including the central and south Asian policies of the Qing Dynasty and then those of the British Empire.6 Despite the country being closed off, there were a handful of outsiders who managed to gain access and conduct surveys. For example, there were exceptional researchers, such as Tucci and some high-ranking colonial officers of the British Raj.7 However, with the signing of the 17-Article Agreement in 1951, Tibet was formally placed under Chinese rule. As a result, Tibet became even more sealed-off from the world than it had been previously. Despite the considerable qualitative difference between the “isolationism of the mysterious kingdom” that existed before 1951 and “Mao’s bamboo curtain,” from the point of view of outside researchers, there was no major change to the fact that they could not enter the country. While the context had changed, the severe restriction on academic access to Tibet was a constant. In later years, China enacted open-door policy that also encompassed Tibet. Accordingly, in the 1980s, a limited number of researchers were permitted to undertake field surveys in the Tibetan Autonomous Region, including the aforementioned Goldstein and also Graham Clark, who is known as a researcher of the Nepalese Himalayas.8 However, while it seemed in the late 1980s that an air of freedom had finally started flowing, the Chinese government once again strictly reinforced regulations partly as a response to the destabilization of Chinese institutions. Thus, these field surveys remained the exception to the rule up until the end of the 1990s.In this sense, social scientific research in Tibet faced a major issue. The issue was the difficulty or the unfeasibility of field surveys. One crucial factor in this was the fact that social scientific research was itself restrained throughout China with the exception of official government-led surveys in the 1950s, owing in part to the fact that during the Cultural Revolution, sociology and anthropology were themselves dismissed as bourgeois science.9 Although the issue is now being gradually improved, it was a major impairment to Tibetan studies until at least the 1980s.Above all, the issue had a decisive impact on the trend of anthropological Tibetan research. A major part of the academic identity of anthropology, however we may define it, comes from micro-level social scientific research based on field work, and so if field surveys cannot be conducted, this is tantamount to anthropological Tibetan research declaring bankruptcy. The lack of access to Tibet prompted researchers seeking to conduct social scientific studies of Tibet to switch to a field that could substitute field surveys in Tibet. I will refer to these studies and the results they produced as “substitutive ethnography.” A parallel can be drawn between how Sinologist anthropologists̶who have also dealt with the problem of closed opportunities for field work in China̶have conducted substitutive surveys in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and among the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia.10 017

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