오키나와 문츄(門中) 형성의 사회문화적 배경에 관한 시론 : A Study of Okinawan Kinship System

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서울대학교 비교문화연구소
비교문화연구, Vol.6 No.2, pp. 37-79
이 연구는 친족체계에 초점을 두고, 오키나와(沖繩) 사회조직의 전개과정을 밝히려고 시도하고 있다. 오키나와의 친족체계는 부계의 출계집단과 양변적인 친척(bilateral kindred)이 공존하고 있을 뿐만 아니라, 그 각각이 오키나와문화의 아주 상이한 영역을 지배하고 있다는 특징을 보이고 있다는 점에 우리는 주목한다. 우리는 부계친족제도의 형성에 중요한 역할을 했던 요인들을 밝히는 데에 특별한 주의를 기울일 것이다. 이 작업을 해내는 데에서 우리는 현재와 같은 형태의 오키나와 친족제도가 등장하게 된 원인을 찾아내는 데에 열쇠를 제공해줄지도 모를, 사회정치체계의 전개과정과 친족제도간의 관련성에 주목할 필요가 있다. 이를 위해서 우리는 또한 중국, 일본, 한국 및 옛 류큐(琉球)왕국(1200 -1872)이 긴밀하게 접촉했던 동남아시아의 다른 여러 나라들과의 문화 접촉 또는 문화 접변의 맥락에서 오키나와 친족체계의 전개과정을 검토해야만 할 것이다. 오키나와의 친족제도가 형성된 문화과정은 중국을 기점으로 한 거대한 유교 문화복합(Confucian culture complex)의 역동성과 관련 지어서만이 적절하게 이해될 수 있다고 우리는 확신한다. 따라서 이 연구에서 우리는 우선 앞의 세 나라와의 문화 접촉에 초점을 맞추고자 한다.

This study is an inquiry into the development of Okinawan social organization, focusing on the kinship system, in order to interpret a peculiar feature of Okinawan kinship, that is, the coexistence of the patrilineal descent groups and bilateral kindred each of which dominates quite different realms of Okinawan culture. Our special attention was called to the search for the factors which have played important roles toward the formation of the munchu system, or patrilineal descent reckoning. In doing so, we had to see Okinawan kinship in relation to the development of sociopolitical system which seems to throw some light on the reason why the present form of kinship system has come into existence.

The data from which this study draws were limited to the published works done by the students of Okinawan culture, largely in Japanese and a few in English, since the present writer has no experience in Okinawa at all. However this acquaintance with Korean kinship system will hopefully throw some light on the understanding of the Okinawan kinship system.

Discussing the formation of the munchu system, we have attempted to cast it in the light of Okinawan culture history. Throughout this study there is the assumption that certain structural elements could be borrowed from other cultures in a long-enduring acculturation process, but a socio-cultural system as a whole, i.e., Okinawan munchu system could never be transplanted from one culture to another unless there is a massive migration.

We may fully accept the notion that the Chinese cultural influences on Okinawa had been considerable, as the majority of the students of the Okinawan culture recognize. However, as far as the Okinawan munchu system is concerned, we wish to conclude that what the Okinawans had leamed from China or Chinese culture was to a large extent Confucian traditions but not the system itself. The Okinawan munchu system could be considered a unique system with its own dynamics, being brought into existence along the lines of development of the socio-political system within the country during the old Ryukyu Kingdom. It should be noted that the Confucian-oriented ancestor worship provided a sort of basic framework for the development of the munchu system. Further we find that the alleged present form of the Okinawan munchu as ceremonial groups was not the original form: it had far more things to do with political, economic, and even judicial matters.

Speaking of the etymology of the term munchu, we suggest that it was a borrowed term from the Korean term munchung and used with a Japanese sound. Further comparative study of the patrilneal descent system in both countries would throw new light on the understanding of the Okinawan munchu system.
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College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학)Institute of Cultural Studies(비교문화연구소)비교문화연구비교문화연구 vol.06 no.1/2 (2000)
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