Asian Ethnology Podcast

Interview with Peter Knecht, former editor of Asian Folklore Studies

Part 1. The Beginnings of the Journal: From China to Japan

Interviewer: Ben Dorman, co-editor Asian Ethnology

Recorded 15 May 2017, Nagoya, Japan

Peter Knecht was the editor of Asian Folklore Studies from 1980 until 2007. The journal changed its name to Asian Ethnology in 2008.

Peter discusses the founding of the journal in China in 1942, when it was known as Folklore Studies. He talks about founding editor, Matthias Eder, and the journal's path from China to Japan.

Episode Summary

Intro :37

Beginnings of journal; Matthias Eder's studies in Japan, Paris, and Berlin; Eder's move to China (Beijing) in 1938 4:46

Funding granted for small museum/editorial office 6:25

Eder’s sense of “mission” in terms of the journal; Wilhelm Schmidt and the founding of Anthropos; Eder’s acknowledgment of Schimdt; Schmidt’s contribution to anthropology 8:54

China under Japanese rule and Eder’s connections with Japanese folklorists; end of working in China for foreign missionaries in 1949; journal's series of “rebirths” 19:10

Eder’s desire to return to China; S.V.D. mission work; interest of Alois Pache S.V.D. (first president of Nanzan University) in the journal 25:07

1966 – Eder teaches at Indiana University; Richard Dorson proposes name change from Folklore Studies to Asian Folklore Studies 31:07

Eder moves to Nanzan; Peter’s initial connection to the journal 36:54

Connection to the people and research interests 40:14

Involvement of Robert Reimer, S..V..D. (former president of Nanzan University) 45:31

Outro 45:54

Publications discussed in this episode

Article: Editorial. Folklore Studies Vol. 1 (1942). (Author: Matthias Eder)

Article: Obituary: Dr. Matthias Eder, (1902-1980). Asian Folklore Studies Vol. 39-2 (1980). (Author: Peter Knecht)
Music used with kind permission of the performer, shamisen master Koji Yamaguchi.