Evolution of Humanity: English Translation of the Original Essay by Kinji Imanishi. Including Commentaries by Contemporary Scholars

Sarah E. DeTroy, Satoshi Hirata, Michio Nakamura, Daniel B. M. Haun, Edwin J. C. van Leeuwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In 1952, Kinji Imanishi wrote a thought-provoking essay on the nature of animal societies. In this essay, he applied the concept of human culture (which he referred to as Karuchua) to nonhuman animals by giving different taxa a voice in a fable-like conversation, thereby aptly transcending speciesism. While thoroughly inspiring for scholars who have mastered the Japanese language, the essay was only known to non-Japanese-speakers by its English abstract. Here, we unveil the rest of the essay for the English-speaking community. Furthermore, to contextualize the seminal text, we asked contemporary scholars working in the field of (animal) culture to comment on the essay in a conversational manner akin to the structure of the essay itself. To guide this conversation, we asked the scholars to answer the questions: “What was your first impression of the essay, and how has your own work been influenced, either directly or indirectly, by Dr Imanishi’s work?” and “In what way has Dr Imanishi’s concept of Karuchua been encompassed by Western approaches?” What ensued now lies before you. We feel privileged to present to you the first English translation of the original Japanese essay by Kinji Imanishi that has already inspired so many scholars and nonscholars alike in their quest for understanding the nature of social life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360–387
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Primatology
Volume45
Issue number2
Early online date16 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Culture
  • Group living
  • Instinct
  • Kaluchua
  • Karuchua
  • Learning
  • Social life
  • Sociality

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