Torii Ryūzō

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In this Japanese name, the family name is "Torii".
The Memorial Museum for Torii of Tokushima Prefecture (徳島県立鳥居記念博物館).

Torii Ryūzō (鳥居 龍藏?, April 4, 1870 - January 14, 1953) was a Japanese ethnologist, anthropologist and folklorist. He was known for his anthropological investigation in Taiwan and also conducted archaeological excavations and attempted to understand prehistoric Northeast Asia.


Born in the Funaba quarter of Tokushima on the island of Shikoku, from an early age he was a passionate collector of artifacts of all kinds, and showed little inclination for formal study. Fortunately, he benefited from intelligent teachers who, despite his indifference to schooling, appreciated his lively natural curiosity, and took him with them on excursions throughout the district to study the history and material culture of his area. He thus developed a precocious ability with field studies that compensated for his lack of dedication to pure book study [1]

In the wake of Yoshino Sakuzō's criticism of Japan's Imperial ambitions in Korea, Torii lined himself up with those who justified Japanese annexation on the grounds that the contemporary consensus worldwide in linguistics, anthropology, and archaeology was that the Korean and Japanese people were one and the same 'race/people' (dōminzoku)[2]

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  1. ^ Torii Ryūzō Zenshū, Asahi Shinbunsha, Tokyo 1975 vol.1 pp.1-12
  2. ^ Oguma Eiji, Tan'itsu minzoku shinwa no kigen, Shin'yōsha, Tokyo 1995 pp.154ff. English translation in Eiji Oguma, "A Genealogy of 'Japanese" Self-Images", Trans Pacific Press, 2002, pp. 126-127.