Research Trip to Istanbul and Tashkent
(October 5-20, 1997)

KOMATSU Hisao

Posted on November 12, 1997

 

The aim of this trip was to search for opportunities for cooperation with Turkish and Uzbek scholars within the framework of the Islamic Area Studies Project and set up a concrete plan for future cooperation. Among other things, I planned to establish a small working group for the Central Asian Area Studies Project which would conduct research on the Central Asian Area which is undergoing fundamental changes after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

As the first step toward this cooperation, I planned to hold an international conference or workshop dedicated to the reconsideration of Jadid Muslim reformist movement in the beginning of this century and its legacy. The reasons I selected this subject are that in Japan we have some specialists in this field as well as some opportunities for comparative studies and in recent years, interest in this movement has been growing remarkably in Uzbekistan and other countries. In line with this initial plan, I consulted with leading scholars in the Institute of Literature and the Institute of History in Tashkent and got positive responses. I would like to discuss a more detailed plan for the coming conference with my colleagues.

In Istanbul, in order to introduce our plan to Turkish researchers, I read a paper entitled, "Turkistani: A Muslim Group Identity in Russian Central Asia" in a conference held at Kochi University on October 16. I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Timur Kocaoglu for providing me with the opportunity to present my paper. The complete paper will be published in our working paper series or on our homepage.