is Professor in the Department of Literature at Keiô University, specializing in anthropology and religious studies. His research interests include cross-cultural research on folk religions and Shugendô. Among his main publications are Kami to hotoke no minzoku (Tôkyô: Yoshikawa kôbunkan, 2001) and Nyonin kinsei (Yoshikawa kôbunkan, 2002). His fields of study include, apart from Japan, Guizhou in China (the Miao), and Karnataka and Kerala in India. He is currently involved in the project "Comparative Studies of Cult and Performing Arts in East Asia" in Japan, and collaborates with the École française d'Extrême-Orient on the project "Between 'Outside' and 'Inside': Sociocultural Dynamics in Japan."