Reviews

The result of a two-year Japanese-Uzbekistani joint study on “Islamic Sacred Places in Central Asia, with a Focus on the Fergana Valley” that was conducted in 2004-5, this richly illustrated and beautifully edited volume offers a collection of data on the names and location of sacred places, their origins and history, and the evolution of pilgrimage practice to them.  The terminology of sacre places is briefly surveyed, with an overall conclusion on the over-dominance of the term mazar (of Arabic origin, lit. “pilgrimage place”) beside those of ziyaratgah (Persian, with the same meaning), dakhma, qabr (“grave”), and qadam-jay (“footprint”).  The data collected by the authors in different parts of the Fergana and Kashghar regions provide elements for a typology of sacred places, which underlines their variety in form, size, surroundings, and numbers of visitors: see Sawada Minoru, “Ferugana bonchi ni okeru seichi chosa [A Description of Sacred Places Surveyed in the Fergana Valley],” 3-18; Sugawara Jun, “Kashugaru chiho ni okeru seichi chosa [A Descritpion of Sacred Places Surveyed in the Kashghar Region],” 19-34; Muminov Ashirbek, “Chuo Ajia ni okeru seichi: rekishiteki shingakuteki kaishaku [Sacred Places in Central Asia: A Historical and Theoretical Interpretation],” 35-48; Kawahara Yayoi, “Kutaiba ibun Musurimu byo: Kosho densetsu to  shozo monjono kento [The Mazar of Qutayba ibn Muslim: A Study of the Oral Tradition and Historical Documents],” 49-66; Sugawara Jun, “Kashugaru chiho ni okeru seichi densho [Mazar Legends in the Kashghar Region],” 67-78; Shinmen Yasushi & Kawahara Yayoi, “Buzurugu Han Tora to Katta Kenagasu murano bobyo [Buzurg Khan Tura and His Mazar in Katta Kenagas Village],” 79-102; Abdulahatov Nodirbek, “Ferugana bonchi ni okeru josei no mazaru [The Mazars of Women in the Fergana Valley],” 103-20.  These articles are followed by a list of the names and locations of all the sacred places investigated, maps, photographs of all the sites, ancient photographs preserved in the Fergana Regional Museum, and by a bibliography.

The Redaction
CER: I-5.3.E-511