It has become widely acknowledged that anthropologies in different parts of the world may not always share common theoretical or empirical issues and therefore anthropologists need to be more conscious of and responsive to the regionally specific research subjects, relevant methodologies and potential and actual hegemonic relations. Even within a region, however, complicated histories often present considerable obstacles to any endeavor toward enhancing mutual dialogues. The difficulties seem to be particularly substantive in East Asia where both the long literate traditions and different disciplinary trajectories present further barriers to mutual communication despite the geographical proximity and mutual interest. This panel aims at exploring the historical backgrounds that have led to the different kind of anthropological practices in East Asia at present. Why only "minority issues" seem to constitute the main concerns of Chinese anthropology, why Japanese anthropologists working on East Asian societies appear to be mostly interested in historical and folkloric issues rather than theoretical issues of contemporary anthropology, what are the Japanese colonial legacy in Korean anthropology or folklore studies, etc. are among the central questions to be addressed in this panel which intends to be a part of ongoing attempt to attain a deeper level of intra-regional understandings among anthropologies and their practitioners in East Asia.