An Anthropological Approach to Sarkicism - Case Study 04: House Kurinuka
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An Anthropological Approach to Sarkicism

Dr. Alexander Pasternak, Department of Anthropology

Forward:
Our understanding of Sarkicism has changed dramatically over the last few decades. What we have learned has revealed a diverse and shifting paradigm far different from the monolithic creed that was first hypothesized. We are now able to paint a broader, more detailed picture of the Nälkä religion, its various sects and cultural traditions.

Modern sects are the product of divergent interpretations, many bearing a mere superficial resemblance to their ancient progenitor cult. Most unexpected, especially among early scholars of Sarkicism such as myself, are the seemingly benevolent intentions of its founders. The road to hell, it is often said, is paved with good intentions - an aphorism the Foundation must always keep close in mind, for despite the aeons between us, we gaze into that very same abyss.

And like the ancient Adytites, we have found it full of monsters.

Dr. Pasternak has been a fixture at the SCP Department of History for many years, and his expertise has been beneficial throughout our investigations into Nälkä faith and culture. Here is presented his most recent report.

- Dr. Judith Low, Senior Adviser at the Department of History - Religious GoI Threat Analysis

CASE STUDY 04: House Kurinuka

Overview:
House Kurinuka (くり抜かれた王朝, kurinuka reta ōchō) is a Neo-Sarkic cult of Japanese-Canadian origin, centralized in Vancouver, Canada. It is believed that the founders of House Kurinuka immigrated to Canada during the Issei1 wave of immigration between 1877 and 1928, and that a second ongoing wave of immigration in the late 20th century has revitalized it and significantly swelled its membership. Despite the name, however, membership in House Kurinuka is not restricted to blood relatives, and many individuals of varying ethnicities have joined or married into the cult since its genesis.

House Kurinuka is fully integrated into contemporary Canadian culture, counting many prominent businessmen and socialites as members. The current head is presumed to be Samuel K. Hisawa, a technology and business mogul based out of Metro Vancouver.

History:
General consensus states that immigration from Japan to Canada began in the late 19th century, with the first recorded immigrant being a sailor named Manzo Nagano, who arrived in 1877. Their populations had risen to 4,738 by 1901, and around 10,000 by 1911. Departing from farms or fishing villages in Japan—particularly the southern islands of Kyūshū and Honshū—these Issei were often impoverished but literate young people who settled in Vancouver and Victoria, the Fraser Valley, and other areas along the Pacific Coast. Common professions among them included those in the farming, fishing, canning, logging, sawmill, and railway industries, as well as the operation of lodging houses, grocery stores, and restaurants. While documented displays of anomalous abilities were not prevalent during this period, several records do reflect periodic conflict between European and Japanese fishermen over an "unusual quantity" of salmon caught along the Fraser River, even at times when their migratory patterns should not have led them into the area.

Even prior to the Second World War, the Canadian government had implemented discriminatory policies against Asian immigrants, including those of Japanese descent. Denied the right to vote until 1948, they were also barred from certain professions. Violent strikes and a 1907 anti-Asian riot in Vancouver demonstrated that this treatment was not only de jure. In 1908, Canada began to restrict Japanese immigration, setting the quota at 400 males a year, and then only 150 in 1928. Concentrated in enclaves such as Vancouver’s Powell Street, they developed their own institutions, including schools, hospitals, and temples. It was through these institutions that the few individuals2 who had kept to the Proto-Sarkic tradition, believed to have originated from a single, small cult in rural Japan, may have begun to communicate their beliefs to a growing and increasingly burdened community. These would later become known as the founders of House Kurinuka.

Following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, effects on Japanese Canadians were immediate and severe. Under the War Measures Act, over 21,000 were forcibly removed from the West Coast and ordered to move 100 miles (160km) inland, causing them to lose their homes, farms, and businesses. Many were held in camps on the interior, and men were often separated from their families. Confiscated property was sold by the Custodian of Enemy Alien Property, and only a small amount paid for the allowances of prisoners at the internment camps.

These losses seem to have provided the circumstances for House Kurinuka’s ascendance. When restrictions were lifted in 1949 and Japanese Canadians were granted full citizenship, they were free to return to the West Coast—but found little to return to. From Issei who had lost their lives’ work to internment, to the younger Nisei who had suffered an irreparable interruption to their education, every level of their society had been affected. Those who lived in Vancouver were no exception. Now elderly, the Issei founders of 1877-1928 had passed down their anomalous knowledge to their children and those close to them in the community. Increasingly, they used these skills to secure a foothold in wider society, becoming known for their financial success and business acumen. As these Nisei married and intermingled with other Japanese Canadians as well as outsiders, House Kurinuka grew in size and status. The third generation, or Sansei, grew up significantly more immersed in English-speaking culture, and continued to pair social discernment with the use of anomalous psychotropics to outmaneuver their business rivals.

In 1967, changes to immigration laws allowed for a renewal of Japanese immigration to Canada. Known as the shin Issei, these immigrants largely originated from Japan’s urban middle class. On the West Coast, many were drawn to the House as a means of securing connections and a support network—for themselves and their children—in a new country. This would bolster their ranks and continue to reinforce the cosmopolitan nature of the House.

Culture, Tradition, and Misconceptions:
While there is no evidence indicating the exact beliefs or practices the founders of the House arrived in North America with, it is quite clear - and members concur - that those beliefs underwent significant metamorphosis under the changing cultural landscape of the 20th century. As Canada itself secularized, so too did the House, discarding many features of their previous practice to create the streamlined doctrine present today.

Their philosophy is ultimately nihilistic and atheistic, rejecting both the existence of moral principles and the concept of deities as a discrete classification of entities. Power is rather viewed upon a spectrum, with Yaldabaoth and the Archons believed to have "greater capacity" but no difference in nature from humans or, indeed, any other organisms. Sarkites consider their carnomantic abilities to be ultimately derived from the Archons and/or Yaldabaoth; this relationship is perceived as commensalistic, with neither party of necessity being harmed. Yaldabaoth is frequently likened in metaphor to marine superpredators; one member I spoke with described the distinction between these entities and Sarkicism in practice as being analogous to the distinction between "the shark, and the parts of the shark the remoras know".

Belief in the existence of Ion, the Klavigar, or any events in Sarkic mythology prior to the Sarkic diaspora c. 1100 BCE is considered to be a matter of personal opinion and rarely considered relevant in everyday life. Nonetheless, a common belief is that the cult's lineage traces back to approximately this time period, and that the Klavigar Saarn3 was instrumental in its founding. I was presented with two legends as to the nature of this founding: the first claims that the Hisagae family (and therefore a large proportion of current cult membership) are direct blood descendants of the klavigar, while the other holds simply that the chain of succession of karcists ultimately leads back to her induction of three among the Jōmon population shortly before the Sarkic diaspora. Unusually among Sarkic groups, House Kurinuka has two acting karcists: Karcist Vasakur and Karcist Turuušo. The former seems to be the primary karcist and is most involved in cult proceedings; upon inquiring about the latter, I was told only that "he comes and goes“. Also unusually among Sarkic groups, the House does not keep a religious calendar, and community events take place stochastically, generally in response to significant events in the lives of its members (including rites of passage, marriages, and reproduction).

Explicitly, House Kurinuka functions according to a strict hierarchy based upon age and prominence within the organization. Children are expected to be obedient to their older relatives (including siblings, cousins, parents, and aunts/uncles) until the deaths of the latter, while individuals of the same age are expected to defer according to rank4 or to amount of time spent as a full member of the group. Inter-familial relationships are significantly more complex, and the rules for obedience are based on factors including but not limited to time since immigration, time as a regional resident, apparent economic success, recent monetary transactions, and social/political capital both within and outside of the cult.

However, this hierarchy falls down somewhat in practice; individuals place a high priority on maintaining the appearance of obedience while fulfilling their personal ambitions, even if this entails subverting the wishes of their superiors. The principle that one is permitted to do whatever one cannot be prevented from doing holds particularly true here; several members have happily admitted to having manipulated, stolen from, or extorted other members for economic or social gain, apparently secure in the knowledge that I either would not report these deeds or they would be considered trivial.

The video in question was received by e-mail a few days later.

It seems apparent that House Kurinuka endeavours to keep their anomalous activities out of the public eye, despite their professed indifference to intrinsic behavioural standards. No employees of companies owned by Hisawa or other House members have any connection to any of the Lower Mainland's anomalous communities - a statistic that may reveal a vested interest on House Kurinuka's part to maintain their ignorance.

Employee blogs and online communications do reveal a prevalent psychotropic culture at Hisawa's two largest companies10, with psychotropics of choice including alcohol, Cannabis sativa, prescription amphetamines and analgesics, and a drug known only by the trade name Casurun. This drug is reportedly available only through Rutilus Compounding Pharmacy, a small naturopathic pharmacy chain based only in the Lower Mainland. Upon further investigation, Rutilus was discovered to be owned by another high-ranking House member.

A sample of Casurun was procured from Rutilus for spectrometric analysis. Although the majority of the capsule weight was accounted for by binders (including mannitol starch and microcrystalline cellulose) and fillers (including corn starch and saccharin sodium), two bioactive ingredients were identified. 14.1% by weight was accounted for by the theoretical but unattested compound dihydroxynicergoline. This compound acts as a competitive agonist to the ADRA1A dendritic receptor, inducing cerebral vasodilation and metabolic elevation. 3.7% by weight was accounted for by a mixture of muscarine allosteric antagonists. These compound act as nonselective antagonists for the GABAA ionotropic receptor.

Trace amounts of protein were also found, mostly in fragmentary form. Preliminary BLASTP place the isolated peptides as having high structural similarities to vertebrate galactosylceramidase enzymes, and are presumably involved in vivo in the digestion of cell membranes and/or myelin.

Overall, Casurun has nootropic effects, which may explain its popularity among local tech employees. With few reported side effects, this drug increases human reaction time and attention, presumably advantageous to individuals in a competitive business environment. The desire for intelligence and capability would drive many, it seems, to seek exogenous sources.

fungus.jpg

An immature specimen of A. lowii growing on a P. menziesii log.

The source of both active ingredients is a fungus known colloquially as kajitsu-no-sara or "wine-bowl" (presumptively named Ascocoryne lowii pending full description and publication), which is cultivated on a small scale under the oversight of another House member, Mr. James Toda. This species is essentially saprotrophic and is cultivated outdoors on mulch and sections of softwoods. Aware that commercial fungus farming is nowadays most frequently done indoors with sterilized and standardized substrate, I inquired about Toda's choice of natural cultivation methods. Although the response was highly technical, the general gist was that A. lowii has very specific nutrient requirements that cannot be met with commercial substrates, and this method of cultivation allows him to customize their nutrient input.

Mr. Toda seemed equally keen to point out that A. lowii is uncontrolled under federal or provincial law. No solid answers were provided when I inquired whether Mr. Toda or any of his compatriots were considering expanding their monopoly; however, given Rutilus's popularity, I would not be surprised to see Casurun eventually hit a wider market.

Addendum: While walking back to my lodging following an evening meeting with a colleague, I was approached by an unknown individual. The individual's shabby, concealing garments, along with the scarf used to cover the head and neck, stymied any potential identification. The following is a transcript of our interaction.

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