pmjs logs for January - March 2006. Total number of messages: 76.

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* noh and kyogen research (Karen Brazell, Helen Parker)
* Engishiki questions (Barbara Nostrand, Lawrence Marceau, Matthew Stavros)
* JAPANimals: History and Culture in Japan's Animal Life (Bruce Willoughby)
* Objects of Discourse: Memoirs by Women of Heian Japan (Bruce Willoughby)
* Satsuma porcelain abroad (Peter McMillan)
* Contemporary Tokyo Culture (Matthew Stavros, Anthony Chambers, Anthony Bryant, Antony Boussemart, Ivo Smits)
* query about Heian decorators (Jordan Sand, Amanda Stinchecum, Ingrid Parker, Takeshi Watanabe, Matthew Stavros, Edith Sarra, Thomas Howell, Machiko Midorikawa)
* Workshops at UBC: Workshop on Medieval Waka; Early-Modern Komonjo and Kuzushiji Workshop; Tokugawa Society and Travel Culture Workshop (Christina Laffin)
* Kuzushi emaki--> kusoushi emaki (Miika Polkki, Jeremy Robinson, Keller Kimbrough, Barbara Ruch, Bernard Faure)
*  new members (Michael Pye, Maik Hendrik Sprotte, Eric Tischer, Ian Tullis) / new profiles (Torquil Duthie, Christina Laffin, Barbara Seyock)
* Basho and Du Fu (Paul Rouzer, Jan Vos, Lewis Cook, Stephen Forrest)
* Norito studies (Michael Pye, Michael Wachutka)
* goeika (Michael Pye, David Pollack, Anthony Chambers, Nicholas Teele)
* falcon hunting in Heian Japan and medieval Europe (Gian Piero Persiani, Richard Bowring, Noel Pinnington, Robert Khan, Robert Borgen, Amy Vladeck Heinrich)
* Chomei at Toyama (Royall Tyler) [continued in April, see second quarter logs]

Position announcements: UBC (University of British Columbia); one-year position in pre-modern Japanese studies, Chicago; Professor in Japanese Studies - University of Heidelberg; Lecturerships at University of Cambridge; Professorship - Helsinki
Other announcements: International Symposium on _The Tale of Genji_ at Aoyama Gakuin University; Public Symposium at Ryukoku University, Kyoto; AJLS news 23; Lori Meeks Talk at USC; Lecture on the Mingei Movement and Okinawan Identity; MA program in Japanese at Arizona State University; Kokugakuin University, Visiting Researcher Program; AJLS Call for Papers; CFP: Social Science History Association; Noh Training Project 2006 Summer Session; Theatre Nohgaku Update Early Modern Japan Network Panels at the AAS; Study in Japan:  Transforming Japan: Global Connections, Domestic Developments; Bungo SIG

From: Yasuhiko Ogawa <>
Date: January 1, 2006 11:56:16 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Announcement of an International Symposium at Aoyama Gakuin University

Dear PMJS members,

I am pleased to announce an international symposium on _The Tale of Genji_ at Aoyama Gakuin University.
The detail is below.
I hope to see you at the symposium.

Best wishes,

Yasuhiko Ogawa
Associate Professor
Department of Japanese Literature
Aoyama Gakuin University


The most famous fiction in Japan, _The Tale of Genji_ took a great deal of intellectual nourishment from the distinct literary genre, waka poetry. It built a unique genre “Monogatari”, which is different from a novel in the West. We will have a discussion on the subject of the relation between _The Tale of Genji_ and waka poetry, based on most recent findings. It is certain to be exciting and thrilling.
We welcome everyone!

Date: 14 January 2006
Time: 1:00-5:00pm (Registration: 12:30am-)
Place: Aoyama Gakuin University
     4-4-25 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8366
     Tel 03-3409-7917 (Department of Japanese Literature)
Language: Japanese
Fee: Free

  Motoaki Muto (President of Aoyama Gakuin University)
1) Yoichi Hijikata (Aoyama Gakuin University),
“Topology of waka poems in _The Tale of Genji_“
2) Katsumi Fujiwara (The University of Tokyo),
 “Which of young noblemen touched Ukifune’s sleeves, Kaoru or Nio-no-miya?: On Ukifune’s waka in the Book of _Tenarai_“
3) Haruo Shirane (Columbia University),
  “Waka, Monogatari and Power: On _The Tale of Genji_“


  Coordinator: Hirohiko Takada (Aoyama Gakuin University)

  Izumi Yajima (Chairman of the Department of Japanese Literature, Aoyama Gakuin University)

From: Karen Brazell <>
Date: January 4, 2006 2:35:49 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  noh and kyogen research

I am writing a short piece for a Japanese journal and would like to mention recent scholarship on noh and kyogen in English  (or possibly other Western languages).  If you have published a book on this subject in the last three or four years, or if you are about to publish one on and don't mind my mentioning it in print, could you please send me the title and a sentence or two about it.  Also the preferred kana spelling of your name would be useful. If you know of someone else's book I might miss, mention of that would be helpful too.  Please reply either on line or directly (  Thanks. Karen Brazell
From: "Philip C. Brown" <>
Date: January 4, 2006 2:55:13 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Early Modern Japan Network Panels at the AAS (San Francisco)

 Early Modern Japan Network Panels at the AAS (San Francisco)

The Early Modern Japan Network will present four different panels at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting this April. All panels deal with Edo era culture – writing, publishing, artists and the milieu in which all interacted. Two panels will be held Thursday, April 6 from 1-5 p.m., and one each on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Abstracts for each panel, followed by abstracts of the individual papers for each panel, are appended below.

Please join us!

Philip Brown

Early Modern Japan Network

 Thursday, April 6 afternoon Panels (from 1-5 p.m.)

 Panel 1: Bunka as Business: The Dissemination of Literati Culture in
 Tokugawa Japan

Pacific H

*Organizer: *Toshiko Yokota, California State University, Los Angeles

*Discussant:* Patricia Graham, University of Kansas

*Abstract *

The world of the Edo literati, or /bunjin/, is often treated by both art historians and literary scholars as if it were a self-contained universe in which only aesthetic values pertain. To accept this view is to accept /bunjin/ ideology uncritically. This panel, however, examines the dissemination of literati culture in socio-historical terms and seeks to generate broader insights into literary and artistic production and consumption in Tokugawa Japan. Hiroko Johnson examines new developments in the theory and practice of literati painting in the eighteenth century through an analysis of the activities of Shen Nanpin and his students whose style greatly influenced artists and patrons. Yoshie Itani analyzes the development of /sometsuke/ (blue and white) design by Seto potters, revealing the direct impact of visiting literati painters on improvements in /sometsuke/ technique, and argues that the technical development occurred partly in response to the forces in the market of the time. Toshiko Yokota investigates sinophilia and the practice of Yosa Buson (1716-1774) as a /bunjin/ poet-painter within the network of the cultural industry, and demonstrates how Buson was affected by trends in the cultural marketplace through the examination of his representative poetry and painting.

Cutting across the usual boundaries between art and literature, we hope the panel will appeal to scholars of literature, intellectual history, and art history.

*1. “How New Art was Born: The Influence of Shen Nanpin”*

*Hiroko Johnson, Ph.D.*

*Assistant Professor*

*School** of **Art**, Design and Art History*

*San Diego** **State** **University***

By 1716 the artistic giants Kano Tanyu and Ogata Korin were gone, and a new breed of artists was emerging. Ito Jakuchu and Yosa Buson were two such. The Kyoho period (1716-1735) was a transitional era, in which the old culture gave way to a new trend in art. These new artists, who brought enormous freedom and innovation to their work, reexamined the influence of the old traditions. Concurrently, within the merchant class, the Ishida Baigan philosophy, which emphasized intelligent businessmen, was emerging.

Parallel with these internal changes, significant shifts were underway. In 1720 the prohibition on importing foreign books was lifted, and new information flooded into Japan. The arrival of Chinese artists, especially of Shen Nanpin in 1733, introduced new styles of painting. Shen Nanpin’s art was so influential that it gave rise to new art schools for the merchant class, such as the Okyo School and the Literati School. Even the samurai class patronized Nanpin’s work. This rise of new art schools for the merchant class marked the demise of the /funpon/ based Kano school.

This paper focuses on the influence of Shen Nanpin’s art: Why his art brought new directions in artistic culture as well as aesthetic changes in the mid-Edo period. Were the new merchant art schools competitive with the Kano school? Were their works valued more highly by patrons than the Kano artists? I will examine production aspects of art of the Literati school, and also explore the rise of the new merchant class.

*2. /Bunjinga/ and /Sometsuke/*

*/Yoshie Itani/*
*/D. Phil student, Oriental Institute/*
 University of Oxford

In early Edo Seto potters suffered from a decline in demand due to the production of high quality Imari. However towards the end of the seventeenth century they were developing various techniques such as blue and white overglaze on earthenware. They eventually focused on this technical development and innovative design and began producing /sometsuke /[blue & white] design on porcelain which formerly had only been possible on earthenware.

When the production of /sometsuke/ began in Seto, Gosu (blue) designs had already existed for some considerable time in conventional pottery production. Therefore, to distinguish them from other types, Seto sometsuke porcelain was called “/Shinsei-yaki” /or “New Ware” from 1800 onwards.

In Seto, the /sometsuke/ “/Shinsei-yaki” /technique was dramatically improved at the end of the Edo period through the direct influence of visiting literati painters The majority were from the /Nanga/ [Southern Song] School, and included Yamamoto Baiitsu, Yokoi Kinkoku, Kamei Hanji and Oide To¯ko¯. The Seto painters used the /mokottsu/ [without lining] literati technique, which differed from the/ warigaki/ [flamed painting] of the Arita. From the mid 1800s to the end of the Edo period, literati painters who visited Seto taught their technique with enthusiasm and the combined energy of these artist potters generated a vibrant atmosphere in the area. Work done by Seto potters during this influential period easily surpassed that of ordinary craftsmen, to the extent that their wares were exhibited around the world during the Meiji era, and received numerous prizes both in Japan and abroad.

*3. Sinophilia and Buson’s Practice as a Bunjin Poet-Painter in Eighteenth-Century Japan*

*Toshiko Yokota, Ph.D. *
*Assistant Professor, Dept. of Modern Languages and Literatures, **California** **State** **University**, **Los Angeles***

Traditionally /bunjin/ have been generally defined as multi-talented intellectuals and artists who tried to live for art’s sake. Yosa Buson (1716-1783) is considered as one of those /bunjin/ and the traditional studies of Buson’s life and work have not paid attention to the socio-historical context that affected his cultural production.

In my paper, I try to overcome some of the reductive tendencies of the traditional approach by positioning Buson and his work more specifically within the eighteenth century Japanese cultural field and analyzing one of the socio-historical conditions that contributed to his emergence as a /bunjin/ and to his literary and artistic production—namely the sinophilic trends of the time. Although Japanese contacts with China were limited under the Tokugawa government policy, Chinese culture served as a romantic ideal and as a form of the exotic for the cultural elite, especially in urban centers. The impact of this conveniently remote Chinese “other” is evidenced, for instance, in Buson’s work.

Through the examination of Buson’s practice as a poet-painter and some of his representative paintings, I will show how he was affected by the trends of the cultural industry of his time.

*Panel 2: Writing **Japan**, **China**, and the World: Kanshi Poets in the Nineteenth Century*

* *
*Organizer: *Paul Rouzer, University of Minnesota
*Discussant: *Ivo Smits, Leiden University

This panel centers on Japanese poetry in literary Chinese (usually termed “kanshi”) during the 19th century, to demonstrate its vitality as well as cultural and social relevance. Kanshi underwent a tremendous revival during this time, as several generations of samurai authors, combining a sophisticated education in both the Chinese and Japanese classics with an expanding curiosity about the world, brought literary Chinese composition to a new level of native expression. For them, the use of literary Chinese was not merely a schoolbook exercise. Rather, they used the language to voice their own distinctive needs: for personal self-expression and for political engagement with the turbulent period that saw the decline of the bakufu, the discovery of the Western world, and the changes of the Meiji era. A full understanding of 19th century kanshi requires a reading that straddles disciplines and borders – one that is sensitive to both Chinese and Japanese literary conventions, and one that can locate poetic composition within the nexus of social and political change without reducing it to an epiphenomenon of those changes.

Panelists see continuities over a period of volatile discontinuity, as poets confront the challenge of articulating new subject matter within the restrictions of Chinese form – from Rai San’yō’s (1781-1832) exploration of the Dutch presence at Nagasaki, to Ryūhoku’s (1837-1884) attempts to articulate political courses of action, to Mori Ōgai’s (1862-1922) personal mediation of a Chinese heritage.

*1. Rai San’yō’s **Nagasaki** Poems: Domesticating (Sinicizing) the West*
*Paul Rouzer, **University** of **Minnesota***

During 1818 and 1819, Rai San’yō (1781-1832), the most prominent kanshibun author of his generation, took a tour of western Honshū and Kyūshū, where he wrote over 270 poems. One of the most striking aspects of this trip involves the verses he wrote in Nagasaki, where he made contact with local intellectuals, visited members of the Chinese merchant community, and described the Dutch legation. These works bring up one of the most interesting issues surrounding modern kanshi composition: how does one employ the conventions and imagery of traditional Chinese poetry to speak about the alien and the modern?

This paper discusses two approaches San’yō took in writing about the West. First, by relying on the Chinese convention of capturing scene through the humor and irony implicit in the quatrain form, San’yō created a series of aesthetic vignettes (not unlike similar poems he wrote on paintings, for example) that distances the author from the effects of the alien; framing allows for the incorporation of the picturesque and the exotic. Second, San’yō expanded his vision through the use of narrative /gafu/ (C: /yuefu/) – in this case, through a long ballad on the career of Napoleon Bonaparte. San’yō had already become famous for his /gafu/ ballads on the Genpei and Taiheiki conflicts, where he used Chinese rhetoric, with conventions rooted in Confucian historical judgment, to create a detailed historiography. Here, he plays out his narrative of Napoleon against the classic Sino-Japanese narrative of imperial hubris: the rise and fall of the first Qin emperor.

*2. Stones from other hills: a Japanese Confucian encounters the West*
Matthew Fraleigh, Harvard University

The arrival of Western warships at Japan’s shores in the mid-nineteenth century brought not only a diplomatic crisis for the Tokugawa shogunate, but also presented popular new topoi for Japanese /kanshi /poets. In the proliferation of /kanshi/ written in response to the incursion, authors drew on classical Chinese precedents and the domestic /kanshi /tradition both to depict the unfamiliar and also to articulate a variety of possible courses of action. Because these poets attended gatherings where they shared their works, received feedback on them, and composed works collaboratively, such poems in classical Chinese served as an important medium for the exchange of ideas.

This paper focuses on the dramatic shifts in representations of the West evident in the poems of Narushima Ryūhoku (1837-1884), a Confucian scholar in the employ of the Tokugawa shogunate. Whereas Ryūhoku’s earliest poetic journals contain several works that feature fantastic scenes of cataclysmic rebuff, his later works evince an eclectic curiosity about the West. An examination of Ryūhoku’s extant poetic manuscripts offers the chance to see how Ryūhoku’s poetic seniors commented upon his poems, what standards were used to select poems for later anthologies, and how Ryūhoku himself revised his earlier poems to reflect his evolving views. I also look at the works of other prominent Edo poets with whom Ryūhoku was associating, such as Ōnuma Chinzan and Ōtsuki Bankei, in order to illustrate the diversity of responses to Perry’s arrival and to suggest the importance of /kanshi /as a mode of literary exchange.

*3. Mori Ōgai (1862-1922) and kanshi: mediating traditions*
John Timothy Wixted

Mori Ōgai’s mediation between Japan and the prime cultural legacy of China (its writing system, in this case in the form of Sino-Japanese kanshi poetry) was to be paralleled by his mediation between Germany and Japan (through translation activity, the writing of his most famous short stories, and other cultural undertakings prompted by the West). Mediation, in Ōgai’s case, is both more personal and more general than might at first appear, referring to apprenticeship, the acquisition of skills, personal display (in particular evidence in his kanshi), maturation, and the forging of an identity both personal and national.

*Friday, April 7, **7-9 p.m.**, Sierra Suite H*
* *
*Panel 3:* *Painting, Publishing, and (Self-) Promotion: Bunjin Artists and Their Milieu*
Panel Organizer: Lawrence Marceau, University of Auckland (


This panel questions fundamental assumptions regarding the relationships between artists, their painting and publishing projects, and their reception or perceived reception by contemporaries and followers. Over the course of three presentations, the artists Ike no Taiga, Takebe Ayatari, and Tomioka Tessai are subjected to critical re-examination, with special emphasis placed on their publishing activities in two of the presentations, and, for Tessai, his critical reception in the context of "post-early modern" Japanese changes.

Sachiko Idemitsu explores Ike no Taiga's posthumously-published albums and painting manuals, and provides important insights into Taiga's reception by his followers decades after his death. Lawrence Marceau takes up issues related to Taiga contemporary Takebe Ayatari's painting manual production, questioning the notion of /bunjin/ within a highly commercialized environment. Finally Tamaki Maeda focuses in on the later artist Tomioka Tessai, and, through an examination of his critical reception, reinterprets what critics and others thought of the notion of /bunjin/ in a radically changed environment. Together these three presentations open up new ways of looking at notions of "artist" and "reputation" in early modern and modern Japan.

*1. Manuals of Paintings in the Taiga Style Published by His Followers*
Sachiko Idemitsu, Sainsbury Institute

It is well known that Japanese literati painters relied to a great extent on imported Chinese woodblock-printed painting manuals such as /Hasshu gafu/ (Eight Varieties of Painting Models) and /Kaishien gaden/ (Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting), and Ike no Taiga (1723-76) was no exception. Yet, Taiga himself again and again refused to let publishers issue books with designs derived from his paintings, perhaps in respect for the literati ideal that an artist should not conspicuously engage in commercial activities. It is interesting to note, however, that by the late Ming dynasty, many Chinese literati painters actually actively sought to have volumes based on their paintings published so that they could reach a merchant-class clientele.

It was only in 1803–1804, a few decades after Taiga’s death, that we first find the publication of books based on Taiga’s works. Three different titles, under different sponsorship, were produced in the course of two years: /I Fukyū Ike no Taiga sansui gafu /(A Painting Manual of Landscapes by I Fukyū/ /[Ch: Yi Fujiu] and Ike no Taiga); /Taigadō gafu/ (Painting Manual of Taigadō); and /Taigadō gahō/ (Principles of Paintings by Taigadō).

In my paper I address two basic questions: why were these three volumes published at nearly the exact same time twenty-seven years after Taiga’s death?; and, how and by whom were the pictorial motifs selected from among Taiga’s varied repertory of painting styles? In the process of examining these issues, we can detect a shift in attitudes towards literati ideals, from a more conservative view of Taiga’s era, to a more liberal viewpoint of a later generation. Furthermore, through the analysis of the process of selection and omission of aspects of Taiga’s painting corpus light can be shed on the creation of a posthumous reputation for the artist in the early nineteenth century.

*2. Promoting Refinement: Ayatari's Painting Manual Entrepreneurship*
Lawrence Marceau, University of Auckland

Scholars identify Takebe Ayatari (1719-74) as a prolific poet, novelist, essayist, travel writer, and painter. However, we might state that his most important achievements lay not in his written and drawn works per se, but in the fact that he successfully got those works printed in woodblock form, together with the poetic works of his disciples. By the nineteenth century many writers, poets, and print designers were actively engaged with publishing their work, often working with the same publisher again and again, as is the case with Katsushika Hokusai (1760?—1849) and the Nagoya publisher Eirakuya Tōshirō II (1768—1836), or Ryūtei Tanehiko (1783—1842) and the Edo publisher Tsuruya Kiemon (n.d.). However, Ayatari opened up new ground in the arena of self-promotion by engaging with multiple publishers in various cities, and by inducing publishers to collaborate as financial backers of his publishing projects. In particular, Ayatari produced five painting manuals, or /gafu/, four of which appeared during his lifetime. While espousing /bunjin/ ideals of lofty distancing of the self from the mundane and commercial, in fact Ayatari promoted his artistic projects in ways heretofore not achieved by his predessors. This presentation examines Ayatari's /gafu/ publications, and places them within a context of other /ehon/ (books of illustrations) and /gafu/ by his predecessors and contemporaries.

*3. **Edo**-Period Nanga/ /Viewed through Modern Eyes*
Tamaki Maeda

In the world of Edo-period /nanga/,/ /Su Shi (1036-1101) symbolized the literati ideal: an aloof scholar-poet with an independent mind, unyielding to mundane social, political, and economic concerns. Tomioka Tessai (1836-1924), who projected a public persona as a similar lofty scholar-painter, produced more than one hundred paintings depicting Su. Stylistic features of Tessai’s paintings of Su demonstrate the painter’s connection to advocates of the Meiji Restoration, who also produced paintings of Su. The link between the imperial loyalists and literati painting---which can be traced back to the early nineteenth century--was a crucial factor in the success of Tessai’s later career and in the continuation of literati painting in the modern period (1868-1945). Tessai’s works of Su display visual features derived from works by Shitao (1642-1707), whose “untrammeled” (/yipin/)/ /style of painting attracted many painters in early-twentieth century Japan. The “individualist” style in Tessai’s painting, coupled with the subject of Su, fueled the perception that Edo period /nanga /was an expression of the artist’s incorruptible mind. What aspects of Edo /nanga /did the people of modern Japan observe through Tessai and his work? Do their views differ from or alter our perception of Edo-period /nanga/?

*Saturday, April 8, Pacific I, **7:15-9:00 p.m.***
* *
*Panel 4: Politics of the Floating World: Power and Cultural Excess in Early Modern Japan*


This panel explores the theme of politics of the Floating World for the purpose of interrogating the ways in which power and popular arts/culture came to intersect with each other in early modern Japan. It examines different themes and perspectives that demonstrate the politicization of culture from the late 18th century to the 1850s. Central to the cultural politics are visions, perspectives, and experiences that the Floating World produced as an alternative to the Tokugawa norms and practices promoting the primacy of social order. These cultural productions, in the eyes of the Tokugawa authorities, signified cultural excess that not only deviated from but also disrupted the moral foundations (e.g. frugality and propriety) of Tokugawa society. Three panelists will discuss tensions and their social and cultural ramifications originating from the politics of cultural excess. Timon Screech considers the Yoshiwara pleasure quarter a site in which the townspeople of Edo fantasized and experienced the reconfigured-self irreducible to the fixity of the Tokugawa world. Julie Davis takes up issues pertaining to censorship exemplified in the event of 1804 in which Utamaro and others transformed Hideyoshi into a figure of the Floating World and were punished thereafter. Katsuya Hirano examines the grotesque as a figure of anomaly representing the perspective that the Tokugawa social order was in disarray, a perspective that was never allowed to be overtly articulated within the official discourse of politics.

* *1. Traveling to Yoshiwara*
*Timon Screech*
*SOAS, **University** of **London***

This presentation will investigate the means by which men made their way to Edo's Yoshiwara pleasure district. It will consider briefly, the 'actual' means of transportation and access, but will be more closely concerned with the mythologisation of the route. It is now accepted that ukiyo-e are mythic, that is, that they propound imagination and belief, not fact. There is also a sizeable quantity of such pictorial data on the Yoshiwara-bound journey, intended to build up expectation and tension as men prepared for a trip to the north-east. There are also copious narratives (diaristric and fictional) on this passage, as well as verses (mostly senryu).

The issue of the functions of the journey to the Yoshiwara, and its representations, which can be seen as a transformative space, or perhaps as a liminal one, has not be seriously addressed, and the many markers that punctuated the route have not been consistently introduced.

*2. Censoring the Floating World: Ukiyo-e and the /Ehon Taikōki/ Incident of 1804
Julie Davis*
*University** of **Pennsylvania*

Something big happened in Edo in 1804. Ukiyo-e artists Kitagawa Utamaro, Utagawa Toyokuni, Katsukawa Shuntei, Kitagawa Tsukimaro, Katsukawa Shun’ei, and the popular writer Jippensha Ikkū were prosecuted for illustrating scenes from the /Ehon Taikōki /[(/The Illustrated Life of the Taikō /(Hideyoshi)] in single-sheet prints and illustrated books (/kibyōshi/). They were severely punished and their publishers paid heavy fines. Soon after, the Osaka publishers of the /Ehon Taikōki/ had their inventories seized, and the subject of warriors of the late sixteenth century was forbidden by shogunal edict.

However, the source for these popular prints, the /Ehon Taikōki/, had been available in print since 1797, and by 1804, the story of Hideyoshi’s rise was a mainstay of kabuki and jōruri. No doubt Utamaro, Toyokuni, Ikku, and the others, along with their publishers, were capitalizing upon the fad but there must have been something about their representations that put the entire topic at risk. By comparing the censored prints and books to period documents and the cultural context, this presentation will offer a new interpretation of the 1804 event, arguing that what was at stake was how Hideyoshi was transformed into a figure of the “floating world” and how that was in turn related to period politics.

*3. Politics of the Grotesque in the Floating World** ***
*Katsuya Hirano*
*DePaul** **University***

This paper examines an aspect of the cultural politics of the Floating World largely ignored in existing scholarship on early modern Japan. It addresses the symbolic meanings of the grotesque and its political ramifications within the context of increasingly volatile times called the Bunka, Bunsei and Tempo periods (1804-1844).

Late Tokugawa society witnessed the sudden and explosive appearance of grotesque images in popular woodblock prints and kabuki plays. What does this phenomenon signify? M. M. Bakhtin and others have formulated “grotesque” as a word for anomalousness, ambiguity, or ambivalence. The anomalous stands, in Susan Stuart’s words, “between the categories of an existing classification system…. The ambiguous is that which cannot be defined in terms of any given category…. The ambivalent is that which belongs to more than one domain at a time.” In other words, grotesque is a word that designates a state in which given systems of classification, structured thought and categories of language are incapable of organizing the world, of dividing the continuum of experience into knowable particles. Indeed, cultural producers of the Floating World used grotesque images to engender the perspective that the official language and thought, describing the moral imperative of status systems, no longer possessed the representational capacity to legitimate and sustain social order. The grotesque spoke most eloquently of the state of uncertainty broadly recognized in late Tokugawa society, and propelled the sense that the social order built upon status and hereditary systems was in disarray.
From: joshua mostow <>
Date: January 5, 2006 16:00:03 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Position announcement

University of British Columbia Okanagan is advertising for a tenure-track position in the Department of Critical Studies in Japanese language plus one other subject area (e.g., literature, film, cultural studies, theatre).  The deadline is January 31, 2006. Information on general application procedures can be found at

and the specific position reference at
From: Dennis Hirota <>
Date: January 5, 2006 19:02:24 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Public Symposium at Ryukoku University, Kyoto

Public Symposium at Ryukoku University, Kyoto:

Cosmology in Japanese Buddhist Thought and the Natural Sciences

Main Speakers:

Prof. IKEUCHI Satoru, Waseda University; “Modern Scientific Cosmology.”

Prof. ABE Ryuichi, Reischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions, Harvard University; “The View of the Cosmos in Kukai’s Esoteric Buddhism.”

Prof. ASAI Jokai, Ryukoku University; “The Cosmology of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism.”

Ryukoku University, Omiya Campus, Seiko 2F, Conference Room.
Shichijo-Omiya, Kyoto

Thursday, January 12, 2006

In Japanese. All Welcome.


From: Barbara Nostrand <>
Date: January 5, 2006 22:42:37 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Engishiki Question


I was reading in an article by Ryoichi Iino who states that instructions for producing shoyu appear in the Engishiki, but he does not say exactly where. Does anyone here know which section of the Engishiki includes such instructions? Also, he states that the first description of the manufacture of shoyu appears in the Youshufushi. Does anyone know off hand what collection might have this manuscript? Thank you very much.

                                            Barbara Nostrand

::::: pmjs  footer:::::

The University of California Press  is pleased to announce the publication of:

Japan in Print: Information and Nation in the Early Modern Period

Mary Elizabeth Berry is Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of _The Culture of Civil War in Kyoto_ (California, 1994) and _Hideyoshi_ (1982).

"In _Japan in Print_, Mary Elizabeth Berry crisply condenses a remarkable amount of primary research on difficult and little-known materials, and it interprets those materials in a highly original framework."-Kären E. Wigen, author of _The Making of a Japanese Periphery, 1750-1920_

A quiet revolution in knowledge separated the early modern period in Japan from all previous time. After 1600, self-appointed investigators used the model of the land and cartographic surveys of the newly unified state to observe and order subjects such as agronomy, medicine, gastronomy, commerce, travel, and entertainment. They subsequently circulated their findings through a variety of commercially printed texts: maps, gazetteers, family encyclopedias, urban directories, travel guides, official personnel rosters, and instruction manuals for everything from farming to lovemaking. In this original and gracefully written book, Mary Elizabeth Berry considers the social processes that drove the information explosion of the 1600s. Inviting readers to examine the contours and meanings of this transformation, Berry provides a fascinating account of the conversion of the public from an object of state surveillance into a subject of self-knowledge.

Full information about the book, including the table of contents, is available online:

From: Roberta Strippoli <>
Date: January 9, 2006 11:56:10 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Kokugakuin University, Visiting Researcher Program

Dear friends and colleagues,

The  International Exchange Center of Kokugakuin University (Tokyo) asked me to spread information regarding their Visiting Researcher Program (Shōhei kenkyū puroguramu) in which I participated two years ago.

It consists of a fellowship with benefits (accommodation, health insurance, use of the university's resources)  for a period of time between 3 and 12 months.

Information about the program and application procedures can be found at the link:


Roberta Strippoli
From: Bruce Willoughby <>
Date: January 12, 2006 0:34:46 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Now Available

JAPANimals: History and Culture in Japan's Animal Life
Edited by Gregory M. Pflugfelder and Brett L. Walker

Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies, No. 52
Copyright 2005
xxii + 370 pp., Illustrations.
ISBN 1-929280-30-0 (cloth), $60.00
ISBN 1-929280-31-9 (paper), $25.00
Published by the Center for Japanese Studies, The University of Michigan

“This bounteous but disquieting book shows us a variety of marvelous beasts getting snared not only by human nets but also within human conceptions.  Animals get drawn up into how being ‘civilized’ is represented, especially once Japan enters into power tangles with the West.  Part of the beauty of beasts, however, lies in how they resist being fitted too easily within the ‘material’ culture we humans assume we can totally control.  Ironies abound. Via fascinating accounts of human interactions with deer, dogs, boars, birds, whales, and other fauna, this splendid book also subtly explores the ethical problem, expressed earlier in Japan's history but newly resurgent today, of our materializing of the non-human animal.”
—William R. LaFleur, E. Dale Saunders Professor in Japanese Studies
University of Pennsylvania

“JAPANimals exemplifies the intellectual ferment at the intersection of animal studies, environment research, and human history.  The insightful introduction and nine essays, each on a separate species, engage us at every level.  Religious and literary parables of nine-colored deer and serpent paramours meet with ecological studies of wild boar and climate change.  Standard political and economic narratives are enriched, and sometimes overturned, by horses revealing the colonial nature of Hideyoshi's unification campaign, by exotic birds traded during the Tokugawa era, by dogs accompanying their European masters to Meiji Japan, and by captured wildlife displayed as the spoils of empire.  Through its insistent attention to Japan's non-human majority from bugs to whales,  JAPANimals delights, informs, and challenges our current species-centric approach to history.”
—Julia Adeney Thomas, Associate Professor of History
University of Notre Dame

"In their edited volume on animal-human relationships, Pflugfelder and Walker significantly expand the horizon of Japanese studies. All essays collected here boldly challenge the way in which we have conceived Japanese history, literature, religion, art, and society and demonstrate numerous new possibilities to link these fields to ecology, geopolitics, and earth science. JAPANimals not only opens our eyes to Japan’s animal culture but provides a fresh perspective to better understand Japanese culture as a whole vis-à-vis other Asian cultures and that of the West."
--Ryuichi Abe, Reischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions
Harvard University

"The essays collected in JAPANimals are impressive in both quality and variety. Engaging many themes that have been developed by historians of animals in the West, they illustrate parallels and connections, as well as contrasts and distinctions. The collection has much to offer to anyone interested in the history of human-animal relations."
--Harriet Ritvo, Arthur J. Conner Professor of History
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

From swift steeds to ritually slaughtered deer to symbolic serpents, nonhuman animals of every stripe have participated from the earliest of times in the construction of the cultural community that we know as Japan. Yet the historical accounts that have hitherto prevailed, claim the authors of this innovative volume, relegate our fellow animals to a silent and benign “nature” that lies beyond the realm of narrative and agency. What happens when we restore nonhuman creatures to the field of historical vision?
This book challenges many ofthe fundamental assumptions that have shaped contemporary scholarship on Japan, engaging from new perspectives questions of economic growth,isolation from and interaction with the outside world, the tools of conquest and empire, and the character of modernity. Essay by essay, this provocative collection compels readers to acknowledge the diversity of living beings who exist at the ragged edges of our human, as well as our historical, horizons.

From: eiji sekine <>
Date: January 10, 2006 0:33:20 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  ajls news 23

dear netters,

a happy new year and our apology for cross-listing.

here is a copy of the latest ajls newsletter. A formatted electronic
version of our newsletter is on our website:

AJLS Newsletter
Association for Japanese Literary Studies
No. 23 (Spring, 2006) Edited by Eiji Sekine
(AJLS Newsletter Sponsor: FLL, Purdue University)

AJLS . Purdue University . 640 Oval Drive. W. Lafayette, IN 47907-2039 . USA
765.496.2258 (Tel) . 765.496.1700 (Fax) . (Email) (Web site)

Travel in Japanese Representation Culture:
Its Past, Present and Future
July 1-2, 2006
Josai International University, Tokyo, JAPAN

The 2006 AJLS annual meeting will be held, for the first time, in the
summer (July 1-2, 2006) in Japan (at the new Tokyo campus of Josai
International University). The conference will be chaired by Professor
Mizuta Noriko and organized by Professor Miki Sumito and will feature
the theme of travel in Japanese literature and in Japan’s representation
culture as a whole. From religiously charged pilgrimages to
leisure-oriented tourism, traveling has impacted people’s lives on
various levels from ancient days to the present. With drastic
technological changes, the notion of travel today expands itself both in
terms of space and time: We can travel to the universe, travel to the
micro-cosmos of our own body, and even take a trip to the future. What
can and should we discuss about the current expansion of the notion of
travel in relationship with its representational tradition?
The mythological image of traveling gods, expressed through the
folkloric term of “kishu ryuuri 貴種流離,” is recurrently recaptured in
classical stories focusing on socio-politically motivated transfer of
important characters. Traditional visits to temples and shrines were
visitors’ expressions of religious faith; literary pilgrimages, visiting
well-known places rich in poetic associations, were great literary
inspirations for travelers. At the same time, these experiences allowed
travelers to discover the joy of traveling itself. From Meiji period on,
people took a trip to individually explore new “scenery” so as to
appreciate its previously unnoticed beauty. Modern literature was an
inspiration for the development of tourism culture.
Today, literature has become an integral part of media culture (together
with painting, photography, TV shows, and cinema), which by
mass-producing images of fashionable scenes, serves to further enhance
the institution of modern tourism. When the government claims that
tourism is one of the key areas of Japan’s national promotion, and when
travel agencies and the media industry work together so as to sell
literature as a part of the travel experience, concepts of both travel
and literature demand redefinitions as necessary players of today’s late
consumerist economy.
From this broad interest in the concepts and representations of
traveling in Japanese literature, the conference organizers solicit
paper/panel proposals, which can shed new light on this theme. Please
consider, in particular, exploring concepts listed in the following as
key components constituting this theme:
. Traveler’s Expressive Selfhood: i) narrator’s points of view and
awareness of readers’ eyes; ii) gender and travel; iii) oral narrative
and strolling minstrels; iv) representations of michiyuki 道行; v)
travel and poetic expressions (waka 和歌, renga 連歌, and haikai 俳諧)
. Traveler’s Search for Inner Self: i) religious journeys (monomoode 物
詣, junrei 巡礼, shugyoo 修行, kanjin 勧進); ii) travel in coming-of-age
novels with the pursuit of a true self; iii) travel literature as a
genre of fiction; iv) travel in the genres of utopian literature,
fantastic literature, and children’s literature
. Traveler’s Experiences of Otherness (transfer and border
transgression; contact and communication with foreign cultures): i)
travel by gods in the Origuchi concepts of “kishu ryuuri” and
“marebito,” as well as political exiles (rural position appointment by
the government, demotion, refugee, etc.); ii) expression of borders
between past and present, between city and country, between home and
abroad, and between dailiness and fantasy; iii) approaches to foreign
cultures (acceptance, appropriation, and denial); iv) superior/inferior
observer’s standpoint (tour of a colonial inspection, accounts by
seasonal workers and immigrants); v) discovery of a traveler’s own
cultural identity through trips to foreign lands; vi) culture shock
through school trips, study abroad, international internship, etc.
. Travel in Contemporary Culture: i) media and travel literature; ii)
current trend of tourism and literature (sightseeing, search for
healing, and eco-tourism); iii) an aging society, traveling, and literature

The proposal deadline is March 1, 2006. A 250-letter proposal, together
with the proposal form, should be mailed to: AJLS 2006, Josai
International University (Tokyo Kioi-cho Campus), 3-26 Kioi-cho,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 102-0094. For inquiries, contact conference
administrators (Professors Kawano Yuka, Okada Miyako, or David Luan) by
e-mailing at: or by faxing to: 03-6238-1299. All
annual meeting participants must become members in order to present.
Travel in Japanese Representation Culture
DEADLINE: March 1, 2006


Name and Status:



Telephone: Fax:


Please attach your 250-word proposal to this form and send to: AJLS
2006, Josai International University, 3-26 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo,
Japan 102-0094.

The annual fee is $25.00 for regular, student, and institution members
($35.00 for overseas members outside North America). Membership provides
you with:
. Panel participation for our annual meeting (if your proposal is selected).
. Two newsletters
. One copy of our latest proceedings.
. One free copy of a back or additional current issue of the proceedings
if you are a student member.
Inquiries and orders (with checks payable to AJLS) should be sent to the
AJLS office. Further information on our activities is available on our


Name: _________________________________
Mailing Address:

City State

( ) Regular ( ) Student

If you are a student, indicate which year free copy you would like: ( )

The fourteenth annual meeting of the Association of Japanese Literary
Studies was held at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, on 7, 8, and 9
October 2005. Though the conference took place during what should have
been the peak of the leaf season in New Hampshire, all three days were,
unfortunately, gray and rainy. Nevertheless, the view of Occum Pond from
the Dartmouth Outing Club, site of the conference banquet on Saturday
night, did have a certain “yuugen” sort of beauty all its own. The
banquet was followed by a fascinating keynote lecture by Jordan Sands,
titled “From Everyday Life to Print: The Production of Texts in Two
Modern Japanese Genres.”
The theme of this year’s conference was "Reading Material: The
Production of Narratives, Genres and Literary Identities"; participants
were encouraged to "read" the materiality of their texts as well as the
contents. The twenty-five presenters explored the topic by considering a
wide range of modern and pre-modern Japanese narratives through their
relationships with emerging media (television, film, newspapers, word
processors, photography, woodblock printing) as well as evolving
cultural conventions and regulations (censorship, business imperatives,
"automatic writing"). The presentations spoke to each other in a myriad
of interesting ways, and the editors of the conference proceedings
anticipate a very interesting volume. Contributors will also be
contacted directly, but should be reminded that their final essays are
due 1 March 2006.

Princeton University will host our next year’s conference in the Fall of
2007. We are under final negotiation with host candidates for the 2008
conference. If you are interested in hosting an AJLS meeting for 2009 or
later, please contact Professor Ann Sherif at: or

The new issue of our proceedings, "Landscapes Imagined and Remembered,"
has been published. This volume and the following back issues are
available. Each copy is $10.00 for AJLS members and $15.00 for
non-members. Orders should be sent to the AJLS office. (Add $10 for
mailing if you order from outside the North American area.)

Poetics of Japanese Literature: vi, 207pp, 1993.
Revisionism in Japanese Literary Studies, PMAJLS, vol. 2: vi, 336pp., 1996.
Issues of Canonicity and Canon Formation in Japanese Literary Studies,
PAJLS, vol. 1: vi, 532 pp., 2000.
Acts of Writing, PAJLS, vol. 2: ix, 428 pp., 2001.
Japan from Somewhere Else, PAJLS, vol. 3: vi, 158 pp., 2002.
Japanese Poeticity and Narrativity Revisited, PAJLS, vol. 4: vi, 344
pp., 2003.
Hermaneutical Strategies: Methods of Interpretation in the Study of
Japanese Literature, PAJLS, vol. 4: xiii, 517 pp., 2004
Landscapes Imagined and Remembered, PMAJLS, vol. 6 : vii, 215 pp., 2005

::::: pmjs  footer:::::

Book announcement:
Morgan Pitelka, Handmade Culture: : Raku Potters, Patrons, and Tea Practitioners in Japan (University of Hawai'i Press, 2005). 284 pp.
or [webpage].

From: Philip Brown <>
Date: January 19, 2006 9:36:26 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  CFP:  Social Science History Association

  Dear Colleagues,

I reproduce below the Social Science History Association's call for
papers for the 2006 Annual Meeting. I would very much like to encourage
participation by Asian specialists. Panels can include papers from one
nation or region, or they can be broadly caste, offering opportunities
to compare the experiences of diverse histories and cultures.

Sessions are organized under the auspices of a number of networks, e.g.,
rural, urban, historical geography, demography and family, migration,
culture, criminal justice, etc. For a full listing, see

Submission of paper and panel proposals is done on-line at for full/partial
session proposals for individual paper
proposals for poster session proposals

This annual meeting is typically one of the very most rewarding on my
schedule and I'm sure that you will also find it to be a very
stimulating experience.

Philip Brown
Co-Chair, Rural Network
Department of History
Ohio State University

  Call for Papers


*“Audiences and Publics ”*

      The Social Science History Association will hold its 31th Annual
      November 2-5, 2006, at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

The SSHA is the leading interdisciplinary association for historical
research in the US; its members share a common concern for
interdisciplinary approaches to historical problems. The organization's
long-standing interest in methodology also makes SSHA meetings exciting
places to explore new solutions to historical problems. We encourage the
participation of graduate students and recent PhDs as well as
more-established scholars, from a wide range of disciplines and

The SSHA program is developed through networks of people interested in
particular topics or approaches to interdisciplinary history. Paper and
session proposals should be submitted to the appropriate SSHA
network(s). Current networks, their representatives, and contact
information are listed on the reverse side. If you are not certain about
which network to send your proposal to, ask the representatives of the
network closest to your interests, or ask the program co-chairs, listed

This year the program committee will be organizing several presidential
and thematic sessions on the topic of "Audiences and Publics." We
encourage submissions of sessions that will examine whom we are talking
to and whom we are talking about when we do "social science history."
How do we address multiple audiences, be they fellow social science
historians and scholars, students, funders, policy makers, or the
"public at large"? What benefits and disadvantages exist in trying to
reach multiple audiences at once? How does viewing our work through the
lenses of our intended audience(s) shape the insights we can gain from
our work, its academic and applied utility, and its constraints? We hope
to sponsor a broad range of sessions on the way in which theory,
methodology and case selection (i.e., the when, how, and why we do the
research we do) shape how our work is read, understood and used.

        President for 2005-2006: Margo Anderson, University of
        Wisconsin-Milwaukee (History and Urban Studies) Email:
        / <>

        Program Committee Co-Chairs for 2006:

    * Toby Higbie, University of Illinois--Urbana (Institute of Labor
      and Industrial Relations) */ /*Email:
    * Regina Werum, Emory University (Sociology) Email:
    * Jim Oberly, University of Wisconsin--Eau Claire (History and
      American Indian Studies) Email:

*How to participate in the 2006 SSHA Program *

Contributors should take note of the following SSHA rules and traditions:

    * Panels should represent more than one discipline and institution.
    * Panels that include material from more than one place or time are
      particularly welcome.
    * To maximize the number of participants, individuals may present no
      more than one paper and participate in no more than two sessions.
    * Panels co-sponsored by two or more networks are encouraged.

Also, please remember that all panel submissions must include
completeinformation on all participants (such as names, department,
institution, address, phone, and email). In addition, to organize a
session, you will need the following information: session title, type of
session (papers or roundtable), network affiliation, audio-visual needs,
paper titles and brief abstract for each paper. Missing information will
make it impossible to complete the online submission process. *Proposals
for individual papers are due February 1, 2006, and for complete
sessions Feb. 15, 2006. *Prior discussion with network representatives
is encouraged. Notification of acceptance or rejection of proposals may
be expected by May 1, 2006. All participants on the 2005 SSHA Program
will be required to pre-register <>
for the conference and to join the SSHA (if not already members.)

From: "Peter McMillan" <>
Date: January 16, 2006 10:35:46 GMT+09:00
Subject: Satsuma porcelain abroad


 I have been asked by a friend to provide assistance to JuKan  Chin XV
 the potter from Satsuma. He has been asked to curate an exhibition overseas
on the large pieces of porcelain made by his family and sent overseas from
the Meiji period and is specifically looking to locate pieces sent to Britain
and Europe. He would especially like to locate pieces in private collections.

Could anyone kindly provide information as to where one might find the
sources of such information, including names of books or catalogues,
website site addresses, museum addresses, curators and experts in Japanese
porcelain and any other net groups which specialize in ceramics.

I will then pass on this information to my friend who will in turn pass
it on to Mr. Chin.

Peter McMillan

From: "Amanda Stinchecum" <>
Date: January 21, 2006 1:02:38 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Lecture on the Mingei Movement and Okinawan Identity

February 8 (Wednesday)
Lecture: Bashōfu: Japan’s Folk Craft Movement and the Construction of a New Okinawa
Dr. Amanda Mayer Stinchecum
403 Kent Hall, Columbia University (116th St. and Amsterdam Ave.)
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

From the time of his first visit to Okinawa in 1938, Yanagi Sôetsu, founder
of Japan’s Mingei Movement, promoted an image of bashôfu (cloth
made from the fiber-banana ) as emblematic of an essentialized, idyllic and
homogeneous Okinawan culture.  Yanagi’s view of Okinawa as a “tropical
country,” a southern island paradise, became the theme of the islands’
tourism industry after Japan’s defeat in 1945.
Since the 16th century, bashôfu has clothed the people of the Ryukyu
archipelago, from Ryukyu’s kings to its poorest villagers.  Production and
use of the cloth persists today.  Through the intervention of Yanagi and his colleagues, the Mingei view of Okinawa has shaped an image of the islands that came to be held by both Okinawans and Mainland Japanese.  This lecture examines  bashôfu as one medium through which members of the Mingei Movement and other outsiders, and through them, Okinawans themselves, have defined Okinawan identity.

From: Jamie Newhard <>
Date: January 21, 2006 12:52:54 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  MA program in Japanese at Arizona State University

(apologies for cross-posting)

We are pleased to call your attention to Arizona State University's growing M.A. program in Japanese Language and Civilization, and invite applications from strong students.

The program is based at the Tempe Campus of Arizona State University in the Phoenix metropolitan area, home to some three million inhabitants.  A Research I institution that combines strong academic programs and faculty with year-round sunshine, cultural diversity, and the resources of the nation's fifth largest city, the university has developed rapidly in both quality and size.  East Asian Studies has a long history at ASU, and receives strong support from the university.

The M.A. program in Japanese Language and Civilizations offers rigorous training in both premodern and modern Japanese literature, as well as in linguistics, under the supervision of:

- Anthony Chambers (PhD, University of Michigan-modern Japanese fiction, especially the work of Tanizaki Jun'ichirô; premodern Japanese literature; literary translation)

- Jamie Newhard (PhD, Columbia University-premodern Japanese literature; history of premodern literary scholarship; reception studies; early modern print culture)

- Etsuko Reiman (PhD, University of Wisconsin-sociolinguistics of Sino-Japanese scripts; word borrowing between English and Japanese)

Current students' and recent graduates' research projects have focused on such diverse topics as the Noh play Teika, the Dadaist poetry of Takahashi Shinkichi, the Christian fiction of Akutagawa Ryûnosuke, representations of Abe no Seimei in medieval setsuwa, gender and sexuality in the work of Hayashi Fumiko, and Heian period diary literature.  Our graduates have gone on both to further graduate study and to careers in teaching.

A unique aspect of our M.A. program is the requirement that all students spend at least nine continuous months in a Japanese language environment within four years of completing the program.  For this reason, our program is especially appropriate for students who have recently spent time in Japan on JET, study-abroad, or other programs.

Applications may be made at any time, and are still being accepted for admission in fall of 2006.

For further information, please consult the program website:

From: Matthew Stavros <>
Date: January 24, 2006 12:41:16 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Contemporary Tokyo Culture


Several of my advanced undergraduates would like to do a seminar
module on contemporary Tokyo culture. I think they are most interested
in the youth cultural meccas of Shibuya and Harajuku but I'm sceptical
about there being any good scholarship on these (I'd be glad to be
wrong). I'm hoping someone might be able to suggest some readings
about life in contemporary Tokyo that might pique students' interest
while introducing them to bigger social, economic, and political
issues/problems. Some keywords that come to mind are: freetaas, NEATs,
otaku, foreign laborers, homelessness, commercial extravagance,
fashion, etc.

Also, after reading parts of _Speed Tribes_ last year, there emerged a
small cohort of students who want to investigate the Japanese
pornography industry. Is there any good work on this?

Suggestions of sources in Japanese too are very welcome.

Thanks for any help,

Matthew Stavros
The University of Sydney
Date: January 24, 2006 12:59:26 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Contemporary Tokyo Culture

Donald Richie has a talk (and an essay? I don't know) about the commercial sex
industry in Japan.
From: Anthony Bryant <>
Date: January 24, 2006 14:04:50 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Contemporary Tokyo Culture

I'd suggest looking at "Platonic Sex," the memoirs of former porn idol Iijima Ai.



Anthony J. Bryant

All sorts of cool things Japanese and SCA:

From: "Antony Boussemart" <>
Date: January 24, 2006 19:42:13 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Contemporary Tokyo Culture


On otaku, there is a good article by Sharon Kinsella published in the Journal of Japanese Studies (vol. 24, no. 2 1998) named : Japanese Subculture in the 1190s: Otaku and the Amateur Manga Movement.
You can also have a look at her book : Adult Manga: Culture and Power in Contemporary Japanese Society (Hawaii Univ. Press, 2000)

Hope it can help.


Antony Boussemart
EFEO - Paris
From: Barbara Nostrand <>
Date: January 25, 2006 4:55:34 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs] How to buy a copy of the Minbu section of Engishiki?


While I have been able to find several versions of the Engishiki at research libraries, the library here is not succeeding in borrowing these books. So, I am thinking of buying a copy of what I need. Does anyone know of a good in print version of the minbu section of the Engishiki? I'm asking because the online booksellers do not make it easy to find the specific volume I am looking for. Thank you very much
From: "Matthew Stavros (gmail)" <>
Date: January 25, 2006 7:46:07 GMT+09:00Subject: [pmjs] Re: How to buy a copy of the Minbu section of Engishiki?

Let me suggest the following to you and everyone who is looking for a specific books that don't show up on the used book searches:


You'll need to become a member (free) to purchase books through this site but it's one membership that won't bother you with unwanted advertisements. Once signed in, click the link for "Tankyuu-sho Corner" (Book Hunt/Quest Corner). After entering your membership details, you can input information on the specific book or books you are looking for. Your entry is posted on a virtual bulletin board that is looked at by hundreds of used book dealers every day. Someone will surely contact you within several days with cost and purchase options.

Good luck,

Matthew Stavros
From: Ivo Smits <>
Date: January 25, 2006 22:02:35 GMT+09:00Subject: [pmjs] Re: Contemporary Tokyo Culture

Hello Matthew,

I rather liked:

"Otaku consumption, superflat art and the return to Edo" by Marc Steinberg in _Japan Forum_ 16:3 (2004), pp. 449-471.

which has the added bonus of allowing you to bring in not only philosphy but Edo art as well.

Ivo Smits

Centre for Japanese and Korean Studies
Leiden University
P.O. Box 9515
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands
Tel +31-71-527 2545 (direct)/ 2539 (secr.)
Fax +31-71-527 2215
E-mail: (日本語もどうぞ)

On Jan 24, 2006, at 11:42 AM, Antony Boussemart wrote:


On otaku, there is a good article by Sharon Kinsella published in the Journal of Japanese Studies (vol. 24, no. 2 1998) named : Japanese Subculture in the 1190s: Otaku and the Amateur Manga Movement.
You can also have a look at her book : Adult Manga: Culture and Power in Contemporary Japanese Society (Hawaii Univ. Press, 2000)

Hope it can help.


Antony Boussemart
EFEO - Paris

From: Elizabeth Leicester <>
Date: February 2, 2006 8:35:46 GMT+09:00Subject: [pmjs] Lori Meeks Talk at USC

The Project for Premodern Japan Studies at the University of Southern California presents:

Professor Lori Meeks
USC School of Religion and Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures

speaking on

"Days of Song and Prayer: Reconstructing Everyday Life in the Medieval Nunnery Hokkeiji"

Thursday, February 16, 7-9 pm
USC Stoops East Asian Library

For information contact Prof. Joan Piggott at
For information about the USC Project for Premodern Japan Studies, visit

From: Jordan Sand <>
Date: February 4, 2006 10:41:25 GMT+09:00Subject: [pmjs] query about Heian decorators

For a short revisionist talk on 1000 years of Japanese interior design, I am looking for material about the use of fabric in shinden interiors. Emaki show kichou and other types of curtains often quite colorful and lavishly patterned. One would suspect that Heian courtiers, as sensitive as they were to colors and patterns, would have been concerned to hang fabrics that matched the seasons, occasions, their moods, and perhaps even their kimono. All I have found so far is the beautiful scroll describing ceremonial protocols for interiors, Ruiju zatsu youshou. Can anyone think of any literary or other references? Did Heian women pick out the drapes? Does Murasaki or Sei Shonagon ever chide another lady-in-waiting for clashing with her kichou? Did Heian courtiers hang kimono themselves as interior decoration (something seen Momoyama and later painting)? All thoughts on the subject welcome.

Jordan Sand
From: "Amanda Stinchecum" <>
Date: February 4, 2006 23:17:00 GMT+09:00Subject: [pmjs] Re: query about Heian decorators

Dear Jordan,

This is just to say, as a textile historian I haven't noticed any references
to textiles in Heian interiors in literary (or other) contemporary sources,
but I haven't made a point of studying textiles in this period. I would be
most interested in whatever you are able to learn about this. You are
probably already aware that there are very very few extant textiles dating
to the Heian period--a couple of amulet cases and a sutra cover,
approximately. I am also forwarding your query to Mary Dusenbury, who wrote
a dissertation on Heian period clothing.

Good luck in your search,,
Date: February 5, 2006 0:37:39 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs] Heian interior decoration

I also would be very grateful for additional information about " fabric curtains" used in noble houses.  My information speaks of movable curtain stands, stands for draping clothing over, and screens (all of them just high enough to screen a seated person). Grass curtains were used at large openings. There are some e-maki from the 12th century that show curtain stands draped with solid-colored (white ?) fabric and trimmed with black ribbons (for storing, perhaps). The taller grass curtains were trimmed with fabric that looks like patterned green brocade, and in one instance the grass curtain is rolled up, revealing a tall fabric curtain with ribbons just inside it.
Any further detail would be wonderful.

From: Takeshi Watanabe <>
Date: February 5, 2006 3:30:05 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs] Re: query about Heian decorators

This is an obvious source, but I suggest reading Eiga monogatari, especially the last ten chapters.  There is a great deal of information on clothing and textiles.  For poetry contests, one reads how the women all coordinated their attire as well as furnishings in some instance to reflect the poetic topics.  The way one's sleeves would look in combination with others from beneath the blinds also seemed to be a concern.  One interesting point lies in how individual attire did not seem to matter as much as how the scene looked collectively in the combination of various colors and textures.

I have recently translated Books 31 through 40 as an appendix to my dissertation, Buried Mothers: Exhuming Memories of Heian Families through Eiga monogatari (Yale, 2005).

From: Matthew Stavros <>
Date: February 5, 2006 3:41:46 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs] Re: query about Heian decorators

Dear Jordan,

There's almost no scholarship on the topic. Those who care about such
things (like me) have focused on the uses of interior partitions in
the creation of temporary rooms. Whether or not fabric patterns were
aesthetically significant, I do not know. I would, however, suggest
that you take care not to emphasize aestetic sensabilities too much
over ritualistic prescriptions. Shinden-style architecture was, first
and foremost, meant to be a venue for ritsuryo-style ritual, whether
it be political or religious in nature. Decisions regarding style,
size, orientation, physical apparatuses, etc. were informed by what I
think of as a "grammar" of architectural and spatial
comportment. This grammar, as I think of it, was the sum product of a panoply
of official codes, elite customs, and geomantic and cosmological notions, that
together constituted a broadly understood language of performative
authority. It defined the terms by which people engaged in
performative pageantry. Comportment was less a matter of preferences
or personal aesthetic sensibilities than it was a function of almost
universally understood principles of status and political position.
Many of these principles were codified into court and capital laws.
Others were a
matter of deeply entrenched elite custom. The styles of gates, the height of
walls, and the directional orientations of homes, for example, all made clear
statements about status, authority, and moral and religious efficacy.
Perhaps so too did the textile patterns of interior partitions.

The questions arises, however, as to whether or not movable interior
partitions such as kicho were considered part of a shinden-style
complex's architecture. Again, I do not know. Nevertheless, when I
consider a decision made regarding what textile pattern to be used on
a certain kicho on any given day, I think the first concern would have
been how the space around which that apparatus is arranged was being
used. It won't answer your question but let me recommend Takahashi
Yasuo's little-known book, _Tategu no hanashi_
ISBN: 4306092925

Matthew Stavros
The University of Sydney

[Note to the United States National Security Agency. I, Matthew
Stavros, am a citizen of the United States. I expect any NSA
monitoring, storage, or conveyance of my communications to adhere to
the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978.]

From: Michael Watson <>
Date: February 5, 2006 22:29:36 GMT+09:00
Subject: new members

A warm welcome to pmjs to the following new members:

Klaus Anoni, Christopher Bolton, Walter Daniel, Robert Hewitt, Gergana Ivanova, Robert A. Juhl, Ethan Lindsay, Patrick Luhan, Sachiko Matsushita, Mari Nagase, Aragorn Quinn, Paul Rouzer, Tatsuo F. Saile, Brian Steiniger, John Szostak, Zane Torretta, Ellen Van Goethem, Keith Vincent, Samu Virokannas, Jos Vos, Takeshi Watanabe, Bradley Wilson, Kikuko Yamashita, Tomiko Yoda.

My apologies for the long delay in announcing some of you to the list.

Klaus Antoni <>
Professor for Japanese Studies, chair, Tuebingen University, Germany
Klaus Antoni, born in 1953, is a Japanologist with special interests in the fields of culture anthropology and history of religious ideas in pre modern and modern Japan. In 1981 he completed his doctorate at the university of Freiburg (Germany) with a dissertation on problems concerning comparative Japanese mythology. In the same year he moved to the University of Munich, where in 1985 the habilitation (postdoctoral thesis and teaching qualification) for the field of Japanese studies took place. As habilitation thesis he presented a work on Miwa belief in ancient Japan. After professorships at the universities of Hamburg (1987) and Trier (1993) he took over the chair for Japanese Cultural Studies at the Institute for Japanese Studies of Tuebingen University in 1998.
Antoni's main points of research lie in the area of spiritual and religious history of Japan. He particularly inquires into the question of relationships between religion ("Shinto") and ideology in pre modern and modern Japan, e. g. presenting an extensive study on the idea of kokutai (national polity) within the context of Shinto since Edo times, in the year 1998 (Shinto und die Konzeption des japanischen Nationalwesens (kokutai). [Shinto and the Concept of Japanese National Polity (kokutai). (Handbook of Oriental Studies, vol. V/ 8). Leiden: Brill, 1998).  Furthermore, he is interested in theories concerning Japanese culture (e.g. cultural stereotypes on Japan) as well as in the historical and present relationship between Japan and Asia.

Christopher Bolton <>
Assistant Professor of Japanese, Williams College
My work centers on modern literature, particularly postwar fiction, Abe Kobo, science and literature in Japan, and Japanese animation. I am coeditor of "Japanese Science Fiction," a special issue of journal _Science Fiction Studies_ (Nov. 2002) and submissions editor of _Mechademia_, a new journal for writing about anime, manga, and related arts (U Minn Press).  A more detailed profile and list of my publications are available at

Walter Daniel <>
affiliation = freelance
Poet, translator/editor.

Robert Hewitt <rsh2109[at]>
First year PhD Candidate of the Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, East Asian Languages and Cultures, whose primary interest in in Edo Period literature and Subculture.

Gergana Ivanova <>
affiliation = University of Toronto
MA in Japanese Linguistics, MA in International Studies
Currently a MA student in Japanese Premodern Literature
My main interest is Makura no Soshi. I am working on its four textual traditions.

Robert A. Juhl <AD552[at]>
I have a Ph.D. in Chinese and a number of publications on historical Chinese phonology, which I wrote in the 1970s. Since the 1980s, I have been a professional translator and writer in Japan (a partial list of my publications, academic and other, is available <> here.  However, I am gradually withdrawing from business and returning to research. Recently I have been working on a study of the spectacular aerial and terrestrial phenomena that took place at Enoshima in AD 552, according to the <>Enoshima Engi. My current project is a geomythological search for similar phenomena recorded in myths and folktales of Japan and southern China.

Ethan Lindsay <>
I am a Ph.D. student in the department of Religion at Princeton University.  My focus is Buddhism in premodern Japan, and I plan to research the stories and practices surrounding "living" Buddhist statues such as the Seiryoji Shaka.

Patrick Luhan <>
I am a first year graduate student at Columbia University under the advising of Haruo Shirane. My main area of interest is early modern Japanese literature. My previous research has focused on kabuki but my interests extend to issues related to the creation of texts, literary communities and collective understandings, fantasy, and the interaction of text and image.

Matsushita Sachiko <> 松下佐智子
PhD candidate, Faculty of Japan Centre, East Asian Studies, The Australian National University.
I am interested in Japanese classical literature. I am writing my dissertation, 'A Study of The Tale of Genji focusing on interior monologue.'

Mari Nagase <>
Ph.D candidate, Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia. Currently engaged in completing my dissertation, which discusses the emergence of women kanshi writers in the late Edo period, particularly introducing works of Hara Saihin, Ema Saiko, and Takahashi Gyokusho.

Aragorn Quinn <>
 I am an MA candidate in Japanese at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I am currently researching Japanese-English translation and translation theory.

Paul Rouzer <>
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Although I have worked and published in the field of Medieval Chinese literature, I have been drawn increasingly of late to kanshibun. I am currently researching the poetry of Rai San'yô and his generation.
Related Publications: "Early Buddhist Kanshi: Court, Country and Kûkai." Monumenta Nipponica, vol. 59, no. 4 (Winter 2004).

Tatsuo F. Saile <sanka[at]>
I am a graduate student focusing on pre-modern Japanese literature and Buddhist Studies at the University of Califonia, Berkeley. My primary area of interest is the relationship between Japanese literature and Japanese religion, particularly Buddhism. In attempting to understand and define this relationship more closely, I have worked on a number of different authors, genres, and time periods over the last several years, including 17th century setsuwa and kana zoshi, no drama, and the waka poetry of the Soto-zen monks Eihei Dogen and Taigu Ryokan. My other interests include the development of the genre of secular ghost stories in Japan during the 17th and 18th centuries, early medieval Japanese setsuwa collectionss, and particularly the evolution, both doctrinal and ritual, of the various branches of Japanese esoteric Buddhism (mikkyo).

Brian Steininger <>
Ph.D. student in Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures, Yale University.
I am particularly interested in the parallel discourses of Chinese- and Japanese-language poetics in the 9th and 10th century Heian court.

John Szostak <>
University of British Columbia
 I am currently teaching as a sessional instructor in Japanese art history at the University of British Columbia.  My primary research area is nihonga of the late Meiji through early Showa eras. My dissertation is entitled "The Kokuga Sosaku Kyokai and Kyoto Nihonga Reform in the Meiji, Taisho and Early Showa Years (1900-1928)." I also have a strong interest in painting of the Edo era (particularly the Maruyama-Shijo tradition), ukiyoe culture, and Buddhist art and architecture.

Zane Torretta <>
First year PhD student at Columbia University in pre-modern Japanese literature

Ellen Van Goethem <>
affiliation = Ghent University, and from March 1st 2006 until February 28th 2007 visiting research fellow at Ritsumeikan University
PhD in Oriental Languages and Cultures, dissertation entitled "The rise and fall of Nagaokakyou (784-794), a mokkan-based study of Emperor Kanmu's capital city"(Ghent University, 2005).
Primary field of research: the Nagaokakyou-era and the mokkan or inscribed wooden tablets unearthed from the ancient Japanese capital; urban planning; religious influence on the transfer to and from the Nagaoka Capital.
Other interests: translation into Dutch of classicial Japanese literature and translation into English of works on contemporary architecture and urban planning.

Keith Vincent <>
 I am assistant professor of Japanese lit. at New York University.  My work focusses on transformations of narrative voice, descriptive detail, and dicourse in the modern Japanese novel.  I'm also interested in Masaoka Shiki and the "reform" of classical poetry.

Samu Virokannas <>
Institute for Asian and African studies, University of Helsinki, Finland
I am a graduate student in the Institute for Asian and African studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland. My PhD dissertation topic is the roles and representations of the kami in setsuwa literature, especially in Kokonchomonjo Fields of interest: intellectual history, history of various schools of Japanese Buddhism, Shinto-Buddhist relations, Heian & Kamakura era prose literature.

Jos Vos <>
affiliation = Independent literary translator
I graduated in Japanese studies at the University of Oxford (U.K.) in 1999.
Since 2003 I have been active as a full-time literary translator, specialising in translations from Japanese to Dutch.
Three of my translations have so far appeared with Arbeiderspers, a leading Dutch literary publisher: two volumes of travel journals and haibun prose by Matsuo Basho, fully annotated (2001 / 2005), and the novel IN ZA MISO SUPU by Murakami Ryu (2005).
This coming autumn (2006) should see the appearance of the first comprehensive Dutch anthology of pre Meiji era Japanese literature.

Takeshi Watanabe <>
affiliation = Yale University
I am just completing a PhD dissertation on Eiga monogatari.  My dissertation examines the work's representation of burials in a tamaya, the relationships between fathers and daughters, and mono no ke.  As an appendix, I have also translated the last ten books of Eiga.  I am currently working part-time at the Yale Art Gallery.

Bradley Wilson<>
I'm a graduate student working on my Masters thesis at Arizona State University with an expected graduation date of May 2008.  The subject of the thesis will be pre-modern literature and the use of onmyoudou/onmyouji as a device in the plot.  A special focus will be placed on the renowned Abe no Seimei.

Kikuko Yamashita <> 山下貴久子
Associate Professor of East Asian Studies at Brown University. Area of specialization is Historical Linguistics.

Tomiko Yoda <>
affiliation = Duke University
profile = Associate Professor, Asian & African Languages & Literature, Program in Literature, and Women's Studies, Duke University. Publications: _Gender and National Literature: Heian Texts and Constructions of Japanese Modernity_. 2004, Duke University Press. "Reading Literary History Against the National Frame, or Gender and the Emergence of Heian Kana Writing,"  positions: east asia cultures critique, 8.2, (2000). "Fractured Dialogues: Mono no Aware and Poetic Communications in The Tale of Genji," Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, 59.2, (December, 1999).


Ryuichi Abe <>
affiliation = Harvard University
Edwin O. Reischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions
Department of East Asian Language and Civilizations
Harvard University

Anthony J. Bryant <> (new email)
BTW, often frustrated with the lack of decent classroom materials, I've created some things specifically of interest in premodern Japanese classrooms:

Charlotte Eubanks<>
I am currently Lecturer of Classical Japanese Language and Literature at the University of Virginia.
My primary area of research is Buddhist literature from the Heian, Kamakura, and Muromachi periods. This spring I completed my dissertation on sermonizing in medieval Japan.  I am also more generally interested in performance, memory, and the interface between written text and human body.
*"Rendering the Body Buddhist: Sermonizing in Medieval Japan." PhD dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2005. 354 pp. [UMI no. 311185]

Megumi Inoue
The School of Asian Studies, The University of Auckland, New Zealand.
"Oshichi, the greengrocer's daughter: A cultural history of sewamono, 1686--1821." Ph.D., University of Washington, 2004. 302 pp.

Adam L. Kern <>
Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature, Harvard University
I am fascinated by popular and visual culture, as well as literature, of the early modern period. My current project focuses on the nexus of advertising, woodblock printing, mass media, and literary Nonsense in the gesaku of Santo Kyoden.
*Manga from the Floating World: Comicbook Culture and the Kibyoshi of Edo Japan. Forthcoming in the fall of 2006 from the Asia Center at Harvard University Press.
*Blowing Smoke: Tobacco Pipes, Literary Squibs, and Authorial Puffery in the pictorial comic fiction (Kibyoshi) of Santo Kyoden (Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1997). 542 pp. [UMI]

Douglas Lanam <>
I am currently a Ph.D student in Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia,  The main focus of my research is Meiji-Taisho women's literature.

 Jan Leuchtenberger
I finished my Ph.D. at Michigan this summer and have taken a position as an assistant professor of Japanese in the Department of Language and Literature at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma.  My new email address is

 Bettina Gramlich-Oka
old email =
email =
action = subscribe (standard)
affiliation = Wesleyan University/University of Tuebingen

Noel Pinnington <noelp[at]>
affiliation = Kyushu University and University of Arizona
Asst Professor of Japanese Literature, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson. [Now
Research Interests: Pre-modern Japanese intellectual and literary history.
Teaching: Pre-modern Japanese literature and language.
Work in progress: Death in the Japanese Literary Tradition.
Traces in the Way: Michi and the Writings of Komparu Zenchiku, Forthcoming from Cornell East Asia Series.
A handbook of approaches to teaching about Japan to non-Japanese, (co-edited with Richard Bowring), Kyushu University Press, 2001.
"Crossed Paths: Zeami's transmission to Zenchiku," Monumenta Nipponica, 52:2 Summer 1997. [JSTOR]
"Invented origins: Muromachi interpretations of okina sarugaku," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 61:3, 1998. [JSTOR]
* URL at Department of Contemporary Asian Cultural Research, Kyushu University.

Peter D. Shapinsky <pshap2[at]>
I completed my Ph.D. in May 2005 at the University of Michigan and am now teaching East Asian history at the University of Illinois at Springfield.
My dissertation, "Lords of the Sea: Pirates, Violence, and Exchange in Medieval Japan," explored the development of autonomous sea-based domains by seafaring bands who--labeled pirates (kaizoku) by land-based powers--appropriated land-based discourses of lordship and considered themselves to be sea lords.  The project focuses on the three Murakami families (Noshima, Kurushima, and Innoshima)based in islands and chokepoints across the Inland Sea region.  This project explores the discursive constructions of 'sea-people' and seascapes. It examines the roles 'pirates' played in economic developments from the 14-16th centuries with a case-study of the shoen of Yugeshima and its seafarers,
looking especially at the roles sea lords played in the shift from a shoen economy to
a commercial economy and the rise of commercial shipping.  The project also examines the military aspects of sea lords as autonomous purveyors of nautical violence and their roles in Japan's 16th c. 'military revolution.'  Lastly, the project explores the participation of sea lords in overseas networks and the suppression of autonomous maritime power by Hideyoshi and later the Tokugawa.
My other current interests include medieval histories of gender, war, and the hybrid
nautical culture that developed in East Asia in the 16th and early 17th centuries, including portolan cartography, navigation, and shipbuilding.

Melinda Varner
University of Colorado at Boulder
I am a program associate for K-12 outreach related to Japan at the Program for Teaching East Asia at the University of Colorado at Boulder and an adjunct faculty member teaching courses on Japanese culture, language and literature at Colorado State University. I completed the MA program in East Asian Studies at Yale in 2000. In 2004, I participated in the Kyoto Traditional Theater Training project's kyogen group and have been subsequently offering experiential workshops on traditional Japanese theater to secondary and university students.
My research interests include noh and kyogen, Heian poetics, medieval tea culture and tracing classical themes in modern Japanese pop media.

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From: Edith Sarra <>
Date: February 7, 2006 4:33:34 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: query about Heian decorators

Dear Jordan, Matthew, et al.,

This is a topic I've been preoccupied with myself lately, though I'm more interested to learn about the actual shinden-style residences themselves, and the extent to which we can say they honored ritsuryo-style ritual/codes (especially given that those codes were often honored in the breach in other matters, depending on what period you are examining).  What, for example, can be known about the actual building of aristocratic houses in mid-Heian?  How far off from the norm, if there was a norm, are imaginary houses like Genji's Rokujo'in, or the Eighth Prince's Uji house?).

However, in answer to your call for any and all thoughts, one example of gowns hung within an interior "for decorative effect" does come to mind immediately, though this is a Kamakura, not a Heian source.  In Towazugatari, the memoirist recalls her father draping gowns about her room on the occasion of GoFukakusa's first nuptial visit See Brazell, Confessions of Lady Nijo, p. 3 (who adds in the idea of "decorative effect"--it isn't strictly "there" in the original wording, though it may be implied), and the Shincho Nihon koten shusei edition of Towazugatari, p. 15 ("on-sao ni on-zo kake nado shite").

Edith Sarra

From: "Matthew Stavros (gmail)" <>
Date: February 7, 2006 6:26:12 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: query about Heian decorators

Dear Edith,

There is no doubt that the idealized function of shinden-style structures was just that, idealized. In fact, that's one of the great irony's of the architectural genre: Even the earliest shinden-style complexes had not lived up to the form-function ideal of the T’ang Chinese state shrines upon which the style was based. In Japan, shinden-style complexes functioned not merely as the alters of Ritsuryo-style ritualized government; they were the personal residences of the capital elite. In that latter capacity, they had to accommodate a plethora of functions that had little or nothing to do with the Ritsuryo political system. The functional ideal, nevertheless, remained a powerful notion, which is what explains the efforts by the elite to keep all modifications to the original structural forms to a bare minimum. At first, only temporary fixtures were used to create rooms to accommodate non-Ritsuryo-functions (even those that included sleeping, eating, and washing, for example). Later, when rooms did emerge, they were confined to the back (north) sides of the structures. Finally, non-Ritsuryo events and functions began leaving the shinden complex all together in favor of their own dedicated venues. That's when we see the emergence of such structures as the kaisho, the tea house, and the freestanding tsune-gosho.

But I perseverate. My hope is to offer much more on this topic in an eventual monograph. I'm happy there's interest.

Matthew Stavros

From: Takeshi Watanabe <>
Date: February 7, 2006 8:24:22 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: query about Heian decorators

While there may not be much secondary research on this topic, especially in a desired theoretical discourse, I am surprised that the wealth of primary factual information has not been stressed.  When one reads courtier's diaries from the Heian period, one learns about the extravagant gifts of furnishings from the zuryo class to the sekkanke, for instance.  Also, there is a lot of minute information about the construction of personal residences and Buddhist halls.  In Shoyuki (1018 6/26), Fujiwara no Sanesuke complains how Michinaga is diverting water from rice paddies nearby for his pond at Tsuchimikado.   Michinaga is also accused of stealing rocks for the garden at Hojoji from Shinsen'en and even the Palace (Shoyuki, 1023 6/11).  These may not be exactly the kind of details this thread is concerned about (I just picked some provocative ones), but a glance through these diaries will show you just how much information is available if one is willing to do the work.  There are also numerous comments about taste (furyu is a term that comes up), showing that these diaries are not just about "historical" matters.  Sanesuke's involvement with the construction of his own residence is quite revealing in its emotional tenor.  He even gets a bad hit in the head while inspecting the hall in the dark.

As for Rokujo'in, in Eiga monogatari, Kayanoin is likened to the "Ocean Dragon King's dwelling, where one can see a different season in each of the four directions."  This is reminiscent, isn't it, of Rokujoin's four seasons?  The extravagance and the idealized nature of the descriptions in Genji or Eiga should make us wary of taking them at face value, but before one judges them to be merely "idealized" structures, one should keep in mind that much of the Heian artistic and aesthetic movements were novel developments.  The Genji, the Genji scrolls, the Kuhonbutsu Halls, the Jocho style, Byodoin, these were extraordinary, and unprecedented, variations on the previous models.

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