pmjs logs for May 2001. Total number of messages: 34

previous month

list of logs

pmjs index

next month

editor's note 

'supernatural' studies (Michael Dylan Foster) 

Plant & Animal Dictionary? (Barbara Nostrand) 

North American English Noh Tour/September 2002 (Richard Emmert) 

special issue of review DARUMA (Jacques Joly) 

Dakini articles online (Nobumi Iyanaga) 

CUEAGA conference call for papers (fwd) 

treatment of syphilis (Carole Cavanaugh) --> Syphilis in Japan / Syphilis & fugu 

"Japan Memory Project" and a Conference on Historical and Buddhist Sources in Medieval Japan 

Confucianism (Michel Vieillard-Baron) [archived] 

Back on line (Ken Richard) 

Noh on Video? (Barbara Nostrand ) --> to June 

Report on Bungo SIG (Special interest group) (Stephen D. Miller) 

Looking for Okina Text (Barbara Nostrand) --> to June 

new members: Larry V. Shumway and William J. Higginson. 

Many thanks to Hans Martin Kraemer for forwarding the pmjs digests for this month. My own copies were lost in an Outlook Express meltdown.

Lightly edited (see "principles"). Editorial comments in italics.

Subject: pmjs digest 2001/05/09
From: Michael Watson <>

Just one cross-posted message [conference announcement, omitted], but I thought it was important to reassure pmjs digest subscribers that pmjs is still in business. I may have put a damper on things by warning everyone that mail delivery would be delayed while I was up in the mountains over Golden Week.

P.S. I hope others interested in waka have checked out
announced earlier. Sign up for the announcement-type mailing list and a few waka will be arrive in your Inbox daily, in romanization and English
translation. Yamabe no Akahito is next.. A round of applause to Dr. Thomas McAuley of School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield.

DIJ Forum (Nicola Liscutin). Announcement of talk in Tokyo.

From: Michael Dylan Foster <>

Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 23:35:22 -0700

Subject: 'supernatural' studies

Dear List Members:

I have been asked by Professor Komatsu Kazuhiko of the International
Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) in Kyoto to compile a
list of foreign scholars (or, rather, scholars writing in languages other
than Japanese) who are working on issues relating to the study of horror
and the supernatural in Japan. This includes anybody dealing with such
topics as youkai, yuurei, kaidan, 'kaii genshou' of all sorts, spirit
possession / shamanism, practices such as omyoudou, etc. from a literary,
historical, religious studies, art historical, anthropological or
multi-disciplinary perspective. Professor Komatsu has been conducting a
kenkyuu kai exploring such topics for several years and is interested in
becoming more familiar with relevant scholarship written in languages other
than Japanese.

If you are working on a project relating either directly or indirectly to
any of these issues, I'd be grateful if you could contact me with your
name, affiliation, interests, relevant publications, etc., so I may pass
this information on to Professor Komatsu. Please feel free to forward this
message to others not on this list.

Please contact me off list at

Thank you very much.

Michael Dylan Foster
Ph.D Candidate
Department of Asian Languages
Stanford University

From: Richard Bowring <>

Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 10:37:27 +0100

Subject: Re: 'supernatural' studies

Can I suggest that once Michael Foster has accumulated the information he
post it here? It may be of considerable interest to a number of us.
Richard Bowring
University of Cambridge

From: Karen Brock <>

Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 09:50:44 -0500

Subject: Re: 'supernatural' studies

Dear Michael Foster,

I'm not sure if my work "qualifies" but one of my interests is "origin
tales" (engi) which quite often revolve around some supernatural event,
dream, or spirit possession.

I have a chapter in a book coming out in the fall from Stanford along these lines. The chapter is titled "My Reflection Should Be Your Keepsake: Myoe's Vision of the Kasuga deity," and the book is edited by Robert Sharf and Elizabeth Horton Sharf, Living Images: Japanese Buddhist Icons in their monastic contexts. My chapter goes into detail on the famous encounter between Myoe and the Kasuga deity in 1203-1205 through the earliest tale versions of it, and through the paintings that were produced as a result of Myoe's vision.

This is part of a larger project on "relics" of Myoe, the tangible traces of the often fantastic episodes in his life, sich as his ear-cutting episode in 1196.
I have also written about picture scrolls, such as Origin Tales of Kegon and Origin Tales of Mt. Shigi, both of which have supernatural episodes at the core of their tales (demon dream, woman transforming into dragon, flying rice bowl, healing by a deity) and the like.
All of the my interests are 12th-13th century and within context of religious arts.

Karen L. Brock
Associate Professor
Washington U. in St. Louis
Art History & Archaeology, campus 1189
St. Louis, MO 63130

(I will become an independant scholar as of June 30th, but the above address and email will remain valid.)

From: Michael Dylan Foster <>
Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 21:42:41 -0700
Subject: Re: 'supernatural' studies

Dear Professor Bowring,
Thank you for your suggestion below. I will indeed post the information I
gather to the list, although it may take some time before it is in an
organized format.

Michael Foster

From: Barbara Nostrand <>

Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 19:59:07 -0400

Subject: Plant & Animal Dictionary?


If I may intrude for a minute. Does anyone here know of a
Japanese Plant & Animal Dictionary. Ideally it should give
kogo words as well as modern common names. What I am looking
for is something that gives modern English or biological
classification translations as well as the usual "it is
a fish of so and so cm that lives in fresh water" or "it
is a mushroom that grows in broad leaf forests in the
Spring and Summer." There is a food dictionary published
by Tuttle, but unfortunately it only gives translations
for about half the words that I need. I could just transliterate
them. But, those are only familiar for a few items that have
made the jump into North American supermarkets. Thank you very
much for any leads that you can give me.

Barbara Nostrand

From: Lawrence Marceau <lmarc...@...l.Edu>

Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 21:31:37 -0400

Subject: Re: Plant & Animal Dictionary?

Of course, there is Makino Tomitaro^'s famous _Makino Shin Nihon
Zukan, Shintei_, ISBN 4-8326-0010-9 at 20,000 yen, which is a basic
and has at least the Latin genus and species name. This is limited to

Again limited to plants is Kimura Yo^jiro^'s _Zusetsu So^moku meii
ISBN 4-7601-0731-2, at 3,689 yen. No English, but essential for any student
Japanese humanities. Examples from the Japanese classics for each plant and
tree listed. (It's really wonderful... Continued thanks to Bob Morrell for
original reference on this list last fall.)

I have always enjoyed the _Nihon dai saijiki_ published by Kodansha,
yen) ISBN 4-06-128966-7, all color in one volume. Not much English, but
everything is illustrated, with many examples from both early modern hokku
modern haiku.

Finally, a handy guide to contemporary foodstuffs, including Western,
Korean, and Chinese, is Kodansha's (+ Alpha bunko) _Nihon shokuzai hyakka
jiten_. This includes photographs, Latin names, and discussions of how
flora and fauna are prepared. ISBN 4-06-256347-9, at 1,480 yen.

I've also seen field guides for birds and the like in English, but I
have the references.

Lawrence Marceau

From: Michael Watson <>

Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 23:27:45 +0900

Subject: Re: [pmjs] Plant & Animal Dictionary?

Lawrence Marceau mentions
> field guides for birds and the like in English

Presumably the excellent field guide to birds produced by the Wild Bird
Society of Japan ( Indices of English, romanized Japanese, and
scientific names. An immaculate translation of the Japanese edition.

Nihon no yachou- A field guide to the birds of Japan
Edited by Nihon yachou no kai
ISBN: 4770012462, 2893 yen, 336 pp.

The following looks promising, although unlike the bird guide, I have not
used it myself.

Nihon no yasou field guide
Wild Flowers of Japan: A Field Guide
ISBN 4-7700-1809-6, 2816 yen, 286 pp.
Author : Ran Levy
"A handy, at-a-glance guide to around 250 flowering plants commonly found in
Japan. The first book on the subject in English, filled with color photos
and written by a trained horticulturist."

Japanese titles
      A field guide to the birds of Japan

Michael Watson

Kyoto Mitate International, organization for those "concerned with the rapid
loss of Kyoto's historical environment"

From: "Cavanaugh, Carole" <>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 11:15:50 -0400
Subject: treatment of syphilis

Greetings to all,

I would appreciate any information on the treatment of syphilis (in addition
to prayer) in Japan before the early twentieth century. I suspect that the
mercury treatment used in Europe was also used in Japan by practitioners who had contact with Dutch medicine. Is that assumption correct? Was there also a traditional remedy?

I will appreciate any information or advice on sources.

Warm regards,

Carole Cavanaugh
Associate Professor of Japanese
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753

From: Adam Kern <>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 10:59:11 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Syphilis

In response to Carol Cavanaugh's query, Suzuki Takeo has a provocative
study suggesting that slightly more than half of Edo's adult population
(54.5%, to be "exact") had contracted syphilis. The piece has its fair
share of methodological infidelities (how accurate and/or representative
is archeological evidence, anyway?), is probably harder to get hold of
than to contract the disease itself, and then there's all that medical
jargon--the title reads "Palaeopathological and Palaeoepidemiological
Study of Osseous Syphilis in Skulls of the Edo Period" (Tokyo: University
of Tokyo Press, 1984). Still, it's a start.

Adam L.Kern

Assistant Professor of Premodern Japanese Literature and Language
Asian Languages & Literature, University of Washington
N.B. Please send personal communiques to:

From: Lawrence Marceau <lmarc...@...l.Edu>

Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 15:06:24 -0400

Subject: Re: syphilis treatment

Tatsukawa Shoji has a great study of all kinds of diseases and their treatments in the early modern period, in his _Edo - Yamai so^shi_ (Chikuma Gakugei Bunko, 1998, originally published in 1979 as _Kinsei - Yamai so^shi_, Heibonsha Sensho). Adam Kern's 54% figure does not seem unrealistic, judging from the fact that Sugita Gempaku said that some 70-80% of all of his patients who visited him (over 1000 a year) nearly every day for 50 years suffered from syphilis (p. 176).

I haven't studied the book carefully, but Tatsukawa mentions treatments that include mercury, as well as those that feature rhinoceros horn (kanji). He mentions "catheters" **, but I'm not sure how they were used. (pp. 178, 192) It seems that patients' throats were so swollen and covered with pox that they couldn't take food or medicine, so perhaps the catheters played a role there.

With regard to prayer, Miyata Noboru has a book, _Edo no hayari-gami_, which discusses various kami who come into play during, among other crises, epidemics. Smallpox epidemics generated interest in such kami, and while they were at it, the kami also were asked to help out with those suffering from syphilis.

Lawrence Marceau

From: wfarris <>

Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 17:55:13 -0400

Subject: Syphilis in Japan

Dear folks,
I've been looking into the introduction and early bouts with syphilis in the sixteenth century. As far as I can determine, it is first recorded in 1512. Then there were two regional outbreaks at ports: Noto in 1515 and Osaka/Kyoto in 1522; of course one name for it was the "Chinese pox," suggesting Chinese travelers infected residents of the Japanese archipelago. It is difficult to determine the historical effects, but there are some indications that the first victims displayed "florid" symptoms, suggesting that it was a new disease and had a modest demographic impact. I've never looked into treatments, but there must be loads of information for the Edo period. What fascinates me about the early history of syphilis in Japan is that 1) it entered Japan before the Europeans, the presumed (according to the Columbian theory) carriers of the disease; and 2) one can trace the spread of the disease right around the world, from Western Europe in 1498, to Russia, then India, and finally China. This underlines a connection that we see even today: revolutions in transportation frequently lead to new infectious outbreaks. And isn't it interesting that the Japanese would blame the Chinese; this also finds a parallel in Europe, where the French called it the Italian disease, etc. I hope Carole or someone is planning on writing a history of syphilis in Japan as good as Bill Johnston's THE MODERN EPIDEMIC dealing with TB. It is one way of getting at the lives of the premodern masses.
Wayne Farris

From: Michael Watson <>

Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 07:33:27 +0900

Subject: Plant & Animal Dictionary?

William J. Higginson -- not on this list -- has sent more in answer to
Barbara Nostrand's question. He also gives information about "saijiki" (a
topic discussed in the early days of pmjs) and his Renku Home web site.
Michael Watson

A colleague forwarded me a message from the list asking for information on books helpful with flora a fauna. In addition to some already mentioned, I recommend two:
Jisaburo Ohwi, _Flora of Japan (in English)_ (Wash, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1984. (With much thanks to Frederick G. Meyer and Egbert H. Walker, who edited the translation. The original is two books by Prof. Ohwi from the 1950s.) This volume is over 1000 pages, with limited illustrations, but thorough plant descriptions, and fairly complete Japanese and scientific indices. The English index is limited, however. My main way of using it includes following up on the scientific names in Western resources, such as the excellent recent garden guides from the British and American Horticultural Societies, and R. J. Turner and Ernie Wasson's _Botanica_, published in Australia. All of these are large, rather expensive volumes, I'm afraid. _Botanica_ comes with a CD-ROM, but I've found the book more useful. Of course, many of the plants will have to be followed up in wild plant guides, such as Britton and Brown's three-volume _An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions_, from the 1940s, which has been reprinted by Dover, I believe.
On Japanese birds, in addition to the excellent Wild Bird Society guide, I use Mark A. Brazil's _The Birds of Japan_ (Wash. D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1991). 460+ pages. Excellent color plates by Masayuki Yabuuchi. Indexed by Japanese, English Common, and scientific names. Much more thorough descriptions of species than a field guide. This is apparently out of print already, a shame! But I may have a source for one or two copies, if anyone wants to write to me. I paid $25 a couple of years ago for mine.
I would second the motion on the 1980s _Nihon Dai Saijiki_ from Kodansha. This is my personal saijiki bible. It was originally published in a 5-volume edn., then in a one-volume ed., and finally in a 5-vol. paperback ed. The main variation seems to be in paper quality (original best, then the 5-vol paperback) and the inclusion or not of embedded multi-page essays on a few really culturally important kidai (absent in the one-vol. ed.). There is also a large earlier edition (_Dai SAijiki_, I believe), with b&w illustrations, and a quite recent update which seems to be heavily concerned with haiku politics, though I've only glanced at it for a half-hour or less.
On the subject of saijiki, the still-in-print Heibonsha _Haiku Saijiki_, 5-vols, with overall supervision by Tomiyasu Fusei, is pretty good. For some, not all, flora and fauna, it gives scientific names--so far the only saijiki I've come across to do so.
Finally, for fauna, one of the best things I've found is an early post-WWII student's book I found in a used bookstore here in Santa Fe!, _Nihon Doubutsu Enkan_ with an English title, "Illlustrated Encyclopedia of the Fauna of Japan"--just about the only English on/in the book, though it does give scientific names. (The nomenclature has changed quite a bit since then, so one has to check things out in such current books as _Walker's Mammal's of the World_, etc.) Published in Tokyo by Hokuryukan. It has a pretty good index by Japanese common names, better than anything else I have outside of a kogo jiten. My "student edition" requires use of a magnifying glass for these tired old eyes, but the text seems fairly accurate and useful, if brief.
In translating terms from saijiki, I usually check 3-5 books on just about every plant and animal name. Until we get some authoritative translations of saijiki themselves, there doesn't seem to be any way around it. Otherwise, we may have more "hototogisu" = "nightingale" events!

(For a beginning on that, people are welcome to visit the "500 Essential Season Words" page of my Renku Home web site:
Corrections welcome!)

Best to all,
Bill Higginson
William J. Higginson
P. O. Box 2740
Santa Fe, NM 87504 USA
1-505-438-3249 tel & fax
Personal Web Pages:
Open Directory Project Editor:

P.S. Bill Higginson has since joined pmjs. / ed.

From: Michael Watson <>

Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 07:38:31 +0900

Subject: syphilis treatment

The following message was posted to the early modern list (emjnet)
/ Michael Watson

On syphilis treatments in Edo, I can recommend the following:

1. Edo no seibyo by Kariya Haruo
2. Kinsei nihon no iyaku bunka by Yamawaki Teijiro (see the first chapter)

Finally, on cultural attitudes towards syphilis, there is my article
(sorry for the self-promotion)

Bodies and Borders: Syphilis, Prostitution, and the Nation in Japan
in U.S.-Japan Women's Journal, no. 15 (1998)

Susan Burns <>

From: "Sato/Wakabayashi" <>

Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 08:20:27 +0900

Subject: "Japan Memory Project" and a Conference on Historical and

Buddhist Sources in Medieval Japan

Dear Members:

Since last July, I have been involved in a database project at the shiryo hensanjo. The project, sponsored by the Monbu kagakusho is named "Japan Memory Project" (in short, JMP), and it aims to create a network database of sources that are available at the shiryo hensanjo. (You can already see what has already been achieved from the shiryo hensanjo homepage:
As part of this project, Ineke Van Put, a Buddhologist from Leuven Catholic University, and I have been working on a Japanese-English online glossary of historical terms. The glossary, we hope, will be useful for the following three purposes: (1) as a glossary, (2) as keywords for English-language search of the JMP database, and (3) as the dictionary on which the English translation server for historical documents will be based. As for (3), in Leuven Catholic University, they have a server to which we can send a passage in modern Japanese, and in a minute or so, we receive a list of terms included in the passage with English translations. We are hoping that we will be able to create a similar server for historical texts. For this purpose, we need a glossary with as many terms as possible. We want this glossary to be a product of cooperative effort with as many scholars as possible. The purpose of the workshop on 7/9 (which is in conjunction with the symposium that I will explain below) is to get together with American and European specialists to discuss our project and problems of translation. We hope that many "international" scholars can be present at the workshop. I'm looking forward to the symposium.
As a Monbusho-sponsored project, we are required to hold an international symposium at least once a year. This year, the conference will be held at the shiryo hensanjo, University of Tokyo, on July 6 (Fri) and July 7 (Sat), and two workshops that will be held in conjunction with the symposium. The following is our tentative schedule. All presentations will be given in Japanese.

International Symposium on Historical and Buddhist Sources in Medieval Japan
Nihon chusei shiryou - bukkyou shiryou no kokusai riyou"

Date: July 6-7, 2001
Tokyo daigaku shiryo hensanjo taikaigishitsu

July 6th
Exhibition of Sources from 10:30-11:30
(Buddhist sources owned by the shiryo hensanjo)

Part One: International Use of Medieval Japanese Sources

13:00 - 15:00
"Nihon chusei shiryou no kokusaiteki riyou" Hitomi Tonomura (Univ. of
"Kaiga shiryou kara mita 16 seiki no tenkan" Kuroda Hideo (shiryo
15:00 - 17:00
"Zenkindai Nihon no shiryou isan purojekuto to zenkindai shiryou no jouhouka" Ishigami Eiichi (shiryo hensanjo)
"Chusei toshi Kamakura no shinkou sekai-- shutsudo ibutsu wo chuushin ni--" Oka Yoichiro (shiryo hensanjo)
18:00 - 19:30
Reception (3,000 yen)

July 7th
Part Two: The Concept of Death in Medieval Japanese Buddhism

9:30 - 12:00
Panel 1 <Moji shiryoo(Texts)>
Rites of Passage: Fudaraku Tokai at Nachi David Moerman (Barnard College)
Joodo shinkoo ni okeru shi no gainen Sueki Fumihiko (U of Tokyo)
Ojoyoshu as a Source of Inspiration for Medieval Paintings of Hell Ineke Van Put (shiryo hensanjo)
Discussant: Alan Grapard (UC Santa Barbara)

13:00 - 15:00
Panel 2 <Girei (Rituals)>
Nihon chuusei no rinjuu gyoogi
--toku ni Genshin ikoo-- Jacqueline Stone (Princeton Univ.)
Mikkyoo girei to kenmitsu bukkyoo--
Myooeboo Kooben no Nyuumetsu girei wo megutte
Ryuichi Abe (Columbia Univ.)
Chuusei no Soosoo girei Harada Masatoshi (Koyasan Univ.)

15:15 - 17:45
Panel 3 <Tayoo na shiryoo (Objects)>
Shi no bijutsu: Tsukubushima honden moya wo megutte Andrew Watsky (Vassar College)
Shi to shigo no aida no Nihon chuuseishi
--shari shinkoo wo kangaeru-- Brian Ruppert (U of Illinois)
Tohoku chihoo no itabi to shiseikan Kikuchi Hiroki (shiryo hensanjo)
Discussant: Donald Mccallum (UCLA)

July 8 (Sunday) Excursion to Kamakura/Kanazawa bunko
July 9 (Monday) Workshop on Japanese/English glossary of Historical terms
(organized by Ineke Van Put & Haruko Wakabayashi)
July 4 (Wed) Workshop on "French/English kodai shiryoo kaidai"
(organized by Charlotte Von Verschuer & Joan Piggott)


If you wish to attend the symposium, please notify Prof. Hayashi Yuzuru ( with your name, affiliation, and which days you
wish to participate, and that you have heard about the conference from
Haruko Wakabayashi. Please also understand that space is extremely limited,
and we may not be able to accommodate everybody who is interested
(this is not true for the workshop!).

Look forward to seeing some of you in July.

Haruko Wakabayashi
COE Research Fellow
Historiographical Institute
University of Tokyo

From: Michael Watson <>
Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 15:21:06 +0900
Subject: Re: Confucianism

I wonder if anyone on the list can answer a question I've received about the
influence of Confucianism on Japanese Society in the Heian - Kamakura periods.

Marian Ury's chapter "Chinese learning and intellectual life" (Cambridge
History of Japan, vol. 2) would presumably be a place to start. Are there
other Western treatments of the subject?

Do by all means answer to the list as a whole. / Michael Watson

> From: VIEILLARD-BARON Michel <>
> Date: Mon, 28 May 2001 17:17:51 +0200

> My name is Michel Vieillard-Baron, I teach Japanese at Grenoble University,
> and my research is on medieval waka (particularly Fujiwara no Teika). I am
> in contact with Charlotte Von Verschuer, and Jacqueline Pigeot and all the
> persons interested in Pre-modern Japan in France.
> A colleague of mine, a teacher of comparative literature, asked me if I
> knew a good reference article or book in English (or any other occidental
> language, since she cannot easily read Japanese) on The Influence of
> Confucianism on the Japanese Society at the end of Heian Period and
> Kamakura ? I was unable to answer, and Charlotte suggested me to contact
> you. Can you, or anybody, help me ?
> Yours,
> Michel Vieillard-Baron
> --------------------------------------------------------
> UNIVERSITE GRENOBLE 3 - Departement d'Etudes Orientales
> 1180 Av. Centrale, BP 25, 38040 GRENOBLE CEDEX 9

From: "B.M. Bodart-Bailey" <>
Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 16:09:08 +0900
Subject: Re: Syphilis in Japan

Kaempfer, naturally, has something to say on this subject as well.
Apparently hot springs were used as a cure. He also relates a case where the
illness had progressed so far, that the sufferer attempted to end his life
by eating the poisonous part of the fish fugu. The poison had a violent, but
detoxicating effect, and the man was eventually cured. (See my translation
<Kaempfer's Japan: Tokugawa Culture Observed>, pp. 58, 79, respectively. )

Beatrice M. Bodart-Bailey
Professor of Japanese History
Otsuma Women's University
Tama Campus

From: k-richard <>

Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 17:28:32 +0900

Subject: Back on Line.

Dear Michael, and other members of the list:
Ken Richard here at The Siebold University of Nagasaki. After some time
in limbo, my pages on Japanese Literature which you have so kindly
included on the pmjs page of links, including the archival material from
the University of Toronto days,, are now back on line. Please find them
Additionally, the new Seibold University pages may be found at:

Best, and thank you for including the link.

From: David Pollack <>
Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 07:54:00 -0400
Subject: Re: Confucianism

>I wonder if anyone on the list can answer a question I've received about the
>influence of Confucianism on Japanese Society in the Heian - Kamakura
>Marian Ury's chapter "Chinese learning and intellectual life" (Cambridge
>History of Japan, vol. 2) would presumably be a place to start. Are there
>other Western treatments of the subject?

The subject forms the woof of Robert Borgen's _Sugawara Michizane and
the Early Heian Court_ (Harvard Council on East Asian Studies, 1986).
The warp is of course Michizane, man and deity.

David Pollack

From: Ivo Smits <>
Date: Tue, 29 May 01 15:22:55 +0200
Subject: Re: Confucianism

Another addition. Your friend may also be interested in:

I.J. McMullen. "The worship of Confucius in ancient Japan." In _Religion
in Japan: Arrows to heaven and earth_, ed. P.F. Kornicki and I.J.
McMullen. Cambridge (UK): Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 39-77.

Ivo Smits

From: wfarris <>

Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 16:50:32 -0400

Subject: Confucianism in ancient Japan

Dear folks,
To expand the discussion a little, I wonder how different people
the role of Confucianism in the Nara and Heian periods? Despite Borgen's
excellent work, I am

under the impression that Confucianism really wasn't very
important until Go-Daigo, or even the sixteenth century. Nara and Heian
cultures were dominated by esoteric Buddhism, Taoism, and "native" beliefs,
not Confucianism. I would even argue for Legalism over Confucianism.
What do people think?
Best wishes,
Wayne Farris

From: Michael Jamentz <>

Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 11:12:06 +0900

Subject: Re: Confucianism in ancient Japan

Hello Everyone,

I am very interested in Wayne Farris' question. Long ago, in a MA thesis, I tried to argue that Heian monogatari could not be fully appreciated without a sense of the weight of Heian Confucianism. I still hold to this position but have found no one in the US or Japan who seems to think that such a point of view is tenable. I have come to doubt my own eyes. I see it, can't others? Not worth the trouble? Insignificant? In any case, I have moved on to Insei-era Confucianism, which I had naively thought was even more obvious. I have been writing about the scholar class of the twelfth century in an unfinisted dissertation for many years (I start with Masafusa and the "Kibi daijin nittou emaki," the "godfather" and the exemplar, and move on to Michinori (Shinzei) and his descendants. I focus on their production of the kanbun genres of ganmon and hyoubyaku. ) I often wonder if anyone is interested in such topics from the perspective of Confucianism. In dealing with the issue of Confucianism, I think there is a fundamental problem with the use of the terms Confucian, Confucianism, etc. I try to preface my references with the words such as Heian or Insei-era, which I hope avoids confusion with other, continental varieties. I think such a distinction is important, but it only tells us what Insei-era Confucianism was not. I have struggled to define and illustrate Insei-era Confucianism and have not been able to come up with a simple straight-forward definition. (If anyone's interested, I'd be happy to offer a complicated attempt at a definition and would love to get some feedback on it.) In trying to come up with ways to communicate my understanding, I have searched for various analogies, e.g., Tang Confucianism, 19th-century French Catholicism, the color of the sky in the background of a painting. I think that such analogies convey something of what I see as Insei-era Confucianism at the broadest level, but they perhaps mislead as much as clarify. I recently stumbled through a kenkyuukai where I made claims about the literary prowess of Michinori's first son, Toshinori (Shunken), and insisted that the jukyouteki haikei of his creation of ganmon was essential to understanding his literary efforts. I sensed this meant little to my audience, but, at the nijikai, where one can usually receive more candid responses, I pressed for a reaction and got the impression that jukyou, Confucianism. means post Zhu Xi, Edo-era thought for many scholars of Heian and Kamakura Japan. I felt the word jukyou, no matter how modified, was a stumbling block and asked for a substitute. I wondered how we should refer to scholars who were called daiju or jushi in their own day? I don't recall getting a satisfying response (of course, they, iya, we were drunk, and they are not used to proposing English language vocabulary for phenomena that they don't believe exist.) I'd like to ask the members of the list. What should we call the daiju Masafusa, if not a Insei-era Confucian?

Mike Jamentz

From: "B.M. Bodart-Bailey" <>

Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 16:09:08 +0900

Subject: Re: Syphilis in Japan

Kaempfer, naturally, has something to say on this subject as well.
Apparently hot springs were used as a cure. He also relates a case where the
illness had progressed so far, that the sufferer attempted to end his life
by eating the poisonous part of the fish fugu. The poison had a violent, but
detoxicating effect, and the man was eventually cured. (See my translation
<Kaempfer's Japan: Tokugawa Culture Observed>, pp. 58, 79, respectively. )

Beatrice M. Bodart-Bailey
Professor of Japanese History
Otsuma Women's University
Tama Campus

From: David Pollack <>

Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 09:21:45 -0400

Subject: Re: Syphilis & fugu

This dramatic effect might help explain the (to me anyhow) otherwise
inexplicable popularity of fugu. Apart from its obvious possibilities
for gratifying a cultural death-wish -- Waaaa, kuchibiru ga shibireru!
Urk! -- I've always found the fish to have no flavor beyond the citrony
sauce that accompanies it. Still, the flavor probably does beat whatever
yummy compound of mercury was used in Europe to the same curative end.

David Pollack

From: Barbara Nostrand <>

Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 23:47:14 -0400

Subject: Noh on Video?

Please excuse this interruption.

I recall some discussion of a series of Noh-Kyogen videos a while back. Someone wrote me and said that they might be able to obtain a synopsis video for me. Regardless, I was wondering where it would be possible to obtain a copy.
Also, a group of people wish to experience a Noh play. I am thinking of having them read through Atsumori as there is a rather nice analysis of the play in Dance in the Noh Theatre and also a complete translation. It is a rather fine warrior-ghost play and I hope that is a fairly good choice. Does anyone have a suggestion for a possibly better Noh play for absolute beginers?

Thank you very much.

From: Richard Bowring <>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 09:20:11 +0100
Subject: Re: Confucianism in ancient Japan

Just a short comment on this. I am certain you are correct in assuming that
the word jukyouteki has an entirely different connotation in Japan to our
use of the word Confucian. Although, as you also remark, our use of the term
is far too general and lax to be of much use. I remember many moons ago at a
happyou claiming that Mori Ogai had a number of Confucian aspects (I used
the word jukyouteki I think) about him only to be met by incomprehension and
then violent disagreement. I suppose in your case the problem you have to
solve is whether the 'Confucianism' you trace in a number of figures was
anything more than a minority interest. Certainly it did not penetrate
everyday Japanese thinking to anywhere near the degree to which it did in
Richard Bowring

From: "stephen d. miller" <>

Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 13:50:03 -0700


For those who received this e-mail elsewhere, my apologies....
Stephen Miller
University of Colorado

Chicago AAS, March 22-25 The first meeting of the Bungo SIG was held on Saturday, March 24, at the Association of Asian Studies in Chicago, Ill. Twenty-five to thirty scholars and interested parties attended the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to start a dialogue among teachers and teachers-to-be of bungo on the college level in North America so that we can find ways of making the teaching of bungo more acccessible to our students and thus retain a substantial student population in the study of pre-modern Japan. During the first part of the meeting, Professor Charles Quinn gave a short talk on the gap between what we know from research in kokugogaku and linguistics and the way bungo grammar is presented in materials designed for precollegiate (read: juken benkyoo) use in Japan, and suggested that herein lies a pedagogical opportunity. Since our students aren't prepping for entrance exams in Japan, we needn't follow that tradition in preserving what are now outdated and discredited ways of interpreting grammatical forms. He gave two examples--both regarding inflection--and suggested that we can present things in a more consistent and comprehensible way to our students. He added that whatever our own fields of specialization, we stand to benefit from knowing how the problem looks from someone else's perspective, since no one "does everything." Information sharing of this sort can be a part of reforming our pedagogical approaches to the teaching of bungo.

Below is a summary of some of the major points made during the meeting following Professor Quinn's talk.
--The SIG might look into experimental and distance learning as well as providing links to home pages of scholars teaching bungo.
--Look into those universities which have done well consistently in their enrollments of bungo and see how they've managed to retain their students.
--Look into incorporating bungo into earlier portions of the language curriculum (introduce, for example, Taketori Monogatari in fourth year to entice students) so that it is not perceived as being so separate from modern Japanese. Others too thought this was worthwhile, but thought it might be difficult pedagogically and institutionally.
--Start students out in classical by reading things which might be closer to their field of research, instead of an approach that begins with the Heian period. A reply to this was that that might be ok if that's all the students do with bungo. But if you want something that will serve as a foundation for people in classical and medieval language arts, history of the language, medieval history etc., it seems advantageous to start with Heian period texts and move forward in time.
--There was agreement among several people that teaching grad students how to read texts in fields other than literature (e.g., historical or religious texts) should be done by the faculty in those fields. We (scholars of literature, that is) often expend a lot of energy learning those fields just to accommodate those students. Since few of us teaching these texts are language specialists, but rather historians and religionists and scholars of literature, it ends up being difficult for everyone involved.
--The University of Pittsburgh has been successful with their bungo course by making it an optional course in the final year of study for undergraduates (this seemed the best way to go since there is no grad program at Pitt). Ohio State and Colorado also offer bungo as an optional course to undergrads, but as a required course for graduate students (there was a lot of nodding heads at this point so perhaps this is true at other universities as well?). At OSU, it's more common these days for undergrads to have finished 4 years of modern Japanese in less than four years (due in part to having accelerated options at all levels), so this leads to more willingness to try bungo after finishing the modern language sequence. --Someone said that classical Japanese is being taught on NHK in Japan. Some way to adapt this to our needs? [Anyone know more about this?]
--Some things to do:
1) Have a reference materials discussion forum.
2) Listserve for the bungo SIG.
4) Washington D.C. AAS: ATJ can be the sponsor of one panel at the AAS. Hold a Border Crossings session at the next AAS in which scholars and pedagogues of other "dead" languages such as Greek, Latin, Sanskirt etc. might discuss with us innovative methods for teaching their languages. While this was my own suggestion, another idea was also presented to me later: to hold a panel comprised of two historically oriented linguists and two lit scholars (all of whom have taught bungo and who are interested in developing a better lit/ling synergy) at which each collaborate in addressing the "other" side. If anyone has any opinions about these two different kinds of "panels" at the AAS, please contact me. If you would like to be a part of either one, let me know and I'll do some organizing. In the meantime, I am going to proceed with looking into finding some scholars of other languages for the Border Crossings panel, but I will hold off on finalizing this for now. The deadline for both panels is August 1

From: Michael Watson <>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 21:51:22 +0900
Subject: new members/announcement

We welcome two new members: Larry V. Shumway and William J. Higginson.

I also include information about the Japan Memory Project that suffered
mojibake in transmission.


Larry V. Shumway <>
Brigham Young University.
I am an ethnomucologist with a background in Japanese traditional music as well as Tonga and the USA pioneer west. At Brigham Young my teaching has been Asian subjects in the humanities area and Japanese cultural history. My main work in Japan has been with a 19th century genre of music known as kibigaku which was a blending of gagaku and zokugaku. Kibigaku is currently found primarily in western Japan, namely around Okayama and survives because part of its repertoire is the ritual music for the Kurozumi-kyo.

William J. Higginson <>

I've been translating (mostly haiku), writing (poems of many kinds), and writing popular works about haiku for 35+ years. *The Haiku Handbook* continues to sell. Recent works include the pair *The Haiku Seasons* (a "monograph" on nature in trad. J. poetry) and *Haiku World* (1000+ haiku from 600+ poets in 50 countries, arranged as a saijiki). Also co-translated with Tadashi Kondo two modest contemporary haiku collections. Currently working on a project for the Japanese Text Initiative at the University of Virginia. Co-author, with Kris Young Kondo, of a translation of Yamamoto Kenkichi's "500 Essential Japanese Season Words"
<>. Further bio and selected
publications listed at <>.

From: Monica Bethe <>

Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 07:15:22 -0700 (PDT)

Subject: Re: Noh on Video?

You can order the noh videos (one an introduction to the life of a young noh actor and the five categories of noh plays, the other a shortened version of the play Izutsu with subtitles--Karen Brazell's translation from her recent book Traditional Japanese Theater) from Jonah Saltz <>.

Atsumori is a good play, so is Izutsu, translations available in Royall Tylers Noh Dramas as well as Karen's book and Tom Hare's Zeami's style. I don't know of any good videos of Atsumori, but you can look it up on Karen's theater site <> and get a taste of the Heike Monogatari version of the story as well as the annotated noh text and a discussion of warrior costumes that I did.
Monica Bethe

From: David Pollack <>

Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 08:39:19 -0400

Subject: Re: Confucianism in ancient Japan

I only want to underline Mike Jamentz's perception that the notions
of "confucianism" and even of "Confucius" have come under entirely-
and long-justified attack in Chinese studies for some time now.
Recent studies are fundamentally questioning what turns out to be a
mess of anachronistic concepts -- begun and developed in China over
centuries, of course, but undoubtedly abetted by western
missionaries' desire to, among other things, separate out a
"philosophical" tradition entirely different from a "religious" one,
until recently to the detriment of ideas about the history of
religiosity in China. Since there are apparently numerous threads and
combinations of ideas and practices that change over the course of
time in "China" (which we should remember is only the official Grand
version of all the many Smaller ones), little wonder that the
Japanese versions of these should themselves turn out to be different
from what we think of as the Chinese, and as complex and changeable
within their own environment. It takes little effort, not necessarily
to begin at the beginning, to see in the so-called "Seventeen Article
Constitution" of Shoutoku Taishi only one particular frozen moment in
the changing kaleidoscopic constructions of "confucian," Buddhist,
daoist and native ideas as imported and interpreted by one group in
what was not yet but beginning to become "Japan."

I'm afraid that a proper study of these phenomena requires FIRST, as
background, a thorough knowledge of recent scholarship into the
evolution of the structure and content of the Chinese canon, of court
and clan ritual practices, bureaucratic organization and procedure,
the manufacture of and role played by precedent as law, the
institutionalization of court and private poetic practice and its
role in the shaping of ideologies that take the form of battles over
orthodoxy and heterodoxy, the ways in which Daoist and Buddhist ideas
(themselves an ever-evolving stew) are assimilated into the mix...
AND ONLY THEN (oy!) can one turn the same careful attention to the
ways this complex develops in Japan.

I don't keep track of recent Japanese scholarship in these areas,
but the atmosphere for creative work in this area may be less
promising in Japan than elsewhere these days, there being a rather
more invested orthodoxy there than here. Mike has a long and perhaps
aggravating life's work cut out for him.

David Pollack

From: Richard Bowring <>

Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 18:55:30 +0100


Just a small comment on this notice. There is a suggestion that we could learn something from our colleagues teaching other 'dead languages'. The interesting difference is that Latin, Greek and Sanskrit (in particular) all have long native traditions of grammatical analysis, on which teachers can rely (at least for pedagogical purposes). There is a long tradition of serviceable textbooks. I do not think these teachers would have the remotest idea of the difficulties we face: arguments as to the significance of basic things such as the difference between tsu and nu, ki and keri, almost none of which have even reached the school textbook stage in Japan. And all those other bits and bobs (can I call them particles?) that are explained away as being 'for emphasis'. You might get some pointers as to how they present their materials, but they in their turn would be on a very steep learning curve.
Richard Bowring

From: William Bodiford <>

Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 21:57:32 -0700

Subject: Re: Confucianism in ancient Japan

In regard to this thread, note that Abe Ryuichi at Columbia argues (in his recent book, The Weaving of Mantra, 1999) that Japanese court of the Nara and Heian periods was a Confucian institution supported by a Confucian ideology and that, therefore, Kukai's goals consisted of creating an new Buddhist discourse that could be used to compete against Confucianism. This tension between Confucianism and Buddhism is the lens that Abe uses to evaluate Kukai's contributions to Japanese history (see p. 8).
Abe does not explicitly define Confucianism. For him it seems to designate the entire secular (ritsuryo) apparatus of Chinese political theory based on the structure of an "imperial" (son of heaven) court: ceremonies, laws, court ranks, and the curriculums (do or michi) of Chinese textual study at the state collages: clarifying the classics (meikeido), Chinese literature (monjodo), and clarifying legal standards (meihodo).
Abe devotes much of his book to a taxonomy of discourses in Nara and Heian Japan and the ways that they interacted with one another. I must admit that before reading Abe's book, I too saw Nara and Heian culture as being totally dominated by Buddhism. Regardless of how the term Confucianism is to be defined (or discarded altogether), Abe highlights the importance of non-Buddhist (and anti-Buddhist) forms of Chinese learning.

..........William Bodiford

From: wfarris <>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 16:47:47 -0400
Subject: Confucianism in ancient Japan

Dear comrades,

I guess I wonder A) if the ritsuryoo could be considered a Confucian document; and B) if those statutes that can be traced to Confucianism were actually enforced. Yoshida Takashi, who is now really the leading expert on the codes and social/economic history of the period 645-900, argues that a key concept in Chinese culture, and possibly Confucianism, was li (often translated as propriety), and that this notion was absent in Japan. To me, the codes are a Legalist document, were somewhat altered to fit Japan, and foisted upon a society that was very different from China.

And as for Shotoku Taishi's "Constitution," does anyone believe that the editors of the NIHON SHOKI did not doctor or perhaps even invent this? The mythologization of Shotoku Taishi was so thorough that I wonder if we can ever get at the real figure?
Wayne Farris

From: Barbara Nostrand <>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 21:23:21 -0400
Subject: Looking for Okina Text

Pardon me again.

I was reminded today that I am looking for a text for Okina. Does anyone know of a good version in English ideally with choreography? Thank you very much.

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