pmjs logs for June 2001. Total number of messages: 45

previous month

list of logs

pmjs index

next month

Looking for Okina Text, noh videos for teaching (Barbara Nostrand) [cont'd from May] 

Early Japanese Confucianism and music (Steven Nelson) 

Waley's Genji (Michael Watson) 

Asia Library Travel Grants 

Book announcement -- Chikamatsu: Five Late Plays (Andrew Gerstle) 

Query about "no" [possessive "no" used in personal names] (Susan B. Klein) [archived] 

Query about "no" --> The 'no' in music (Steven Nelson) 

Query about names -- addendum (Ivo Smits) 

symposium on shinbutsu bunri (Gaynor Sekimori) 

new member: Antony Boussemart 

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.

From: "Steven G. NELSON" <>
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2001 10:39:39 +0900
Subject: Early Japanese Confucianism and music

Dear fellow PMJS members,

As a musicologist, I'm not sure that I'm qualified to speak about the religious and political questions involved in this discussion, but I would like to add a word about the way that I see 'Confucian' ideals acting in the context of music and ceremony.
As I understand it, the idea of liyue (Jpn. reigaku, 'ritual and music'?) was elaborated in various works in the Confucian tradition; it can be seen in the Analects, Li Ji (Jpn. Rai-ki) etc etc. These works were transmitted to Japan before the seventh century, and were clearly widely read. The enormous energy devoted to ceremony and ritual at the Nara and Heian courts, and the importance of music within it, appears to me to be a clear reflection of the Confucian idea that music and ritual were two of the supports of a properly ordered society and well conducted government.
The cultivation of music by Emperors and all of the members of the ruling class who 'mattered' from the early tenth century (at the latest; earlier records are scarce) and onwards was clearly motivated by this belief. It can be seen, for instance, stated very clearly in the foreword to the Shinsen oojoo-fu ('Newly-edited score for transverse flute') completed by Prince Sadayasu under imperial decree in 920. This score (the body of which unfortunately no longer survives) was compiled to provide a model for performance of accompanied dance at court ceremonies, and shows the Engi-year-period rulers doing their best to systematise rules for 'ritual and music' with the musical material that had been transmitted from the continent. (Note the proximity in date to the production of Kokin waka-shuu. Something important there, I suspect.)
A complete set of wind and string instruments was always kept close to the Emperor (in a zushi or something in the Seiryooden), and certain of the instruments (like the biwa Genjoo) gained a mythical, almost magical aura, about which survive an interesting range of setsuwa. Clearly music was thought to possess a special power to 'correct' and 'cleanse,' and this seems like a very clear reflection of Confucian ideas about music to me.
One fascinating but puzzling thing is that the music of Confucian ritual apparently never made it to Japan, and that what was recast as the music for court ceremony centred on what had been ceremonial banquet music at the Tang court. Another important ceremonial role was filled by 'indigenous' forms like azuma-asobi and (mi)kagura, at regular and special annual ceremonies associated with shrines (Kamo, Kasuga, Iwashimizu, etc), although it is clear that these 'indigenous' forms underwent recasting with significant influence from the continental forms. Perhaps the presence of indigenous forms like these made the Japanese feel that it was unnecessary to import the music of Confucian ritual; perhaps it was just a question of practicalities, of what the Japanese actually came in contact with most on their journeys to Tang, and of what came back with them and immigrants from the continent.
I don't know whether there is any other way of accounting for the importance of music and ceremony if we discount the influence of Confucian liyue philosophy (perhaps that's too strong a word). To counter Wayne's argument, then, perhaps li as a notion was absent in Japan, but certain closely associated ideas were surely present. Or am I sorely misled?

Steven Nelson

From: Michael Watson <>
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2001 11:31:51 +0900
Subject: Re: Okina

My bibliography of noh translations
needs some work--it lists "Sadler 1934" but Okina is not one of the 12 noh plays in Arthur Sadler's _Japanese Plays: Noh-Kyogen-Kabuki_. I should also add a reference to an old Italian translation:

Okina. Trans. into Italian by Mario Marega, in "Okina Il vegliardo. La
ballata piu` antica tra il No^-gaku, la piu` sacra." Monumenta Nipponica 3:2 (1940), 611-18

Articles about Okina include papers by a former and current pmjs member:

de Poorter, Erika G.
No^ which is no No^: The Ritual Play 'Okina'" in:
Maske und Kothurn 35,2/3 (1989), 21-30

Rath, Eric C.
"From Representation to Apotheosis: No's Modern Myth of Okina"
Asian Theatre Journal (Fall 2000), 253-268
Two paragraph abstract at
This can be read online if your institution is subscribed

Michael Watson

From: Barbara Nostrand <>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 00:32:52 -0400
Subject: Re: Okina

Dear Prof. Watson.

Unfortunately, my institution does not subscribe to Project Muse,
so I can not download the article from Asian Theatre Journal.

From: Thomas Hare <>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 23:01:45 -0700
Subject: Re: Okina

For choreography of Okina, you might do best to look at a videotaped
performance. They're not easy to come by, in my experience, but
Umewaka Rokuro- has recently released one which I thought was very
well danced and dramatic. I got my copy from Kinokuniya in San
Francisco. (I believe they have a website.) The ISBN is
4-87766-132-8. The price is a whopping \15,000. (There's also a
nice tape of Rokuro- dancing Do-jo-ji and a three tape intro to no,
which I haven't seen.)

Happy viewing,
Tom Hare
(do- do- tararitararira)

From: Michael Watson <>
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2001 17:34:09 +0900
Subject: Confucianism

Andrew Goble sends the following:

Dear all,

I've been following the "Confucian" discussion with some interest. I wonder whether the word itself is the problem. Pre-modern thinkers and writers (such as emperor Hanazono, whose engagement with Chinese thought I explored in a 1995 Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies article, which appended a translation of Hanazono's Admonitions to the Crown Prince, Kai taishi sho) that I have looked at seem not to have heard of the term "Confucian," but worked in a context of "classical" thought which included 1. the Analects and Mencius in particular 2. various works on history and the dynastic histories (Han and Tang being the biggies) and 3. musings on history and society by various essayists, with great respect for those of early Tang emperors. When we get to late Kamakura it is evident (from Hanazono, but also from the acquisitions of what became the Kanazawa bunko in Kamakura, and other Buddhist institutions) that Song writings, made very available through printed editions, were contributing very seriously to intellectual life in Japan. The many allusions to Chinese examples that we see in the Taiheiki should also give a good sense of how Chinese thought (not limited to "Confucian") was regarded in Japan.

Andrew Goble

From: "Rein Raud" <>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 16:15:04 +0300
Subject: Re: Confucianism in ancient Japan

Another perspective on the word jukyou: I recently had a discussion on
Confucianism with a Sinologist colleague, Jelena Staburova from the
University of Latvia, who said that in her view the term "Confucianism" is
actually misleading, since there is no such thing - the school should be
called rujia, or rujiao, i.e. jukyou, of which Confucius was one, albeit
important, representative. Together we came up with a metaphor that a
similar thing would be to call most Western philosophy "Socratism". But for Heian Japan the proper term could probably be "Chinese learning", because the distinction of Chinese philosophical schools seems to have been less important, at least for a Heian bystander, than their common stance and agreed basics (which include a considerable amount of "Confucian" tenets). I can certainly agree that "Chinese learning" is necessary for understanding Heian monogatari, or, for that matter, anything of those times, but Mike seems to have indicated in his posting a specific Confucian, as opposed to legalist or Daoist, or Wenxuan-induced layer. Could you specify?

Rein Raud

From: Hugh de Ferranti <>
Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2001 11:56:42 -0400
Subject: noh videos for teaching

The problem of audio-visual resources for noh (but also for the other major music-theatre genres) keeps coming up here. To confine the discussion to noh, I'd be interested to hear opinion as to why it is that, since the work of Monica Bethe and Karen Brazell in the '70s, not a single high-quality video of a play with English sub-titles (and Japanese in romanisation, or whatever else might seem appropriate for pedagogical purposes) has been made commercially available. Noh texts are read in both translation and Japanese at every major university in the world where there is a substantial Japanese program. Most who teach them these days are well aware of the fact that their performative dimension ought not to be ignored. If some practitioners and scholars teamed up to land a major production grant and create a set of quality videos which could be sold at anything like a reasonable price, it would surely sell out overnight and become an indispensable tool for teaching about noh. Are the intellectual property rights of the various performers on the stage a major hurdle here? Or the profit ratio for production companies? Surely these are not insurmountable problems. Perhaps I'm being naive about various aspects, but I have to wonder why a few of us can't get this crucial work done.

Hugh de Ferranti

From: "Noel John Pinnington" <>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 11:21:35 -0700
Subject: Re: Looking for Okina Text

Elements of Okina libretti are preserved separately; the Noh lineages have slightly different versions of those related to the roles of Okina and Senzai, and Kyogen lineages keep a number of alternative versions of Sanbaso and partner (either Menbakomochi or Senzai). There are, moreover, the additional elements related to Enmei Kaja and Chichi no Jo. The abridged form most commonly played nowadays is found on pages 1 - 13 of Sanari Kentaro: 1930, Yokyoku Taikan 1, Meiji Shoin. It is very well annotated, with a full description of the action, but not choreography. Versions of the Sanbaso alternates are found in Nonomura Kaizo, and Ando Joji: 1931, Kyogen Shusei, Shunyodo.

May I advertise my own article on Okina, which I believe takes the closest look at the changes in its performance history, as well as at its interpretations, available in English. Naturally I believe that it is essential reading for anyone with a serious interest in Okina. US scholars seem generally unaware of it, perhaps because the Bulletin of SOAS, a journal widely read by scholars in other Asian and African fields, is not easily available to American scholars of Japanese.

The article is Pinnington, N. J. 1998: "Invented Origins: Muromachi Interpretations of Okina," in the Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (London University) 61/3 492-518 I would be happy to send offprints to seriously interested scholars.

Noel Pinnington

From: "Noel John Pinnington" <>
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2001 11:59:41 -0700
Subject: Re: noh videos for teaching

The odd thing about videos on Noh (and Bunraku for that matter), is that the makers try to make them interesting by showing only the "exciting bits." I have found that the greatest impact is actually achieved by showing a full performance. Recently I showed a class Matsukaze, which is pretty slow moving, but students were entranced. The version I used was a copy from NHK TV. Why is it that we cannot buy these TV versions (of which there seem to be a large number), but are constantly having shoved down our throats so called introductions, showing a performer on an empty western stage doing highlights with a tape in the background, generally accompanied by some scholar's vague imaginings about Zen. If we had the raw performance, we as teachers could choose how to present it to our classes.
Noel Pinnington

From: Karen Brazell <>
Date: Sat, 02 Jun 2001 10:08:11 -0400
To: Multiple recipients of pmjs-2 <>
Subject: Re: [pmjs] Looking for Okina Text

There is an English version of Okina called "The Song of Sambaso"
translated by Jane Marie Law in my Traditional Japanese Theater (Columbia Press, 1998) p. 398. This is basically the Okina text; the stage
directions though are for Awaji puppets.

Karen Brazell

At 09:23 PM 5/31/01 -0400, [Barbara Nostrand] wrote:
>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.

Karen W. Brazell
Goldwin Smith Professor of Japanese Literature and Theatre
Asian Studies, Rockefeller Hall
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850

From: William Bodiford <>
Date: Sat, 02 Jun 2001 10:55:51 -0700
Subject: Re: noh videos for teaching

At 2001-06-01 , Noel Pinnington wrote:
>The version I used was a copy from NHK TV. Why is it that we cannot buy these TV versions (of which there seem to be a large number),

There is a NHK retail store in Shibuya. They have an enormous number of NHK specials for sell. They do not take orders by mail, but anyone who visits Tokyo can go there and purchase them. This is how I acquired several of their specials on religious practices and events that I show my classes. I did not save a copy of their list of titles, so I do not know if the Noh plays are still available or not.

Good luck,

William Bodiford (
Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures
290 Royce Hall; Box 951540
Los Angeles CA 90095-1540

From: Michael Watson <>
Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2001 08:17:52 +0900
Subject: noh videos for teaching

The NKH retail store between Yoyogi and Shibuya is here:

The videos available can be seen at
but sales are only authorized within Japan. Some items will interest
teachers in a number of areas--as well as fans of taiga drama--but
traditional theatrical arts, alas, are represented more by kyogen than noh.
Only one introductory video.

From: Monica Bethe <>
Date: Sat, 2 Jun 2001 21:05:31 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: noh videos for teaching

I repeat my message of several days ago. There is a recent video of Izutsu put out by Kyoto actors and selling for about 7.000 yen commercially. It has English subtitles for Izutsu. Actually there is also a video by the same people on noh in general and the kyogen busu with subtitles and an old THIS IS KYOGEN video for sale. Jonah Saltz is behind the English part of all of these. Of course we need more. Major problem is actor's rights, which is getting more and more sticky as the years go by and as people misuse visual sources with increasing abandon.


From: Michael Watson <>

Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2001 13:57:44 +0900

Subject: Waley's Genji

My wife Midorikawa Machiko has a question about Waley's Genji.

An article by Kawaguchi Hisao refers to the suggestion made in a newspaper article by a Japanese scholar of the time that Waley's translation was based on a modern Japanese translation. If this were true it would be Yosano Akiko's translation, Kawaguchi notes. Kawaguchi goes on to cast doubt on the idea, describing how he knows that Waley always carried about the Kogetsushou edition of Genji.
The article gives no further details. Can anyone suggest who this "Japanese scholar" might have been?

"Arthur Waley to nihon bungaku" by Kawaguchi Hisao, pp. 77-94 in _Heian-chou nihon kanbungaku no kenkyuu_ vol. 2, Meiji Shoin, 1959.
Waley no Genji no honyaku ni tsuite, nihon no gakusha no dare ka ga, are wa Genji no gendaigoyaku -- touji toshite wa Yosano Akikiko-yaku to iu koto ni narou ga -- sou iu mono kara Waley wa eiyaku sita no de arou to shinbun ni kaita hito ga atta. [p. 85]

Andrew Armour repeats the story in "Genji monogatari no eiyaku hyakunen-shi" (_Genji monogatari tankyuu_ vol. 6, Kazama shobou, 1981), p. 148, again without further details.

Michael Watson <>

From: Rolf Giebel <>
Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2001 16:19:16 +1200
Subject: Re: Waley's Genji

This is probably a case of "Shaka ni seppou," but a discussion and rebuttal
of the suggestion that Waley's translation was based on a modern Japanese translation can be found in Yashiro Yukio, "Arthur Waley," _Japan Quarterly_ 14 (1967) (quoted in Ivan Morris, ed., _Madly Singing in the Mountains_, pp. 70-71).

Rolf Giebel

From: Robert Borgen <>
Date: Sun, 03 Jun 2001 22:53:10 -0700
Subject: Re: Waley's Genji

Marian Ury wrote a fascinating article, "The Imaginary Kingdom and the
Translator's Art: Notes on Re-reading Waley's Genji" in vol. 2, no. 2 of The
Journal of Japanese Studies, although I don't recall whether she discussed
his use of modern Japanese reference materials. For some years before her death she had been studying Waley, but as far as I know this is her only published work on him.

Robert Borgen

From: Peter Kornicki <>
Date: Mon, 04 Jun 2001 09:24:09 +0100
Subject: Re: Waley's Genji

During the EAJS conference held at Durham in 1988 together with some of the other participants I looked at some items in the Waley collection there. Amongst them was a gendaigoyaku of the Genji, although which one I forget now. It was full of annotations and had evidently been used by Waley, and that may be the source of this suggestion. However, this simply shows that Waley made some use of a modern Japanese translation and does not by any means prove that Waley merely translated a gendaigoyaku into English instead of tackling the original.

Peter Kornicki
Faculty of Oriental Studies

From: "Cavanaugh, Carole" <>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 10:08:26 -0400
Subject: Re: Syphilis & fugu

Thank you to everyone who replied to my query on syphilis. I have no plans
for scholarly work on the disease and treatment in pre-modern Japan, but
wanted information in order to put modern treatments into perspective. The suggestions provided have been enormously helpful in that regard.

Warm regards,
Carole Cavanaugh
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge CB3 9DA

From: M Jamentz <>
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2001 14:11:18 +0900
Subject: More on Confucianism and lit, etc.

Hello Everyone,

I hope to provoke a further exchange of ideas on the problems
surrounding the understanding of the word Confucianism and the
appropriateness of its usage prior to the time of Chu Hsi. I think both
the words Confucianism and jukyou are meaningful in this context. I do
think the words should be qualified and would like to state my
understanding of the terms, which I take to be synonymous.

I understand both Confucianism and jukyou, the teaching of the ju
(plural), to refer to a broad, evolving tradition of thought
appropriated and promoted by successive ruling regimes throughout much of East Asia from early in the common era. I also believe it is
possible to identify some core ideas and values in the evolving
tradition that were relatively constant and that have influenced many
cultures in the area. As I understand it, Confucianism does not refer
simply to the teachings of Confucius (which are in any case extremely
illusive) , but includes ideas and values antithetical to what the
great teachers appears to have taught. This, I think, is roughly
analogous to Christianity; if the putative founder were to rise from
grave, yet again, he would be shocked to discover what was being
associated with his name. In this sense, the ritsuryou code and state
can be called Confucian, even if the codes are shown to correspond to
Legalist thinking. (The problem of their application is a different,
but related issue.)

Some people seem likely to object that this does violence to the
English language and is an arbitrary usage, akin to calling that which
is black white, but I think this is common practice when speaking of
traditions of thought. We understand that Communist nations were not
communist, but we do not reject the adjective. This is a problem that
occurs whenever we attempt to speak about the influence of grand ideas.
(I imagine it will be demonstrated someday that the US was no liberal
democracy and its constitution was not as democratic some supposed, the question of the character of the Japanese state and constitution, so
influenced by the Americans, will then have to be addressed.)

I am assuming that there was in fact such a tradition of thought,
and must admit that, if students of Chinese history have now discovered
that there was no tradition that can be called Confucianism in the Sui
and Tang, it is going to be difficult to argue it existed in Japan.
(But not impossible. One can conceive of Japanese scholars
"erroneously?" presuming they were Confucians before the concept took
form on the continent.)

In terms of Japanese Confucianism, I think it must first be
compared to continental models. The study of the observance of the
sekiten rite in Japan is a very important work. It reveals how pale the
Heian rite appears in contrast to the Chinese precedents. This is
almost always the case in such critical comparative studies. If we
compare Korean Confucianism with Japanese of the equivalent period or
the daxue with the daigaku, the Japanese institutions and practice
suffer in comparison. However, I think we should also view such
institutions and practices in their Japanese context. In the 12th
century, the sekiten was observed in Japan and the movement to elevate
its status has significance in terms of Japanese history. The daigaku
was not flourishing in the 12th century, but it was alive in the minds
of powerful figures whose pride in the status of being a scholar at the
daigaku was understood at that time as a cause of the upheavals at
mid-century. I argue that the regime of Shinzei and his political
program can best be understood in terms of Confucianism. (If anyone is
still reading and interested, I would enjoy arguing this point in
detail in the future .)

In terms of literature and specifically monogatari, I believe the
ideology that I have called Confucianism privileges certain human
relations over others. When we read monogatari, I think it is possible
to often detect a narrative tension precisely along the lines of the
vertical relationships emphasized by Confucianism. The "romance" is
generally played out in the foreground of the tale against the backdrop
of a problematic parent-child relationship. To the extent that the
literature is complex, so is the interplay between vertical and
horizontal relationships. Much has been written about Hikaru Genji's
oedipal adventures, but I would like to suggest that in the Genji, we
can also glimpse something about the relationship of the author and her
father. I am presuming to read someone's mind here (I think we are
allowed to get away with this in literature, but I realize historians
aren't going to touch this), and I am also presuming that insights
gained from a work of art about a creator's mind can then be used as
evidence (feeble?) to argue about the character of the society in which
the work was produced. I think the most frequently quoted waka in the
Genji is one by the author's great grandfather, Kanesuke. It reads
"hito no oya no / kokoro wa yami ni / aranedomo / ko o omohu michi ni
/ madohinu kana. This verse seems to me to serve as theme of that

I am running out of gas and time. I apologize for being so long
winded, but these and similar ideas have occupied me for a number of
years now. Nice to get them off my chest. I'd appreciate it if anyone
would take the trouble to set me straight and correct me in the error of
my ways.


From: Midorikawa Machiko (via editor)
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2001 21:52:54 +0900
Subject: Waley's Genji

I sincerely thank everyone who provided information on my question. I will keep on searching to find the name of the Japanese scholar who said such a TONDEMONAI KOTO -- that Waley must have translated from a modern translation. People like Kawaguchi seem just to quote from others -- MAGOBIKI as we say in Japanese -- so it seems to be very hard to find out who this scholar was. I will let you know if I find out any more.

As to the Durham collection of Waley books mentioned by Dr Kornicki, I have published a paper on Waley's annotations. The details are as follows:
Midorikawa Machiko, "Waley kakiirebon 'Genji monogatari' ni tsuite no oboegaki," in Waseda daigaku daigakuin chuuko bungaku kenkyuukai, ed., _Genji monogatari to ouchou sekai: chuuko bungaku ronkou dai-20 gou_, Tokyo: Musashino shoin, 2000, pp. 241-258.

Midorikawa Machiko

The University of Michigan
Center for Japanese Studies

Asia Library
Travel Grants

Please send e-mail to:;

or write to:
Asia Library Travel Grants
Center for Japanese Studies
Suite 3603, 1080 S.University
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106.

Fifth Asian Studies Conference Japan

June 23rd and 24th, 2001. Sophia Univ, Tokyo

Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 09:18:15 +0100

From: Andrew Gerstle <>

Subject: [pmjs] Book announcement

Chikamatsu: Five Late Plays has just been published by Columbia University
Press (527pp., hardback US$ 39.50/ UK 26.50 sterling)

The following plays have been translated:
Twins at the Sumida River (Futago sumidagawa, 1720)
Lovers Pond in Settsu Province (Tsu no kuni meoto-ike, 1721)
Battles at Kawa-nakajima (Shinshu kawa-nakajima kassen, 1721)
Love Suicides on the Eve of the Koshin Festival (Shinju yoigoshin, 1722)
Tethered Steed and the Eight Provinces of Kanto (Kanhasshu tsunagi-uma,

Andrew Gerstle
SOAS, University of London
Russell Square
London WC1H OXG. UK

I've taken the liberty of including below discussion that occurred on the j-lit mailing list as well as on pmjs. Susan Klein's question went to both lists, and was answered by members of both , sometimes "cross-posted" sometimes not.

Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 10:02:51 -0700 [In fact some 48 hrs earlier.]
From: "Susan B. Klein" <>
Subject: [pmjs] Query about "no"

Please excuse cross-posting on this question.

I'm trying to finish a book manuscript, and suddenly I'm faced with the consistency issue of the possessive "no" used in personal names. Everyone uses it for Ono no Komachi and Ki no Tsurayuki. And of course no one uses it for Nijo Tameie or Kyogoku Tamekane. But in between there's a good deal of variation, especially for Kamakura and Muromachi names. I've noticed that historians tend not to use it for Fujiwara and Minamoto (or Kitabatake Chikafusa, Tachibana Narisue), but there appears to be a recent trend among literary scholars to use it for everyone. Personally, I find "Fujiwara no Teika" a bit much. So I'm proposing an informal poll here -- what principle do you use when faced with "no"?


Susan Blakeley Klein
Associate Professor, Director of Religious Studies
East Asian Languages and Literatures Department
University of California, Irvine

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 10:40:07 -0700

From: William Bodiford <>

Subject: [pmjs] Re: Query about "no"

The editors of Sanseido's _Concise jinmei jiten_ (1984) state that as a
matter of convention they insert a hiragana "no" into the middle of all
names down to the end of the Heian period and omit it for all names

Personally, I try to avoid using "no" if at all possible. I omit it unless
an editor or outside reader insists that it has to be there. Even then, I
will try to poll other scholars to determine if it really must be added. I
do not worry about consistency if some names have it and some names do not.

Good luck,

William Bodiford (

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 18:42:00 +0100

Subject: Re: Query about "no"

From: Richard Bowring <>

To: <>

As far as I know, the rule of thumb is to use 'no' up to the end of the Heian, and then to drop it for Kamakura onwards. This means that figures who straddle these two periods do present a bit of a problem, of course. I'm not too sure where I got this 'rule' from.

Richard Bowring,
Cambridge, UK

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 15:33:56 -0600

From: "Paul S. Atkins" <>

Subject: [pmjs] Re: Query about "no"

I was recently told that one uses "no" with Fujiwara but not with Nijo or Kyogoku because "no" is used with uji (clans) and dropped when the name specifies a certain lineage. When in doubt I follow the Kojien.

If I remember correctly, I saw an English-language book in which the author used "no" with short syllable names (like Ki and Ono) and dropped it for everyone else.

Fujiwara no Teika does sound a bit much, but I somehow prefer Fujiwara no Sadaie to dropping the no in that case. As far as I can tell, the on'yomi is an honorific used by others, not by the person in question.


Paul S. Atkins

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 10:53:30 -1000 (HST)

From: Rokuo Tanaka <>

Subject: Re: Query about "no"


I usually follow Iwanami's_Nihon Koten Bungaku Daijiten_ (6 vls, 1983) and _Kojien_ (1999). Both jiten and Meiji Shoin's _Nihon Koten Bungaku
Daijite_ (1 vl, 1998) also put "no" in the hiragana reading for all names of
Fujiwara and Minamoto clan, regardless of the dates of b/d; e.g. Fujiwara no Teika, Fujiwara no Toshinari no Musume, and Fujiwara no Michitsuna no Haha. Shin Jinbutsu O^raisha's _Kamakura, Muromachi Jinmei Jiten_ (1 vl. 1985) totally omits "no." Confusing, is it not?

Our linguists in Japanese on campus say they don't know the rule but rely
on the Kojien and other jiten.

As Japanese, I prefer the name with "no," because, when voiced, it glides
easily and sounds better.

Rokuo Tanaka
UH at Manoa

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 18:14:31 -0400

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

TSubject: [pmjs] Re: Query about "no"

It looks like this discussion is continuing on both pmjs and jlit...

First, I'll repeat what I sent to jlit (please skip it if you've already read it).


I haven't done a formal analysis, but it seems that, especially after Heian, names that are just one or two syllables have "no" in them on a regular basis: Kamo no Mabuchi, Ki no Tsurayuki, Ike no Taiga (but not Tada Nanrei). I know that the art historians have been trying to drop the "no" for Taiga, but I have seen the kanji "no" (as in "nohara") used for his name, so I assume that even contemporaries considered it "part" of the name. The ukiyo-zoshi author Miyako no Nishiki requires the "no" in his name as well, since it also serves as a standard phrase "brocade of the capital".
My ear feels comfortable with Fujiwara no Teika or Fujiwara no Sadaie, but not with the 17th-century Confucian scholar, Fujiwara Seika.


Then, in response to what Paul Atkins said on pmjs, let me just say that the difference between "Teika" and "Sadaie" isn't one of "honorific," but rather one of shorthand. Even today people refer to contemporary scholars Nakano Mitsutoshi as Nakano Sanbin, and Inoue Toshiyuki as Inoue Binko.

Lawrence Marceau

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 19:42:26 -0600

From: "Paul S. Atkins" <>

Subject: [pmjs] Re: Query about "no"

My hypothesis that _on_ readings of names serve an honorific function is
based on an anecdote surrounding Fujiwara no Ietaka (aka Karyu). A son was born in his house, and as suggestions for names were being passed around, one servant proposed "Ietaka," whereupon everyone laughed at him. He knew the master only as Karyu.

Then as now, the use of a personal name alone connoted a certain degree of intimacy and equality in status, which might be offset by use of the on
yomi. The on readings certainly are shorter, but that doesn't mean that their use bears no connotations of respect.

Paul Atkins

Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 10:48:29 +0900

From: Kate Wildman Nakai <>

Subject: [pmjs] Re: Query about "no"

I would second Paul Atkins's differentiation between Fujiwara as a lineage (uji) name (and thus taking "no") and Kyoogoku as a house name. If one were to use Tamekane's lineage name, then I think one would say Fujiwara no Tamekane. In the case of Seika, Fujiwara is perhaps understood as a house name rather than lineage name? (I've always wondered). One (or I, as an adherent of the "no" principle) would say Minamoto no Ieyasu if citing his formal lineage rather than house name (Tokugawa).

I have a personal concern regarding this matter because in the interests of editorial consistency, MN recommends use of the "no." A key reason for doing so is that Kokushi daijiten, which we take as one of the most authoritative references, does so. So do Kojien and Dai jinmei jiten. On the other hand, the recent Kokusho jinmei jiten (which should parallel Kokushi daijiten as an authoritative reference) doesn't. Nor does the older Dai Nihon jinmei jisho. So you are on safe grounds in making either choice, but when writing for MN please (at least for the moment--Kokusho jinmei jiten makes my resolve waver) use the "no"!


Kate Wildman Nakai, Prof. of Japanese History, Sophia University,
and Editor, Monumenta Nipponica
Monumenta Nipponica, Sophia University
7-1 Kioi-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8554
Tel: 81-3-3238-3544; Fax: 81-3-3238-3835
Monumenta Nipponica home page:

Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 12:01:48 +0900

From: "Steven G. NELSON" <>

Subject: [pmjs] The 'no' in music

It might be of interest to note that the names of a couple of the families
associated (in a hereditary fashion) with the gagaku tradition include the
'no' even now, though there is no hint of it in the way they are written in
Japanese.   is read Oono, while   is read Bunno, so that there are musicians at the palace now whose names are Oono Tadaaki and Bunno
Hideaki .

[Kanji for single-character surnames are: TA/ooi (many), BU/yutaka /ed]

I have seen the names of historical personages from these families written without the 'no' in a number of Western publications on several occasions, and it has always made me cringe. The 'no' is always written explicitly in sources using kana, and it's obviously wrong to omit it.

In short, the Monumenta Nipponica system has my support, notwithstanding Kokusho jinmei jiten.

Steven Nelson

Research Centre for Japanese Traditional Music
Kyoto City University of Arts

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 19:17:22 -1000 (HST)

From: Rokuo Tanaka <>

To: [cc'd to pmjs but sender is not member /ed]

I cannot tell whether it is credible or not, but one of our sensei so often tells us in the class that his mentor Professor Kubota Jun at Todai always told his students to go by on-yomi when they were not sure about how to read the given name, e.g. Teika i/o Sadaie, Shunzei i/o Toshinari, and,as Professor Marceau pointed out Sanbin i/o Mitsutoshi, Binko i/o Toshiyuki. If my memory is correct, Hara Takash, a politician in the Meiji/Taisho periods was commonly called Hara Kei and accepted as such.
When tongues and ears feel comfortable to speak and hear a certain name (if I may quote Professor Marceau again), we change the first name from kun-yomi to on-yomi. Eventually, the names by on-yomi are firmly grounded and semi-official.

Rokuo Tanaka

Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 01:47:36 -0400

From: wfarris <>

Subject: [pmjs] Re: Query about "no"

Dear folks,
I second Kate's view about this issue.
Also, I would like to make a suggestion: that the word CLAN not be used to
translate UJI. Again, I agree with Kate's very careful and precise use of
the terms LINEAGE and HOUSE. The reason I don`t like to translate UJI as
CLAN is because to me CLAN is a term best used to describe the Chinese
kinship unit. There`s an old but excellent book on the Chinese clan, I
believe of that title; the author's name is Feng, I think. If the Chinese
family unit is a clan, then it is fundamentally different from the UJI.
What do people think? I can remember John Hall also vehemently objecting to the use of CLAN for UJI.

Best wishes, Wayne Farris

Date: Thu, 21 Jun 01 10:06:56 +0200

From: Ivo Smits <>

Subject: [pmjs] Re: Query about names

In response to earlier remarks about _kun_ or _on_ readings of names
(esp. Rokuo Tanaka's comment that "[e]ventually, the names by on-yomi are
firmly grounded and semi-official") I was wondering about a contemporary issue.

I have the distinct impression that nowadays to use the on-yomi of a name conveys that the speaker is somehow on more intimate or more
knowledgeable terms with the subject (a sort of reversal of the
"Ietaka"-"Karyuu" situation mentioned by Paul Atkins). E.g., speaking
about "Yoshimoto Ryuumei" rather than "Yoshimoto Takaaki" (the critic) or
"Nara Michi" rather than "Nara Yoshitomo" (the artist), suggests that the
speaker is part of a cultural elite (as in "I just had lunch with the
man"), whereas dullards like myself would say "Takaaki" and "Yoshitomo"
and posit ourselves on the fringes of cultural life (as in "Isn't that
the one I read about in the newspaper the other day?").
Does anyone else have that impression?

Best wishes,
Ivo Smits

Centre for Japanese and Korean Studies
Leiden University

Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 17:35:20 +0100

From: Richard Bowring <>

Subject: [pmjs] Re: Query about names -- addendum

I would concur with Ivo here. Use of the on-yomi does indeed in certain
rather special circumstances indicate familiarity, even when the individual concerned dies many moons ago. This can operate as a kind of academic one-upmanship, a little like saying 'Teika-kun'.
R. Bowring

Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 21:07:24 -0400

From: Mary Louise Nagata <>

Subject: [pmjs] Re: Query about names

I am afraid that I have a different viewpoint on the contemporary name
problem. My husband's name is Koki written with the characters "hikari"
and "kagayaku". Koki is his correct name and he regards the use of the kun
yome Mitsuteru as a mistake, although understandable. Most of the
utilities, however, tend to send us bills addressed to Mitsuteru and his
JAL tickets often come using the Mitsuteru reading. Nevertheless, he still
regards this as an understandable and often unavoidable mistake. With this experience, I would be wary of assuming that both on and kun yomi forms are acceptable to the person the name is referring to even if friends and family and others use both versions. On the other hand, I have also been told that the onyomi version is always acceptable, so perhaps it does denote respect even when the wearer of the name usually thinks of himself by the kun yomi version.

ML Nagata

Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2001 18:27:41 +0900

From: Susanne Nishimura-Schermann <>

Subject: [pmjs] Re: Query about names

Just my experience to the on and kun-yomi nowadays: Normally, as
you all know, the names are read in kun, but sometimes it is difficult to guess which kun-yomi is the good one. In that case, you can always use the on-yomi, which is normally not ambiguous. Also, children at school amuse themselves saying their names in the on-yomi, looking for funny meanings. The kun-yomi also gives a more intellectual impression, because the on-yomi is supposed to be more difficult. And it is mostly short and sharp. The name of the film director Yoshida Yoshishige is often pronouced in the on-yomi, Yoshida Kiju, just because it is shorter.
Just a remark, with no intention to come to a conclusion.

Susanne Schermann

Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 22:40:22 -0700

From: "Susan B. Klein" <>

Subject: [pmjs] Re: Query about "no"

Hey Folks --

Thanks for all the responses.

I already understood the difference between Fujiwara (uji) and Nijo (house) -- that is the only thing I had straight (at least something is clear!). Otherwise, it seems there are lots of different takes on the issue, even among Japanese dictionaries. Just to mix things up further, I thought I'd forward Mack Horten's response which he sent to me off-list:
On the "no" issue, I was under the perhaps unfounded impression that the great uji names originally used no, but that that usage eventually that dropped out. I guess the rule of thumb that you certainly know is that one- or two-syllable surnames use no (Mibu no Tadamine), and aristocratic surnames of the Nara period and before. So Otomo no Yakamochi, but not even Fujiwara no Shunzei, as he's Heian.

In other words, you use "no" with any name that is only one or two syllables, no matter what period; but for longer names you drop the "no" after the Nara period. I.e. yes to Ono no Komachi and Kamo no Chomei, but no to Fujiwara no Teika. I guess Ariwara (no) Narihira would be a borderline case? It really does seem like you either use it for everything (a matter of grim consistency) or it ends up being a (somewhat serendipitous) matter of preference (i.e. I happen to like the sound of Ariwara no Narihira, so I'll use it).

Well, one thing this splendid discussion has done is make me feel much better about whatever decision I make -- clearly there is no consensus on the topic, so at least I can hope that when the book is published I won't be scolded in print for doing the wrong thing!

bye for now --

Susan Blakeley Klein

Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2001 22:54:42 +0900

From: Michael Watson <>

Subject: [pmjs] symposium on shinbutsu bunri

Gaynor Sekimori <> has sent the following conference
announcement of interest to pmjs members.

Kami-Buddha Combination (shinbutsu shuugoo) and Japanese Religion

A Symposium will be held at SOAS on September 20 and 21 to discuss the
nature of the relationship between native Japanese beliefs (kami beliefs)
and imported beliefs and practices, such as Buddhism and Daoism. Of
particular interest will be the underlying concern about the nature of the
parameters of the term "Shinto." This is timely in view of the forthcoming
exhibition at the British Museum entitled "Shinto Art."

The main speaker will be Professor YOSHIE Akio (University of Tokyo), an expert in medieval Japanese history and author of a volume in Japanese on kami-buddha combination (1996). Other speakers will include Professor Richard Bowring (University of Cambridge), currently writing a book on the history of Japanese Buddhism, Dr. Andrei Nakortchevski (Keio University, Tokyo) who researches combinatory religion, Dr Lucia Dolce (SOAS), lecturer in Japanese religion and Japanese, whose research interests include medieval Japanese Buddhism with emphasis on Tendai and Nichiren Buddhism, Dr Yukiko Shirahara (SISJAC), the current Handa fellow in the Sainsbury Institute, an expert in medieval religious painting, Dr. Ouchi Fumi (Sendai), a musicologist who has combined musical studies with the ritual and history of Haguro Shugendo and Dr. Gaynor Sekimori (SOAS), post-doctoral fellow in Japanese religions, whose research interests include Shugendo and Meiji religious history. Dr. Carmen Blacker (Cambridge) will be a discussant. Other discussants may include Dr. Mark Teeuwin (Oslo), Prof. Brian Bocking (SOAS), and Dr Ian Astley (Edinburgh).

For further details please contact Gaynor Sekimori <>

From: Michael Watson <>

Subject: new member, announcement

We welcome a new member from France:

Antony Boussemart <> Currently in charge of the periodicals and the Japanese collection for the library of the Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient (EFEO) in Paris, I am a Ph. D. candidate working on Mt. Koya during the first years of Meiji, the main topic being to work out how the whole complex of Koyasan dealt with the anti-Buddhist movments (shinbutsu bunri and haibutsu kishaku). * "Un temple bouddhiste au coeur de Paris," in F. Chappuis and F. Macouin, eds., D'outremer et d'Orient mystique, les itineraires d'Emile Guimet, Paris: Editions Findakly, 2001.

Members are encouraged to keep their self-introductions up to date by sending information about new publications to me at any time. I'm always on the lookout for bibliographic news to add to "pmjs footers."
Those of you who joined the list when we used the ListBot service may have received notification from the Microsoft management about its coming demise. Our list will not be affected. Your editor saw the writing on the wall last December, and took steps to deliver pmjs independently. The address to send messages to the list continues to be while subscription requests go to...
Michael Watson <>

P.S. It was good to meet a number of pmjs members for the first time at the ASCJ conference in Tokyo. I look forward seeing more of you in July 6-7 at the Hensanjo (

::::: pmjs footer:::::

To search for photos, try new google service:
(Example chosen to welcome Antony Boussemart)

previous month

list of logs

pmjs index

next month