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pmjs logs for July - September 2006. Total number of messages: 91 

* Call for Papers: conference at National University of Singapore (Lim Beng Choo)
* Maeda Toshiie's Kokuso yuigon (Anthony Bryant)
* North American Kanbun Studies? (Anthony Bryant, Michael Pye, Lawrence Marceau, Aldo Tollini, Tim Kern, David Pollack, Ivo Smits, Aileen Gatten, David Lurie, Frederic J. Kotas, David Eason, Thomas Howell) --> continued below.
* query regarding online library searching (Lawrence Marceau, Richard L. Wilson, Tim Kern, Lewis Cook)
*  kirin qilin (Glynne Walley)
* --> Kanbun ( (David Eason, Richard Bowring, Nobumi Iyanaga, Judith Froelich, Thomas Howell, Kristina Troost, Michael Pye, Robert Borgen, David Eason, David Pollack)
* Search in Japanese Theater at Yale (Edward Kamens)
*  Relationship of kanbun (text) and Japanese (language) (James Unger)
* bibliography of pre-modern Genji commentary (Lewis Cook, Anthony Chambers, Patrick Caddeau)
*  liver revisited --> wound medicine (Charles De Wolf, Andrew Goble)
* UBC Waka Workshop Oct. 6 & 7 (Christina Lafin)
* Announcement of an international symposium at Aoyama Gakuin University (Yasuhiko Ogawa)
* new Japanese literature in translation series (Gustav Heldt)
* Nichibunken JAPAN REVIEW database (James C. Baxter)
* BDK Canada Graduate Scholarship (Shayne Clark)
* Change of address (Monika Dix)
* new members, new profiles (Michael Watson)
* Kyoto Lectures: Iyanaga on sexual heresies 9/13 at 6pm (Roberta Strippoli)
* Fujiwara no Tadazane (Michael Watson [for Hans Morten Sundnes], Lawrence Marceau)
* available position at the Australian National University (Peter Hendricks)
* position opening at International Christian University (Richard Wilson)
* Theatre Nohgaku Pine Barrens tour (Richard Emmert)
*  CSJR workshop 'The Power of Ritual' (Lucia Dolce)
* 2006-07 North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources (NCC) Multi-Volume Sets Grant Application Guidelines (1)
* UBC Waka Workshop Update (Oct. 6-7) (Stefania Burk)
* new book on secrecy in Japanese Religion (Bernhard Scheid, Lewis Cook)
* Herman Ooms talk at USC (Elizabeth Leicester)
* Jingu Kogo (Royall Tyler, Richard Bowring)

From: "Lim Beng Choo" <>
Date: July 5, 2006 12:57:21 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Call for Papers: conference at National University of Singapore

Dear friends and colleagues,

The Department of Japanese Studies of the National University of Singapore is hosting the inaugural conference of Japanese Studies Association in Southeast Asia from 12 to 14 October 2006. The conference will be held as part of the events to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Department of Japanese Studies, as well as to mark the 40th Anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Japan and Singapore.

The Japanese Studies Association in Southeast Asia (JSA-ASEAN) is an academic association of scholars and researchers set up in 2005 to serve as a catalyst in promoting Japanese studies in the region. One of the objectives of the association is to organize a biennial conference in the region as the major platform for a trans-disciplinary international exchange and networking among scholars in Southeast Asia, as well as other parts of the world.

The association conference will enable scholars from the region to come together regularly, present their research and explore the many opportunities for collaborative research that exist. For the inaugural conference the Department has also invited renowned scholars outside   Southeast Asia to make presentations and interact with participants.

The conference organizers especially encourage younger scholars to participate and will provide financial support on a competitive basis to help facilitate their participation.

Call for Panels and Papers

We invite individual paper and group panel proposals to be presented in the concurrent sessions of the inaugural conference of JSA-ASEAN. Papers/panels are welcome in the following streams:

1.      Politics and International Relations

2.      Sociology, Anthropology and History

3.      Business, Economics and Law

4.      Literature and Linguistics

Proposal of Panels

The deadline for proposals of panels is 31 July 2006.

All panel proposals must include the following:

*       Name

*       Position

*       Affiliation

*       Title of panel

*       Brief description of panel

*       Proposed presenters, their details and paper abstracts (see submission of abstracts and individual papers below)

*       Preferred stream

*       Audio-visual requirements (if any)

*       Contact details (mailing address, tel., fax and e-mail address)

Please submit all proposals of panels to

Notification of acceptance of panels: 20 August 2006

Submission of Abstracts and Individual Papers

The deadline for submission of paper abstracts is 31 July 2006.

All submissions must include the following:

*       Name

*       Position

*       Affiliation

*       Title of paper

*       Abstract – either in Japanese (not more than 200 characters) or English (not more than 250 words)

*       Preferred stream

*       Audio-visual requirements (if any)

*       Contact details (mailing address, tel., fax and e-mail address)

Notification of acceptance of papers:  20 August 2006.

Please submit your proposals and paper abstracts on-line through the following website (available from 12 July):

For enquiries, please contact the conference secretariat at

From: Elizabeth Leicester <>
Date: July 6, 2006 5:54:17 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Ishigami Eiichi talk at USC

The USC Project for Premodern Japan Studies, in conjunction with the 2006 Heian Kambun Workshop, presents a talk by:

Prof. Ishigami Eiici, University of Tokyo Historiographical Institute

"The Shosoin and its Documents in the Eighth Century"

Friday, July 21, 2006 at 2:30 pm
in the Stoops East Asia Library on the University of Southern California campus

Parking for the Stoops East Asia Library (EDL on the USC map) is available for $7 in Lot B. Enter at Gate 4 from Jefferson Blvd. at Royal St.

For further information, contact Prof. Joan Piggott at 213-821-5872
From: Robert Borgen <>
Date: July 10, 2006 0:28:28 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  North American Kanbun Studies?

As some of you may know, Nisho Gakusha University has gotten a COE grant for "Establishment of World Organization for Kanbun Studies."  You can learn about it on their website (  As part of the project, in September, they will be holding an conference in Hangzhou and have asked me to report on any developments in North America during the past year relating to kanbun studies.  I can think of two summer language programs, those at Columbia and University of Southern California, and two books, Dance of the Butterflies, by Judith Rabinovitch and Timothy Bradstock (although it may be a bit more than a year old) and Haruo Shirane's new anthology of early Japanese literature (although it may not yet be out by the time of the conference).  I assume I've missed things, such as recent dissertations and articles published in books or journals that escaped my my attention.  If you know of anything I've overlooked or have a project you'd like mentioned, please let me know.

Robert Borgen
From: Anthony Bryant <>
Date: July 10, 2006 2:32:49 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: North American Kanbun Studies?

This reminds me of something I keep wanting to ask here.

Has anyone used Komai & Rohlich's "An Introduction to Japanese Kanbun"? I've been wanting to use it as a sort of "teach yourself kanbun" text, but the book suffers from the lack of a key to the exercises in it. I'm hoping that someone out there might have put one together.

Anthony J. Bryant

All sorts of cool things Japanese and SCA:
From: Barbara Nostrand <>
Date: July 10, 2006 3:05:25 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Still looking for published emaki


This time I am looking for a copy of Nezumizôshi鼠草紙 Has anyone published a complete version of this work?
Thank you very much.

Barbara Nostrand

From: Sharon Domier <>
Date: July 12, 2006 7:56:25 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Still looking for published emaki

This begs the question: which version, which language?

There is an English translation published in Monumenta Nipponica, that cites three different versions.
The Tale of the Mouse. Nezumi no Soshi
D. E. Mills
Monumenta Nipponica > Vol. 34, No. 2 (Summer, 1979), pp. 155-168
Stable URL:

Did you already look at the KoNara ehonshu. Tenri: Tenri Daigaku Shuppanbu, 1972-1975. 2 vols.

But there is also an online version in Japanese that you can access through the Nara Ehon Project at Keio.
This is pretty amazing. And it cites a similar text published in Muromachi jidai monogatari taisei' (Collection of tales from the Muromachi Period), vol. 5.

Sharon Domier
UMass Amherst
From: Michael Watson <>
Date: July 12, 2006 11:04:16 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Still looking for published emaki

Actually it turns out that there are actually two quite separate stories known as "Nezumi no soshi."

(1) Nezumi no soushi, also known as "Nezumi no gon no kami" (written with itaiji for nezumi)
Three variant lines, with manuscripts in the Tenri library (two fragments, one late Muromachi, one early Edo), Tokyo Hakubutsukan, Suntory Collection, Spencer Collection. The Suntory version is edited in the NKBZ 36 (Otogizoshishu)--with translation. Reproductions of the Spencer Collection version can be found in _Zaigai Naraehon_.

(2) Nezumi no soushi (beppon)
Cambridge University Library (Aston collection). Edited in Kokubungaku kenkyushiryokan kiyo 5  (March 1979). This is the version translated by D.E.Mills.

See Kanda Tatsumi and Nishizawa Masashi, _Chuusei ouchou monogatari Otogi zoushi jiten_ (Benseishuppan 2002), p. 862-63 (entry for story 1 only, with plot summary and analysis), and p. 964 (information about manuscripts and editions of 1 and 2).

A bibliography of Otogizoshi translations prepared by Roberta Strippoli can be found on the PMJS site. I have just updated the information about Nezumi no soshi, including kanji, and some more information from Kanda and Nishizawa about other editions of the variants.

Michael Watson
From: Michael Watson <>
Date: July 12, 2006 11:56:22 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Still looking for published emaki


The Keio manuscript that Sharon Domier mentions involves a battle of mice, and is a variant of yet a third story. The title on the box is "Nezumi no soshi" but the text itself has the title "Kakurezato (The Hidden Village), by which it is more commonly known.

Corrections and additions to the otogizoshi bibliography page are very welcome. There are still some JSTOR links to add, and no doubt other more substative things too.

Michael Watson
From: "M.Joly Jacques" <>
Date: July 13, 2006 8:13:43 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: North American Kanbun Studies?

One complementary note :
for French reading people, the best introduction to Kanbun may be  Jean-Noel Robert's Lectures Elémentaires en style sino-japonais, Université Paris 7 , 1986. It is not a really published work so you must ask the Dept of LCAO in the University itself if they ahve some remaining copies.
Jacques JOly
Jacques JOLY
Takano Kamitakeyacho 10-4
Sakyo-ku KYOTO 606-8105 Japon
T/F 00 81  75 791 4351

From: Sachie Noguchi <>
Date: July 12, 2006 22:45:50 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Still looking for published emaki

Thank you, Watson-sensei for  maintaining valuable lists.

When I read the initial posting, I had the same question as Sharon stated, which version (including Soshi itself, or research on the Soshi), which language.

Meanwhile I found the title in the following (sorry, macrons are all omitted in Romanization):

Shinshu Nihon emakimono zenshu; Bekkan 2. Zaigai hen.
   Tenjin engi emaki, Hachiman engi, Amawakahiko-zoshi, Nezumi no soshi, Bakemono-zosho, Utatane-zoshi / Shimada Shujiro henshu tanto.
   Tokyo : Kadokawa Shoten, 1981.

Unfortunately, Columbia does hold this volume and could not confirm which version of the title is included.

Sachie Noguchi
Sachie Noguchi, Ph.D.
Japanese Studies Librarian
C.V. Starr East Asian Library
Columbia University
308M Kent Hall, Mail Code 3901
1140 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10027
Tel: 212-854-1506
Fax: 212-662-6286
From: Anthony Bryant <>
Date: July 13, 2006 1:52:07 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Maeda Toshiie's Kokuso yuigon

I'm in a bit of a bind. Since there've been a few threads
here on finding texts, I thought I'd throw one out.

I'm trying to get my hands on a copy of Kokuso yuigon (国祖
遺言) by Maeda Toshiie. I know there's (an original?) copy
at Kyoto University, but I'm hoping someone knows of a
published edition, or perhaps seen it mentioned as one of
the inclusions in one of those huge multi-volume compendia
of Japanese historical thought...

I'd appreciate any information that may be available. In the
meantime, I'm still looking.


Anthony J. Bryant

All sorts of cool things Japanese and SCA:

From: Anthony Bryant <>
Date: July 13, 2006 4:03:26 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: North American Kanbun Studies?

M.Joly Jacques wrote:

One complementary note :
for French reading people, the best introduction to Kanbun may be  Jean-Noel Robert's Lectures Elémentaires en style sino-japonais, Université Paris 7 , 1986. It is not a really published work so you must ask the Dept of LCAO in the University itself if they have some remaining copies.

Thank you. I'll get in touch with them.

(Am I the only one who's used Japanese high school textbooks to get up to speed with bungo and kanbun?)


Anthony J. Bryant

All sorts of cool things Japanese and SCA:
From: Michael Pye <>
Date: July 13, 2006 6:44:34 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: North American Kanbun Studies?

Anthony Bryant wrote:

(Am I the only one who's used Japanese high school textbooks to get
up to speed with bungo and kanbun?)

Well anyway, not quite. When teaching in a high school in the early sixties I
went along to the kanbun class and found it quite useful. It was interesting
not only (a) to learn the Chinese itself (in a certain way...) but also (b) to
puzzle out what Japanese teachers and pupils were doing with it. Iused the
textbooks a bit by myself, but it was more interesting to go to the class and
see fifty sixteen year olds wrestling with it.

Since that time I have often dreamed of a kakikudashi system for putting Latin
into a kind of basic English grammar. This would make Latin texts available to
readers of English, making the sometimes apparently tortuous grammar
transparent, while keeping the basic vocabulary. This idea never found any
takers (yet) but at least it's a way of explaining what "kanbun" is insofar as
it isn't just quite the same as "Chinese prose" any more.

I have some questions.

1) Am I correct in thinking that (in Japan) the only Chinese texts read in the
Chinese order of the characters are the Buddhist sutras in so far as recited?
This has always been my simple assumption, but am I missing some interesting
corner here?

2) Was this (if true) always the case? I have long been tortured with worry
about how eighteenth century writers of kanbun actually thought of what they
were writing, in their heads. If there was a time when literati thought
(sometimes) in the Chinese order, when did it start and stop?

3) Can it be that there is some truth in the adage ascribed to the Sage:
"The true Gentleman trains his hand with the characters determined by
Above, but
does not actually pronounce them." ?

Michael Pye
University of Marburg, Germany
Visiting Professor, Otani University, Kyoto, Japan

From: Lawrence Marceau <>
Date: July 13, 2006 10:15:46 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: North American Kanbun Studies?

At the EMJNet meeting in conjunction with AAS in San Francisco this past April, one of the panels dealt with Kanshibun.  Hopefully one or more of these presentations is going to be expanded and submitted to a journal in the near future, if not already.


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

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’yo’s (1781-1832)
exploration of the Dutch presence at Nagasaki, to Ryuhoku’s (1837-1884)
attempts to articulate political courses of action, to Mori Ogai’s
(1862-1922) personal mediation of a Chinese heritage.

1. Rai San’yo’s Nagasaki Poems: Domesticating (Sinicizing) the West

Paul Rouzer, University of Minnesota

During 1818 and 1819, Rai San’yo’s (1781-1832), the most prominent
kanshibun author of his generation, took a tour of western Honshu and
Kyushu, 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’yo 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’yo
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’yo 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’yo 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 Ryuhoku (1837-1884), a Confucian
scholar in the employ of the Tokugawa shogunate. Whereas Ryuhoku’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 Ryuhoku’s extant poetic
manuscripts offers the chance to see how Ryuhoku’s poetic seniors
commented upon his poems, what standards were used to select poems for
later anthologies, and how Ryuhoku himself revised his earlier poems to
reflect his evolving views. I also look at the works of other prominent
Edo poets with whom Ryuhoku was associating, such as Onuma Chinzan and
Otsuki 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 Ogai (1862-1922) and kanshi: mediating traditions

John Timothy Wixted

Mori Ogai’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 Ogai’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.


    Lawrence Marceau

From: Lawrence Marceau <>
Date: July 13, 2006 10:24:51 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  query regarding online library searching


    I'm looking for online resources that would help me find out whether a
certain book, originally published in 1396 in China, might survive in a
Japanese collection.  I've tried the Shido bunko at Keio, the Kano bunko
at Tohoku-dai, and the Kyodai Jinbunken, but to no avail.  (I'm planning
on checking Tenri next...)

    If someone has information or links to such databases of Chinese books
(Kanseki), I would appreciate knowing about it.  Please forgive, if you
already have such a link on your own website...



(By the way, the book is 『草書韻会』, by the Jin (金) Dynasty author,
張 天錫.  It's the 1396 明・洪武29年 edition I'm looking for.)

From: "Richard L. Wilson" <>
Date: July 13, 2006 11:06:05 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: query regarding online library searching

Dear Larry,

I was trolling though the Kyodai Jinbun Kanseki DB when your query came though, have you seen:

草書韻會五卷 金 張天錫 輯 慶元中覆朝鮮明洪武刊本 和刻本書畫集成第二輯 神戸市立中央

If this 洪武刊 is the one you are looking for, it is also available in the commercially printed Wakokubon soga shusei.


From: Tim Kern <>
Date: July 13, 2006 12:50:13 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  FW: query regarding online library searching

My colleague Liu Jianhui made a search and thinks the book you are looking
for might be in Univ. Kagawa try the URL below. hope it helps.


From: Liu Jianhui <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 13:02:09 -0700
To: Tim Kern <>
Subject: Re: [pmjs]  query regarding online library searching


From: Lawrence Marceau <>
Date: July 13, 2006 13:49:36 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: FW: query regarding online library searching

    Many thanks to both Tim Kern and Richard Wilson for their help.  I
noticed the Kanbara Bunko as a possibility in the online Kokusho

For reference, the Zenkoku Kanseki Deetabeesu (at the Kyodai Jinbunken)
link is as follows:

    This link provides 28 examples, mainly of the facsimile edition the
Richard mentions.

    Best wishes,


From: "tollini" <>
Date: July 13, 2006 15:41:37 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: North American Kanbun Studies?

A short notation to Michael Pye's "dream" for kakikudashi system for Latin.
It wouldn't be strange at all!

In the late Edo period and in the early Meiji period there were attempts to put the Dutch and later the English language in kakikudashi in order to study those languages. In other words, there was the idea that just like Chinese, the general method for studying foreign languages was by means of kanbun kundoku.
For example this is the case with Dutch in Rangaku kei [蘭学逕] by  Fujibayashi Fuzan 藤林普山 of 1810.

Aldo Tollini

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Pye" <>

Since that time I have often dreamed of a kakikudashi system for putting
Latin into a kind of basic English grammar. This would make Latin texts
available to readers of English, making the sometimes apparently tortuous grammar
transparent, while keeping the basic vocabulary. This idea never found any
takers (yet) but at least it's a way of explaining what "kanbun" is
insofar as it isn't just quite the same as "Chinese prose" any more.

> As the original kanji did not survive transmission, Webcat was used to find the correct characters. The full title of "Rangaku kei" is given as 譯鍵 附蘭学逕. /ed

From: Tim Kern <>
Date: July 13, 2006 17:18:34 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: North American Kanbun Studies?

Sorry for this end of the day (for me) comment to Aldo Tollini's point. the
Japanese still do this when they read English. I don't know but maybe
Italian or any other language too. especially those who had formal kanbun
kyoiku. You can often see or feel it when you read a Japanese translation of
an English text, especially before it gets polished up. (We are probably
doing something similar when we read Japanese as well). I particularly find
it among Japanese academics (with a strong classical training) who write a
paper or even when they try to present something in English. I used to
wonder why there were repeated patterns of, what to a native speaker were
strange (not necessarily wrong), wording. One time in a graduate seminar I
realized my sempai were using kakikudashi to read an English translation of
an Edo text (I think it was Sorai), they would go back to the original and
wonder why the English translation didn't necessarily follow the standard
kanbun reading. It was hard to convince them that it was not "good" English,
because the counter to me was that it was not "acurate." These discussions
lasted late into the second sessions at the izakaya.
tim kern

From: "pollack" <>
Date: July 13, 2006 19:45:48 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: North American Kanbun Studies?

Isn't this pretty much what all those generations of suffering 19th century
English schoolboys did when they were made to "construe" Latin? I gather from
novels that this particular variety of hell was carried out in a quite rigidly
formulaic manner. Aside from the relative few in those days who might have had
reason actually to communicate in Latin, most likely within the Church, I
suspect that even something as familiar as the Latin mass would have sounded to
the majority of the population much like the Japanese bouyomi reading of
Buddhist sutras to most Japanese, a vaguely comforting and traditional drone
whose actual meaning could safely be left to the anointed. I further suspect
that sutra-reading as performed in Chinese temples might well have had the same
effect on Chinese ears.

David Pollack
University of Rochester
From: Glynne Walley <>
Date: July 13, 2006 23:12:26 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: kirin qilin

Dear list,

Michael Pye wrote:
[...] perhaps somebody can enlighten me on a possible connection between ryume
and kirin. Perhaps there is none.

I'm no expert on kirin and ryume, but just the other day I was translating a
passage from Kyokutei (Takizawa) Bakin's Nansou Satomi hakkenden in which he
mentions them in a discussion of dragons.  He writes:

"The dragon by nature is yin, and there is nothing with which it will not
mingle.  If it consorts with an ox it will bear a qilin ;  cross it with a
pig and it will bear an oliphant [i.e., an elephant, but he uses the archaic
term kisa, as well as the more familiar zou]; cross it with a horse and it
will bear a dragon-steed [ryume]."

Of course this is fiction, and I haven't yet looked into Bakin's sources.
But at least there's one connection.

Glynne Walley
PhD candidate
East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Harvard University
From: Ivo Smits <>
Date: July 13, 2006 23:31:26 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: North American Kanbun Studies?

Dear all

Completely off track, but this reminds me of an academic myth here in Leiden, where until at least the middle of the nineteenth century classes were taught in Latin.
One day during lecture a student came in late for class and forgot to close the door behind him. The professor said, in Latin, "close the door". No one reacted; all students simply went on taking notes. What this (apocryphal?) story was supposed to illustrate is that no one in the class room had any idea of what was being said, but wrote down, verbatim, whatever they heard the professor say, and only later would translate their notes into something intelligible.
I suppose what the story taught is that academic education was (still is, sometimes?) mostly a ritual, not a meaningful exchange of knowledge and insights.

    Ivo Smits
From: Aileen Gatten <>
Date: July 13, 2006 23:58:57 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: North American Kanbun Studies?

    Here's another instance of "kakikudashi" for Latin.  Some years ago when I was doing some research in the manuscript room of the Vatican Library, a Latin professor also working there told me about a strange manuscript he was reading.  It was a medieval copy of poetry by Prudentius, and it had little marks by the words.  No one knew what the marks signified, but the "teisetsu" had been that they were musical notations.

    This professor instead suspected that the purpose of the marks was to rearrange the Latin into something that could be read more easily by a northern European, perhaps a speaker of German or Anglo-Saxon.  To judge from the reaction of other classicists who heard about this manuscript, marking a classical text in this way was unusual in medieval  Europe.  The professor was very interested to learn that the Japanese had a well-established system for reading Chinese in an approximation of Japanese syntax.

Aileen Gatten
From: Lewis Cook <>
Date: July 14, 2006 1:20:12 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: query regarding online library searching

On Jul 12, 2006, at 9:24 PM, Lawrence Marceau wrote:


    I'm looking for online resources that would help me find out whether a
certain book, originally published in 1396 in China, might survive in a
Japanese collection.  I've tried the Shido bunko at Keio, the Kano bunko
at Tohoku-dai, and the Kyodai Jinbunken, but to no avail.  (I'm planning
on checking Tenri next...)

(By the way, the book is 『草書韻会』, by the Jin (金) Dynasty author,
張 天錫.  It's the 1396 明・洪武29年edition I'm looking for.)


Forgive me for what is likely an irrelevant suggestion, but have you checked the bibliography published in Showa 8 by 神田喜一郎 and 長沢規矩也 under the title『佚存書目』If not, it might help though I'd be surprised if it were online. Assuming that exemplars of the Ch'ien Lung edition exist in China, the Ming edition of your book may not be considered an "issonsho" proper, though I gather from the entry in Morohashi that the latter was quite different from both the original and the Ch'ien Lung edition.

From: David Pollack <>
Date: July 14, 2006 3:01:59 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: North American Kanbun Studies?

English-language kanbun textbooks have always seemed an odd waste of time to me since there are so many available in Japanese, but then I imagine that's how the entire subject has always looked to Chinese readers.

Besides the apparently now-standard _Introduction to Japanese Kanbun_ by Akira Komai and Thomas Rohlich (1988), I don't know  if anyone has mentioned the earlier succinct Introduction to Kambun by Sydney Crawcour (1965). This work is no doubt long out of print, but as I recall it was well done, and according to FirstSearch it's still in 61 libraries worldwide.

Funny readings of Chinese texts aside, can someone recommend a manual on the awful genre of kana-majiri kanbun of the sort written by Japanese through the Edo period? It seems nearly everything important ever written in classical Chinese can be found in Kanbun Taikei <> and other collections in its three states of genbun, kundoku and gendaiyaku, but all those letters between Sengoku daimyo or chajin? Fugedaboudit.

David Pollack
University of Rochester

From: David Lurie <>
Date: July 14, 2006 4:27:44 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: North American Kanbun Studies?

As a weekly digest recipient, I hesitate to make what may be a belated or superfluous post, but I am currently completing a manuscript that addresses the phenomenon of _kanbun kundoku_ in detail, and can't help chiming in with a few scattered, hasty remarks about the recent discussion of this topic.

I've run across repeated references to notations in Latin texts (in Anglo-Saxon/English contexts) that sound very similar to kunten markings, although I have not yet been able to track down an actual example (if anyone knows of one I'd be most grateful to hear about it).  The interesting question about such markings is whether they were used to prepare a more-or-less independent translation (a variety of formats are imaginable), or 'on the fly' to make a reading in English of the Latin text, which would be remarkably close to kundoku.  There are other non-East Asian instances of kundoku-like practices in the world history of writing: Akkadian uses of Sumerian graphs have long been talked about in this connection, and I've recently seen some very interesting discussions of connections between Arabic and other languages in the context of Koranic studies--(tantalizingly mentioned in Michael Cook's _The Koran: A Very Short Introduction_).  And, as Prof. Tollini notes, in the 19th century the techniques were used by Japanese students reading alphabetic texts in European languages; these fascinating practices are discussed in Morioka Kenji's [森岡健二] _Obun kundoku no kenkyu_ (Meiji shoin, 1999); Prof. Morioka recently published a nice summary of his research as "Obun kundoku shoshi" (_Yuriika_ no. 35, April 2003).

The question of what Edo period (or earlier, for that matter) writers of kanbun "actually thought of what they were writing, in their heads" is a complex one, but a simple answer would be that for the most part, assuming they thought about it at all, they were writing Japanese; it might be more accurate to say that in general what they were writing did not have a stark linguistic distinction from texts written in kana or mixed kana and kanji.  It is true, however, that from the late Muromachi period this gradually became controversial in certain elite circles.  With increasing exposure to contemporary Chinese commentaries and other forms of scholarship, and eventually to vernacular Chinese publications (something that Emanuel Pastreich has written about extensively), proponents for the linguistic Chinese-ness of the kanbun medium emerged--Ogyu Sorai being the most famous of them.  But this was one side of a debate that continued into the Meiji period, with people like Hio Keizan [日尾荊山] on the other side, arguing for the priority of traditional kundoku practices in accordance with Japanese grammar.

I am convinced that from the mid-7th century on (essentially, from the beginning of widespread written communication in the Japanese archipelago), kundoku was the default method of reading (incidentally, it is increasingly clear that it developed first in the Korean states, perhaps as early as the 6th century).  As was mentioned in this thread, one prominent exception is the practice of 'bo-yomi' in Buddhist contexts, but students in the most elite curricula of the Nara university were required to learn current Chinese pronunciations for formal bo-yomi style readings of the non-Buddhist classics they studied--though even there it looks like kundoku served as an adjunct for those who were puzzling over what the texts 'meant.'  The other great exception is with kanshi poetry, where ondoku was extensively used (albeit also usually accompanied by kundoku) by reader/writers concerned about rhyme and tone (I believe Ivo Smits discusses this in the long two-part piece on the _Wakan roeishu_ that appeared in Monumenta Nipponica several years back).

With apologies for an abrupt and probably belated post after a long silence---

David Lurie

David B. Lurie
Assistant Professor of Japanese History and Literature
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Columbia University
From: "Frederic J. Kotas" <>
Date: July 14, 2006 6:28:34 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: North American Kanbun Studies?

On the contrary, David, your comments are very interesting, and as you know, I am in general agreement with much that you write.  I have gone so far as to say that at many (most?) times in Japan's history, kanbun was simply another method of expressing the Japanese language, the writer thinking in Japanese and anticipating that his reader would read the text as Japanese.

Cornell recently hosted a young Korean scholar who worked with Prof. John Whitman, and who recently contributed to a book on Korean kundoku  (韓國 角筆 符號 口訣 資料 와 日本 訓點 資料 연구 :  華嚴經 資料 를 중심 으로).  He was also quite familiar with the work on kakuhitsu markings (角筆) by Kobayashi Yoshinori (no, not the gōmanizumu fellow), who, I am told, devised a machine to make them more readily detectable..  Prof. Whitman has been studying the Shosoin texts with kokunten that have made available with the publication--in color--of the Shōgozō kyōkan (聖語蔵経巻) .

Last year at a book dealers' flea market I discovered an early Meiji English language textbook..  In addition to providing "approximate" pronunciation with the use of kana, the author also provided kunten with the English text--for example, the kaeriten between verb and direct object!

Prof. Whitman and I are quite interested in the possibility of someday holding a different sort of "kanbun workshop," one devoted to kunten and kundokugo.  Any other interested parties?

Frederic Kotas
Japanese Bibliographer
Cornell University
> The hangul in the title of the book on Korean kundoku did not come through, for me at least, but here is the Webcat reference, with names of authors, etc.
and while I am abou it, here is a book on kakuhitsu by Kobayashi Yoshinori 小林芳規:
-- ed
From: David Eason <>
Date: July 14, 2006 10:13:06 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: North American Kanbun Studies?

On 2006/07/13, at 12:27 David Lurie wrote:

proponents for the linguistic Chinese-ness of the kanbun medium emerged--Ogyu Sorai being the most famous of them.  But this was one side of a debate that continued into the Meiji period, with people like Hio Keizan [日尾荊山] on the other side, arguing for the priority of traditional kundoku practices in accordance with Japanese grammar.

 Concerning the two contrasting positions represented by Ogyu Sorai and Hio Keizan, as well as many of those in between, there is a recent article by Aihara Kousaku entitled "Joji to kobunjigaku: Ogyuu Sorai seijiron josetsu" and published in  _Toukyou toritsu daigaku hougakkai zasshi_ in early 2004 that deals with this and other related issues.  For those interested, the full citation in Japanese is -

相原耕作 「助字と古文辞学:荻生徂徠政治論序説」『東京都立大学法学会雑誌』第四十四巻 第二号(二〇〇四年一月)

  As the title suggests, the article focuses on how scholars - particularly Sorai, and to a lesser extent, Dazai Shundai - argued over how to understand the sentence final characters in Chinese texts such as 哉 and 焉, as well as what to do with them when reading these texts in kakikudashi order.   But even more interestingly, the article explores many scholars divided positions on the proper way  of appropriating Chinese texts through either onyomi or kunyomi readings and the ongoing issue of how best to come to an understanding of certain grammatical points in Chinese that could not be easily addressed through translation.

  In truth, however, I am not the one who should be providing a summary for this or any related research.  My own research focuses on Sorai's military thought rather than his writings about specific reading practices.   Still, as I was given a copy of the above article by the author a few years back while I was living in Tokyo and able to regularly show up to meetings of the monthly Ogyu Sorai kenkyuukai, I would recommend that those with an interest in this issue might wish to take a look at this particular article as an informative addition to this ongoing discussion.



David A. Eason
PhD Candidate, Early Modern Japan
Department of History, UCLA
From: Thomas Howell <>
Date: July 14, 2006 10:19:23 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Kanbun

Michael Pye wrote:

2) Was this (if true) always the case? I have long been tortured with worry
about how eighteenth century writers of kanbun actually thought of what they
were writing, in their heads. If there was a time when literati thought
(sometimes) in the Chinese order, when did it start and stop?

Another way to approach this question, and borrowing from Ivo Smit's anecdote, is this: Did it bother a writer of kanbun that he couldn't express "Close the door" in kanbun,  in the way he might say it? Did the distance between the forms and words used in writing, and vernacular speech, bother him or her?

Suppose this writer thought: if I go a day's journey in any direction, and say to someone," Close the door," in my vernacular, there's a good chance they won't understand me. What is stable and universal is not the vernacular, or a form of writing that tries to imitate the vernacular, but my own kanbun. When I think of everyday things, these may come out in speech, but if I want to make an argument on deep and profound matters, naturally that comes out in kanbun.

In other words, they wouldn't necessarily have to be used to a type of thinking closest to speech (or Japanese word order), as being more natural than the thinking formed by writing-- in the style of writing they were used to write in.

Tom Howell

From: David Eason <>
Date: July 15, 2006 11:26:42 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Kanbun

  While I fear that my previous posting about Ogyu Sorai and kanbun may have resulted in a substantial decrease in interest towards this ongoing thread, I still cannot resist posing a few more questions and comments in response to Tom Howell's most recent post.

   I have to admit that I do not quite understand the seemingly clear distinction that is being proposed between the act of saying  "Close the door" in the vernacular versus writing it down in kanbun.  My inability to grasp this point stems from a basic doubt.   Namely, do we know how "Close the door" or any other number of utterances might sound when spoken as compared to how they would have been expressed in writing?  Or to rework and expand the question -  during various historical periods, how do we know that many of the elements within the system of written kanbun were not also a part of a larger oral culture and vice versa?

   Certainly in terms of grammar and syntax there are and were many differences between kanbun and the spoken language, and I am not suggesting that individuals spoke in some sort of unadulterated kanbun as they went about their daily lives.  However, on the other hand, I am also not comfortable with the suggestion that one can posit a clear and unproblematic break between these two forms of communication, assuming that kanbun was somehow less capable of conveying everyday actions and ideas.   For, on the contrary, at least in those texts I have come across during my research into 16th and 17th century conflict the issues addressed by those writing in kanbun would seem to be very much a part of the everyday.

  This ability to express everyday actions and ideas seems to have been facilitated, at least in part, by the incorporation of quite a bit that was not strictly "Chinese" into the written medium of kanbun.  For unlike the example sentences provided throughout the Rolich textbook that was mentioned in a previous post, very few actual texts from the sixteenth century were written exclusively in Chinese characters.  Rather, as a quick glance over Oda Nobunaga's letters or any volume of collected sources such as the _Sengoku ibun_ will quickly demonstrate, most 16th century kanbun correspondence also employs a liberal amount of kana interspersed throughout.   And while can hardly seem anything other than "atarimae" when repeated to an email list full of experts, this obvious point also leads to another, perhaps less frequently mentioned issue .  Namely, that together with the use of kana, many sixteenth-century texts also include words and phrases that are, in fact, drawn from specific regional dialects.  To take but one example, recent research has shown that during the middle and late sixteenth century the Mouri family often employed specific words found only in their local Chuugoku regional dialect within compositions written in otherwise unremarkable kanbun.

   For this reason I am highly skeptical that the act of writing in kanbun, at least in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, represents an engagement with language  either completely removed from or in strict opposition to the vernacular.   At the very least, the above example of the Mouri family demonstrates that when writing in kanbun one did not automatically exchange one's particular, local dialect for a completely separate and universally accessible alternative mode of communication.

This leads me to wonder then how one might begin to conceptualize the complex relationship between written and oral language in the sixteenth century, as well as during earlier and later times.  Historians of medieval Europe have increasingly taken up such issues as part of a larger exploration into daily practices, discussing the way in which oral culture shapes, as well as is shaped by, interaction with the written word.    Is there similar work written by historians of "medieval" Japan?  I have a few books recently published by Japanese scholars that address some of these issues, but the literature on this topic still seems to be quite sparse.   Any suggested readings?


David A. Eason
PhD Candidate, Early Modern Japan
Department of History, UCLA

From: Richard Bowring <>
Date: July 16, 2006 18:33:41 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Kanbun again

On the matter of Latin texts, which both Gatten and Lurie brought up, a friend working in Romance languages tells me that if you are interested you should investigate writings by Professor Roger Wright of Liverpool University, who has been working on the break up of Latin into the vernaculars. There are texts with diacritics etc that would look like Latin to us but if we heard the stuff read out in the Middle Ages (pre 9th/10thc.) we may well have heard something that we would clearly classify as a Romance language, not Latin. This is, of course a controversial topic. Note that although it might well involve transposition of elements it involves Romance languages, not Germanic, and so charts a process of change rather than translation per se. I suspect that this is rather different from kanbun kundoku, which involves two utterly different languages and only really works as a method of translation because of the nature of the Chinese script and the special relationship between Japanese and Chinese. I could imagine a kundoku method for construing Latin that marked it with numbers for word order or did what linguists do now and interpolate signs like "obj, sub, vb, part[icle]" when quoting uncommon languages, but in the end it is surely easier just to learn Latin grammar, particularly if you have to compose in Latin as well, which is what I had to do in England aged 12 in the late 1950s.
What a pity the Koreans, who undoubtedly invented the system, were so careless as to lose it!
Richard Bowring

From: Nobumi Iyanaga <
Date: July 17, 2006 11:13:23 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Kanbun


On Jul 13, 2006, at 11:58 PM, Aileen Gatten wrote:

       Here's another instance of "kakikudashi" for Latin.  Some years
 ago when I was doing some research in the manuscript room of the
 Vatican Library, a Latin professor also working there told me about
 a strange manuscript he was reading.  It was a medieval copy of
 poetry by Prudentius, and it had little marks by the words.  No one
 knew what the marks signified, but the "teisetsu" had been that
 they were musical notations.

       This professor instead suspected that the purpose of the marks was
 to rearrange the Latin into something that could be read more
 easily by a northern European, perhaps a speaker of German or Anglo-
 Saxon.  To judge from the reaction of other classicists who heard
 about this manuscript, marking a classical text in this way was
 unusual in medieval  Europe.  The professor was very interested to
 learn that the Japanese had a well-established system for reading
 Chinese in an approximation of Japanese syntax.

This reminds me an interesting story about professor Etienne Lamotte
(or, perhaps, it was about prof. Louis de La Vallee Poussin?  I don't
remember very well), the well known Belgian scholar of Buddhist
studies.  Anyway, the professor was so versed in Sanskrit that he was
reading Chinese Buddhist texts translating them into Sanskrit (then,
translating from Sanskrit to French); he didn't know at all what mean
the kunten marks in Chinese texts (edited in Japan).  Someone asked
to him what mean these marks, and he replied: They are no important
for meaning; they should be marks for chanting the suutras in Japan...

Best regards,

Nobumi Iyanaga

Date: July 18, 2006 16:21:30 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  kanbun

David Eason wrote:

This leads me to wonder then how one might begin to conceptualize the
complex relationship between written and oral language in the sixteenth
century, as well as during earlier and later times. Historians of
medieval Europe have increasingly taken up such issues as part of a
larger exploration into daily practices, discussing the way in which
oral culture shapes, as well as is shaped by, interaction with the
written word. Is there similar work written by historians of
"medieval" Japan? I have a few books recently published by Japanese
scholars that address some of these issues, but the literature on this
topic still seems to be quite sparse. Any suggested readings?

I did not plan to make advertisement for my own book. But this seems an opportunity.

"Rulers, Peasants and the Use of the Written Word in Medieval Japan: Ategawa no sho, 1004-1304." Bern/New York: Peter Lang (in print)

The central argument of my book is that in Japanese medieval society with a limited literacy the dissemination and reception of texts took place primarily through speaking and hearing. At least professional scribes did not have any difficulties to convert oral statements into kanbun and vice-versa to vocalise kanbun texts.

Some of my referees and anonymous readers found the idea of the importance of orality and "vocality" in medieval Japan nonsense. But even if one shares their opinion, my book contains a bibliography of Western and Japanese works on the topic of orality and literacy with reference to medieval Europe and Japan up to around 2004.

Judith Froehlich

From: Thomas Howell <
Date: July 19, 2006 2:36:48 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: kanbun

On Jul 18, 2006, at 12:21 AM, wrote:

"Rulers, Peasants and the Use of the Written Word in Medieval Japan: Ategawa no sho, 1004-1304." Bern/New York: Peter Lang (in print)

This looks very interesting. Thank you!

 Yamada Shunji, Moji bunka to shite no ondoku to mokudoku (221-43), in Onsei to Kaku koto, Vol 8 of the series, Souzou suru Heian bungaku.

Although the starting point here is the Genji, and there is nothing about the Edo period,  in the later sections of this essay Yamada summarizes the state of the field on silent versus oral reading in Japanese scholarship. including the Amino essay I mentioned, Maeda Ai, etc.

 Tom Howell

From: "Kristina Troost" <
Date: July 19, 2006 5:14:28 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: kanbun

Dear Judith,

I have been unable to find any reference to your book in the US bibliographic databases (Worldcat and RLG) and could not find it on the Peter Lang site either.  Since most of the books on the Peter Lang site are published in German, I wonder if the title below is a translation from the German, or if it was written in English.   I tried both author and title searches, but mostly author.  If it was published in German, that would explain why libraries in the US don't hold it.  I also found no holding libraries in Japan, though NDL is presently down.  It sounds very interesting; could you provide a more complete citation?

Thank you,
Kristina Troost

From: Michael Pye <
Date: July 19, 2006 16:44:20 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Kanbun again

Dear Colleagues,

I have been fascinated by the different ways in which this complex of problems
has been aired. I have learned a great deal. Thank you.

My first, and most serious question was whether there was ever a time when
Japanese literati really read and wrote kanbun texts as Chinese, i.e. (leaving
aside variations in the pronunciation) in the straight order of the Chinese
characters, following the Chinese grammar and that alone. Taking all the
learned contributions into account, I am coming to the conclusion that
there is just no evidence that this was ever so. Indeed, the literati probably
never even aspired to it. Perhaps some "kogakusha" did, but by then it was too
late, since they were inevitably influenced by the other modality and thus the
attempt could amount to little more than pretentiousness (as criticised by
Tominaga Nakamoto in Okina no Fumi). Would anybody care to dispute this (and
I"m very willing to be instructed) or is this the conclusion I should draw?

It has even been suggested (Tom Howell) that dialectic variations the orality of
Japanese are a more interesting subject anyway, which somehow reinforces my

A second comment:
Tom Howell wrote:
"Suppose this writer thought: if I go a day's journey in any direction, and say to someone," Close the door," in my vernacular,  there's a good chance they won't understand me. What is stable and  universal is not the vernacular, or a form of writing that tries to  imitate the vernacular, but my own kanbun. When I think of everyday things, these may come out in speech, but if I want to make an argument on deep and profound matters, naturally that comes out in kanbun!

I was very impressed by the last sentence which Tom Howell puts into the
mouth of an imaginary writer, and since then I have been trying to make this attitude my own (!!!), so far without success alas, no doubt due to the insufficient profundity of my thoughts. It would be nice to think of something so deep and profound that it "naturally" came out in kanbun!!! (smiles).

They couldn't/wouldn't think "please close the door" in kanbun in pre-modern
Japan, because they didn't have doors. But other simple actions or commands
could theoretically be expressed in kanbun, I think. At the same time, I
suppose the kanbun used to express the more profound thoughts would be (was)
comparable in quality to the English which just naturally comes out of the
mouths of people all over the world today when "they want to be understood" at
conferences etc., i.e. rather varied...

Third, the Latin parallel.
I'm fascinated by the details provided about the annotation of Latin in Europe,
which has to be a significant parallel, if partly for contrastive purposes. The
examples show that people have felt a need for aids since mediaeval days and
thus that the idea of a kakikudashi system is not entirely new. New for the
European tradition would be to learn things from the very effective Japanese
system, and start again.

The first phrase in my very first Latin book was "Discipuli picturam
spectate", - a late pedagogical formulation by a non-Roman. From this simple
sentence we learn that pupils are not necessarily disciples and that word-order
in English and Latin is not the same. This was back in the early fifties,
mentioned by Richard Bowring (and indeed I too, in the language stream,
composed prose and verse in Latin as a duty, and somehow a pleasure when
compared with the rougher sports which were obligatory). However the great
majority of modern people in the European cultural tradition have never learned
to write in Latin (and of course like most of the few who still do/did, I have
forgotten it myself). What I do remember, however, is that the prose of
Tacitus, for example, is notably more complex than that of "easy" authors
such as Livy or Cicero, so that his history sparkled more, while the poets and
playwrights have their own vagaries. For these reasons I'm not quite convinced
that just learning Latin grammar, and then reading, as Richard Bowring
suggests, is quite so satisfactory an answer as it may seem in brief. What
about all the other aids to the elucidation of texts in foreign languages? why
not just learn the languages and forget the aids? Of course many people
nowadays jump this stage for Latin anyway and take comfort in the excellent
kokuyaku which all those Classicists have gone to the trouble of making for us,
knowing that so few will take the originals with them to the beach. But a
kakikudashi system would leave people nearer to the original vocabulary, while
being assisted with the syntax. That's the main point. By the way, I haven't
thought out just what it might look like (before anybody asks) as I'm too busy
with other uncompleted tasks. Maybe if I ever make it to a beach, which seems
more and more unlikely...

Lastly, parallels with modernity: The point about the interpretative function of
reading aids (noted especially for the Buddhist context) is well taken, and as
everybody knows, furigana are used to this day not only to indicate
pronuncation but in some cases to add something a little bit different to the
original. So there's nothing new/old in that. It's simply yet another
indication, especially when katakana are provided for English words, that
nobody really cares about the original words very much, only about the meaning
- or a new meaning.

Michael Pye
University of Marburg, Germany
Visiting Professor, Otani University, Kyoto, Japan

From: Robert Borgen <>
Date: July 20, 2006 5:18:40 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Kanbun again

Dear Colleagues,

I've been reading everyone's comments with great interest, even though only a few (some sent to me directly) have called my attention to North American activities that I can report at my upcoming conference.  Although I felt I ought to ought contribute to the ongoing discussion, I didn't have much to say until I read Michael Pye's comments, which offered a convenient review of some key points.  His first point was to propose that Japanese never really read and wrote kanbun texts as Chinese and asked if anyone was willing to dispute this.  I am, albeit with many of the qualifying words that composition teachers, at least here in America, tell us to avoid.

If you read the sections of the Yoro codes prescribing the pedagogical procedures for the court university, you will learn that Japanese students began their studies under a "Professor of Phonetics" (or maybe "Chinese Pronunciation" would be the more accurate translation of "on-hakase" or, tellingly, "koe no hakase).  At least in the Nara period, these professors appear to have been all Chinese.  After students had learned to "read" a text, they attended lectures on its meaning.  Ryou no Shuuge provides a series of comments on what "read" meant (p. 449 of the Kokushi Taikei edition).  The first tells us it means "hakudoku" ("white-reading"), which I would have guessed means to read a text out in the straight in the Chinese word word.  I was surprised to discover, however, that the term appears in Morohashi only as a modern Chinese word meaning something like "read to no avail" ("munashiku yomu").  My old Kokugo Daijiten says it means to read without paying attention to meaning and then cites the same passage I just cited myself.  Given the context, I still think it probably means something like "make an attempt at reading--probably aloud--a text using something resembling Chinese pronunciation--and probably memorizing it, since on their examinations students were to be shown a copy of the text and asked to provide a few characters that have been omitted."  Other commentaries, however, say that "read" means, well, "read-read" for want of a better translation of "dokukun" (i.e. the familiar "kundoku" with the characters reversed).  That word does not appear in the dictionaries I have at hand and so I have no idea whether or not it refers to what today we call "kundoku," but I suspect not.  According my Kokugo Daijiten, the earliest example of "kundoku" in its now familiar meaning apparently dates from the Bunmei era (1469-87).  In other words, we should not jump to the conclusion that in the ninth century (or perhaps even earlier since I do not know the date of the commentary cited in Ryou no Shuuge) "dokukun" meant the same thing as the modern "kundoku."  In the mid-ninth century, Sugawara no Michizane had a teacher who appears to have been Chinese, suggesting that the rules prescribed in the codes may have been still followed at that time and he may have been taught to read out and memorize Chinese texts in something resembling Chinese pronunciation (further details appear in my book).  Such evidence is more suggestive than conclusive, but at least it leaves room to question the conclusion that Japanese never read kanbun texts as Chinese.

This leads me to a related issue.  I suspect my hosts a Nishogakusha University would be surprised at the direction taken by this discussion, which has focused largely on the issues internal to Japan and the problem of how the Japanese conceived and read kanbun, leading to Michael Pye's proposed conclusion.  The assumption of most postings seems to be that "kanbun" refers to things that the Japanese wrote using only Chinese characters (but probably construed as Japanese).  At least among American scholars, the term does appear to have taken on that meaning, but not in Japan.  If one were to follow David Pollack's suggestion and get a Japanese introduction to kanbun, one would discover that most of the examples are taken from standard Chinese works--the Confucian classics, Tang poetry, and the like.  A few years ago, I had a chance to observe a high school "kokugo" class in Nobeoka, Kyushu, not a great cosmopolitan center.  The teacher happened to be doing kanbun that day.  I no longer recall what Chinese text she was teaching, but, in addition to giving the usual yomikudashi, she also did her best to read it out in modern Chinese pronunciation.  In other words, kanbun is broader, more cosmopolitan, than the discussion thus far might suggest.  Whereas Thomas Howell's comments point to the role of kanbun as a sort of domestic lingua franca for high-level written work, kanbun was also also used for international diplomatic and scholarly exchange.  Wang Zhenping's new book Ambassadors from the Island of the Immortals (UH Press) has some very interesting material on this topic.  Once I met a native Chinese scholar who, to my surprise, had read Michizane's kanshi.  He reported that most of it read quite nicely as Chinese and was good, although not great, poetry.  Nishogakusha's COE project focuses on Japan's own kanbun, it also has groups treating cultural exchanges between Japan and Korea, and between Japan and China.  It has hosted a symposium on the Analects of Confucius, a lecture on Six Dynasties Literature, and so forth.  In other words, I think we must resist the temptation to treat Japanese kanbun as simply strange way of writing the Japanese language.  At least for some Japanese, it was (and remains) a means of communication with the rest of East Asia.

Robert Borgen

From: Michael Pye <>
Date: July 20, 2006 9:44:49 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Kanbun again

Dear Colleagues,

Very grateful to Robert Borgen for the fascinating additional information. She
she (or sha sha!).

As I'm not a specialist in early Japanese culture I wasn't really trying to
propose a thesis, rather just asking whether it would be correct to draw a
particular conclusion from the contributions of those with greater knowledge. I
learn that this conclusion should definitely be modified, but, - perhaps not
very much! Robert Borgen's qualifying words are noted, but perhaps there should
be more of them. The expressions "hakudoku" and "munashiku yomu" really say it
all. Naturally in those early situations where there was a Chinese teacher (of
pronunciation), the students would be following him (probably not her!) in
reading through the text in an approximation to Chinese pronunciation (as used
by the instructor: all those consonantal endings to syllables which lead to the
-ku and -tsu endings in ondoku!) How else could all the vocabulary have been
introduced into Japanese? But then came the next step. What did a given text
"mean" if not "read vainly"? To know this, the text was not exactly
"translated", it seems, but turned around so that it made sense in a head used
to different grammatical patterns. So far, so good?

In RB's account we have references to things which are centuries apart.
I speculate that once the second step had become common, and all the key texts
were provided with the right markings, the teachers learning from each other,
and so forth, the first step was no longer necessary. In the Edo Period, the
widely used Daigaku, for example, could be taught by means of the second step
only (without Chinese teachers and without first reading it in the direct order
of the kanji in some imitated but long since unrecognisable Chinese
pronunciation). This new way of reading was a skill in itself which could only
be taught by Japanese to Japanese. Chinese persons would find it
incomprehensible and shake their heads in disbelief; like Sinologists wandering
around in contemporary Japan with "kanji-shock"! Similarly, Japanese students
today are baffled if you mention Da Hsue (?) or Sanjiaolun or

I am speculating that the Japanese way of reading, and now I mean thought order
as well as pronunciation, itself eventually became the basis, for Japanese
writers, for composing texts using Chinese characters. (I'm talking about
prose, not kanshi.) The question is, accepting Robert Borgen's instructive
points about the earlier history, from when had this shift irreversibly taken
place? (Or is anybody still saying that it never did?)

I realise that the in-between history is complicated by the fact that Buddhist
monks went to China for considerable periods and learned Chinese all over again
from their teachers, and also because written texts were used for diplomacy and
trade and may have been read aloud now and then in mixed international company
(but hardly on a daily basis, since they were on paper anyway and that's what
counted). (Then there were Hideyoshi's soldiers who must have communicated with
Koreans in kanbun before cutting off their ears as mementos (????).

One of the long-term results of this process is that Chinese texts
which have not been prepared for Japanese readers by specialists can nowadays
only be accessed with difficulty and hence get ignored (like German texts in
some North American libraries (smiles?)). In other words, there is a canon (or
canons) of texts which have been learned and elucidated, and a whole lot more
texts out there which nobody can make head or tail of, or only with great
difficulty. And certainly nobody would dream of trying to read them with the
help of modern putonghua.

This brings me to the concept of kanbun and kanbun textbooks. Robert Borgen's
point about the contents of kanbun textbooks is absolutely right and important,
if I may say so. In fact "kanbun" as a high-school subject is used as an
introduction to classical Chinese language and culture. It is striking that, as
far as I can remember (my books being elsewhere), Japanese kanbun texts are only
marginally included in the textbook extracts (maybe some kanshi). This might
seem odd, depending on viewpoint, in that so much writing important for
Japanese history was itself written in kanbun. The Japanese term kanbun has to
refer to both elements.

The balance tipping to Chinese texts in the kanbun school textbooks is like the
balance in teaching Latin in Europe. That was always based entirely on
classical Latin. Theological Latin, Ecclesiastical Latin, Mediaeval Latin in
general, Legal Latin, Medical Latin, Botanical Latin: all of this never got a
look in while I did it at school (over seven years). It was as if it all never
existed. At the same time the reasons for learning the "dead" language (with no
attempt to pronounce it like Romans did) were always that it was the basis of
European culture and that it made the learning of "other" languages easier
(which always had to be postponed because we were so busy learning Latin, of
course worthwhile in itself).

Back to kanbun in Japanese schools. It's very nice to hear that a teacher made a
point of reading out a kanbun text using modern Chinese pronunciation. However,
unless things have changed out of all recognition since I attended kanbun
classes in the high school I mentioned before, this will have been an
individual, and unusual educational initiative. In the sixties there was
practically no knowledge of spoken Chinese in Japan. The first NHK programmes
came in round about then and were quite good (not like the clown-about
programmes they have nowadays), but hadn't had time to take effect. In the
meantime some people have taken it up, and can of course travel in China. So
it's very good and progressive that the teacher referred to by RB made the
point in school. However I would be surprised if it's on the curriculum or
mentioned in the guidelines for teachers. Moreover it was a kokugo class (says
RB) rather than a kanbun class. Kokugo and kanbun courses are very independent
of each other.

Robert Borgen writes:
" In other words, I think we must resist the temptation to treat Japanese kanbun
as simply strange way of writing the Japanese language. At least for some
Japanese, it was (and remains) a means of communication with the rest of East

I agree that we shouldn't regard the character of Japanese kanbun as "simply a
strange way to write the Japanese language". (I don't think anybody has really
quite been suggesting that.) However it does still seem that there came a point
when those who read and wrote kanbun for themselves no longer did it with the
straight kanji for kanji order in their heads. Or if so, it was only a part of
what was in their heads. The language of Japanese kanbun was a literary
language which was neither normal "Japanese", nor Chinese in the sense that its
Japanese writers had "normal" Chinese in their heads. Did it not come to be so?
And if it came to be so, would this not have come about, without people really
noticing it much, sometime between the Heian Period and the Edo Period?

The ones who tried to turn the clock back were the kogakusha, who realised that
there is more to kanbun than its mere intellectual contents (smiles)... I will
conclude with a an ironic quotation from Tominaga Nakamoto (1717-1746), which I
think (though it only touches on  pronunciation and not grammar) shows what a
long distance had been travelled:

"....Since meat is an important food in China the Confucianists should raise
cattle and sheep for their consumption. Moreover the menu should be composed
with reference to the chapter on 'Inner Rules' in the Book of Rites. At
weddings...and at funerals... Similarly for clothes: they should wear Chinese
costume and a Confucian hat on their heads... Confucianists should read Chinese
characters in their Chinese pronunciation. Since there are various kinds of
Chinese pronunciation they should copy the pronunciation of the state of Lu in
the Chou period. Since there are many styles of Chinese characters, they should
write with one of the most ancient styles." (Okina no Fumi 3)

As colleagues may well know, Tominaga was thrown out of school, probably for
saying disrespectful things like this, but he went on to write his own kanbun
which contrasts quite starkly with the quotations from Chinese Buddhist
scriptures embedded in his work.

I see I am tending to propound a view now. But really, I'm just trying to
imagine the mental processes involved, the character of which does seem to have
shifted over a lengthy period.
Would welcome any further instruction, but will try not to bore the list.
best wishes,

Michael Pye

University of Marburg, Germany
Visiting Professor, Otani University, Kyoto

From: David Eason <>
Date: July 20, 2006 10:51:19 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Varieties of Kanbun?

Dear All,

   This ongoing thread concerning kanbun has been extremely informative and I have learned quite a lot from all of the information and opinions provided by other posters.  I also wanted to thank both both Tom Howell for his reference to the Amino article as well as Judith Froehlich for mentioning her upcoming book.   This larger question of orality, though not the topic of the initial thread, is also an issue that I look forward to learning more about in the future.

  At present, however, I would like to tack on a brief addendum/clarification to my message from last week, particularly in light of Robert Borgen's most recent comments.  The teaching and recitation of kanbun texts through the medium of Chinese is certainly a point that should not be overlooked.  As the kanshi written by Sugawara no Michizane or even that written by a much later figure such as Arai Hakuseki reminds us, at least among the highly educated, kanbun allowed one to communication with an audience that extended beyond the boundaries of Japan.   I certainly did not wish to deny this important aspect of kanbun.   Rather, in my previous message I merely wished call into question the notion that written kanbun and a spoken, vernacular language were separate entities by default and relegated to separate existences with little or no bearing on one another.  Then again, perhaps no one was suggesting such a clearly demarcated binary in the first place...

   In any case, I should have taken more care to clarify terms when attempting to discuss potential points of overlap between formal writing and regional vernaculars.  For, in all honesty, after reading Professor Borgen's most recent post I am not certain if either he or the Nishogakusha's CEO project would even consider sixteenth-century texts which combine kanji and kana as qualifying as kanbun.   For although I have heard and seen this mixed style of writing referred to as a form of "hentai kanbun," turning to any number of dictionaries for a definition only complicates the issue further.  For example, the definition provided for "kanbun" in the _Koujien_ clearly includes such mixed kana and kanji compositions while in the _Nihon kokugo daijiten_ neither the entries for "kanbun" or "hentai kanbun" specifically mention this mixed style.   At any rate, it goes without saying that my previous post about words from regional dialects finding their way into kanbun only makes sense if one considers mixed kana and kanji texts a form of kanbun in the first place.

  And if I might continue with this point a bit further, there is another example concerning regional variations and vernacular language that may be of interest to those still following this thread.  There is some evidence that, at least during the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, there were ever so slightly different ways of reading certain parts of "kanbun" texts depending on the region in which one lived.  Now, it is unclear whether this reflects differences in dialect, differences in writing styles, or simply that all these individuals had a bad kanbun instructor :-), but there are enough surviving texts which include kana among the records of families such as the Go-Hojo to at least suggest that these deviations from "standard kanbun" were consistent rather than simply the result of occasional grammar mistakes.  As Yamada Kuniaki has pointed out, in the surviving records of the Hojo family as well as other warriors located in the Kanto region one finds patterns like -

「可申付候」and 「可被申候」

which one would expect to be read in yomikudashi as "moushitsukeru beku sourou" and "mousaru beku sourou" respectively, but which  instead appear consistently in kana as "moushitsuke beku sourou" and "mousare beku sourou" where the "ru" before "beku" is always dropped.   Apparently Hojo Soun and his successors would have failed high school kanbun...



David A. Eason
PhD Candidate, Early Modern Japan
Department of History, UCLA

From: David Eason <>
Date: July 20, 2006 11:18:17 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Varieties of Kanbun? - Correction

As Yamada Kuniaki has pointed out, in the surviving records of the Hojo family as well as other warriors located in the Kanto region one finds patterns like -

「可申付候」and 「可被申候」

which one would expect to be read in yomikudashi as "moushitsukeru beku sourou" and "mousaru beku sourou" respectively, but which  instead appear consistently in kana as "moushitsuke beku sourou" and "mousare beku sourou" where the "ru" before "beku" is always dropped.   Apparently Hojo Soun and his successors would have failed high school kanbun...

 Actually, it's not a question of "ru" being dropped as I had mistakenly wrote at the end of my last message.  Rather, as Yamada himself explains, it appears rather that, for whatever reason, instead of conjugating shimo ni-dan verbs in the "u-dan" (saru, tsuku, etc.)  before "beshi" the Go-Hojo regularly used the "e-dan" (sare, tsuke) instead.

   Incidentally, the Mori family, despite incorporating words from their regional dialect into their letters,  consistently used the  "u-dan" before "beshi."  Clearly they would have done much better in high school kanbun than there contemporaries in the east. :-)



David A. Eason
PhD Candidate, Early Modern Japan
Department of History, UCLA

From: Robert Borgen <>
Date: July 20, 2006 16:53:43 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Varieties of Kanbun?

David Eason is quite right:  my definition of both "kanbun" and "hentai kanbun" would be those found in Kokugo Daijiten and I'm startled to see that indeed Koujien's definition of "hentai kanbun" does include souroubun, which I had always thought was a variety of Japanese, perhaps because the only souroubun I've ever read is that appearing in noh plays, which seems very Japanese.  So, I checked Minegishi Akira's book, Hentai Kanbun, in which he states something like "In terms of its script, hentai kanbun can called writing that uses kanji exclusively," i.e. the definition I would have shared with Kokugo Daijiten.  However, he then goes on to write, "But this is only the general rule and sometimes various types of kana are also used," (again freely translated; see p. 109).  Defining our terms here is clearly a big problem.  I may prefer the narrower definitions, but I do not assume this prejudice is shared by the scholars at Nishogakusha.

To change the subject slightly, as I recall Roy Andrew Miller's book, The Japanese Language, states that Chinese was spoken in the Nara capital, but he doesn't give a citation for that claim.  If my recollection and Miller's book are both correct, they would support the view I presented earlier that in ancient Japan kanbun was more distinctly Chinese--and even oral--than it would later become.

And to change the subject yet again, Michael Pye commented that kanbun is not taught as part of high school kokugo classes.  I must confess I had thought the class I observed was a kokugo class, but I can't be sure and certainly am not up on guidelines teachers must follow in such classes.  I had assumed that the teacher was imitating the practice of NHK's early morning kanshi program (5:00 AM on the educational channel, last time I checked), which explicates a classical Chinese poem in Japanese and does have it read in authentic Mandarin, apparently by a native speaker of the language. 

And finally, about ten years ago, I picked up a book "Shinpen Jouyou Kokugo Benran," which was apparently intended as supplementary reading for high school students.  I got it for its lovely color pictures of such things as flowers mentioned in Kokinshuu.  After its chapters on modern literature (pp. 178-309), it has a brief section on major foreign writers, arranged by country:  England, France, Germany, Russia, America and finally China (pp. 310-12).  Whereas England and America each get 4 writers (the selection would surprise my colleagues in our English Department), only Lu Xun made the grade among modern Chinese writers.  But wait!  There's more!  The book concludes with a section on kanbun, complete with more lovely pictures and a few sample passages, all from the Chinese classics (pp. 314-376).  In other words, the books author's seem to think of modern Chinese literature as "foreign," but not classical Chinese literature, which gets a long section all to itself.  Japanese writing in kanbun rates passing mention in the chronological survey of Japanese literature (pp. 1-176).  Although I didn't count words, Japanese kanbun seems to get only slightly more attention than Lu Xun.  Rai San'you, for example, appears only in the nenpyou, which has an entry, "1836: Nihon Gaishi (Rai San'you)," to quote it in its entirety.  As I said, my impression would be that for most Japanese, "kanbun" is classical Chinese writing by classical Chinese authors.

Robert Borgen

From: Michael Pye <>
Date: July 20, 2006 20:05:15 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Varieties of Kanbun?

Dear Colleagues,

Robert Borgen writes (in a kind of conclusion to his latest extremely valuable

"As I said, my impression would be that for most Japanese, "kanbun" is
classical Chinese writing by classical Chinese authors."

However, if you will excuse me saying so, I think is a little one-sided. Kojien is quite clear. There is (a) and there is (b). The first is classical Chinese prose by Chinese authors. The second is writing composed only in kanji, in "wagakuni", as opposed to kanamajiri.

The fact that today's kanbun textbooks for schools concentrate mainly on the
first is neither here nor there. (Of course it's an interesting matter in
itself, as already discussed). However the other stuff is still lying about in
libraries and bookshops (I nearly said "exists", but didn't want to get
metaphysicians at my throat.) And there's a lot of it. To mention Tominaga
Nakamoto again (excuse my limited information base), Okina no Fumi is written
in kanamajiri (as in the title) and Shutsujokogo is written in the kanbun of
wagakuni. No Japanese person could refer to it as anything other than kanbun.
The same distinction can be made for much earlier writings like those of
Buddhist leaders such as Shinran Shonin.

I still believe that there came a time when the Japanese syntax in the
head came to dominate the kanji by kanji texts written in wagakuni, while the
kanbun form was retained (especially for profound thoughts!). But the question I can still only answer very vaguely is when this shift occurred. Perhaps it just can't be
answered very well at all.

As the Sage said, any time remaining (after administration) should be spent in
study, and I know I have a lot to do.

Michael Pye
University of Marburg, Germany
Visiting Professor, Otani University, Kyoto, Japan

From: "pollack" <>
Date: July 21, 2006 11:51:59 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Kanbun again and again and....

Re: the contemporary Japanese use of "kanbun" to communicate with other Asians,
I venture (habakarinagara) to mention the example in chapter 11 of my book
Reading Against Culture (Cornell UP, 1992) entitled "The Escape from Culture:
Takeshi Kaiko's Into a Black Sun." The narrator, a Japanese journalist in
Vietnam in the 1970s (who happens to be Kaiko), finds himself able to
communicate in some depth with Vietnamese Buddhist monks simply by resorting to
the kanbun he learned in high-school, and earns the trust of another Vietnamese
by his ability to come up with the second couplet of a famous Tang Chinese
quatrain after he is given the first. Because of this shared background, Kaiko
finds himself able to see dimensions of Vietnamese lives that will always be
tragically invisible to his Western colleagues. It makes one wonder what might
remain today of this common Asian cultural fund -- it seems more likely they
might get along by referring to anime.

David Pollack

Date: July 22, 2006 3:09:41 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: kanbun discussion

As an outsider in this learned group I normally stay pretty quiet, though I follow the discussions faithfully. My interest in the subject is historical and cultural since I write about the 11th and 12th centuries.

I found the detailed discussion of the use of Chinese in ancient Japan fascinating and hope that my understanding of the subject is fairly accurate. It seemed to me that Chinese (whether it was the written form or also the spoken version) was reserved to upper class males, usually university-educated and government-service-bound. Exceptions, no doubt, existed (Lady Murasaki seems to have had a smattering of Chinese and hidden the fact for fear of censure) and one would assume that a very large number of people in the lower ranks of the government (scribes, clerks, etc) would have been able to decypher documents that applied to their jobs. Perhaps the latter needed to know only the Japanese equivalent of the Chinese original. Presumably that is then how kanbun entered into the written language and how perhaps certain class distinctions might have been attached to differing levels of knowledge of Chinese.

Perfectly spoken Chinese was most likely a rarity during the late Heian period and may have become even rarer later on. Professor Borgen's posts remind me that Sugawara Michizane was a fine poet of Chinese poetry.  My English translations suggest that it resembles original Chinese poetry in format and subject matter rather than Japanese poetry. Would one find such expertise in later centuries?

Please make allowances for my possibly foolish assumptions.


From: James McMullen <>
Date: July 22, 2006 0:22:37 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Kanbun

The recent PMJS exchanges of opinion on the status of ‘Chinese’ or kanbun written by Japanese raise serious questions about how the extensive corpus of material written in that medium should be approached. Should it be regarded as essentially a special highly Sinicized variety of Japanese,as Japanese, or as  Chinese, albeit presumably sometimes  Japanicized, Chinese? This is not a new debate, but the question has not least a practical aspect, at least for translators. In the lastest PMJS, Michael Pye writes as follows:

“My first, and most serious question was whether there was ever a time
when Japanese literati really read and wrote kanbun texts as Chinese, i.e. (leaving aside variations in the pronunciation) in the straight order of the
Chinese characters, following the Chinese grammar and that alone. Taking all the learned contributions into account, I am coming to the conclusion that there is just no evidence that this was ever so. Indeed, the literati
probably never even aspired to it. Perhaps some "kogakusha" did, but by then  it was too late, since they were inevitably influenced by the other modality and  thus the attempt could amount to little more than pretentiousness (as  criticised by Tominaga Nakamoto in Okina no Fumi).”

My own view is that each scholar writing in  the medium of kanbun should be evaluated separately.  I also think that the intention of the author, insofar as it is accessible or can be inferred, should be considered. In the end, rigidly to apply the categories of ‘Chinese’ and ‘Sinico-Japanese’ or ‘Japanese’ may be unproductive or futile. There must be a continuum here; some variables, such as linguistic skill and authorial intention may help plot the position in any one case. Some scholars , especially those who edited their own texts with diacritics,  wrote a form of what  I think G.B. Sansom called ‘Sinico-Japanese’, rather than Chinese; their texts are basically  intended as Japanese, simply cosmetically rearranged on the page to look Chinese and to evoke the cultural authority of that language. But other scholars, perhaps a minority,  surely did write in what they thought of as Chinese, rather than any form of Japanese. Pace Michael Pye in the above quotation, contemporary sensitivity to Chinese and Korean  comments on Japanese writing in Chinese, together with the alacrity with which praise from that quarter was recorded, surely attest to the conscious will to write acceptable Chinese.

An instructive case in point must be Itoo Jinsai. Jinsai habitually left his texts as  hakubun  [in the sense of kanbun without diacritics] and  is said rarely to have added diacritics to his own writings. The linguistic status of Jinsai’s kanbun recently erupted into a minor controversy in connection with Jinsai’s  Go-Mou jigi , translated into English  by John Allen Tucker [Leiden: Brill, 1998]. This is a useful, fluent and readable version. But Tucker based his translation on the assumption that this was a Japanese text, even referring to the ‘original text in Japanese’.  In my review of Tucker’s translation [MN54, no. 4; winter, 1999], I took him to task. There was a serious question about the authority of the diacritics  on the published versions of Go-Mou jigi used in the translation; they cannot safely be attributed to Jinsai himself. The main reason, however,  was that I could not, and still cannot, get my mind round the fact that Jinsai  incontrovertibly presented his text formally as Chinese, rather than any form of Japanese.

In his riposte [MN vol. 55 , no. 2, pp. 331-33], John Allen Tucker robustly reasserted the  radical “Japanese” position.  “My response is, first, that there is no “Chinese” version of [Go-Mou jigi]. Jinsai wrote in kanbun, for a Japanese audience. Whether punctuated or not, kanbun is meant to be read as Japanese.”  [p. 331]. Especially in the light of the ambiguity of the term kanbun, I confess to finding this claim still puzzling.  But behind Tucker’s assertion, no doubt, is the view of  the Jinsai textual scholar Miyake Masahiko, who wrote in his study of Jinsai’s method of construing his own texts into Japanese: “So long as Jinsai conceived [his thought] in Japanese and expressed it in kanbun, it is necessary, especially with [Jinsai’s] various drafts, to take not just the kanbun  text  but also Japanese kundoku forms  as basic [to interpretation].’  This assertion, however,  also seems problematic; it in turn  begs the question of how it is possible categorically to recover Jinsai’s thought processes.  As a life-long reader of Chinese texts and a brillant linguist, why should he not have thought in Chinese?

If the intentional argument is to be applied to Jinsai, the evidence of the MS page itself surely suggests strongly  that he intended Chinese.  It is surely natural to read it and to translate on that basis. To read a text that survives in autograph  form in hakubun  versions only as ‘Japanese’ and on the basis of diacritics from another hand only circumstantially associated with Jinsai himself, seems perverse  and risky. The act of applying diacritics interposes another  translation. Moreover,  it invites potential misreading. Indeed, my review pointed to a  small number of such misreadings in Tuckers own version.

It is certainly true that some Jinsai texts were edited and diacritics supplied, most often by other hands. But this was surely for the benefit of his students.  Whatever concessions Jinsai allowed for them, however, he himself strove, in the opinion of Sinologists, with outstanding success, to write accurate, idiomatic, rhythmic  and stylish Chinese. The quality of the Chinese text evidently supports this. Please see the encomium of Yoshikawa Koojiroo on Jinsai’s achievement in this field in Jinsai, Sorai, Norinaga {Tokyo: The Toohoo gakkai, 1983; also NST, vol. 33]. The fact that Jinsai  almost certainly didn’t speak Chinese does not seem relevant.

But above all,  to read Jinsai’s  hakubun text as Japanese seems to defy common sense. A European contemporary such as Hobbes couldcommunicate his thought in either Latin or English. Maybe he formulated his ideas in English in his own mind first, though he may easily have thought in Latin. As with Jinsai and Chinese, this cannot be recovered. But Hobbes  communicated his ideas on occasion in Latin, on occasion in English. Even if he put his own Latin into English, how are we possibly to say that his original  Latin versions are really English?

As for Jinsai’s motives,  Michael Pye may be somewhat harsh is impugning  kogakusha with ‘pretensiousness’. Probably, like Sorai, Jinsai believed that to understand the Chinese sources of the Way authoritatively, one must master the language; and mastery included the capacity to reproduce it oneself.  Chinese carried high prestige; it was the language of moral authority. Jinsai had to demonstrate, maybe not least to himself, his mastery of it.

James McMullen

From: Michael Pye <>
Date: July 22, 2006 16:15:33 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Kanbun

Dear Colleagues,

I am most impressed by the plausibility of James MacMullen's assessment of Ito
Jinsai's extremely high ability and familiarity with "Chinese". And of course
the "intentionality" is important. What were writers themselves trying
to do? I quite agree (as a learner). But also, what were they able to do? Seeing
it as a continuum and allowing for some writers being closer than others to having
"Chinese" in their heads (phonetically and in terms of word order), is
no doubt the most perceptive approach. But how close were they, and others, to such a

Your caveats, James (and by the way, hello! ..after a long time!) are
also quite significant, are they not?

My own question was/is not so much whether the result of compositional efforts
is better or less good, or seemed fine to other users of Chinese at the time,
but whether the mental processes really took place in the Chinese word order.
This may well be assumed by Chinese persons and by such foreign readers who
have themselves systematically studied classical Chinese and who just look at
the results of the authors' distinguished efforts as Chinese. But it may be
less obvious to others. Perhaps Ito Jinsai achieved thinking in terms of
Chinese word order, and represents one end of a wide spectrum.

By the way, I myself have never referred to anything written in kanbun as
"Japanese", - that's not my point (or my question), touching on your critique
of other authors. But the fact that this is disputed shows how difficult it is
to know what was going on. Hence I noted your caveats.

For one, I read:
It is certainly true that some Jinsai texts were edited and
diacritics supplied, most often by other hands. But this was surely
for the benefit of his students.
Exactly. But why did they need it? It's because no ordinary Japanese student
could conceivably sit down and just read a kanbun text in the Chinese order,
then any more than now. Moreover, correct me if I am wrong, by the Edo Period
they weren't being taught even to try.

Further:  "The fact that Jinsai almost certainly didn’t speak Chinese does not
seem relevant."
Well. It seems very relevant to me. It means that his profound thoughts didn't
just come out in kanbun by themselves, but that he constructed his prose. Of
course he will have had regular turns of phrase etc. which he didn't need to
think about, but for the rest, there will have been a more explicit thought
process. What does "he didn't speak Chinese" mean? Was it simply that he had
different, no longer quite "Chinese" pronuncations in his head for the kanji?
Or did it mean that he couldn't meaningfully "say" sentences in
kan(bun) in the
order of the kanji?

But I do understand the result that
If the intentional argument is to be applied to Jinsai, the evidence
of the MS page itself surely suggests strongly that he intended
Chinese.  It is surely natural to read it and to translate on that
Indeed. Anything else can only be an aid, which may be amazingly useful, but
sometimes misleading.

As for Jinsai’s motives,  Michael Pye may be somewhat harsh in
impugning kogakusha with ‘pretensiousness’.
Yes, but it's not so much what I personally impugne as how the approach of the
kogakusha came over to others in the period. (By the way, I originally wrote
"pretentiousness" - your typing slip (in quotation marks) had me a bit
worried!) Perhaps pretentious isn't the right judgement for us to make (it was
Tominaga Nakamoto's view). But, as you also suggested, they were trying to use
Chinese at least partly in order to impress, and not only because all the
discussions about statecraft and morals etc. were couched in it. Their sheer
devotion both to learning and to its contemporary applications is indeed

People who take things really seriously may often seem to be pretentious to
others. For example, I have a personal campaign (completely ineffectual) to
teach British and Japanese people to say Beijing (rather than something like
Beizhing as in the BBC and Pekin (!) like Japanese news readers). Probably
people think this is just a bore, and quite "pretentious". But on the other
hand, given this borrowed, neo-colonial approach to pronouncing the
name of the
capital of China, it's not surprising that contemporary Japanese
foreign policy
is such a disaster...

best wishes,
Michael Pye
University of Marburg, Germany
Visiting Professor, Otani University, Kyoto, Japan

From: "Rein Raud" <>
Date: July 22, 2006 19:08:48 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Kanbun

This is a very interesting thread indeed. But so far most of the discussion has focussed on texts written by Japanese authors. Could anybody point out any difference of reception between these kanbun texts and texts that had been imported from China and "domesticated" for Japanese use with diacritics, such as sutras, goroku etc? Whatever happened during the reading act, I'd still hesitate in seeing this domestication as a translation of a kind - rather, it would be comparable to adding vocalisation marks to Arab texts for the benefit of those non-Arab muslims who needed to read the Qur'an aloud. And it is also difficult to think that the Japanese authors' kanbun texts and originally Chinese texts would somehow seem to the same Japanese audience to be written in a different linguistic medium, if there is no evidence to the contrary.

With greetings,

Rein Raud

From: Michael Pye <>
Date: July 22, 2006 20:11:04 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Kanbun (Buddhist)

Dear Colleagues,

About Buddhist texts, which I wanted to mention for a long time:

Zitat von Rein Raud <>:

Whatever happened during the reading
act, I'd still hesitate in seeing this domestication as a translation of a
kind - rather, it would be comparable to adding vocalisation marks to Arab
texts for the benefit of those non-Arab muslims who needed to read the
Qur'an aloud.

The purpose is comparable, but the linguistic process is different. The
difference is simple but considerable: the word-order is changed. I would be
surprised if this happens with the Qur'an, where it is above all a matter of
getting the pronunciation right.

And it is also difficult to think that the Japanese authors'
kanbun texts and originally Chinese texts would somehow seem to the same
Japanese audience to be written in a different linguistic medium, if there
is no evidence to the contrary.

Agreed. Their intention was to write them in the same medium. The
results seemed
to them to be in the same medium: kanbun.  The question is, given the
of the reading methodology, what was the writing methodology?

I am very interested in the relevance of this problem to Buddhist texts
to give an example relevant to some current work on pilgrimage, people recite
the Heart Sutra in the kanbun form, but they attend to its meaning in
forms. So the question in this case is, not so much how do they write
such texts (because they are a given) but how do they understand them when they
are recited in straight kanji order? That is, I'm interested in the intentionality of
religious acts in this case. People do come to understand these texts, partly
with the help of the explanations (and kokuyaku). But as far as the basic
kanbun form is concerned, the constant, ritualised repetition is necessary for
the meaning to be internalised, such that brief bits like shikizokuzeku
gradually become meaningful whereas at an earlier stage of learning and
Buddhist practice they were not. In other words the great majority of
people in Japan do not understand the Heart Sutra (or any other) because they have prior
knowledge of Chinese. Of course they don't have such knowledge. This will have
been true in pre-modern Japan as well as now.

(The parallels with the use of English today are many and varied, but
that's not pre-modern.)

best wishes,
Michael Pye

From: Paul Rouzer <>
Date: Jul 23, 2006 12:26 AM
Subject: [pmjs]  Kanbun and Chinese poetry

I felt that so much had been said on this posting that my own
contributions, such as they might be, would be unhelpful or extraneous.
But I thought I might stir the pot one more time by bringing up Chinese
poetry's place in this debate.

Most Japanese poets writing kanshi tended to write risshi, or so-called
"regulated verse." As I'm sure most of you know, there is a strong
tendency to make many of the couplets in risshi "syntactically parallel"
-- i.e., to place the same parts of speech in the same positions within
a couplet (along the lines of "flock of birds fly over the mountain;
herd of horses rush over the plain" and so forth). Kanshi poets are
quite capable of writing parallel couplets -- sometimes of breath-taking
beauty and sophistication, and grammatically far more complicated than
my trite example above.

What I find interesting is that kanbun rewritings of such couplets often
distort or violate the parallelism, even sometimes reinterpreting
individual words as different parts of speech than they would have been
if read as "pure Chinese". It may just be an issue of how one constructs
the kanbun syntax -- perhaps modern annotators are not paying attention
sufficiently to the parallelism to find a rendering that does justice to
it. But I think it quite likely that Japanese kanbun poets are, on some
level, "writing" and "reading" the poem as Chinese.

Of course, this then brings up even further complications. What does it
mean to "read" a Chinese poem? Is it possible to construct one almost
like a puzzle, conceiving of it as some device that conveys meaning, but
not necessarily a form of meaning analogous to that found in a poem in
Japanese (or even to that found in a passage of kanbun prose)? And
perhaps it should be remembered that even late imperial Chinese poets
wrote poetry based on tonal and rhyme categories that were already
obsolete in their contemporary speech -- so that Chinese poetry was in
China to a certain extent increasingly "artificial" from the 11th
century on.

I can't answer these questions -- though I am convinced that poets like
Rai Sanyou, who were well-read in contemporary Chinese poetry from the
continent, probably conceived of their poems in Chinese word order. I've
also found it interesting to note that Sanyou's poetry collection, as
published in his complete works in the 1930s, does not contain any
diacritics whatsoever.

Paul Rouzer
University of Minnesota

From: "pollack" <>
Date: July 23, 2006 10:11:56 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Kanbun and Chinese poetry

My scattered experience of the history of the Japanese reading and writing of
kanshi, both by Chinese and by Japanese themselves, would seem to confirm the
oft-repeated observation that the syntactical parallelism of lushi/risshi
(sorry, I can't find diacritics on this borrowed pc) was, predictably, something
profoundly alien to Japanese aesthetic sensibilities, a matter I touched on in
"The Fracture of Meaning" (1986). I've always thought that educated Japanese
would have been perfectly capable of rendering Chinese parallel constructions
faithfully into Japanese if doing so hadn't made them sick to their stomachs.
Chinese requirements of end-rhyme and the use of flat/oblique tones, etc. were
of course never in question.

But I've also thought that Japanese learned in Chinese poetry would likely have
been familiar with the long Chinese practice of using parallelism (along with
the other inescapable and to the Japanese equally unappealing requirement of
lexical variety -- seen most clearly in fu or "rhymeprose," but when a
word/character is repeated in lushi and jueju/zekku it clearly signals a very
significant choice) as a heuristic device. That is, a lushi or pailu couplet may
often appear on the surface to follow the strict rules of syntactical
parallelism (this of course doesn't apply to the non-couplet jueju form, which
in effect uses only the first line of each couplet of a quatrain, whence its
name of "cut-off lines") even as it in fact has a subtly or very different
meaning, and in the best case of all the meaning is entirely ambiguous. Since
the Tang dynasty this practice was the very soul of poetic exchanges in
competitions and games among friends and sometimes among enemies (my 1976
dissertation dealt with this subject in the context of Chinese "linked-verse"
poetry, a subject suggested by the Japanese practice that may have been
influenced by it -- alas, I never followed up on this).

I now somewhat belatedly suspect that it was not the profound alienness to
contemporary Japanese life of classical Chinese verse alone that led Edo
Japanese to the practice of parodic kyoushi or "wild verse,"  as I had once
proposed in an old article, but may to the contrary have been the result of
their familiarity with the well-established Chinese practice of writing verse
that appeared to mean one thing on the surface and another or even opposite
thing at the same time. Some of this depended in Chinese on the lexical variety
I mentioned, since so many characters have multiple meanings in Chinese, often
depending on their context, their syntactical position, or the tone or reading
assigned to them. I would imagine that men of the learning of Rai San'you or
Itou Jinsai knew both how to produce a perfectly and blandly acceptable verse
when required by convention (those well-know handbooks like Santaishi), and how
to parody convention -- shall we be provocative and call it mitate? -- when the
circumstances were more unbuttoned.

I'm afraid I haven't thought about this issue for a long time and could be wrong
as rain about it. Since I'm currently in the middle of moving house, and have
other projects to deal with, I'm too busy (and I admit too lazy) to back these
proposals up with examples, which I promise to do in another incarnation.

With apologies,
David Pollack

From: Sean Somers <>
Date: Jul 23, 2006 6:15 AM
Subject: [pmjs]  Kanbun (and everything after)

Dear List,

Of course, like many reading this latest series of
developments on the issue of kanbun, I have read
eagerly, but I have also avoided contributing directly
because of the issue at hand.  In short, I'm now
applying the customary caveat before I let loose my
typing fingers.

Prof Pye's comments have always caught my attention
and have sent me to the library on more than one
occasion, but I'd like to speak up on the possible
hazards of cultural comparison.  Earlier, kanbun had
been compared to Latin marginalia, with limited
success, IMO.  It was established, quite succinctly,
that kanbun is a unique product of the
inter-relationship of Chinese and Japanese, both
culturally and linguistically.

Now kanbun is being compared to classical Arabic.
Zitat von Rein Raud writes, via Prof Pye's message:
. . .during the reading act, I'd still hesitate in
seeing this domestication as a translation  of a kind
- rather, it would be comparable to adding
vocalisation marks to  Arab texts for the benefit of
those non-Arab muslims who needed to read the Qur'an
I don't quite follow this, and I'm not sure how useful
these inter-cultural allusions are for our
understanding of kanbun.  The Qur'an is *always*
vocalised, whether it's for a native Arab speaker in
Yemen or a mosque in Hawai'i.  The classical Arabic
language transcends, as it were, dialect.  Indeed,
like the aforementioned journalist in Vietnam, a form
of 'literary' Arabic allows educated members of
different regions to communicate with one another.
However, Vocalisation is a necessary feature of the
Qur'an itself:  it is never optional.  The
presentation of the scriptures requires the vowel
markings, either as an independent text, or as cited
in a tafsir (commentary).  To not have these markings
would to have something that is not the Qur'an.  I
don't believe that I am overstating this  here.
Kanbun markings, however, and their purpose in syntax
or perhaps even pronunciation, is – as discussed – a
much more debatable matter.

And lest I seem like I am spliiting hairs -- really, I
am just a silly bystander who would like to
participate briefly in this exchange -- I'd like to
emphasise the point that the flexible conventions of
the genre seems to be the curious issue here in terms
of kanbun composition.  As the detailed messages have
indicated, the conventionality is further complicated
by the independent motivations of particular authors.

My wife studied kanbun as part of her high school
curriculum in Oita.  With few exceptions, her lessons
were almost entirely kanshi, Confucius, and the
classes seemed to be more of an introduction to
Chinese Classics.  Some emphasis was placed on
Yamanoueno Okura. I'm interested in, also, that Koamai
and Rohlich's textbook emphatically seperates their
definition of 'Japanese kanbun' as "the written
representation of the Japanese language in kundoku
style, not classical Chinese" (xiii).  In North
American, at least, many graduate seminars in kanbun
tend to make the same distinction.  That's not to say
this is somehow a standard to be universally followed,
but it does say something about contemporary pedagogy
of the issue.  (And this, to me, is an interesting
sub-discussion which can be traced back to this
thread's origins:  what selections are best for
teaching and introducing kanbun to graduate students?)
Out of curiosity, I re-read Soseki's 'Botchan', where
the officious teacher of Chinese Classics is
fleetingly referenced as an instructor of kanbun, as
well as Chinese literary classics.

The Qur'an must be presented in a certain way,
according to theological law . . . vocalisation is
required, but the actual recitation of the text has a
fair degree of adaptability (warsh style, etc); but it
seems to me that kanbun is entirely more flexible, in
terms of how the text is annotated, or how the genre
is emulated.

I thank you for your indulgence.
-Sean Somers
University of British Columbia

From: "Rein Raud" <>
Date: July 23, 2006 13:57:08 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Kanbun (and everything after)

My purpose in comparing kanbun to vocalisation marks of Semitic alphabets was not to compare the cultural practices with their institutional background and its implications for the status of the texts, but the mechanic of the reading act. The Qur'an has to be read the same way at all times because of the status of the text, which most kanbun texts do not have. (There are many other vocalized texts beside the Qur'an in Semitic cultures, for which the rules are not so strict.) However, in both Semitic and kanbun cases we are dealing with a "core" text that is ambiguous (and, in the Chinese case, often initially meant to be so), and a "surface" text that can only be read in one "correct" way. For instance, the Wang Bi and the Wang Anshi readings of Daodejing chapter I would have resulted in different kanbun diacritics. (It would be interesting to know if there actually were differently domesticated versions of the same Chinese text in circulation at any time in Japan.) Anyway, if such variants existed, I'd still prefer to say we are dealing with variants of the same text regardless of how the diacritics have been applied (and the way to read the text aloud selected). But I concede that it is possible to argue that the read-aloud form of the text is primary, and texts without diacritics would be "homographs" of the multitude of readings, which can only be rendered adequately with the diacritics in place. As it seems, in the former case the text can be said to be in Chinese, in the latter, in Japanese.


Rein Raud
From: Thomas Howell <>
Date: July 23, 2006 23:35:54 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Kanbun

On Jul 22, 2006, at 12:15 AM, Michael Pye wrote:

 It's because no ordinary Japanese student
could conceivably sit down and just read a kanbun text in the Chinese order,
then any more than now. Moreover, correct me if I am wrong, by the Edo Period
they weren't being taught even to try.

I looked again at Maeda Ai's essay, Kindai dokusha no seiritsu, which has been translated by James Fujii as "From Communal Performance to Silent Reading: The Rise of the Modern Japanese Reader." In part 2 he describes how "children of former samurai and wealthy and powerful families" in early Meiji were trained to read Chinese classics, beginning at the age of 5. He calls this (or Fujii translates it as ) "performative recitation" (roushou). This training began at home and was afterwards pursued in juku schools. Maeda Ai does not describe how the Chinese text was read, but I assume it was in Chinese word order without any voiced kunten. This was "sodoku," reciting and repeating the sounds to memorize the passage, without yet understanding the meaning. The reciting was done very loudly, Ai cites a newspaper article which complains of the noise students made at night doing this "reading."

Ai (I'm copying Fujii here) concludes: " The sound-reading of the Chinese classics -- wherein the repetition of the rhythms and the vibrations of the voiced words creates a kind of 'spiritual language' [seishin no kotoba] that is radically different from everyday Japanese --represents a form of instruction that imprints the very form of the Chinese language [kango no keishiki] on the souls of these youth. Even if comprehension of meaning appears beyond reach, the material qualities of the words, their resonance and rhythm, are fully mastered, and the understanding that is attained through reading, explication, and reading groups [rindoku] when the students have matured adequately supplements their grasp of these texts."

He goes on to say this reading, with its commutarian ethos,  since it was often done in a group, fostered a "community of intellectual elites" that cut across other social boundaries.

Now, whether this means anyone thought in Chinese word order after this training, or freely and spontaneously wrote their kanbun without using kunten as a mental aid, is obviously too big an assumption to make. But at least one can surmise those who underwent this training did not think of untranslated Chinese prose as "unnatural," and a select few, based on their early training, might indeed have read and written kanbun, or Chinese texts, with the "resonances and rhythm" they learned as children.

Incidentally, Ai gives Tayama Katai's memoir, My thirty years in Tokyo (Tokyo no sanjuunen) as an example. Tayama, in a chapter entitled Dokusho no koe, recalls as a boy walking on the road by the juku school, Houkou gijuku, which his older brother attended, and hearing the sound of the voices spilling out of the upper floor windows, wishing he could join them.

 Tayama concludes: "As for the Chinese studies juku school (kangaku no juku) my older brother went to, there were a number of such schools, including the Doujinsha of Nakamura Kei'u, and the Nishou (2 pines) gakusha of Mishima Chuushuu. Of the students of that period, there were any number who made their sword handles rattle, and argued over the affairs of the world. They made a point of going about in ragged clothes and with dishevelled hair, and they particularly despised anyone with a slight touch of the feminine -- shifun(=cosmetics) no ki ni chikazuku mono wo iyashinda. The Houkou gijuku was famous for teaching the Eight houses literature in sodoku, and the instructor...had once been an assistant lecturer at Shouheikou (Confucian academy founded 1690)."

 (Eight Houses referring to a grouping together. first in a Ming compilation, of Han yu and Liu zongyuan of the Tang, Ou yangxiu. Wang anshi, Zeng gong, Su xun, Su shi, Su zhe of the Song).

Tom Howell

From: Christina Laffin <>
Date: July 24, 2006 15:36:24 GMT+09:00
Subject: UBC travel workshop and digitized collection announcements

The Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia will host a workshop August 4 and 5 entitled "Tokugawa Society and Travel Culture, as Seen in Maps, Illustrations (ezu), and Travelogues."  Day One will feature an exhibition of the Early-Modern Beans Map Collection and Day two will offer a full day of panel presentations on the culture of travel in early-modern Japan.  The workshop complements the Early-Modern Komonjo and Kuzushiji Workshop taking place at UBC July 16 to August 12, which is also utilizing the Beans Collection.  For further information, please contact Nam-Lin Hur at

 > Workshop Session 1: New Approaches to Maps, Illustrations, and Diaries
 > Session 2: Religious Sites and Geographic Imagination
 > Session 3: Famous Places and Travel Guides
 > Session 4: Travel Diaries, City Maps, and Literary Works
 > For the full program of the workshop, please see:

Rare Books and Special Collections, and University Archives, at UBC Library are pleased to announce the launch of a newly digitized
collection: "Japanese Maps of the Tokugawa Era," at

UBC Library's Rare Books and Special Collections holds one of the world's largest collections of maps and guidebooks of the Japanese Edo period, also called the Tokugawa period, 1603-1867. The core of the collection was formed after World War II by George H. Beans. Over 300 maps from the collection have been digitized and are searchable and viewable online. The digitization process allows the user to see a whole map as well as offering detailed views of larger or smaller portions of the maps.

The focus of the Beans collection is on privately published and travel-related maps and guides published in Japan. There is world coverage, although the majority of maps are of the whole or parts of Japan. A number of prominent Japanese woodblock artists are represented in the collection.

The digitization of the Japanese Map Collection is a collaborative project between the UBC Library's Rare Books and Special Collections and the University Archives. In the first phase of the project all the single-sheet maps have been digitized. A second phase will digitize the maps in atlases. Bronwen Sprout, Digital Initiatives Librarian at the University Archives, and Katherine Kalsbeek, Reference and Maps
Librarian at Rare Books and Special Collections guided the first phase of the project to completion. Special thanks to Leslie Field, Archives Assistant, who provided expert assistance and guidance with the digitizing work.

The project is funded by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, and has also received support from the Department of Asian Studies. The Beans Collection is presently being studied by participants of the month-long Early-Modern Komonjo and Kuzushiji Workshop hosted by the Department Asian Studies.

The collection is located at: (click on the "detailed image" link in each record to zoom in on the images). Please send comments or suggestions to: Bronwen Sprout or Katherine Kalsbeek

For further information contact Ralph Stanton, Rare Books and Special Collections Librarian at

From: Michael Watson <>
Date: July 27, 2006 17:13:29 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  update

I have returned (temporarily) from my mountain retreat to the world of broadband and was able to check various things.

First, there is now an online link for the UBC conference on "Tokugawa Society and Travel Culture":

I'm not trying to have the last word on "kanbun" but I have now finally been able to locate an online copy of Sydney Crawcour's Introduction to Kambun (1965), mentioned by David Pollack and still very much in use, it seems--included, for example, David Lurie's syllabus for his autumn course at Columbia on kanbun!

 For those of you without a copy in a local research library, the whole text can be read online or downloaded as a PDF file (7 mb), thanks to the Center for Japanese Publications, University of Michigan:
The online text is searchable, except for the handwritten kanbun examples which are rendered graphically. The PDF version consists entirely of images, it seems.

I have archived the whole "kanbun" thread at:
The archive is public, not requiring a user name and password like the quarterly "logs" of all pmjs messages, so that you can pass on the url to anyone who might be interested. I have made a few corrections of typos and changes in formatting. Please contact me off-list ( if you notice anything substantial that needs correcting.

I'd also like to call the attention of participants to email addresses. Rather than eliminate them entirely (and lose the sometimes helpful information about affiliations) I used a wild-card technique to substitute "------" for the user name to the left of the @ sign. I hope this is acceptable to everyone.

In the early years of pmjs, I regularly made public archives of interesting threads. I'd like to revive the tradition--with your permission--whenever I find time to create an archive.

Having mentioned the logs, let me also remind you how they work. Rather than monthly logs, they are now quarterly (three months on a single page), but I've striven to update them several times a month, usually after sending out a "weekly digest."

To access the logs, please use the following:
     user name: pmjs
     password:  logs99
(Hint: the list began in 1999.)
The main purpose of the password protection is of course to protect addresses from being "harvested" for spamming.

Index to the logs (public page):
The most recent log:

Michael Watson

From: Edward Kamens <>
Date: July 28, 2006 4:59:41 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Search in Japanese Theater at Yale

Dear Colleagues, I would be very grateful if you would bring this announcement to the attention of qualified applicants.
Thank you.--Edward Kamens, Chair of Japan Theater Search Committee


The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and the  Program in Theater Studies announce a search to fill a joint appointment as assistant professor in the field of traditional Japanese theater and performance.  The appointee will teach undergraduate and graduate courses on the Japanese dramatic tradition (such as Noh, Bunraku and Kabuki) and courses in the Theater Studies program.  Candidates should have completed a Ph.D. by the time of appointment.  This is a regular ladder appointment, effective July 1, 2007, for an initial four-year term, renewable upon review.
Send letter of application, curriculum vitae, a sample chapter or scholarly paper (30 pp. maximum), and three letters of recommendation to Japanese Theater Search, Theater Studies, Yale University, Box 208296, New Haven CT 06520-8296, fax (203) 432-1308.  Deadline for applications:  October 13, 2006.
Yale University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.  Yale values diversity among its students, staff, and faculty and strongly encourages applications from women and underrepresented minorities.

From: "James M. Unger" <>
Date: July 29, 2006 7:29:16 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Relationship of kanbun (text) and Japanese (language)

My guess is that most people who used kanbun in the Edo period did so in a way cognitively similar to the way many educated Europeans of the 18th and 19th centuries used Latin.  Few but schoolboys uttered more than phrases in it aloud.  If they did, their pronunciation typically mirrored theur L1 pronunciation of loanwords from Latin.  Hardly anyone conversed in it, as they often did in French, German, or some other L2.

Think of Gauss.  He probably did not approach the task of writing his papers in Latin as translation from German, but rather like setting down music:  just come up with the prescribed combination of symbols and Latin sentences needed to get the ideas down on paper.  Eventually, he switched to German in his publications.  Whether he did so because he felt writing in Latin was a waste of time, because he felt the number of Latin readers was declining, or because his editor told him to switch, I don't know, but unless you believe he started back-translating from Latin to German he obviously was not dependent on "thinking in Latin" to do his work!

My larger point is that if someone wants to challenge a conjecture like this, they need to supply comparative historical evidence showing how, say, the way Ito Jinsai learned or used kanbun was different from the way Gauss learned or used Latin.  Autograph manuscripts without yomikudashi marks don't prove much unless one can show that almost all other contemporary kanbun writers seldom if ever omitted them.

Jim Unger
Ohio State

P.S.  I would be skeptical of any theory of kanbun that assumes kanbun texts instantiate meanings independently of their being read in some language or other.  Also, "knowing L2" is more than a binary feature or even a continuous one-dimensional variable.  There are obviously many differences, cognitive and practical, between Conrad's English and Gauss's Latin.  We ought to look at many perspicuous examples of "high culture" L2 usage from around the world before zeroing in on kanbun.

From: Lewis Cook <>
Date: July 30, 2006 19:29:21 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  bibliography of pre-modern Genji commentary

I am writing a terse account of pre-Edo traditions of commentary on Genjimonogatari and will append to this a bibliography of recent scholarship on the subject. I can't think of anything in languages other than Japanese that might belong there, but I'd appreciate suggestions to the contrary.

Lewis Cook

Date: July 30, 2006 22:45:26 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: bibliography of pre-modern Genji commentary

How about T. J. Harper's "Genji Gossip," in New Leaves:  Studies and
Translations of Japanese Literature in Honor of Edward Seidensticker?

Tony Chambers

From: Lewis Cook <>
Date: Jul 31, 2006 9:32 AM
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: bibliography of pre-modern Genji commentary

On Jul 30, 2006, at 9:45 AM, wrote:

How about T. J. Harper's "Genji Gossip," in New Leaves:  Studies and
Translations of Japanese Literature in Honor of Edward Seidensticker?

Tony Chambers

Thank you, Tony, for this suggestion. My vague recollection from a
tachiyomi is that "Genji Gossip" is a translation of a version of
"Ise Genji onna-awase". Please correct me if that is mistaken. What I
had in mind was studies of more or less hardcore exegetical lit. I'll
assume for now that the bibliography can be confined to items in

Lewis Cook

From: Charles DeWolf <>
Date: July 31, 2006 15:56:53 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  liver revisited

With apologies for going back to (and lingering on) an
old thread, I should like to reply to Andrew Edmund
Goble (AEG)'s statement (6/26): "The Konjaku extract
[KJM 29:25] translated by De Wolf is noted in my
Autumn 2005 Monumenta Nipponica article, 'War and
Injury: The Emergence of Wound Medicine in Medieval
Japan' (see note 127 and text), in the section on
Dried Infant (which De Wolf and others incorrectly
render as Infant Liver)."

I have more than a translator's interest in the issue,
as in my brief comments I suggest that there is
cross-cultural/mythic symbolism in the notion of the
liver as a source of strength. On the other hand, I am
quite open to the possibility of having been
"incorrect," though I must say I winced at the thought
that, out of context, "De Wolf and others" might be
assumed to have been *carelessly* so.

I find AEG's article most interesting, however
sobering its subject, but on this point I am still not
convinced. Please consider the following. My purpose
is not to score points but rather to seek

1. Following all commentators, I assume that what is
written 'child-dry' is intended to be 'infant liver',
the second character being an abbreviation. (KJM is
replete with such, along with outright goji -
incorrect characters.) What is the reasoning behind
the hypothesis and why is it so uniform? Even the
Nihon Kokugo Daijin entry for jikan ('child dry')
points an arrow to "chigo no kimo" 'child liver'. AEG
says that "the sensibilities of recent commentators
have prevailed over evidence," (p. 323) but I fail to
see what those "sensibilities" might be.

2. While fully admitting that in translating the tale
I willingly played follow-the-leader, I must say that
I too found the interpretation more plausible simply
*in terms of the story itself*. And we must not forget
that this *is*, after all, a story - and in all
probability a made-up story, intended to paint a
maximally sinister picture of the warrior chieftain
Taira no Sadamori. In reading Shakespeare's Macbeth, I
assume that "witches' mummy" means "mummified material
in the possession of witches" - not "mummified witch"
But such hardly has much bearing on medieval medicine
- to say nothing of the existence of witches.

3. Pace AEG's brief summary of the tale, the physician
who advises Sadamori does *not* tell him that his
canker (kasa) "is much the same as a wound." He would
be foolish to let on that he knows more than is good
for him; in fact, Sadamori's fear that the physician
has guessed the truth leads him to attempt his murder.
Sadamori wants to keep secret the fact that he has
allowed himself to be injured in battle (probably by
an arrow), for such would damage his reputation in the
eyes of both the Court and the barbarians he will soon
have to suppress. The physician *does* tell him that
he needs immediate treatment and that the nature of
the medicine he wishes to prescribe calls for great

3. I admit that it would be quite a coincidence if a
kanji compound intended to signify 'infant liver' but
appearing with an abbreviated character that would
suggest 'dried infant' just happened to correspond
precisely to the name, written as such, of a highly
reputed medicine. But then there is the matter of
chronology. After all, by AEG's own admission, the
earliest reference is the Konjaku story. The Kinsou
hiden, jou, he tells us, dates from the fifteenth
century. Especially given the highly arbitrary and
superstitious nature of medieval medical lore, how do
we know that we are not dealing with an
extraordinarily garbled chicken-and-egg problem?
(Again, just asking...)

4. Another awkward detail in the story for AEG's
hypothesis is the next-to-the-last sentence in KJM
29.25: "Sadamori no ason, yome no kwainin-sitaru hara
wo hirakite, jikan wo toranto omohikeru koso asamasiku
hadi-naki kokoro nare." ('Lord Sadamori, simply for
having considered opening the womb of his pregnant
daughter-in-law to extract a/the jikan, was truly a
dreadful man, devoid of a moral conscience.') Even if
"dried infant" is the intended meaning, this strikes
me as akin to calling a pig a sausage. The "liver
interpretation" again strikes me as more plausible.

5. KJM is, I repeat, a collection of folktales. We
must remember that though Taira no Sadamori was an
historical personage, he lived in the mid-10th
century, i.e. at least a 150 years before the (likely)
compilation of KJM. The dates of his birth and death
are unknown, and, as with other KJM tales, the story
contains details of dubious historical accuracy.
Still, we have reason to believe that he was every bit
as ruthless as he is there depicted, though it is also
clear that the compiler(s) had, as it were, an axe to
grind in regard to warriors in general. In denouncing
Sadamori as hadi-naki, the narrator writes muzan,
though with the characters reversed. The Buddhist term
suggests a man violating the moral law without
compunction. Like Shakespeare's Richard III, he is a
politically correct villain. The ultimate purpose,
however, is to tell a good yarn, the more gruesome the

It's all in the frisson: if one wants to make a
monster out of Sadamori, I would submit, extracted
foetal liver works better than dried infant. After
all, horror stories depend on what we do *not* take
for granted. Does Hollywood produce scary movies about
rich people buying foetal material to prolong their
lives? No. Are there famous Japanese films about
mabiki (pre-modern infanticide)? Not that I know of.
That's because both are too close to what we moderns
actually *do* - and don't wish to be reminded of.
oyasute (parent-abandonment), on the other hand, which
may never have been an actual "custom" anywhere in
Japan, is the stuff of legend. Again, that's because
in most countries, even today, killing old people is
generally considered bad form. The Konjaku story, I
would argue, likewise reflects a moral outlook that
cuts at least some slack for daughters-in-laws.

It has been said that, even up until the end of the
Edo Period, Japanese children were at risk of
abduction and murder as a source of dried organ
medicine (jikan). Is this true? If so, how do we know?
There are stories today of Afghani children being
kidnapped for their kidneys. Given the horrors of
which we read daily, such might seem all too
believable, but how much of it is a modern urban
recycling of timeless pre-modern legends?

6. Finally, many or most KJM tales have an element of
the magical or supernatural about them. KJM 29:25 is,
again, for the most part a horror story, though it
should be noted that it takes the efficacy of the
"medicine" (whatever it is) for granted. The modern
reader may resort to willing suspension of disbelief,
having swallowed so much else already in order to
follow along. But for the more literal-minded student
of history, exuberant testimony to the efficacy of
Dried Infant (or Infant Hand) in the treatment of war
wounds should surely arouse suspicion. What is meant
by oni no ko, cited by AEG from Kinsou Ryoujishou?
(BTW, shouldn't this be onigo?) Here too we are in the
twilight zone between the fantastic and the
superstitious...One meaning of onigo suggests newborns
whose appearance alarmed their parents and were
therefore sometimes murdered. Is that what the writer
has in mind? Or does he literally mean 'demon
children'? How seriously are we to take any of this?

Ch. De Wolf

From: "Patrick W. Caddeau" <caddeau@Princeton.EDU>
Date: August 1, 2006 0:01:44 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  bibliography of pre-modern Genji commentary

The appendices to _Appraising Genji_(2006: include an annotated
translation of the list of Genji commentaries Hagiwara Hiromichi relied
upon in compiling his _Genji monogatari hyoushaku_ (1854-61).  This list
includes most major Genji commentaries from Genji okuiri (ca. 1227) to
Genchuu yoteki (1818).  The focus of the book is on Genji commentary
from late Edo on, but numerous references are made to earlier
developments and issues in Genji commentary that I hope would be of
interest to the users of such a bibliography.

-Patrick Caddeau
From: Lewis Cook <>

I am writing a terse account of pre-Edo traditions of commentary on
Genjimonogatari and will append to this a bibliography of recent
scholarship on the subject. I can't think of anything in languages other
than Japanese that might belong there, but I'd appreciate suggestions to
the contrary.

From: "andrew edmund goble" <>
Date: August 2, 2006 5:22:48 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  wound medicine

Dear All,

1. Perhaps I should clarify that I assume that Mr. deWolf followed annotations and edited texts provided by Japanese commentators, and did not provide those annotations and was not involved in the editing himself. I noted his piece since he has published on a topic that was relevant to the issue I was addressing.

2. I should also state that I disagree very strongly with Mr. deWolf's definitive characterizations about the nature of medieval medicine. I am inclined to believe that his comments reflect a rhetorical posture rather than any knowledge of the field.

3. The material upon which I based my study is available. I would hope that Mr. deWolf, or anyone else, would at least have the courtesy to examine the sources before making claims about my methodology or motivations, or even about the content of the sources themselves.

4. As to liver being a source of strength - my article also notes instances which allude to liver being consumed; but these are not ones noted in the medical texts that I have brought to our attention. Am I to understand that Mr. deWolf has failed to note them when reading my article? or, that he has not read my article?

5. I would be delighted if Mr. deWolf - indeed more people in general - might take up issues of medicine by way of research and publication.

Andrew Goble

From: Charles DeWolf <>
Date: August 2, 2006 14:28:59 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: wound medicine

My purposes in responding to Mr. Goble's message of
June 26 were (1) to rectify his (I am sure
unintentionally) misleading statement regarding my
translation of Konjaku Monogatari 29:25 and (2) to ask
for clarification concerning his various claims and
lines of argumentation. I am pleased to see that the
first issue, however personal and petty on my part,
has now been settled. As for the second issue, I would
like to hear more - simply (I hope) out of
intellectual curiosity. As I tried to make clear in my
last message, I was and am not trying to "score
points" - which would obviously be unwise, as I am
merely an old linguist, not a young warrior in the
field of Japanese cultural history.

I intended neither to offer any "definitive
characterizations" of medieval Japanese medicine nor
to assume any "rhetorical posture"; I readily admit
that before I read Mr. Goble's article, my exposure to
pre-modern remedies was confined to scenes of a
samurai doctor blowing sake on slash victims and of
odd old herbalists saving villagers in Mito Komon. I
further confess that I remain quite ignorant of the
medicinal properties of "dried infant" as a remedy for
battle wounds and that, reactionary cultural
inclinations to the contrary, I may easily have fallen
back on modern prejudices and then leaped to
conclusions. But then I tried to frame my comments as
questions, not claims.

Mr. Goble states: "The material upon which I based my
study is available. I would hope that Mr. deWolf, or
anyone else, would at least have the courtesy to
examine the sources before making claims about my
methodology or motivations, or even about the content
of the sources themselves."

I have read this several times and again looked at my
post of 8/30 but still fail to understand the basis of
Mr. Goble's complaint. How have I made any "claims
regarding...methodology or motivations"? At the risk
of revealing embarrassing ignorance, I was simply
posing the sort of naive question that might occur to
students when faced with an intimidatingly exotic
subject. How do we know, for example, which medical
substances, described and recommended, were "real" -
i.e. actually put to use - especially if, for whatever
reason, they were said to be carefully guarded
secrets? As a non-historian, I sought (and seek) to be
enlightened. Alas, Mr. Goble has not responded to any
of my questions. I am flattered that he seems to think
me capable of delving into the sources myself, but,
like many students today, I am rather lazy or at least
preoccupied and would prefer to have it all explained
to me.

What I said about liver consumption referred
exclusively to the notes accompanying my translation
of ten years ago. I did not even intend to discuss the
truth or relevance of those comments; I was simply
stating for the sake of clarification (confession?)
that I had not only translated jikan as "infant liver"
but also attempted to put it in a possible (!)
cross-cultural framework. Frankly, having other fish
to fry, I don't care terribly much whether I was right
or wrong about that, and (again) I was certainly not
in attack mode when I responded to Mr. Goble's

Not having at hand the winter 2005 Monumenta
Nipponica, I went to the Keio University library in
Mita to copy Mr. Goble's contribution. I then read and
reread it, perhaps a bit compulsively. I'll happily
plead guilty to denseness and even precocious
senility, but I somewhat resent the suggestion that I
may have lied about having read the article. (Why
would anyone be so foolhardy?) In fact, I was
sincerely trying to understand it and the cultural
history behind it.

"Motivations"? I must say that find this bizarre. Is
this meant to suggest that I have questioned Mr.
Goble's personal or scholarly integrity? If so, how
absurd! Perhaps it is Mr. Goble who should be reading
more carefully. He clearly misread details of the
Konjaku story, whatever their importance, and it now
seems he has misread both the content and the intent
of my response to his initial message. I also note
that he appears to have difficulty with such trivial
matters as orthography and punctuation, including the
spelling of my name.

I am only a dabbler in the world of pre-modern Japan
and, as for medicine, feel fortunate when I can
remember to follow the directions on a prescribed
bottle of (presumably) post-medieval elixir. Yet as I
tried to say before, I am more than happy to be
enlightened by those willing and able to delve into
matters quite beyond my ken.

Ch. De Wolf

From: Christina Lafin <>
Date: August 11, 2006 0:58:05 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  UBC Waka Workshop Oct. 6 & 7

New Perspectives on Waka Culture:
Women, Patronage, and Genre in Medieval Japan

The Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia is pleased to announce a two-day workshop, "New Perspectives on Waka Culture: Women, Patronage, and Genre in Medieval Japan," on October 6 and 7, 2006.

The workshop follows the successful gathering held at UBC last March ("Constructing Style and Poetic Affiliation via Anthologization: The Mikohidari House in the ShokuShuuishuu, 1278").  During the October workshop we will turn our attention to two more late-Kamakura works that allow us to consider waka culture from new perspectives.  Last March we focused on the male-dominated world of imperial anthologies and the influence of lineage.  This October we will look at texts that, while produced in the same milieu, invite us to address how female patrons and authors came to participate in waka culture by drawing from prose traditions (monogatari and karon).

On Saturday, October 7, we will follow a seminar-style format and consider short selections from two works.  First, Fuyouwakashuu (1271), an anthology commissioned by Go-Saga’s consort Omiya-in and compiled by Fujiwara Tameie.  It resembles a chokusenshuu (standard organization, 20 books, etc.) but contains only poems from monogatari.  Second, Yoru no tsuru (ca. 1280) a short karon written by the Nun Abutsu (1222-1283) for a high-ranking female patron.  These two works come from the same period as ShokuShuuishuu and touch on topics discussed in March, such as anthologization, Mikohidari poetics/authority, dai, etc.  In addition, new topics and issues are brought to the table, such as gender and patronage, genre and prestige (e.g., the situating of monogatari poetry, karon by women, etc.), authorship (a love poem by Kashiwagi?), dai and its relationship to situation/context/occasion, etc.  Selections from the two texts will be limited and made available in advance to all attendees.  Saturday will not involve any formal presentations.  Since October is a busy time of year, the format will be an informal roundtable discussion in which all participants are encouraged to share their expertise and interests.

For Friday, October 6, we invite those interested to present papers.  In keeping with the tone of Saturday’s discussion, we encourage works-in-progress and presentations of new research.  Papers need not be limited to Kamakura poetics.  We seek presentations that touch on issues of gender and patronage, generic interstices (karon, monogatari, shuu), the intersection of context and text (dai, headnotes, utaawase, etc.), and other topics that might complement Saturday’s readings.

This workshop is made possible by a generous private donation and support from the Department of Asian Studies.  Although funds are limited, we hope to cover the costs of accommodations and meals for participants.  We are happy to send formal letters of invitation to assist attendees in securing other funding.

If you are interested in participating in the workshop, as an attendee or presenter, please contact us by MONDAY, AUGUST 28.  This will allow us to secure accommodations.  Further information will be posted online at

We look forward to seeing you in Vancouver.

Stefania and Christina

Stefania Burk
Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature
Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia

Christina Laffin
Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature
Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia

From: "Yasuhiko Ogawa" <>
Date: August 12, 2006 20:32:57 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Announcement of an international symposium at Aoyama Gakuin University

Dear PMJS members,

We are pleased to announce an international symposium at Aoyama Gakuin University on the cultural interaction between Japan and China in the medieval period.

Detailed information follows.

We welcome everyone.

Yasuhiko Ogawa

Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University



Date: 2 September 2006

Time: 1:30-5:30pm

Place: Lecture Room 1173, in Building no. 11

      Aoyama Gakuin University

      4-4-25 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 153-8366

      Tel +81 (0)3 3409 7901 (Department of Japanese Literature and Language)

Language: Japanese

Fee: Free


Motoaki Muto (President of Aoyama Gakuin University)


1) Shinichi Saeki (Aoyama Gakuin University)

"The Inside and the Outside of Medieval Japanese Literary Studies"

2) Yang Xiao Jie (The University of Calgary)

"The Tale of the Poem, the Tale of the Picture: The Picture Scroll _Koka Juhappaku Zu_"

3) Bian En Tian (Doshisha University)

"'Shiho-shiki' (The Four Directions and the Four Seasons) and Japanese Literature: _Shunko Den_ and _Kingo Shinwa_"

4) Shosuke Murai (The University of Tokyo)

"The Interaction of Zen between Japan and China from the Viewpoint of Portraits and their Inscriptions"


Discussants: Masami Ogami (Aoyama Gakuin University), Yoshiaki Fujiwara (Aoyama Gakuin University)

Coordinator: Kazuhito Hiroki (Aoyama Gakuin University)







開会挨拶 武藤元昭(青山学院大学学長)





コメンテーター 大上正美(青山学院大学)

コメンテーター 藤原良章(青山学院大学)

司会      廣木一人(青山学院大学)

From: Gustav Christopher Heldt <>
Date: August 23, 2006 6:22:36 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  new Japanese literature in translation series

EastBridge is pleased to announce a new literature-in-translation series, JAPANESE HORIZONS. Our aim is to expand current knowledge of Japan’s rich literary tradition in the English-speaking world by giving visibility to a wide range of historical experience and forms of expression. With this goal in mind, the series seeks to provide quality translations of literary works that are both of interest to a general audience and informative in an academic context.

 Forthcoming titles include:
 White Man/Yellow Man by Shusaku Endo.  Translated by Teruyo Shimizu.
Tarnished Words: The Poetry of Ôba Minako.  Translated by Janice Brown.
Birds Crying by Minako Ôba.  Translated by Michiko N. Wilson and Michael K. Wilson.

 We solicit translations of Japanese literature from earliest times to the present in areas such as drama, essays, fiction, literary criticism, memoirs, and poetry.  Submissions should include 1) a proposal with a brief plot/content summary and a description of the translation’s contribution to the existing body of work available in English 2) a sample translation of one chapter and 3) the translator’s C.V.  Please send these materials in hard copy, along with a disk or email attachment including the same information, to Professor Michiko N. Wilson, Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, University of Virginia, P. O. Box 400781, Charlottesville, VA 22904.  Email:

Japanese Horizons
Michiko N. Wilson, University of Virginia, Editor
Gustav Heldt, University of Virginia, Associate Editor

From: "James C. Baxter" <>
Date: August 31, 2006 18:17:09 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Nichibunken JAPAN REVIEW database

At the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken), we recently uploaded full-text pdf files of the contents of the 2006 issue (Number 18) of our refereed Western-language journal JAPAN REVIEW into our online database. All articles, research notes, and other items that we have published since our first issue in 1990 can be retrieved and downloaded from this database. The index and search features are available in both Japanese and English (please see or No registration is necessary to use this database.

PMJS list members might be interested in one or more of the following essays in JAPAN REVIEW, Number 18 (2006):

Original Articles

Royall Tyler, "'Sagoromo' and 'Hamamatsu' on 'Genji': Eleventh-Century Tales as Commentary on 'Genji monogatari'"

Noel John Pinnington, "Models of the Way in the Theory of Noh"

Markus Ruettermann, "'So That We Can Study Letter-Writing': The Concept of Epistolary Etiquette in Premodern Japan"

Louis Cullen, "Tokugawa Population: The Archival Issues"

Research Note

Sergey Lapteff, "Relationships between Jomon Culture and the Cultures of the Yangtze, South China, and Continental Southeast Asian Areas"

* * * * *

For your reference, and to provide a sense of the scope of this journal to readers who are not familiar with it, let me mention also several original articles with a premodern focus that appeared in our previous two issues.

In JAPAN REVIEW, Number 17 (2005):

Constantine N. Vaporis, "Lordly Pageantry: The Daimyo Procession and Political Authority"

Frederik Cryns, "Translation of Western Embryological Thought in the Edo Period: Tsuboi Shindo and Malpighi's Observations of Fertilized Eggs"

In JAPAN REVIEW, Number 16 (2004):

Henry D. Smith II, "The Trouble with Terasaka: The Forty-Seventh Ronin and the Chushingura Imagination"

David E. Riggs, "The Life of Menzan Zuiho, Founder of Dogen Zen"

* * * * *

Macrons have been omitted in this announcement, and titles have been put inside single quotation marks instead of in italics.

JAPAN REVIEW welcomes submissions of manuscripts in all areas of research on Japan. For the journal masthead and information on refereeing, format of manuscripts, submission of manuscripts, editorial decisions, and the like, please see

JAPAN REVIEW is published once a year and distributed in hard copy to approximately 1000 institutions in more than forty countries. Additional copies are available for sale at a price of 2500 yen per copy; for ordering information, please contact

An expanded version of this announcement (covering modern as well as premodern topics) will soon be posted on H-Japan. Apologies in advance for duplication, but I feel fairly confident in guessing that the lists of recipients of pmjs and H-Japan do not overlap completely.

Jim Baxter
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
James C. Baxter
Editor-in-Chief, JAPAN REVIEW
International Research Center for Japanese Studies
3-2 Oeyama-cho, Goryo, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 610-1192, Japan
Tel. (+81)-75-335-2264
Fax. (+81)-75-335-2043
From: "Dix Monika" <>
Date: September 1, 2006 1:22:32 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Change of address

Dear Members,
Please note the following change of address and affiliation. With best wishes,
Monika Dix, Ph.D. Robert & Lisa Sainsbury Fellow Sainsbury Institute SOAS, Russell Square London  WC1H 0XG United Kingdom Tel: +44 (020) 7898-4465 Fax: +44 (020) 7898-4499 Email:
From: Shayne Clarke <>
Date: August 31, 2006 6:51:53 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  BDK Canada Graduate Scholarship

Dear Colleagues,

Please pass on the announcement of this important scholarship to
anyone you know who might be interested and/or eligible.

BDK Canada Graduate Scholarship for a year of Buddhist Studies at a
Japanese University. This scholarship will enable advanced graduate students
in Buddhist Studies who are Canadian Citizens or studying in a Canadian University
to spend one year in a Japanese University, studying and/or carrying out doctoral

    Value:  $40,000 (Canadian)

    Eligibility and Terms

The applicant must be a registered full-time graduate student in a
Canadian university or a Canadian citizen studying as a full-time graduate
student in a university outside of Canada.  Visa students in degree programmes in
Canadian universities may apply.

Preference will be given to advanced graduate students preparing to
carry out doctoral dissertation research, but others at an early stage in
their study will also be considered.

Some familiarity with Japanese language is expected but fluency is not
required. The results of the award will be announced by January 15, 2007.
The term of the successful candidate's stay in Japan will be one year, which
may begin at any time between April l, 2007 and March 2008.

The award will be paid in two installments.  This amount should cover
one round trip ticket to Japan and a large part of the expenses directly
related to study in Japan.

1.    A completed application form and three letters of reference are
to be submitted to
             Dean of Graduate Studies
             School of Graduate Studies
             McMaster University
             Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1
2.    Transcripts from all university level courses are to be sent
directly to the School of Graduate Studies, McMaster University
3.    Three letters of reference.  These confidential letters must
accompany the application in separate sealed signed envelopes.
i)    One letter must be from the applicant92s supervisor.
ii)     Another letter must be from a Japanese scholar based at the
institution where the applicant proposes to study.
iii)    Applicants from the University of British Columbia, University
of Calgary, McMaster University, University of Toronto and McGill
University must have a letter from the member of the Selection
Committee representing his or her institution.**

Applications may be obtained from
The Department of Religious Studies
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada  L8S 4K1
or from the website

**Names of the members of the current Selection Committee may be
obtained from the Department of Religious Studies, McMaster University.
Applicants requiring assistance in contacting scholars at Japanese institutions may
write to a member of the Selection Committee for advice.

Application Deadline:     November 1, 2006

Shayne Clarke
Department of Religious Studies
McMaster University
University Hall, Room 104
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario
L8S 4K1
Phone: 905 525 9140, ext. 23389
Fax: 905 525 8161
From: Michael Watson <>
Date: September 2, 2006 0:20:11 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  new members, new profiles

Dear All,

I had a guilty feeling that I had not updated the members' database for months, but hadn't realized quite how long it was--since February. Many apologies to all new members, whose profiles are listed below and also online at

When signing up to pmjs, members have the option of asking for their mail addresses to be kept private, or including only in the "new members' message," or included also in the online database. I hope I have followed your preferences. You will note that [at] appears for the @ mark online. This apparently affords some protection against spam robots.

New members: Mikael Bauer, Clemente Beghi, Ross Bender, Erin Brightwell, Heidi Buck-Albulet, Shayne Clarke, Ive Aaslid Covaci, John Creamer, Philip Flavin, Joshua Fogel, Amaury A. Garcia, Patricia Graham, Gerald Groemer, Cornelius J. Kiley, Lisa Kuly, Bryan Lowe, Christopher M. Mayo, Helen E. Moss, Takashi Nishiyama, Jesse Palmer, Michael Pye, Andreas Marcel Riechert, Satoko Shimazaki, Akira Shimizu, Sook Young Wang,  Elizabeth Tinsley, Kumiko Tsuchida,  Alicia Volk, Alexander Vovin, Judy Wakabayashi

Changes of affiliation/email, changes to profile: Stefania Burk, Patrick Caddeau, Charlotte Eubanks, Gus Heldt, Patti Kameya, Stephen D. Miller, Yasuhiko Ogawa, Jeremy Robinson

If I have missed you, please write to me <> off list. I promise I won't keep you waiting another six months!

Two technical notes. I have used circumflexes rather than macrons for the latest entries online. I suspect that circumflexes display better for most of you. The same is also true of the translation database, now renamed "premodern Japanese texts and translations" and a single large (rather than frames):
Like everything I do, it is "work in progress" but I have found the odd moment over the summer to add new entries.
Best of the new term/new academic year to all of you. --- Michael Watson

Mikael Bauer <>
affiliation = EALC, Harvard University
Research interests: premodern Japanese Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism and Sanskrit Studies;
Main interest: synthesis between esoteric and exoteric Buddhism in Heian Japan.

Clemente Beghi <>
affiliation = Cambridge University
I am a PhD student doing research on Japanese Buddhist Art History (especially that belonging to esoteric schools) and its relationship with society. I am now focusing on the Myoo and their rites.

Ross Bender <>
affiliation = University of Pennsylvania
I give occasional lectures on Shinto in Cameron Hurst's Pre-Modern Japanese History course at Penn. Currently I am working on a study of imperial pronouncements (senmyou, choku, shou) during the reign of Koken/Shotoku Tenno (749-769) and on a translation of the Senmyou with Peter Nosco.
1978 "Metamorphosis of a Deity: The Image of Hachiman in 'Yumi
Yawata' ". MN 33(2)
1979 "The Hachiman Cult and the Dokyo Incident". MN 34(2)
1980 "The Political Meaning of the Hachiman Cult in Ancient and Early Medieval Japan". unpublished diss, Columbia University
1983 "Correspondence (with A.N. Meshcheryakov)".MN 38(1)
1989 "Hojo River". unpublished translation of the Noh play Hojogawa. (
1989 "Jesus". Pinchpenny Press. translation of "Iesu" by Yorifumi Yaguchi. (

Erin Brightwell <>
I am an MA student in Chinese at the University of Washington.  My research interests include literature on the supernatural written in kanbun.

Heidi Buck-Albulet <>
affiliation = University of Tuebingen
Selected publications:
1) Emotion und Aesthetik. Das Ashiwake obune - eine Waka-Poetik des jungen Motoori Norinaga im Kontext dichtungstheoretischer Diskurse des fruehneuzeitlichen Japan. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2005. (Dissertation, Tuebingen 2002.)
2) "Rhetorik, aussereuropaeische; B. IV. Japan.". In: Rhetorik. Begriff-Geschichte-Internationalitaet. Hrsg. v. Gert Ueding. Tuebingen: Niemeyer, 2005. S. 278-283.
See also:

Shayne Clarke <>
Department of Religious Studies
McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Ive Aaslid Covaci <>
I am a PhD candidate in Japanese Art History at Yale University, currently writing my dissertation on the Ishiyamadera engi and the representation of dreams and visions in premodern Japanese art.

John Creamer <>
PhD candidate at Yale University. My dissertation examines scribal culture, scribal patronage and textual commerce as it is described in Prince Sadafusa's "Kanmon nikki". I'm interested in textual commerce in Medieval Japan, copying and calligraphic hands, calligraphic lineages, and the place of imperial houses such as Fushimi no miya in the capital's scribal network. Other interests include the participation of performers such as biwa hoshi and sarugaku troupes in the network. My focus throughout graduate school has been premodern Japanese theater, particularly Noh. I wrote a MA thesis at the University of Hawaii on Komparu Zenchiku's use of Genji yoriai, their connection to Teika's "Okuiri" and Genji hikiuta, and the possible transmission of Teika's "Shui guso" to Zenchiku through Shotetsu.

Philip Flavin <>
Ph.D., Music, University of California at Berkeley, 2002.
My primary interest is in Edo period music, particularly sokyoku-jiuta. After finishing my undergraduate education, I attended the Seiha Ongakuin in Tokyo to pursue my interest in koto and shamisen. After completing my studies at the conservatory, I remained in Japan studying and performing koto and shamisen. After returning to the States in 1990, I entered the U.C. Berkeley Music Department's graduate program in 1992. My research thus far has focused on a specific genre within sokyoku-jiuta known as sakumono - a specifically humorous genre. Other interests include the history of the Todoza and the position of the blind musicians in Edo period society, humor studies in Japan, and the print culture of the Chinese literati and the guqin. From 2003 to 2005, I was a visiting researcher at the Kyoto University of Fine Arts. During this time, I also began to explore Noh (utai and shimai) and Chikuzen biwa.

Joshua Fogel <>
affiliation = York University
all aspects of Sino-Japanese cultural interactions, modern Chinese and Japanese history, historiography.
_Politics and Sinology: The Case of Naitou Konan (1866-1934)_ (Harvard, 1984)
_Ai Ssu-ch'i's Contribution to the Development of Chinese Marxism_ (Harvard, 1987)
_Nakae Ushikichi in China: The Mourning of Spirit_ (Harvard, 1989)
_The Literature of Travel in the Japanese Rediscovery of China, 1962-1945_ (Stanford, 1996)
lots of translations and edited volumes

Amaury A. Garcia <>
affiliation = Center for Asian and African Studies, El Colegio de Mexico
I am a PhD Candidate from El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City.
My main interests are Edo period visual culture, mainly chonin culture's image production. Also, the various relationships between images and power structures, image control and censorship. I've been working with ukiyo-e prints and Edo period society, and currently I am finishing a research about the discourses and control on makura-e prints.
Publications: "Cultura popular y grabado en Japon" (Popular culture and the prints in Japan). El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico, 2005.
"Desentrando lo pornografico: las estampas makura-e" (Unscrambling the pornographic: the makura-e), in Anales. No. 79. Instituto de Investigaciones Esteticas, Mexico, 2001. etc.

Patricia Graham <>
affiliation = University of Kansas
My research interests are mainly in Japanese art of the Early Modern period and later, especially literati and Maruyama-Shijo schools of painting, arts for the sencha tea ceremony, and Buddhist arts and sites of worship.
Selected Publications:
Faith and Power in Japanese Buddhist Art, 1600-2005. Forthcoming (2007), University of Hawaii Press.
Tea of the Sages: the Art of Sencha (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1998), 259pp.
"Kenkyu shiryo: Kano Eino hitsu 'Higashiyama ki" (Research materials: Kano Eino's Painting of 'A record of Higashiyama'). Kokka 1327 (May 2006).
"Naritasan Shinshoji and Commoner Patronage During the Edo Period," Early Modern Japan: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Fall-Winter 2004:11-25.
"Shingon in Japanese Visual Culture, 17th to 20th Century," Bulletin of the Research Institute of Esoteric Buddhist Culture (Mount Koya, Japan), October 2003: 119-138.
"Karamono for Sencha, Transformations in the Taste for Chinese Art" in Japanese Tea Culture: Art, History, and Practice, edited by Morgan Pitelka (London: Routledge-Curzon Press, 2003), 110-136.
"Early Modern Japanese Art History: An Overview of the State of the Field," Early Modern Japan: An Interdisciplinary Journal 10/2 (Fall 2002): 2-21. Available online:
"The Later Flourishing of Literati Painting in Edo-period Japan," in: Kobayashi Tadashi et al. An Enduring Vision: Paintings from the Manyo'an Collection from the 17th to the 20th Century. New Orleans: New Orleans Museum of Art, 2002, 69-87.
"Kinsei Nihon no Bukkyo bijutsu ni okeru Chugoku no eikyo" (Chinese Influences on Professional Buddhist Painting of Early Modern Japan), in: Uji: Manpukuji, obaku Bunka Kenkyujo, obaku Bunka (obaku culture) 114 (March 1994): 42-45.
"Edo jidai ni okeru sencha bijutsu to Chugoku bunjin kyomi" (Arts for Senchado and Chinese Literati Taste in Edo period Japan), in: Nihon bijutsushi no sumiyaku (Currents in Japanese Art History, festschrift for Professor Tsuji Nobuo of Tokyo University), Tokyo: Pelican, 1993, 860-880.
"A Heterodox Painting of Shussan Shaka in Late Tokugawa Japan," Artibus Asiae, Part I, vol. 51 no. 3/4 (1991): 275-292 and Part II, vol. 52 no. 1/2 (1992): 131-145.
"Yamamoto Baiitsu no Chugokuga kenkyu" (Yamamoto Baiitsu's Study of Chinese Painting), Kobijutsu 80 (Fall 1986): 62-75 (article translated into Japanese).

Gerald Groemer <>
I am professor of Japanese Music History and Ethnomusicology at University of Yamanashi.  Currently my research focuses on blind female musicians (goze), street performers of Edo, and small-scale kabuki theater in Edo.

Cornelius J. Kiley <>
affiliation = Villanova University, retired
born 10/24/29
PhD Harvard University 70
contributor, v. 2, Cambridge History of Japan
author of several monographs on ancient and medieval Japan

Lisa Kuly <>
I am a PhD candidate at Cornell University. My research focuses on rituals of childbirth in Japan. From June 2006 to June 2007 I am a visiting researcher at Bukkyo University, Kyoto.

Bryan Lowe <>
I am a PhD student in the department of Religion at Princeton University.  I am interested in interactions between Buddhism and indigenous beliefs in the Nara and Heian periods particularly as seen as an exchange between the capital and the provinces.

Christopher M. Mayo <>
MA student in Japanese language and literature, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Kansas.
My interests include:
*the development of writing in early Japan
*the history of Japanese law, particularly the penal codes

Helen E. Moss <>
affiliation = IchiFuji-kai Dance Association, Ltd.
With IchiFuji-kai, I'm a performer and licensed teacher of Japanese classical dance in the Souke Fujima tradition, and also lecture at workshops and performances.  As an independent scholar, I'm interested in history, Kabuki theatre, costumes and costuming, makeup, kimono dressing and sewing, fans and props, textile design and production, etc.

Takashi Nishiyama <>
 Currently I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology, MIT (completed Ph. D from the Ohio State Univ). My research area is the history of modern Japan, with an emphasis on the social history of technology during the 20th century. I am interested in how the rise/demise of the imperial empire influenced technology transfer in Japan before, during, and after World War II. As a case study, I look at how and why the Japanese engineering community responsible for wartime kamikaze aircraft (such as the Zero fighter) was reborn as the creators of the Bullet Train.

Jesse Palmer <>
affiliation = University of California at Irvine
I am in my third year in UC Irvine's Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, East Asian Critical Studies emphasis, working on transnational Buddhist communities in East Asia.  My research focuses on the interaction between Japanese and Chinese Buddhism and the deployment of the signifier of Chinese-ness in Japan from Nara-Heian period through the Kamakura.  Within this framework, I am particularly interested in the travel narratives of the Japanese monks and the way these were utilized in Japan, the material culture and the exchange of goods that accompanied the various diplomatic and religious missions from Japan to China, as well as issues of orthography, particulary the kanbun/kana dichotomy.

Michael Pye <pye[at]>
Professor of the Study of Religions at Marburg University, Germany, until retirement in 2004. Guest Professor at Otani University, Kyoto (2005-2008). Sometime President of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR, 1995-2000). BA/MA Cambridge Univ., England, PhD Leeds Univ., England, Dr Theol h.c. Univ. of Helsinki, Finland. Main fields of interest: Buddhist studies, history of Japanese religions, contemporary Japanese religions, comparative study of religions. Not an expert in pmjs, but a learner. Books very broadly relevant to the list: Skilful Means, A Concept in Mahayana Buddhism (2nd ed. Routledge 2004), translations from Tominaga Nakamoto (1715-46) in: Emerging from Meditation (Duckworth and Univ. of Hawaii Press 1990).
Working within the discipline of the "Study of Religions", my special field of interest is Japanese religions with an  emphasis on modern aspects. Pre-modern, but also in a sense pre-Japanese, was my work on "Skilful Means. A Concept in Mahayana Buddhism" (1978, 2nd edition 2003). I have also been fascinated by the critical views of Tominaga Nakamoto (1715-46), and attempted translations of his works in "Emerging from Meditation" (1990). Having recently retired from the University of Marburg in Germany, I am currently teaching in the graduate school of Otani University in Kyoto (2005-8) and writing on contemporary Japanese religion/s.

Andreas Marcel Riechert <>
PhD candidate, Tuebingen University, Germany.
Research interests: Edo period historical linguistics, confucianism ( esp. Kaibara Ekken);  knowledge modelling, description logic; cognitive science, semantics; natural language engineering (esp, classical Japanese).

Satoko Shimazaki <>
I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University. I am currently at the Waseda Theater Museum working on my dissertation, which will deal with representations of female ghosts in Bunka-Bunsei period Kabuki and literature.

Akira Shimizu <>
I am a graduate student in history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My current research is focused on issues on meat-eating practice during the Tokugawa period and relations between food and identities.

Sook Young Wang <> 王淑英
Professor of Japanese Literature, Department of Japanese Studies, Inha University, Inchon, Korea.
My research is on medieval Japanese literature: waka and renga. I have had several books published in Japan and Korea, for example:  Inventing the Classics: National Identity, Gender and Japanese Literature [translation of title], Seoul: Somyeong Press 2002, Jisanka Kochu Soran [A Comprehensive Survey of Classical Commentaries on Jisanka Poetry] Tokyo:Tokai University Press 1995.

 Elizabeth Tinsley <>
I am an MA student at Otani studying Buddhist Culture. I completed an MA at SOAS in Japanese studies and studied art history for a year in Tokyo. I am now researching the female deity Niutsuhime.

Kumiko Tsuchida 土田久美子 <>
 am a post-graduate student in the department of international communications at Aoyama Gakuin University. I am interested in the problems of translation of Japanese classical literature into foreign languages, especially into Russian. I am now analyzing the Russian translation of The Tale of Genji for my Ph. D. dissertation.

 Alicia Volk <>
Post-doctoral Fellow, Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures and the School of Oriental and African Studies, London
Although my primary area of research is Japanese modern art, I have tended to focus on topics that have strong links to the earlier arts of Japan, especially painting and prints. My dissertation on the Taisho-period oil painter Yorozu Tetsugoro, for example, examines the revival of nanga and the "return to the East" movement in modern art, and I am presently writing a text on 20th century byobu in relation to traditional models as well as to contemporary art practices. From summer 2006 I will be a Getty Fellow, and then move to Washington, DC to take up a position as Assistant Professor of Japanese Art History at the Univeristy of Maryland, College Park.
Recent publications include: Made in Japan: The Postwar Creative Print Movement (University of Washington, 2005); Japan and Paris: Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and the Modern Era (co-authored with Christine Guth and Yamanashi Emiko, Honolulu Academy of Arts, 2004); "Yorozu Tetsugoro and Taisho-period Creative Prints: When the Japanese Print Became Avant-garde" (Impressions no. 26, 2004); and "Katsura Yuki and the Japanese Avant-garde" (Woman’s Art Journal 24, no. 2, 2003).

Alexander Vovin <>
affiliation = University of Hawaii at Manoa
profile =

Judy Wakabayashi <>
Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies, Kent State University, Ohio.
Research interests: Japanese-English translation, history of Japanese translation, translation theory and pedagogy.

** Changes of affiliation/email, changes to profile**

Stefania Burk <>
Assistant Professor of Japanese, University of British Columbia
Interests include medieval waka and anthologization, women's poetry/autobiography, and modern canonization of premodern texts and traditions.
Current projects involve the late Kamakura imperial anthologies and a book-length study of Eifukumon-in.

Patrick Caddeau <>
 Director of Studies, Forbes College, Princeton University.
Appraising Genji: Literary Criticism and Cultural Anxiety in the Age of the Last Samurai
Areas of interest and research include: Genji commentary, criticism, and reception; early modern literature and interpretation from yomihon to shousetsu; the role of cinema, performance, and technology in the formation of cultural identity.
[First chapter can be read on following link. (ed):]

Charlotte Eubanks <>
Charlotte Eubanks is an assistant professor of Comparative Literature and Japanese at The Pennsylvania State University where she teaches courses in world literature, Japanese language and literature, Buddhist writings, and literary theory. Her research interests include Buddhist sermon-related writings, premodern Japanese literature, contemporary women's fiction, folklore, performance studies, and theories of orality.  She is currently working on a book length study of setsuwa.

Gus Heldt <>
University of Virginia
Areas of interest include early and medieval Japanese literature, cultural history, and gender studies.

Patti Kameya <>
Assistant Professor, Department of History, Kent State University. My dissertation focused on the intersection between ideas of virtue and eccentricity as portrayed in Kinsei kijinden (Eccentrics of our times, 1790) by Ban Kokei.  Additional and tangential interests include Okinawa, gender, early modern cultural exchange, and folklore studies.

Stephen D. Miller <>
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Editor and one of the translators of Partings at Dawn: An Anthology of Japanese Gay Literatur e (Gay Sunshine Press, 1996). My interests revolve around a number of things: literature and Buddhism, classical poetry, the imperial poetry anthologies, expressions of gay male sentiments in Japanese culture (lit, film, TV), the thorny problem of translation (how to do it and doing it), and the teaching of bungo at the university level. I am (still) working on a manuscript on the relationship between Buddhism and the sub-genre of waka known as shakkyoka.  Right now my focus is on the "Aisho" book of the Shuishu.  Most recently I've worked on some collaborative translations of a Noh play (Shunzei Tadanori) and 7 shakkyoka with the poet Patrick Donnelly.

Yasuhiko Ogawa <>
Professor, Faculty of Letters, Aoyama Gakuin University

Jeremy Robinson <>
Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature at Washington & Lee University.  My primary area of specialization is premodern Japanese poetry, particularly that of the Man'yoshu, but my research interests are broad, including the role of humor in Japanese literature, the relationship between literary and performance genres, and works which combine text and image.

From: Roberta Strippoli <>
Date: September 4, 2006 2:23:49 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Kyoto Lectures: Iyanaga on sexual heresies 9/13 at 6pm

Dear friends and colleagues,

On behalf of ISEAS and EFEO I am very happy to announce that Iyanaga Nobumi will deliver a fascinating lecture in Kyoto on September 13.  Please refer to the addresses and phone numbers below if you need more information.



PS: I am also happy to announce that I recently completed my PhD at Stanford and moved to Bates College (Maine) to take up a Visiting Assistant Professor position.  (I hope those who don't know me will forgive the personal note.)


Scuola Italiana di Studi sull'Asia Orientale ISEAS
École Francaise d’Extrême-Orient EFEO


Wednesday September 13th 18:00h

Nobumi Iyanaga will speak on:

“Sexual Heresies” in Medieval Japan:
With Special Focus on the So-called Tachikawa-ryû

The name of Tachikawa-ryû 立川流 is famous for its ‘infamous’ sexual
doctrine and practices, but its reality is very little known and often
misunderstood. Analysis of one of the most influential “heresiological”
works of the Middle Ages, the Hôkyôshô 宝鏡鈔 by Yûkai 宥快 (1375),
reveals that the Tachikawa-ryû was the victim of a false and (probably)
deliberate incrimination. This does not mean, however, that there were no
sexual doctrines and practices in the Middle Ages. On the contrary, different
trends existed, and not only within the Shingon school. One trend, criticized
in the Juhô yôjin shû 受法用心集 by Shinjô 心定 (1268), apparently held a
very peculiar teaching, in a sense very close to some of the extreme forms
of yoginī-tantra. Inquiry into the kind of groups that transmitted such
teachings makes it possible to offer a new vision of different religious
movements in the Middle Ages.

Nobumi Iyanaga 彌永信美 is an independent researcher specializing in the study of
Buddhist mythology, with a special interest in the religious culture of medieval Japan. He has
also studied the history of Western images of the Orient (particularly from the Middle Ages
until the Renaissance) in Gensô no Tôyô 幻想の東洋 (“Imaginary Orient,” Tokyo, 1987, and
repr. 2005). His studies on Buddhist mythology were published in 2002 in two volumes:
Daikokuten hensô 大黒天変相 (“Variations on the Theme of Mahākāla”) and Kannon
hen'yôtan 観音変容譚 (“Metamorphosis of Avalokiteśvara”). Nobumi Iyanaga also
contributed two articles to the Hôbôgirin, the French encyclopedia of Buddhism, on
Meheśvara and Mahākāla respectively.

Italian School of East Asian Studies (ISEAS)
École Francaise d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO)
4, Yoshida Ushinomiya-cho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto
606-8302 JAPAN

Phone: 075-751-8132
Fax: 075-751-8221

Phone: 075-761-3946

From: Michael Watson <>
Date: September 5, 2006 0:29:08 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Fujiwara no Tadazane

Dear All,

The following question from a Norwegian writer is not something that I could begin to answer myself, but I am sure that someone on the list could point him in the right direction. Can anyone help?

Michael Watson

From: "Hans Morten Sundnes" <>
Date: September 4, 2006 19:02:10 GMT+09:00
To: <>
Subject: Fujiwara no Tadazane, question from Norwegian writer

Dear Michael Watson, I'm not sure if I even should try to disturb you with this. But I'm working on a book about kamaboko/surimi/crabsticks - the origin, the development and the globalisation. In such a project you would always have a dream about tracing the first kamaboko meal. That is probably not possible, but some years ago a kamaboko/surimi scholar at a University in Kyoto found a description of a meal in the Heian period in Edo Shogunate archives (Ruijuzooyooshoo in 1672). The documents describes a meal/banquet in 1115. And the occasion shall have been that Fujiwara no Tadazane moved to a new estate in Kyoto (Higashi to Sanjo) Chikuwa-kamaboko was served at the third table, but that's all I know. Even though the sources are a bit thin, I could like to describe this meal for my readers. But I find it hard to find out anything about the occasion, about the bulding, about the relation between the Fujiwara regent and the emperor at the time.(probably not good) Is there anything to tell about this? ( I have also heard that Fujiwara bulit a villa, Fukedono, north of Byodo-in in Uji in 1114, but those sources are less reliable. I know that he settled back in Uji not many years after.

I see that this is not exactly this period, and maybe it's not easy to answer this at all, but thank you anyway.

Your sincerely
Hans Morten Sundnes
6120 Folkestad
+ 47 70 05 20 32

From: Lawrence Marceau <>
Date: September 5, 2006 6:03:23 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Fujiwara no Tadazane

There is a reproduction of Tadazane's banquet in the 類聚雑要抄 (Ruiju zouyou shou, 1672), Kyoto University Library collection.  A link to the image mentioning "kamaboko" at the 3rd "table"(course? 台三進) is found here:

    The entire banquet is described, so someone with the time and interest should be able to translate it.

    Lawrence Marceau

From: Peter Hendriks <>
Date: September 8, 2006 14:12:22 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  available position at the Australian National University

Dear Colleagues,

The Australian National University has just announced an opening for a lecturer in Japanese Studies. See below and also for more details. The closing date is 6 October 2006.


Peter Hendriks

Lecturer In Japanese Studies

Fixed Term – 3 years
Academic Level B
Salary Package: $62,985 - $74,313 pa plus 17% super

Reference No.: FAS3624

The Faculty of Asian Studies seeks to appoint a Lecturer in Japanese studies. The position is in the Faculty’s Japan Centre delivering one of the largest and most distinguished Japanese programs in Australia.

The applicant will possess native or near-native speaker fluency in the Japanese language and English; a PhD relevant to our teaching and research missions; a promising research and publications record in Japanese studies, and a commitment to publications and success in competitive research grant schemes. The applicant will also be experienced in and committed to the supervision of students at Honours, Postgraduate and Research degree levels.

Responsibilities will include teaching the Japanese language and some teaching in the candidate’s specialist field. You will be expected to supervise sessional staff (eg tutors) in group teaching courses.

Applicants with a professional focus in the humanities and social sciences, and those with interests in Japanese visual and popular culture are particularly welcome to apply.

Commencement is negotiable but preferably the successful applicant will take up duties in February 2007. This is a three-year fixed period of employment, with the possibility of conversion thereafter to standard on-going employment.

Peter Hendriks
Faculty of Asian Studies
College of Asia and the Pacific
Baldessin Precinct Building
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200 Australia

t: +61 2 6125 3206
f: +61 2 6125 3144
e:           日本語でどうぞ
CRICOS #00120

From: "Richard L. Wilson" <>
Date: September 8, 2006 17:24:37 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: position opening at International Christian University

Dear Colleagues,

International Christian University in Mitaka, Tokyo has a full-time position opening in Philosophy/Ethics (and/or Religion) with a Japan specialization. See the details below or  <>

Thank you for your consideration,
Richard L. Wilson

Japanese Religion in Tokyo

The Division of Humanities at International Christian University, announces a tenure track opening at the assistant, associate or full professor level in the field of Philosophy/Ethics (Religion).

The starting date:  September 1, 2007.
Primary responsibilities for this position will be teaching general education and undergraduate courses, as well as supervising senior theses. Graduate level teaching is also a possibility.  The candidate must be committed to research in the field of Japanese Ethics/Religion

Requirements: Doctorate in hand in the field of Philosophy/Ethics(Religion), publications and evidence of scholarly potential and ability to teach Japanese religion as well as “Introduction to Christianity” in English. The candidate should be committed to teaching, research and university service.  Japanese/English bilingual competence and international experience desirable, but not required

Please send c.v. and the summary of research achievements as well as research planning in the future, and the name and address of three references to :
Professor Naoki Onishi, Chair, Division of Humanities,
International Christian University,
10-2, Osawa 3-chome, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181-8585, Japan. 

The deadline of submission is November 30th, 2006
These documents sent by email will be accepted.

International Christian University (ICU) is an elite, private, coeducational, bilingual liberal arts university based upon Christian principles, founded in 1949 by Christians in Japan and North America.  The campus is located on 156 acres in the western suburbs of Tokyo.

For further information, please contact Professor Naoki Onishi,
Phone: +81 422 33 3217,
Fax: +81 422 34 6983,

From: Richard Emmert <>
Date: September 10, 2006 1:06:54 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Theatre Nohgaku Pine Barrens tour

Dear List members,

For members in the North Carolina and Virginia area of the United States, Theatre Nohgaku wishes to announce a short performance tour of a new noh play in English entitled Pine Barrens, a demon play about the Jersey devil which by legend resides in the pine barrens of New Jersey. Performances will be at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem on September 15 and 16, Duke University on September 19 and Hampden-Sydney College on September 21. Detailed information from a short blurb follows. Also see Theatre Nohgaku’s website:


Rick Emmert

 Announcing Theatre Nohgaku’s World Premiere tour of Pine Barrens, a Noh play in English. Written by Greg Giovanni. Music and direction by Richard Emmert. With special guest hayashi musicians from Japan, and also featuring Theatre of Yugen in The Melon Thief, a Kyogen comedy directed by Yuriko Doi.
 Once in the desolate Pine Barrens when the impoverished Mrs. Leeds was in labor with her thirteenth child, she cried out, “Let the devil take this child!” Thus began the legend of the Jersey Devil...


 Friday, September 15 @ 7:00 pm
Saturday, September 16 @ 7:00 pm

Sunday, September 17 @ 2:00 PM

Performance Place, NCSA

Tickets: $15 general; $12 students/seniors

Tickets may be purchased by phone, fax, online, mail or in person.

     Phone: 336-721-1945

     Fax: 336-631-1212


     Box Office: Stevens Center, 405 W. Fourth Street,

     9 AM-5 PM Mon.-Fri.



 Tuesday, September 19 @ 8:00 pm
Tickets: $18 general; $5 Duke students

Tickets may be purchased by phone or online.

     Phone: 919-684-4444


 Presented by Duke Performances. Made possible in part with support from the Duke University Office of the Provost, the Vice Provost for International Affairs, and Presenting Partner Thomas S. Kenan, III.



 Thursday, September 21 @ 8:00 pm
 Free Performance
Sponsored by the Lectures and Programs Committee and the Department of Fine Arts.

 Pine Barrens is a presentation of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts and Theatre Nohgaku. For more information call the Kenan Institute at 336-722-0030 or visit The Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts is a privately funded program of the North Carolina School of the Arts
 For more information on Theatre Nohgaku see:
 Supported in part by the Piedmont Japanese Business Association, the Triangle Japanese Business Association, and All Nippon Airways (ANA)
Endorsed and promoted by the Consulate General of Japan, Atlanta.

From: "Lucia Dolce" <>
Date: September 11, 2006 21:34:57 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  CSJR workshop 'The Power of Ritual'

Dear pmjs−members
(apologies for cross-posting)

The following annoucement may be of interest to some of you who are in Japan.
lucia dolce

The forthcoming workshop of the SOAS Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions will take place in Kyoto on 14-15 September 2006, co-organized with the Art Research Centre of Ritusmeikan University.

The workshop is open to the public. For further information please see the attached programme and the

We look forward to see you in September.

Interdisciplinary perspectives on medieval religious practices

14-15 September 2006
Venue: Art Research Centre, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto.

[14 September]
13:00-13:25 Welcome and Introductions ごあいさつ
Kawashima Masao 川嶋將生, COE Project Director
Lucia Dolce, CSJR Chair
Matsumoto Ikuyo 松本郁代, Symposium co-organizer

1. Religion as Performance 儀礼としての宗教 
Chair: Hongô Masatsugu 本郷真紹(立命館大学) 
Discussant: Abe Yasurô 阿部泰郎(名古屋大学)
13:30-14:00 Petitions and Rites for the Gods of Curse
Saitô Hideki 斎藤英喜 (佛教大学)
14:05-14:35 Aesthetic Performance and Empowerment: The Nature of Medieval Shômyô
Fumi Ouchi 大内典 (SOAS/ 宮城学院女子大学)
14:40-15:10 Why Ritual Matters: Religious Performance and Social Life at Medieval Hokkeji
Lori Meeks (University of Southern California)
15:10-15:40 Response and Discussion 質疑応答
15:40-16:00 Tea Break 休憩

2. The Liturgical Body 儀礼的身体
Chair: Michael Jamentz(立命館大学) 
Discussant: Kadoya Atsushi 門屋温(早稲田大学)
16:10-16:40 Esoteric Rituals and the Power of Wishing: The Skull Liturgy of the Jûhô-yôjin-shû
Iyanaga Nobumi 彌永信美 (仏教学研究家)
16:45-17:15 Ritualizing Duality: Fudô, Aizen and the Secret Iconography of Empowerment
          二元性の儀礼ー不動・愛染 と秘力の図像化
Lucia Dolce (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)
17:20-17:50 Response and Discussion 質疑応答
18:30 Reception 懇親会

[15 September]
3. Socio-cultural Practices 社会・文化的実践  
Chair: Ikemi Chôryû 池見澄隆 (佛教大学) 
Discussant: Francois Lachaud (Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient)
9:35-10:05 The Twofold Body of the Elephant-god: Narratives and Rituals for Shôten
Tanaka Takako 田中貴子 (甲南大学)
10:10-10:40 Daigoji, Esoteric Rainmaking Rituals and the Dragon Lady Seiryô Gongen
Steven Trenson (京都大学/ Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes)
10:45-11:15 The Power of Sacred Vehicles: Carrying Portable Shrines and Sacred Trees into the Capital
Matsumoto Ikuyo 松本郁代 (日本学術振興会特別研究員)
11:15-11:45 Tea Break 休憩
11:45-12:15 Response and Discussion 質疑応答
12:30-14:00 Lunch 昼食
14:00-16:00 Round Table Discussion 全体討論

Organized by
・COE Program Kyoto Art Entertainment Innovation Research,
Art Research Centre, Ritsumeikan University
立命館大学21 世紀COE プログラム「京都アートエンタテインメント創成研究」
・Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
ロンドン大学SOAS 日本宗教センター
Organizers: Lucia Dolce, Matsumoto Ikuyo

For further information and registration please e-mail:

 日本中世という時代は、多くの宗教儀礼が新たに創出され、改変された時代であった。現在、儀礼研究は民俗学や歴史学をはじめ文学、美術史など、様々な分 野で行われているが、各分野における儀礼研究は、儀礼を宗教としての要素より、一つの資料や型として捉え、各文脈の中で分析されているのが現状である。儀 礼における「宗教」とは、儀礼行為とそれを意味付ける思想とが一体になっているものとして考えることができる。そして、この儀礼と思想が、外部世界と相互 関係を持ち、様々な反応を起こすことによって、新たな儀礼や思想が生み出され、或いは、改変されていった。この問題は、儀礼が発する力学的問題であり、こ れを儀礼のEmpowerment(権能)として捉えることができる。
 儀礼における権能は、様々なレベルでの意味が存在する。その一つが、儀礼の実修や上演による宗教としての機能である。この他に、儀礼を修す実修者やその 演者にも権能が存在する。すなわち、儀礼によって新たな肉体を得ることができる、身体的な意味での権能である。また、このような権能を包有した儀礼が、社 会的・世俗的なネットワークと連続することによって、儀礼は正統性や社会や世俗に適応した権能を帯びていくことになる。

From: Philip Brown <>
Date: September 14, 2006 1:56:52 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  2006-07 North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources (NCC) Multi-Volume Sets Grant Application Guidelines

The North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
(NCC) Multi-Volume Sets Project Committee is pleased to announce the
guidelines for 2006-07 MVS Project grant application and invites you to
submit titles for pre-screening.

Please note two important provisions for 2006-07 MVS grant.

1. ILL: the requirement has been changed from ILL "free of charge" to
"freely circulating." MVS permits the charging of ILL fees in accordance
with the loan policies of individual holding institutions.

2. Second-hand titles may now be proposed for MVS funding. Applicants
must provide a written statement from the vendor assuring that those
titles will be held until the MVS Committee makes grant award decisions,
and that the condition of the proposed volumes is at a level that will
permit the materials to freely circulate through ILL.

The 2006-07 MVS guidelines are available on the MVS homepage at:

Please remember that important dates for the 2006-07 MVS grant
applications are:

Prescreening Deadline: Novembe 6, 2006
(via e-mail to:

MVS Application Deadline: January 12, 2007 (parcel shipping deadline)

Please see check details of application procedures on the NCC Website.

For any questions about MVS prescreening or application procedures,
please contact MVS Librarian Co-Chair Naomi Kotake at

Date: May 9, 2006 0:28:14 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  UBC Waka Workshop Update (Oct. 6-7)

New Perspectives on Waka Culture: Women, Patronage, and Genre in Medieval

The Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia will
be hosting a two-day workshop, "New Perspectives on Waka Culture: Women,
Patronage, and Genre in Medieval Japan," on October 6 and 7, 2006.  The
program, paper abstracts, and other information have now been posted at

This workshop is made possible by a generous private donation and support
from the University of British Columbia Department of Asian Studies and the
Faculty of Arts.

If you are interested in attending or would like further information, please
contact us.

Stefania and Christina

Stefania Burk
Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature
Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia

Christina Laffin
Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature
Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia

From: Bernhard Scheid <>
Date: September 18, 2006 20:56:59 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  new book on secrecy in Japanese Religion

Dear list members,

today I received information that the book _The Culture of Secrecy in
Japanese Religion_ is finally out on the market. The book, published by
Routledge, is a collection of essays by international experts of
Japanese and Asian Religious Studies including quite a few members of
this mailing list, and has been edited by Mark Teeuwen and myself.

Table of Contents

Preface (B. Scheid)
1. Introduction: Japan's medieval culture of secrecy from a comparative
perspective (M. Teeuwen)
Part 1: Prologue
2. Secrets and secrecy in the study of religion: Comparative views on
secrecy from the Ancient World (A. DeJong)
3. The problem of secrecy in Indian Tantric Buddhism (R. Davidson)
4. Myth and secrecy in Tang-period Tantric Buddhism (M. Lehnert)
Part 2: Japan’s Medieval Culture of Secrecy
5. Secrecy in Japanese esoteric Buddhism (F. Rambelli)
6. Reconsidering the taxonomy of the esoteric: Hermeneutical and ritual
practices of the Lotus sutra (L. Dolce)
7. Knowing vs. owning a secret: Secrecy in medieval Japan, as seen
through the sokui kanjo enthronement unction (M. Teeuwen)
8. Secrecy, sex and apocrypha: Remarks on some paradoxical phenomena (N.
9. Esotericism in Noh commentaries and plays: Konparu Zenchiku's
Meishukushu and Kakitsubata (S. Klein)
10. The elephant in the room: The cult of secrecy in Japanese Tantrism
(B. Faure)
11. Myths, rites, and icons: Three views of a secret (A. Kadoya)
12. Two modes of secrecy in the Nihon shoki transmission  (B. Scheid)
Part 3: The Demise of Secrecy
13. When secrecy ends: The Tokugawa reformation of Tendai Buddhism and
its implication (W. Bodiford)
14. Hiding the shoguns: Secrecy and the nature of political authority in
Tokugawa Japan (A. Walthall)
15. "Esoteric" and "public" in late Mito thought (K. Nakai)

The only drawback of this edition is the price: 85 pound = 126 EURO =
159 USD = 18.853 JPY. It seems, however, that Amazon offers the book for
only 65 pound resp. 125 USD. Perhaps they will adjust their prices, so
if you want to buy it, better buy it quickly..

Best regards

Bernhard Scheid

PS: Our blurb reads:

The Japanese Middle Ages were a period when secrecy dominated many forms
of religious practice. This fascinating collection traces the secret
characteristics and practices in Japanese religion, while analyzing the
rise and decline of religious esotericism in Japan.

Esoteric Buddhism developed in almost all Buddhist countries of Asia,
but it was of particular importance in Japan where its impact went far
beyond the borders of Buddhism, also affecting Shinto as well as
non-religious forms of discourse. During the Middle Ages, secret
initiations became a favoured medium for the transmission of knowledge
among Buddhist monks, Shinto priests, scholars, actors and artisans alike.

The Culture of Secrecy in Japanese Religion looks at the impact of
esoteric Buddhism on Japanese culture, and includes comparative chapters
on India and China. Whilst concentrating on the Japanese medieval
period, this book will give readers familiar with present day Japan many
explanations for the still visible remnants of Japan's medieval culture
of secrecy. This compelling look at a largely undiscovered field of
research successfully demystifies the study of esotericism and Tantrism,
and will be essential reading for scholars of East Asian Buddhism,
Japanese religion and religious history.

PPS: Sorry for cross-postings.

to order through (,, etc.see this link / pmjs ed.
From: Elizabeth Leicester <>
Date: September 19, 2006 1:41:00 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Herman Ooms talk at USC

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

A lecture by Prof. Herman Ooms, Dept. of History, UC Los Angeles

"Daoism in Ancient Japan: Still-born or Aborted?"

Thursday, October 5, 2006, 7:00-9:00 pm in the Stoops East Asia Library Seminar Room on the campus of the University of Southern California

In the historical record for pre-Temmu  times, compiled in the early eighth century, one can find a number of disparate Daoist elements. During Temmu's rule, however, and that of Jito, his wife and successor (672-702), these elements are articulated into structural moments to give rulership a Daoist cachet. Subsequently, however, Daoism became associated with subversive activities.

Parking for the Stoops East Asia Library (EDL on the USC map) is available for $7.00 in Lot B. Enter at Gate 4 from Jefferson Blvd. at Royal St.
For further information, please contact Prof. Joan Piggott at

From: Royall Tyler <>
Date: September 22, 2006 8:58:53 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Jingu Kogo

I have a question about the position and significance of Jingu Kogo and her son Ojin in the line of Japanese sovereigns. I don't know how or where to pursue it on my own. All hints will be much appreciated.

The official chronology has Chuai (Jingu's husband) reigning 192-200 and Ojin reigning 270-310. Jingu Kogo herself effectively reigned between them, but apparently she was never emperor de jure; hence the seventy-year official gap between Chuai and Ojin. Nonetheless Nihon shoki, for example, sometimes refers to her as though she really had been emperor; and apparently her authority did indeed command that kind of treatment.

Chuai died after being cursed by the triple sea deity (Sumiyoshi) speaking through his wife, who then set off to conquer Korea. Jingu Kogo completely overshadowed her husband. Similarly, Ojin occupies a particularly prominent position in the line of emperors, one quite unlike his father's.

Has anyone ever suggested that Chuai's death and Jingu Kogo's long-wielded power broke the line of imperial succession, and that Ojin actually founded, or at least restored (中興), the existing line? Or, to put the question more broadly, has anyone ever suggested that the Jingu Kogo interlude affected the imperial succession and that Ojin's accession therefore has a special significance?

Royall Tyler

From: Royall Tyler <>
Date: September 22, 2006 12:03:36 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Jingu Kogo

Begging everyone's pardon: Kojiki, not Nihon shoki, is the source of the account of Chuai's death to which I alluded in my last message. The Nihon shoki account is different.

Royall Tyler

From: Richard Bowring <>
Date: September 22, 2006 16:42:34 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: Jingu Kogo

I was under the impression that the usual interpretation of Jingu, the attack on Korea and the delayed birth was precisely to see it as a metaphor for hiding what was in fact a complete break in the succession.
Richard Bowring

From: Lewis Cook <>
Date: September 26, 2006 3:09:44 GMT+09:00
Subject: [pmjs]  Re: new book on secrecy in Japanese Religion

On Sep 18, 2006, at 7:56 AM, Bernhard Scheid wrote:

Dear list members,

today I received information that the book _The Culture of Secrecy in
Japanese Religion_ is finally out on the market. The book, published by
Routledge, is a collection of essays by international experts of
Japanese and Asian Religious Studies including quite a few members of
this mailing list, and has been edited by Mark Teeuwen and myself.


The only drawback of this edition is the price: 85 pound = 126 EURO =
159 USD = 18.853 JPY. It seems, however, that Amazon offers the book for
only 65 pound resp. 125 USD. Perhaps they will adjust their prices, so
if you want to buy it, better buy it quickly..

Forgive me for complaining, but "out on the market" is a rather ironic choice of words. The price-tag on a book like this - not that it is unusual for British and European academic publishers - is a good enough assurance that it will remain unobtainable and thus unread by those indigent scholars to whom it is presumably addressed, and somewhat beyond the budget of their libraries, in many cases. Routledge might as well seal it in a tomb for all the circulation the book is likely to receive, and perhaps this would be the most appropriate way of disposing of a collection of studies on esoterica?