A group for those researching or interested in premodern Japanese history.
This paper renders the ancient folktale ‘Ama’ (Woman Diver) into English, investigates its origins, and interprets its timeless significance. From a prehistoric oral tradition, it evolved into a temple chronicle and a Noh play. The paper includes a summary in Japanese, and all the references are in Japanese. With a moving story and vivid…[Read more]
Tariq Sheikh deposited This Side of the Long Tunnel: The Emergence of the Idea of Japan’s ‘Snow Country’ in the Nineteenth Century in the group Premodern Japanese History on Humanities Commons 9 months, 2 weeks ago
In Nobel laureate Kawabata Yasunari’s novel Snow Country, the protagonist Shimamura refers to an “old book” which gave him in-depth knowledge about the region known in Japan as the “Snow Country”. The name of the book is not disclosed by Kawabata, but it is now known that the “old book” is Hokuetsu Seppu (first published in 1837), written by Su…[Read more]
Dennis Darling deposited The Uesugi: a study of a Japanese warrior family’s political and military involvement in eastern Japan, 1252-1455. Chapter 1: Early association with Court and warriors and emergence on the politico-military stage of eastern Japan, 1252-1336 in the group Premodern Japanese History on Humanities Commons 11 months, 1 week ago
The essay is the first of a projected series of essays collectively entitled ‘The Uesugi: a study of a Japanese warrior family’s political and military involvement in eastern Japan, 1252-1455’. It examines the Uesugi family’s early history from around the time of its establishment to early 1336, the year war broke out between the Ashikaga and the…[Read more]
The ancient intuitive language of images is still within us. People have always lived myths and taken lessons from legends. The lore and iconography of the Pilgrimage of Shikoku provide vivid examples. Poetry relies on metaphors, while true haiku communicate through nature symbolism.
Entry to a Deep in Japan Podcast, during which Steve McCarty elucidates the origins of Japan, the Imperial line, and how people viewed their environment from 30,000 years ago to the golden age of the Heian Period. He tells moving legends to rival Sophocles, culminating in a fusion of many religions in a mountain range viewed as a maṇḍala that cou…[Read more]
The author did in situ research for an MA in Asian Religions on Japan’s greatest saint, Kūkai, in his birthplace of Zentsūji, along the Pilgrimage of Shikoku that symbolically recapitulates his career, and at Kōya-san, the mountaintop monastery south of Kyōto that Kūkai founded in the early 9th Century. Kūkai was a key figure igniting the golde…[Read more]
This published Japanese-English guidebook to the island of Shikoku, emphasizing its culture and history, has been available by permission on the Web in French, Spanish, and Dutch at European Websites, as well as this English-Japanese version since 1997. Most of the chapters are bilingual, with English and Japanese alternating for those studying…[Read more]
A cultural, historical, and practical guidebook to Kagawa Prefecture on the island of Shikoku across the narrow Seto Inland Sea from the main island of Japan. Formerly the province of Sanuki, a compact area with convenient train lines, it has great potential for tourism. An active region culturally for more than 2,000 years, it was the birthplace…[Read more]
In-situ research findings and cross-cultural observations largely written by the author in Japanese (see additional information). Contents: ancient and classical history of Sanuki Province (now Kagawa Prefecture), where Kukai and his nephew Enchin were born, inspiration for the Pilgrimage of Shikoku; Buddhist syncretism with several Asian…[Read more]
A Noh play and temple chronicle, thought to have prehistoric origins in one of the oldest professions, was translated for the Shikoku Bilingual Guidebook by Akiko Takemoto and Steve McCarty. The co-author narrates this podcast, telling the heart-wrenching story of a woman’s ultimate sacrifice, with an overlay of Buddhism and archetypal symbolism.…[Read more]
A gripping legend about the origin of the Pilgrimage of Shikoku seems to prove reincarnation. This five-minute podcast recounts the miracle story, then poses discussion questions that could, and have been, used educationally with groups to get at the underlying motive and purpose of the legend.
Two papers on the Jungian psychology of Asian religions from M.A. coursework at the University of Hawaii in 1978. “Equations of Freedom with Enlightenment” analyzes Chinese Buddhism, Taoism, and Zen as to the meaning of liberation. Then “This World as a Symbolic Body of the Buddha” analyzes the Shingon Buddhist cosmology of Kukai and its Tantric…[Read more]
Hashikuradera, the inner sanctuary of Kompira-san on Shikoku island, defied the Meiji government and has kept Buddhism and Shinto on the same hallway to this day. This old map depicts the syncretic divinity Kompira Daigongen whirling through the air from Kompira-san or Elephant’s Head Mountain (upper left) to meet Kukai, just labeled the great…[Read more]
A multilingual podcast, recorded in August 2005 by native speakers of English, Japanese, and Chinese, found proverbs with a similar meaning in each culture. The author arranged this podcast during a Translation class between Japanese and English with fourth year students at Shinonome University in Matsuyama, on Shikoku island in Western Japan.
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