October 30, 2015/ 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

UCLA Royce Hall Room 314

20th Annual Graduate Symposium on Japanese Studies

Japanese mythologies of the modern and premodern

Photo: En no gyōja to shugendō no sekai: Sangaku shinkō no hihō (Mainichi shinbunsha, 1999), p. 162.

Operating under the presumption that myths are foundational narratives possessed of a certain broad-based appeal, this conference will focus on the role those narratives play in the construction of political, cultural, and personal identities. While processes of identity-formation have been theorized at great length, less clear are the linkages between premodern and modern myth making. With historical revisionism and neo-nationalist sentiment on the rise in Japan, the manner in which historical myths are constructed, disseminated, and then internalized by individuals or groups is an issue of vital significance. At this conference we hope to address this issue in innovative ways by moving beyond the longstanding division between approaches to the premodern and the modern.

Keynote Presentation by Dr. David Lurie, Columbia University


8:45 - 9:15   Breakfast

9:15 - 9:30 Opening Remarks

9:30 - 11:30 Panel One: Intersections of Individual and National Myths
Raiyah bint Al-Hussein, UCLA - Kusunoki Masashige and Imperial Loyalty
Drisana Misra, Yale University - Hasekura Tsunenaga: Japan's Mythological Canon and Transnational Myths
Alexandra Wiltsie, UC Riverside - Colonial Abjection and the Myth of the National Subject in Kim Sa-Ryang and Franz Kafka
Casey Martin, UCLA - Deconstructing the Myth of Imperial Divinity: Hotta Yoshie’s Hōjōki shiki (Notes on An Account of my Hut)
Discussant: Professor Torquil Duthie, UCLA

11:30 - 12:30   Lunch

12:30 - 2:30 Panel Two: Myth-making and the Post-war
Julia Alekseyeva, Harvard University - Anthropological Intentions: The Myths and Fables of Imamura Shohei
Brian White, University of Chicago - Digimythos: Networked Spiritualism in Japanese Science Fiction
Shelby Oxenford, UC Berkeley - From the Myth of Safety to the Myth of Recovery: Advertising after 3.11
Masa Murakami, UCLA - The myth of homogeneity in Japan: What is the role of Brazilian ethnic schools 
today? Discussant: Professor William Marotti, UCLA

2:30 - 2:45 Coffee Break

2:45 - 4:45 Panel Three: Mythology and Legitimation in Modern and Premodern Japanese Religions
Laurence Mann, University of Oxford: Rhetorical features of the Engishiki Norito
Eric Tojimbara, UCLA: East Asian Buddhism and Japanese Śākyamuni Hagiography
Paride Stortini, University of Chicago: Demythologization or modern myth making? “Indianism” in the Tsukiji Honganji temple and modern Japanese Buddhism
Dana Mirsalis, Harvard University: Myth, Spiritualism, and Psychology: Sources of Legitimacy During Ōmoto’s “Chinkon Kishin Boom,” 1916-1921
Discussant: Professor Caleb Carter, UCLA

4:45 - 5:00 Coffee Break

5:00 - 6:00 Keynote Address:
Hitokotonushi: The Mythic Career of the One-Word-Lord in Ancient and Medieval Japan
    Professor David Lurie, Columbia University





Sponsor(s): Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, Asian Languages & Cultures