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CJS Thursday Noon Lecture Series | Angry Spirits and Urban Soundscapes in Ancient Japan

Michael Como, Toshu Fukami Associate Professor of Shinto Studies, Columbia University
Thursday, October 18, 2018
12:00-1:30 PM
Weiser Hall Map
From the late seventh to the late eighth centuries, Japanese rulers built no fewer than six capitals, with the largest housing as many as 70,000 to 100,000 residents. In so doing, they set in motion a series of forces that dramatically reshaped the ritual means by which urban residents mediated their relationship with their physical environment and with the increasingly agitated superhuman world. In this talk I shall argue that a series of aural anomalies recorded in the court histories illustrates a remarkable shift in the ritual means by which the court engaged its newly-built environment of wooden structures that went bump in the night.

Michael Como (B.A., Harvard; Ph.D., Stanford University), is the Tōshū Fukami Associate Professor of Shinto Studies at Columbia University. His research focuses on the religious history of the Japanese islands from the Asuka through the early Heian periods, with a particular focus upon the Chinese and Korean deities, rites and technological systems that were transmitted to the Japanese islands during this time. He is currently working on a new monograph that focuses upon urbanization and the materiality of Japanese ritual performance and interpretation in the eighth and ninth centuries.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Asia, History, Japanese Studies
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Japanese Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures