2 The Imperial Concept

Amaterasu emerging from the cave

Amaterasu emerging from the cave

Our first big theme is the emergence of both the idea and the actuality of the imperial institution beginning in the Yamato area near the inland sea. (See map). Again we will look at the Kojiki and how it produces the object it is seeking to merely describe.


Week Two Jan 19-21 (No class Mon, Jan 19)

  1. Sources of Japanese Tradition: Early Chronicles/Creation Myths
  2. Sources of Japanese Tradition: Chinese Thought/Imperial Concept
  3. Joan Piggot, “Chieftain Pairs and Corulers
    1. 2006 NYT piece on female emperors

Week Three, Jan 26-8

  1. Kojiki (excerpts, read pp. 19-28, 61-73)
  2. Ohnuki-Tierney, Rice as Self, “Rice as Self, Rice Paddies as Our Land
  3. Amino Yoshihiko, “Emperor, Rice, and Commoners
  4. Amino Yoshihiko, Rethinking Japanese History, chapter 10
    1. NYT piece on Wheat People vs. Rice People. No, really.
  5. Class slides from Monday
  6. Class slides from Wednesday

Week Four, Feb 2-4 (No class Mon, Feb 2–papers due Feb 4)

The Tale of Genji chs. “Yugao” and “Aoi“; & Court culture

Week Five, Feb 9-11

Amino, Rethinking Japanese History, Foreword and chapters 1-3

Feb 11, class slides