École Francaise d’Extrême-Orient EFEO
Scuola Italiana di Studi sull'Asia Orientale ISEAS
KYOTO LECTURES 2019
Monday, May 27th, 18:00h
co-hosted by Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto University
Observing Japanese mythologies: Why the Nihon Shoki has two books with myths but the Kojiki only one?
Speaker: Robert F. Wittkamp
Initially, the so-called “Japanese myths” were a textual product of the Kojiki (712) and the Nihon Shoki (720). In the course of the centuries, these myths were altered, re-written, supplemented, and later were eventually exploited to serve Japanese nationalism. As a consequence, even today by using the word “Japanese myths” many people think of the Kojiki as containing an official mythology and of Amaterasu Omikami as the ancestor spirit of the imperial family. The creation of this image as a monotonously uniform mythology is the result of various developments and ideologies, but comparative mythology bears part of the responsibility as well.
Robert F. Wittkamp teaches at Kansai University, in Osaka. His research interests are focused on Japanese literature before the end of the 8th century, and his books on Man’yoshu (2014) approach the poetry of memory to reveal the connections and relationships between landscape, writing, and cultural memory. The recently published Arbeit am Text—Zur postmodernen Erforschung der Kojiki-Mythen (2018) examines the Japanese text-oriented research on myths in the Kojiki and the Nihon shoki, and is another contribution to the investigation of Japanese early intellectual history.
For detailed directions:
École Francaise d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO)
Italian School of East Asian Studies (ISEAS)