Dear list members,
The IMAP and IDOC in Japanese Humanities at Kyushu University will be hosting an online lecture given by Dana Mirsalis (PhD Candidate, Harvard University) on January 22. Please find the details below.
Title: "Women as Substitute, Women as Complement: Two Stories on the Gendered Shinto Priesthood in Postwar Japan"
Time: January 22, 10:00 - 11:30am (Japan)
Description: This presentation uses archival and ethnographic data to examine two narratives about the gendered Shinto priesthood in postwar Japan—one produced by the umbrella organization Jinja Honcho (the Association of Shinto Shrines) and one produced by female priests themselves. Jinja Honcho justifies female priests’ existence within the framework of (male) labor scarcity, wherein women are subpar substitutes who bridge a gap in a patrilineal shrine family. They emphasize women’s inherent difference from men, which disqualifies them from serving male roles without modification. Female priests, on the other hand, agree that men and women are inherently different, but argue that gender complementarity allows them to perform roles men cannot. They adapt, reinterpret, or ignore Jinja Honcho’s directives in order to carve out space for themselves, but often do so by reinscribing the logic of their marginalization.
Dana Mirsalis is a PhD Candidate at Harvard University in the East Asian Languages and Civilizations Department. Her doctoral dissertation examines the gendering of the Shinto priesthood in postwar Japan.
Format: Zoom webinar, registration required (click here). Do retain the confirmation email you receive after registering; it is the information provided there (rather than the link given above) that will give you access to the Zoom meeting.
This event is part of a series titled “Reiterations of the Past: Negotiations through Practice,” which is made possible by a Kyushu University Progress 100 Strategic Partnership Acceleration Grant (AY2019–2021).
Please visit our website for the flyer and other future events. We hope you can join!
Ellen Van Goethem
Assistant Professor, Japanese Religions and Buddhist Studies
Kyushu University, Faculty of Humanities