A211_lec notes - Asian 211 - 1 Asian 211 Introduction to...

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Asian 211 - 1 Asian 211 – Introduction to Japan Fall Semester 2007 Lecture and Section Notes Native Imagination – Body politic/ collectivity generated inside Japan All nations and communities are imagined Depends on people’s ability to make that imagination real to others You can impose it through sheer force Or: Make it appealing Japan consists of 4 main islands Yamato clan took control of central Japan Wrote a single myth (Kojiki) Attempted to solidify a narrative of unified control This is who we are This is our national myth This is what it means to be Japanese *What’s that narrative doing? *What’s it leaving out? *History is controlled by those who control the narrative KOJIKI 712 CE (Common Era) - Record of Ancient Matters Single narrative of a single Imperial secession Myth – something that has great truth, talks about deep reality Just because it didn’t happen doesn’t mean it’s not true If you trace Kojiki’s popularity you can trace Japan’s interest in a native imagination Izanagi and Izanami – Earth creating deities Dripped off the heavenly spear (male and female) Created island (Onohomojima? – “Self-curdling island”) Gave first birth to a leech Woman spoke first, “gendered moment” Crawled back down, man spoke first, gave birth to trees, rocks, fire (Izanami dies giving birth to the fire) Izanagi tried to kill fire, blood turned into deities Went to the land of the dead, very upset Found wife, maggot-ridden, chased Made it to the entrance of living and dead Divorced land of living and dead -> Explains birth and death Izanagi washed off filth from right eye and created Amaterasu (Heavenly Shining One - sun) All Emperors trace their lineage to her Washed left eye and created Tsukuyomi (moon)
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Asian 211 - 2 Blew his nose and created Susanoo Jealous of Amaterasu, tried destroying her room Turned her horse inside out, she accidentally stabbed herself and died (w/her loom in her heavenly weaving room) Amaterasu drew herself into a cave (like Izanami) Deities of the Plane of Reed (creators) devise a plan (a performance) Amaterasu gets upset everyone is having a good time She peeks out of the cave, sees a mirror, walks out of the cave Susanoo – charged, pulled out finger and toe nails, expelled Izumo – Saw a chopstick floating down the river Found an old couple, found out about an 8 headed dragon Transformed their last daughter into a comb, placed in his hair Made heavy wine, high fence, 8 platforms Dragon got drunk, slayed by Izumo (blood everywhere) Pulled out a sword (kusanagi) from the last tail Protective sword of the Imperial Family Presented the sword to Amaterasu *Establishment of order, the creation of the world, and the establishment of the Japanese Imperial line* Amaterasu is worshipped in Ise Izanagi and Izanami – Awaji October is godless month Deities are not in shrines/ objects Deities take a “vacation” to Izumo Redaction – to take narratives that are rough on the side and put them together
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A211_lec notes - Asian 211 - 1 Asian 211 Introduction to...

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