Portland State of Mind: Demons and Vengeful Ghosts in Japanese Culture
Thursday, October 10, 2019 - 6:00pm to Thursday, October 10, 2019 - 7:30pm
Portland State of Mind: Demons and Vengeful Ghosts in Japanese Culture

What: Demons and Vengeful Ghosts in Japanese Culture

When: Thursday, October 10, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Smith Memorial Student Union (SMSU), room 296/8, 1825 SW Broadway

Cost: Free and open to the public with registration. Register here.

Contact: Melinda Glover,, 503-725-8577

Please join us for a lecture that explores the prominent role that demons and ghosts have had in Japanese literature, theater, and visual culture. Particular attention is paid to the different social functions and causes for their appearance, depending on period, genre, and community. Ghosts and demons were a means of manifesting issues of social injustice, especially for women and downtrodden groups.

Haruo Shirane, Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature and Culture and chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University, teaches and writes on premodern and early modern Japanese literature and culture, including prose fiction, poetry, performative genres (such as storytelling and theater), and visual culture. He is finishing a book called "Media, Performance, and Play: Japanese Culture from Outside In," which focuses on the role of manuscript culture, media, vocality, and performance, viewing cultural processes from the social periphery. "Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons" (Columbia University Press, 2012) explored the cultural constructions of nature across a wide spectrum of literature, media, and visual arts from the ancient period to the modern. Most recently, he has co-edited "Monsters, Animals, and Other Worlds: A Collection of Short Medieval Tales" (Columbia University Press, 2018); "Reading The Tale of Genji: The First Millennium" (Columbia University Press, 2015); and "Cambridge History of Japanese Literature" (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

This event is sponsored by PSU's Center for Japanese Studies

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