Northwestern Events Calendar


Edo Ghost Stories and Media

When: Thursday, February 20, 2020
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM Central

Where: Harris Hall, 108, 1881 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Department of Asian Languages and Cultures   (847) 491-5288

Group: Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Category: Academic


A Talk by Katsumata Motoi, Professor of Japanese Literature at Meisei University

The Tokugawa Period (1603-1868) was the age of ghost stories. Many masterpieces such as Ueda Akinari’s collection Tales of Moonlight and Rain, Toriyama Sekien’s The Illustrated Night Parade of a Hundred Demons and Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s ukiyo-e depictions of ghosts were created and published during this time. But not all ghost stories circulated in print: the Tokugawa Period was also an age of manuscripts. Though the spread of woodblock printing led to a thriving publishing culture, manuscripts continued to represent more than half of book production. And these manuscripts were not just drafts of material that would later be printed, but played a special, independent role, as it can be inferred from their high quality. So how did ghost stories develop in this manuscript culture, how were they written and circulated? This talk reconsiders the Tokugawa-period culture of ghost stories from the point of view of their dissemination medium. 

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