When Tengu Talk: Hirata Atsutane's Ethnography of the Other World Info

Check out books about Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and get your questions answered fast. Take a look at hundreds of reviews and ratings for each book related to Religion & Spirituality. Want to see what people say about Wilburn N. Hansen and find the best shops to download When Tengu Talk: Hirata Atsutane's Ethnography of the Other World? This is the right place to be. Read&Download When Tengu Talk: Hirata Atsutane's Ethnography of the Other World by Wilburn N. Hansen Online


Hirata Atsutane (1776–1843) has been the subject of numerous
studies that focus on his importance to nationalist politics and
Japanese intellectual and social history. Although well known as an
ideologue of Japanese National Learning (Kokugaku), Atsutane’s
significance as a religious thinker has been largely overlooked. His
prolific writings on supernatural subjects have never been thoroughly
analyzed in English until now. In When Tengu Talk, Wilburn Hansen
focuses on Senkyo ibun (1822), a voluminous work centering on
Atsutane’s interviews with a fourteen-year-old Edo street urchin named
Kozo Torakichi who claimed to be an apprentice tengu, a supernatural
creature of Japanese folklore. Hansen uncovers in detail how Atsutane
employed a deliberate method of ethnographic inquiry that worked to
manipulate and stimulate Torakichi’s surreal descriptions of everyday
existence in a supernatural realm, what Atsutane termed the Other World.
Hansen’s investigation and analysis of the process begins with the
hypothesis that Atsutane’s project was an early attempt at ethnographic
research, a new methodological approach in nineteenth-century Japan.
Hansen posits that this "scientific" analysis was tainted by Atsutane’s
desire to establish a discourse on Japan not limited by what he
considered to be the unsatisfactory results of established Japanese
philological methods.
A rough sketch of the milieu of 1820s Edo
Japan and Atsutane’s position within it provides the backdrop against
which the drama of Senkyo ibun unfolds. There follow chapters
explaining the relationship between the implied author and the outside
narrator, the Other World that Atsutane helped Torakichi describe, and
Atsutane’s nativist discourse concerning Torakichi’s fantastic claims of
a newly discovered Shinto holy man called the sanjin.
Sanjin were partly defined by supernatural abilities similar (but
ultimately more effective and thus superior) to those of the Buddhist
bodhisattva and the Daoist immortal. They were seen as holders of secret
and powerful technologies previously thought to have come from or been
perfected in the West, such as geography, astronomy, and military
technology. Atsutane sought to deemphasize the impact of Western
technology by claiming these powers had come from Japan’s Other World.
In doing so, he creates a new Shinto hero and, by association, asserts
the superiority of native Japanese tradition. In the final portion of
his book, Hansen addresses Atsutane’s contribution to the construction
of modern Japanese identity. By the late Tokugawa, many intellectuals
had grown uncomfortable with continued cultural dependence on
Neo-Confucianism, and the Buddhist establishment was under fire from
positivist historiographers who had begun to question the many
contradictions found in Buddhist texts. With these traditional
discourses in disarray and Western rationalism and materialism gaining
public acceptance, Hansen depicts Atsutane’s creation of a new spiritual
identity for the Japanese people as one creative response to the
pressures of modernity.
When Tengu Talk adds to the small
body of work in English on National Learning. It moreover fills a void
in the area of historical religious studies, which is dominated by
studies of Buddhist monks and priests, by offering a glimpse of a Shinto
religious figure. Finally, it counters the image of Atsutane as a
forerunner of the ultra-nationalism that ultimately was deployed in the
service of empire. Lucid and accessible, it will find an appreciative
audience among scholars of Shinto and Japanese and world religion. In
addition to religion specialists, it will be of considerable interest to
anthropologists and historians of Japan.


Average Ratings and Reviews
review-bg

3.90

12 Ratings

5

4

3

2

1


Ratings and Reviews From Market


client-img 3.8
2
1
0
2
0
client-img 4
2
2
1
3
1

Reviews for When Tengu Talk: Hirata Atsutane's Ethnography of the Other World:

0

Feb 18, 2014

CHAPTER 2--

[Hayashi] Razan wrote a work titled A Study of Shrines in Our Land (Honcho jinjako) the purpose of which was to call for a Shinto purified of Buddhist influence. However, in the middle of this work, he expended great effort to examine in detail the supernatural creature called the tengu. The work was not dismissive of the creature; on the contrary, it affirmed its existence. Two centuries later this work inspired Atsutane's own ork about the supernatural, including the tengu, titled CHAPTER 2--

[Hayashi] Razan wrote a work titled A Study of Shrines in Our Land (Honcho jinjako) the purpose of which was to call for a Shinto purified of Buddhist influence. However, in the middle of this work, he expended great effort to examine in detail the supernatural creature called the tengu. The work was not dismissive of the creature; on the contrary, it affirmed its existence. Two centuries later this work inspired Atsutane's own ork about the supernatural, including the tengu, titled Thoughts on Supernatural Beings of Past and Present (Kokon yomiko). (43)

His writings were presented to the retired emperor, Kokaku (1771-1840) (r. 1779-1817), and he met with the reigning emperor, Ninko (1800-1846) (r. 1817-1846), and various members of the aristocracy. Even more important for his work in 1823, the Yoshida family appointed him to serve as instructor to Yoshida Shinto priests. The Shirakawa and the Yoshida families controlled the licensing of the vast majority of Shinto priests in Japan, and Atsutane's popularity had both families vying for his good will. (64)


CHAPTER 3--

A simple explanation of Atsutane's tengu theory can be found in the aforementioned Thoughts on Supernatural Beings of Past and Present. This ork reveals Atsutane's assertion that tengu come in two categories. The first category is the tengu that is a bird or beast transformed over time.
"According to the stories passed down from the teachings of the sanjin, those things that the world calls supernatural creatures, or tengu, are eagles, kites, foxes, or a variety of other types of birds and beasts. After living for several hundreds or thousands of years, the birds grow hands from their wings, and they stand on the flesh that has grown onto their former bird feet. In the case of beasts, their front legs grow wings, and after a while they stand upright and change form to look like people. It is also said that amopgn those that fly, there are some that fly without wings."
. . . That second category of tengu was a human who had been transformed due to some evil influence.
"As Razan Sensei explained, many [tengu] are Buddhist priests or yamabushi who have undergone demonic transformations. It is thought that the reason people began to call them tengu is that, with their big noses and their protruding lips, their heads look like tengu [the other kind of tengu, the animal transformation tengu]; furthermore, they live in the mountains and cause people misfortune, and they came to be grouped with the other type of tengu." (80)

...more

Best Books from your Favorite Authors & Publishers

compare-icon compare-icon
Thousands of books

Take your time and choose the perfect book.

review-icon review-icon
Read Reviews

Read ratings and reviews to make sure you are on the right path.

vendor-icon vendor-icon
Multiple Stores

Check price from multiple stores for a better shopping experience.

gift-icon

Enjoy Result