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The Joint Events 2013 activities
|Dr. Hiroshi Kurushima, Professor, National Museum of Japanese History, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
Interpreting Early Modern Japanese Society as ‘The Age of Parades’ Yields a New Image of Early Modern Society
Parades are a cultural phenomenon known across societies in all times and places around the globe, so we must be careful not to give the impression that we believe that Japan in the early modern era was somehow the only “age of parades” in human history. Yet even acknowledging that, if we restrict our consideration for the moment to Japan, it is incontrovertible that society and culture were in large measure structured around parades: Not only did the “alternate attendance” (sankin kotai) parades of hundreds of daimyos headed to and from the national nucleus of Edo Castle crisscross the archipelago on a regular schedule, but also diplomatic missions from Korea and the kingdom of Ryukyu, as well as the annual visits of the chief (opperhoofd) of the Dutch trading post in Nagasaki (Oranda shokancho) traveled from Kyushu to Edo and back in grand parades numbering in the hundreds-even in the thousands. And, though smaller in scale, whenever bakufu officials headed out to postings in the provinces they proceeded with a retinue of subordinates, guards, and lesser officials who likewise marched in parade formation. Indeed, one might say that a meshed fabric of parades great and small knitted the archipelago together in the early modern age.
|Dr. Gregory Smits, Associate Professor, Pennsylvania State University
Making a Good Impression: Cultural Drama in the Ryukyu-China Relationship
Ryukyu provided the Tokugawa bakufu with access to Chinese goods and information and served as a vital link between Japan and the larger world in the early modern era. The basic formula whereby the small kingdom was able to maintain a substantial degree of autonomy was that relations with China required first that Ryukyu appear free of Japanese control or cultural influences in Chinese eyes. Moreover, minimizing the degree of actual Japanese control over the kingdom required Ryukyu to maintain good relations with China. In this way, Ryukyu existed as a quasi-autonomous state along the overlapping borders of Japanese and Chinese spheres of influence.
In the classic pattern, foreign affairs in Ming and Qing China masqueraded as cultural relationships between the Chinese court and the rulers of other countries. In this model, foreign states expressed ritual subordination to Chinese culture to gain access to trade, education, and other benefits. Evidence of foreigners having internalized Chinese elite culture, therefore, facilitated trade and diplomacy. Over the course of the early modern era, Ryukyuan elites based in Kumemura became especially adept at manipulating Chinese culture to enhance Ryukyu’s image. Poetry, official histories, court ritual, and dramatic entertainment (Kumiodori) became the major vehicles by which Ryukyuan officials attempted to promote a good image of the kingdom in China and vis-a-vis Chinese envoys to Ryukyu. This talk examines the role of culture as a mediator in relations between China and Ryukyu.
|Dr. Manabu Yokoyama, Professor, Notre Dame Seishin University, Okayama Prefecture, Japan
Two kinds of Ryukyuan Embassy Procession Scrolls from the Sakamaki/Hawley Collection
The Sakamaki Hawley Collection at UH is one of the best known Ryukyu collections in the world. Most of the materials were written down and produced in the early modern era of Japanese history when the missions from the Ryukyu Kingdom were received during the Edo period. They include picture scrolls, printed pictures of processions, and various studies of Ryukyu in diverse formats.
|Mr. Travis Seifman, PhD student, University of California Santa Barbara
Ryukyuan Embassy Processions: A 1710 Edo Nobori Scroll from the Sakamaki/Hawley Collection
A pair of Ryukyu Edo nobori emaki in the University of Hawaii’s Sakamaki-Hawley Collection, depicting the procession of the 1710 Ryukyuan mission to Edo, is a valuable record of the visual and material culture, and organization, of such missions. Many of the standard elements of the style and organization of the Ryukyuan missions, maintained throughout the remainder of the Edo period, followed precedents set in 1710, making these scrolls particularly valuable.
In this presentation, I will discuss the differing styles of Chinese, Ryukyuan, and Japanese court costume worn by figures in these scrolls, and the possible significance of banners, spears, palanquins, and other objects carried by those figures. Touching upon the Ryukyuan court hierarchy of ranks and titles, I will discuss as well the various roles played by figures in the procession, from the shokanshi (secretary) and shisan (captains of the guard), to the gieisei (head of the street entertainment) and gakusei (head of chamber musicians).
Dr. John Szostak, Associate Professor, UHM Art History Department
Full paper is not available
In Fall 2012, the National Museum of Japanese History will borrow a handscroll from the University of Hawaii Sakamaki-Hawley collection to be featured in an exhibition entitled “Early Modern Japan through Parades: Samurai, Aliens, Festivals.” The scroll in question illustrates a Ryukyuan embassy procession in the Japanese capital of Edo, dated to 1671. To coincide with the return of the scroll to UH, Japan Studies Librarian Tokiko Bazzell came up with the idea of planning an exhibition around this and other art objects in the UH Library collection that touch upon parades, processions, and foreign diplomatic contact in Edo-period Japan. The resulting exhibition, "Picturing the Ryukyus: Images of Okinawa in Japanese Artworks from the UH Sakamaki Hawley Collection," will open between the 7th and 15th of February, 2013.
In addition to the 1671 painting and a second Ryukyuan embassy scroll from 1710, the UH Library owns an impressive variety of Edo period paintings, prints, and illustrated books, many of which are included in the exhibition. These images shine a light on contemporary understandings of Ryukyian and other foreign cultures in Japan of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. In this talk, I will discuss the curatorial issues involved in planning this exhibition, which will be open in the University of Hawaii Commons Gallery at the time of the symposium, and which will provide a glimpse of how Edo-period Japanese contact with foreign cultures in both official and unofficial contexts was mediated through the painted and printed image.
|Dr. Mark McNally, Associate Professor, UHM History Department
Edo on the Move: Parades and Processions in Early Mordern Japan
click for a full paper Click for Dr. McNally's video presentation (30 min)
For this symposium, Professors John Szostak (Department of Art and Art History) and Mark McNally (History) of UHM will be joined by Professor Gregory Smits (Penn State University), Professors Hiroshi Kurushima (National Museum of Japanese History, Chiba, Japan) and Manabu Yokoyama (Notre Dame Seishin University, Japan), and Travis Seifman, a doctoral student in the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Each specialist will focus on different aspects of the history and culture of the period. The symposium’s organizers expect that these scholars will start an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural conversation regarding the role and impact of parades during the early modern period.