Presentation Title

Female Spirit Possession and Sexuality in Genji monogatari

Document Type

Panel Presentation

Keywords

Japan, literature, gender

Biography

Nolan Miller is a senior Japanese major at Marshall University. He is from Weston, West Virginia. His research interests involve spirit possession under the context of pre-modern Japanese literature. He is president of Marshall University's Tea Club.

Major

Japanese

Advisor for this project

Dr. Rivas

Start Date

20-4-2017 10:45 AM

End Date

20-4-2017 12:00 PM

Abstract

In Murasaki Shikibu's Genji monogatari , the readers follow the protagonist, Hikaru Genji, on his journey of romance and political power within the Heian period's polygamist court (784-1185). Due to high ranking males in Heian court possessing sexual privilege, women are often neglected as their courtiers seek extraneous love affairs. A perplexing consequence of this permissible male lifestyle leads women to use the supernatural force of spirit possession or mono no ke. While many scholars conclude that insatiable female emotions unconsciously elicit spirit possessions, women who are involved in the act willfully push the boundaries of male sexuality through sacrifice, mental synchronization and performativity. This suggests that Murasaki Shikibu resorted to fiction (tsukuri monogatari) to implicitly project her own social commentary about the sexual privileges men received in this polygamist society.

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Apr 20th, 10:45 AM Apr 20th, 12:00 PM

Female Spirit Possession and Sexuality in Genji monogatari

In Murasaki Shikibu's Genji monogatari , the readers follow the protagonist, Hikaru Genji, on his journey of romance and political power within the Heian period's polygamist court (784-1185). Due to high ranking males in Heian court possessing sexual privilege, women are often neglected as their courtiers seek extraneous love affairs. A perplexing consequence of this permissible male lifestyle leads women to use the supernatural force of spirit possession or mono no ke. While many scholars conclude that insatiable female emotions unconsciously elicit spirit possessions, women who are involved in the act willfully push the boundaries of male sexuality through sacrifice, mental synchronization and performativity. This suggests that Murasaki Shikibu resorted to fiction (tsukuri monogatari) to implicitly project her own social commentary about the sexual privileges men received in this polygamist society.