The 47th GJS SeminarThe Tōshō Daigongen Engi and Iemitsu’s Sacralization of the Realm

Date and time: December 18, 2017 (Mon.), 3:00-4:00PM
Venue: First Meeting Room (3F), Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo
Speaker: Ian Cipperly (Ph.D. Student, Department of History, The University of Chicago)
Language: English

Abstract: Nikko Tōshōgū was a central tool utilized by the Tokugawa bakufu to initiate what Althusser has referred to as the shift from repressive to ideological sovereignty. By placing authority in the sacred, Tokugawa Iemitsu sought a source of legitimacy unassailable by mortal men. Employing tools such as the Tōshō Daigongen Engi, religion, literature, and visual culture were brought to bear in the attempt to establish a nomos, or meaningful order, through the sacralization of the realm. This reintroduction of the Tōshō Daigongen Engi explicates the methods of production, religious claims, and visual and literary rhetorical devices employed under Iemitsu’s supervision in his quest to solidify bakufu authority through the divinity of his grandfather, Ieyasu.

Organizer: The Global Japan Studies Network (GJS)
Co-organizer: Institute for Advanced Studeis on Asia (IASA)
Contact: gjs[at]