Sep 19 2012

Kameyama Lecture

Published by at 11:13 am under Events

Kameyama Lecture Series on Buddhist Studies and the Centre for Japanese Research UBC are hosting the following lecture:

Fruits, Fossils, Footprints: Body Relics in the Children’s Stories of Miyazawa Kenji

September 20 (Thursday), 17:30-19h
Asian Centre, Rm. 604

Figures drawn from the modern scientific imaginary fill the children’s stories of the early twentieth-century writer, poet, soil scientist and amateur geologist Miyazawa Kenji: his dreamworld is full of electric lights, railroad tracks, and dinosaur bones. But Kenji was also a devout Buddhist and deeply influenced by the Lotus Sutra. This talk examines how images of enlightened bodies erupting from the earth taken from the Lotus inform Kenji’s use of the symbols of fruit, fossil, and footprint, and how he deploys these symbols to suggest that a radiant, candy-coloured utopia might be concealed inside the rugged landscape of northeastern Japan.

Melissa Anne-Marie Curley is assistant professor of Japanese religions at the University of Iowa. Her research focuses on modern Japanese Buddhism, particularly the interaction of sectarian Pure Land thought and Kyoto School philosophy.


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