Sengū of the Ise Shrine: Rituals, Myths, and Politcs

External event - SOAS

Wednesday 20 November, 2013 - Thursday 21 November, 2013

International Workshop: Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions Exhibition: Sengu of the Ise Shrine 2013: Tradition and Ritual

Thursday | 21 November 2013 | 5-6:30pm
Venue: Kamran Djam Lecture Theatre
SOAS, University of London, 10 Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG

Friday | 22 November 2013 | 9:30am-6pm
Venue: Room 116, SOAS
SOAS, University of London, 10 Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG

Exhibition: 20 November – 15 December
SOAS Library Wolfson Gallery and Khalili Foyer
SOAS, University of London, 10 Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG

CSJR        Workshop Poster

About the Workshop and Exhibition

Ise Jingu is an ancient Shinto shrine where Amaterasu the Sun Goddess, the mythological ancestor of the present day Japanese imperial family, is enshrined. The architecture of the Ise Shrine is ritually rebuilt every twenty years since the 8th century according to the Shinto concept of renewal, and to preserve the pristine condition of the shrine. The 62nd rebuilding is taking place in 2013, and the final ritual of moving the sacred objects from the old shrine to the new building in the adjacent plot took place this October. This symposium marks this very special occasion, and to offer a platform for scholars to exchange their latest research. It will provide an opportunity to reassess the historical, political, and artistic heritage, and to draw attention to this uniquely Japanese religious custom.


Thursday | 21 November 2013 | 5-6:30pm
Keynote Lecture by Yoshitarō Shirayama (Kōgakkan University)
“Sengū of the Ise Shrine: Tradition, Ideology, and Politics”
Kamran Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), SOAS Main building
*** In Japanese with interpreter; the event will be followed by a wine reception

Friday | 22 November 2013 | 9:30am-6pm
9:30 | Registration and Coffee
9:50 | Welcome by CSJR Chair, Lucia Dolce

10:00-11:20 | Panel 1 Chaired by Angus Lockyer (SOAS)
10:00-10:40 | Ken Tadashi Ōshima (University of Washington) “Ise: Prototype of Japanese Architecture?”
10:40-11:20 | Simon Kaner (University of East Anglia/SISJAC ) “Ise and Izumo: Archaeological perspective on enduring tradition”

11:20-11:40 | Coffee Break

11:40-13:00 | Panel 2 Chaired by Fabio Gygi (SOAS)
11:40 | Mark Teeuwen (Oslo University) “Early Ise and the Origin of the Sengū System”
12:20 | Meri Arichi (SOAS) “Sengu and the Pilgrimage to Ise: Okage mairi in the Edo Period”

13:00-14:30 | Lunch

14:30-15:50 | Panel 2 Chaired by Timon Screech (SOAS)
14:30 | Hideki Saito (Bukkyō University) “Interpreting Amaterasu: From the Medieval to Contemporary Period” [in Japanese]
15:10 | Lucia Dolce (SOAS) “The Iconography of Amaterasu: Multiple Forms of an “Aniconic” Tradition”

15:50-16:10 | Tea Break

16:10-17:30 | Panel 4 Chaired by Tullio Lobetti (SOAS)
16:10 | John Breen (Nichibunken) “Inventing Ise: The Meiji Phase”
16:50 | Gaynor Sekimori (SOAS) “Ise through western eyes: Artefacts in the Chamberlain Collections”

17:30-18:00 | Final Discussion


For further information, please check the CSJR website:


Or contact Benedetta Lomi

Centre for the Study of Japanese Religions (CJSR)
Japan Research Centre (JRC)
Japan 400th
Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation
Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

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