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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

 
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Start date : 
October, 2019
Thesis Topic: 
Spirit pacification was a practice that reinforced the ruler’s role as protector of the polity from all threats, including the supernatural, and in Japan, also served to put blame for societal ills on the ruler’s enemies. Due to questions of terminology within and between the fields of scholarship on spirit pacification in China and Japan, the persistent and important link between spirit pacification practice and regime legitimation in the years c.1350-1650 has been overlooked. By setting aside terminology and redefining spirit pacification according to the core features of the practice, the proposed dissertation seeks to write a history of spirit pacification as a mentality and an ideology. In doing so, it has two aims: to investigate how spirit pacification played into regime legitimation, and how its role changed, but did not disappear entirely across the late medieval and early modern periods; and to explore the existence of a common, regional imaginary regarding the dead in East Asia.