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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

FAMES Room 8/9
Event date: 
Monday, 11 March, 2019 - 17:00 to 19:00

(Re-scheduled talk from Monday 4th February 2019) 

Sainsbury Institute Art Lecture

Jealous goddesses and serene buddhas: the ‘arrival of belief’ at the eastern extremity of the silk roads

The nomination and inscription of a series of sites relating to early Buddhism in Korea and Japan and Shinto and Buddhism in Japan as UNESCO World Heritage raises a number of questions about the relationship between heritage and religion in East Asia. This talk will introduce several of these initiatives and explore what new light the research and public engagement they are stimulating is having on our understanding of the adoption of Buddhism in pen/insular East Asia. Specific examples include the Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites of the Munakata Region and the Historic Landscapes of Asuka and Fujiwara in Japan, and the Historic Areas of Baekje , and Gyeongju , Capitals and Tombs of Koguryo in Korea. We will close with a preview of a new project planned for 2020, which set these questions in a more global context.

Simon Kaner MA Cantab, PhD (2004) is Executive Director and Head of the Centre for Archaeology and Heritage at the Sainsbury Institute. He is also Director of the Centre for Japanese Studies at the University of East Anglia . He is an archaeologist specialising in the prehistory of Japan.

A Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London since 2005, he has taught and published on many aspects of East Asian and European archaeology. He has undertaken archaeological research in Japan, the UK and elsewhere and worked for several years in archaeological heritage management in the UK. His recent publications include The Power of Dogu: ceramic figures from ancient Japan (2009), which accompanied a major exhibition at the British Museum. Other works include Jomon Reflections: Forager Life and Culture in the Prehistoric Japanese Archipelago by Kobayashi Tatsuo (2005), which he adapted and edited with Nakamura Oki. He is also currently completing an edited volume The Archaeology of Medieval Towns: case studies from Japan and Europe, to be published in 2019.