Universiteit Leiden

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Conference | International Workshop

Performing Gender and Place in Early Modern and Modern Japan

Saturday 8 September 2018
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden
Lipsius 147

Performing Gender and Place in Early Modern and Modern Japan

Images of beauties and heroic warriors are synonymous with popular culture in early modern Japan. This workshop considers how popular images as material objects contributed to shaping ideas about women, masculinities and social place. It explores the intersections of material culture, thought and historical realities in early modern and modern Japan. Experts in art history, history, ethnomusicology, anthropology and literature will discuss how material objects and related cultural practices of looking, reading and performing invested cultural paradigms with new meanings.

Confirmed speakers in order of panels: Sawako Takemura Chang (Leiden University), Julie Nelson Davis (University of Pennsylvania), Mio Wakita-Elis (Heidelberg University), Naoko Gunji (Independent Scholar), Naama Eisenstein (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Ewa Machotka (Stockholm University), Angelika Koch-Low (University of Ghent), Gerald Groemer (Yamanashi University).

The workshop is sponsored by the Isaac Alfred Ailion Foundation and the Heinz Kaempfer Fund/Society for Japanese Arts.

Organizer: Doreen Mueller


Attendance is free but registration is required. Please register by 6 September 2018 by following this link:



9.30 - 9.45            Registration

9.45 - 10.00          Opening Remarks

10.00 -11.45         Panel:  Performing Beauty

  • Sawako Takemura Chang (Leiden University), Beyond the Male Gaze: Images of Beauties by Keisai Eisen
  • Julie Nelson Davis (University of Pennsylvania), Writing and Picturing the Yoshiwara
  • Mio Wakita-Elis (Heidelberg University), Geisha and Her Image in Meiji Visual Practices

Discussant: Guita Winkel (Leiden University)

11.45 – 12.00    Coffee

12.00 -13.15       Panel:  Performing Warrior

  • Naoko Gunji (Independent Scholar), Reception of Heike Arts Among Women in Early Modern Japan
  • Naama Eisenstein (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Poetic Battlefields: Ujigawa senjin and Edo Period Warriors’ Self-Image

Discussant: Daan Kok (Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde Museum)

13.15 – 14.30     Lunch

14.30 – 15.45     Panel:  Gender and Material Culture

  • Ewa Machotka (Stockholm University), Marketing Modernity: Women in Japanese Pre-war Beer Posters
  • Angelika Koch-Low (University of Ghent), The Body as Gendered Space in Early Modern Japanese Medicine

Discussant: Annick Horiuchi (Paris Diderot University)

16.00 – 17.15     Panel: Performing and Transgressing Social Place

  • Gerald Groemer (Yamanashi University), Musician, Woman, Outcaste, Blind Man, or Candy Vendor: Conflict Among Discriminated Groups in Late Tokugawa Japan
  • Doreen Mueller (Leiden University),  Uncanny Specter or  Pitiable Creature: Hinin (non-persons) in the Grotesque Imagination in Nineteenth-century Japan

Discussant: Kiri Paramore (Leiden University)

17.15– 17.30      Discussion

* All presentations will be given in English

 **Lunch will not be provided

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