Talk Tues 18 - Phallicism and Fertility in Japan
Phallicism and Fertility in Contemporary Japan:
Ancient Traditions or Urban Myths?
18 February 2014, 9am
CJRC Lecture Series
Dr. Stephen Turnbull
University of Leeds
ABSTRACT: The topic of Japanese phallicism is one that is best known through matsuri such as the famous Tagata Shrine Festival where a large phallus is carried in procession, yet this popular event conceals a much more widespread and little known tradition. This lecture will explain the systems of classification that are possible to apply to phallic shrines in Japan and will illustrate the scheme with numerous examples including key festival performances. Other matters to be discussed include their relationship to mainstream Shinto, the dynamic nature of their related beliefs and practices, the continued relevance of the overall term ‘phallicism’ to describe them in view of the presence of female imagery and the crucial question of their place in an increasingly secular and urban society.
BIOGRAPHY: Stephen Turnbull took his first degree at Cambridge and has two MAs (in Theology and Military History) from Leeds University. In 1996 he received a PhD from Leeds for his work on Japan’s ‘Hidden Christians’. His work has been recognized by the awarding of the Canon Prize of the British Association for Japanese Studies and a Japan Festival Literary Award. In 2008 he was appointed Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies at Akita International University, a position he still holds. Now retired, Stephen
Turnbull is also a Research Associate at SOAS and an Honorary Lecturer at Leeds. He currently divides his time between an annual trip to Akita to teach and much freelance research and advisory work. His interests are focused on Japanese religion and military history and he has published 71 academic and popular books on these themes together with several journal articles. His expertise was also put to use in helping design the strategy game Shogun Total War, and in 2010 he acted as Historical Adviser to Universal Pictures for the movie 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves. Dr. Turnbull’s current academic research projects include a study of Japanese mercenaries in South East Asia in the seventeenth century and a major comprehensive survey of Japan’s phallic shrines.
This event is free and open to the public. Please join us for Breakfast with Dr. Turnbull before the lecture at 8:30 AM! RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.