La Scuola organizza a scadenza regolare incontri pubblici, in proprio o in collaborazione con la Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient Intersezioni Convegni e workshops Others e altri enti universitari: le Kyoto Lectures, da più di quindici anni rivolte a un pubblico internazionale di studiosi; Manabu, giornate di studio dei ricercatori, borsisti e dottorandi italiani in Giappone; Intersezioni, uno spazio dedicato ai rapporti tra Italia e Giappone nel passato e nel presente, con incontri, dibattiti, seminari e presentazioni di libri. Convegni e workshop fanno ugualmente parte dell'attività scientifica annuale della Scuola.

Kyoto Lectures

Andreas Kim Taegǒn (1821-1846)

The Clandestine Life and Heroic Afterlife of the First Korean Catholic Priest

Pierre-Emmanuel Roux

École Française d’Extrême-Orient

24 giugno 2019 18:00

Kim Taegǒn is usually remembered as the first Korean-born Catholic priest and a martyr. A product of three centuries of Catholic missions in East Asia, he stood as a tremendous figure in the Korean Church, severely repressed in the nineteenth century. This lecture, however, will not present the Catholic history of a Korean priest, but the Korean and East Asian history of a Catholic man. As it will be argued, Kim Taegǒn was more a clandestine go-between than a priest, since he spent many years in China and engaged in “religious” smuggling. His fate explains why he came to be venerated in the twentieth century as the patron saint of the Korean clergy and the greatest hero of Korean Catholicism. The “afterlife” of Kim Taegǒn will be assessed within the general process of hero making in modern Korea, the progressive indigenization of the Korean Church, and the recent developments in religious tourism. It is not exaggerated to say that his posthumous destiny encapsulates the whole history of Korean Catholicism, and shows why this religious figure finally became more a cultural icon than just a Catholic saint.

Pierre-Emmanuel Roux is an associate professor and the director of the Korean Studies Section at Paris Diderot University. He is also the co-editor of the academic journal Extrême-Orient, Extrême Occident. His current research projects include a biography of Kim Taegǒn and the translation of Pak Chiwǒn’s novels into French. He has published two monographs: La Croix, la baleine et le canon: La France face à la Corée au milieu du XIXe siècle  (Cerf, 2012), and Les enfers vivants ou la tragédie illustrée des coolies chinois à Cuba et au Pérou (Maisonneuve et Larose/Hémisphères, 2018).


Convegni e workshops

Presence and Simulation

Law, Emotion and Social Bonding in the Age of Cybernetic Reproduction

Scuola Italiana di Studi sull’Asia Orientale, Kyoto

2 giugno 2019 10:00 - 17:30




Opening remarks

10:00~ Silvio Vita Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, ISEAS <History of Japan>


1. Presence in Social Robotics

10:15~ Model Emotion in Robots with Heart: Tracing Transformations in Technologies of Presence

Hirofumi Katsuno Doshisha University, Kyoto <Anthropology>

Daniel White Freie Universität Berlin <Anthropology>


10:45~ Presence: Space and Simulation

Paul Dumouchel Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto <Political Philosophy and Philosophy of Science>


2. Presence in Political Theology and Visual Legal Studies

11:15~ Law and the Sacred: Reflections on the Visual Aesthetics of Sovereignty

Richard Sherwin New York Law School <Wallace Stevens Professor of Law>


11:45~ Immersion as Emblematic Form. The Third: a Choreology for 360° Movie and Legal Customs

Paolo Heritier Eastern Piedmont and Visiting Professor, Kyoto University <Philosophy of Law>


3. Presence between Italian Studies and Immersive Movie

14:30~ Intuitive – Intellectual: the Paradigm of Knowledge in East and West

Federica Sgarbi Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto <East-Asian and Comparative Philosophy>


15:00~ Plunging into Changing Perspectives. On possible 360° Degree

Visualisation of the Historical Processes of Intellectual Communication

Francesco Campagnola Lisbon University, ISEAS (on Skype) <History of Ideas>


15:45~ Presence in 360°, Technological Immersion / Cultural Immersion

Jacques Gilbert Université de Nantes and IEA Nantes (on Skype) <Comparative Literature>


16:15~ The Evolution in Narration in Immersive Media: Language, Techniques and Challenges

Valentina Paggiarin (on Skype) Head VR, Hive Division


4. Is there a Class in this University?

16:45~ Brainstorming on the future of ‘the didactic scene’ between presence and new technologie


Kyoto Lectures

Observing Japanese mythologies

Why the Nihon Shoki has two books with myths but the Kojiki only one?

Robert F. Wittkamp

École Française d’Extrême-Orient

27 maggio 2019 18:00

Initially, the so-called “Japanese myths” were a textual product of the Kojiki (712) and the Nihon Shoki (720). In the course of the centuries, these myths were altered, re-written, supplemented, and later were eventually exploited to serve Japanese nationalism. As a consequence, even today by using the word “Japanese myths” many people think of the Kojiki as containing an official mythology and of Amaterasu Omikami as the ancestor spirit of the imperial family. The creation of this image as a monotonously uniform mythology is the result of various developments and ideologies, but comparative mythology bears part of the responsibility as well.

However, since the late 1960s Japanese scholars have conducted a close reading of the mythical narratives contained in the first book of the Kojiki and in the two initial books of the Nihon Shoki, respectively. This has revealed distinct differences between the two corpora, breaking up the image of a homogeneous mythology. These text-oriented approaches can give a viable answer to the thorny question of why there are two books of myths in the Nihon Shoki whereas the Kojiki only has one. The talk will elucidate some of the reasons for the plurality and variability of Japanese myths as well as the reasons why it took so long to give a convincing answer to that question.

Robert F. Wittkamp teaches at Kansai University, in Osaka. His research interests are focused on Japanese literature before the end of the 8th century, and his books on Man’yoshu (2014) approach the poetry of memory to reveal the connections and relationships between landscape, writing, and cultural memory. The recently published Arbeit am Text—Zur postmodernen Erforschung der Kojiki-Mythen (2018) examines the Japanese text-oriented research on myths in the Kojiki and the Nihon shoki, and is another contribution to the investigation of Japanese early intellectual history.



Manabu XIII

École Française d’Extrême-Orient

13 aprile 2019 11:00 - 18:00


Kyoto Lectures

Rule of (Cosmological) Law

The Rhetoric of Authority in Japan’s Medieval Mirrors

Erin L. Brightwell

École Française d’Extrême-Orient

18 aprile 2019 18:00

Scholarship has rarely, if ever, treated Japan’s seven medieval historiographic Mirrors as a set. The Great Mirror, The New Mirror, and The Clear Mirror have typically been talked about as “historical tales.” The Mirror of the East has been regarded as both a “chronicle” and a “war tale.” The Water Mirror, The China Mirror, and The Mirror of the Gods have scarcely been mentioned in any capacity. This talk will argue that these works should, however, be read together as a particular strategy for processing the past, one that ourished between the late Heian and early Muromachi periods. Each appeared in the wake of serious challenges to existing structures of authority—nearly always written out of the account—and all of the Mirrors share a commitment to representing historical events as subject to cosmological laws.

The talk will approach these seven texts from four interrelated angles—linguistic register, narrative setting, cosmological principle, and the purpose of narrating the past—to analyze the development of the proposed Mirror group. In so doing, it will shed light on the evolution and circulation of medieval ideas of authority, ideas that transcend modern notions of linguistic, genre, and disciplinary divides.

Erin L. Brightwell is Assistant Professor of Pre-modern Japanese Literature at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). She holds a PhD in East Asian Studies (Classical Japanese Literature) from Princeton University and an MA in Chinese from the University of Washington. Her most recent publications have appeared in Nihon bungaku no tenbo o hiraku and The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. Website: https://lsa.umich.edu/asian/people/faculty/erin-brightwell.html