Language and Identity Series Session 3: “Script choices as a means of indexing identities in Late Edo Japan”
|Date(s)||Wednesday, 10 November 2021 (available from 17:00 JST)|
|Language||English (Japanese simultaneous interpretation available)|
Featuring several typologically and visually distinct scripts, the Japanese writing system provides rich opportunities for orthographic variation, which in turn may contribute to the creation of meaning beyond the bare meaning of a text as such. While recent decades have witnessed a growing interest in such phenomena in modern written Japanese, less attention has hitherto been devoted to similar issues in earlier times. In this talk Prof. Sven OSTERKAMP first briefly reviews the changing domains of use of the different scripts over the last centuries and how script choice used to correlate with language choices – as well as with the intellectual context of both texts and authors. Projecting back the modern script categories turns out to be too simplistic, however, chiefly due to a considerable degree of intra-script variability in the age of manuscripts and woodblock prints. Instead, several subtypes have to be distinguished, e.g. in the case of hiragana, part of which were confined to more specialized domains of use and thus identified their users with a specific intellectual background. In addition, it is also necessary to take into account further modes of inscription, all of which could serve as indexes: From the phonographic use of sinographs in imitation of Old Japanese practices to the so-called Scripts from the Age of the Gods.
Sven OSTERKAMP (Professor of Japanese Language and Literature, Ruhr University Bochum)
Michael FACIUS (Associate Professor, Tokyo College)
Maria TELEGINA (Postdoctoral Fellow, Tokyo College)
|Organized by||Tokyo College, The University of Tokyo|