Rank #1: Episode Seven: Princess Mononoke: Nature, Shintoism, and Connections to Japanese Folklore
Group Mononoke has created a podcast that focuses on the film Princess Mononoke and its connection to nature, Shintoism, and Japanese folklore and mythological creatures. This podcast begins with a brief synopsis of the film and information about the Muromachi period of Japan (the time period that the film is set in). The podcast concludes by discussing the director’s interpretation of Shinto.
Rank #2: Episode Six: Yokai Parade
This episode of the “Gods, Ghosts, and Spirits of East Asia” podcast series covers a group of four yokai, which are the kappa, oni, nurarihyon, and the kuchisake-onna. Our podcast looks at the cultural significance of these yokai, what context they were created into, and in some cases, how the yokai have changed with the culture of Japan.
Rank #3: Episode Five: Dragons and Snakes: East Asian Folklore and Beyond
This installment of the “Gods, Ghost, and Spirits of East Asia” podcast series focuses on the representation of dragons and snakes in Japanese folklore, the meaning behind this symbolism, and the context found within Chinese and Japanese history and culture. You will hear in depth discussion of the role of snakes and dragons in Chinese and Japanese culture from Caitlin Johnson with historical context from Sili Wu. Tales and the themes of gender, power, and sexuality will be discussed by Christina Stoler with Sili Wu providing historical context. Moderation and questions will be provided by host, William Sarros.
Rank #4: Episode Four: Death Prepares for a Festival
This podcast discusses the story of “The Star Weaver and the Cowherd” which is a popular story found in both Chinese and Japanese cultures. It is not only a story for entertainment, but one that showcases Chinese marriage structures throughout its history. The story also shows insight into the process of integration of Chinese culture into Japan. One story that serves many functions.
Rank #5: Episode Three: Everyday Confucianism: Confucian Influences on Social Interaction in Heian and Kamakura Japan
Henry Hawkins, Jacob Cooper, Maddy Coleman, Madison Rice, and Will Vineyard discuss the significant relationship between Confucian ideology and how people in Heian and Kamakura Japan treated elderly people, acted towards their parents, indulged in or avoided lust and desire, and looked at women and women's’ roles in society. Using stories written during these two time periods along with the Confucian Analects we establish this relationship between Confucianism and Heian and Kamakura Japan.
Rank #6: Episode Two: Buddha Got Back
In this episode of “Gods, Ghosts, and Spirits of East Asia”, Group Two discusses Buddhism and Buddhist themes that connect a Chinese tale and a Japanese tale. These tales come from the Tang Dynasty period of China (618-907 C.E.) and the Nara to Kamakura period in Japan (800-1300 C.E.) and are “The Crazy Bookworm” from Chinese Ghost and Love Stories and “The Invisible Man” from Japanese Tales. The tales also had underlying themes of preexisting ideologies and religions from the respective countries, which are some interesting talking points in the podcast.
Rank #7: Episode One: Introduction
This is a short introduction to the podcast series by the instructor. I wanted to share my gratitude to the students, and I must say I am extremely proud of the work they have done.
Please have a look around the site to read some of the great content the students produced as they worked on these podcasts. If you would like to know more about our class, please feel free to contact me.