Kyushu University Academic Staff Educational and Research Activities Database
List of Papers
Ellen E. M. A. Van Goethem Last modified date:2019.09.20

Associate Professor / International Master's Program (IMAP) and International Doctorate (IDOC) in Japanese Humanities / Department of Philosophy / Faculty of Humanities


Papers
1. Ellen Van Goethem, Heian Jingū: Monument or Shinto Shrine?, Journal of Religion in Japan, 10.1163/22118349-00701005, 7, 1, 1-26, 2018.11, The founding of Heian Jingū in 1895 is usually explained in very simple terms: it was established to commemorate the 1100th anniversary of the move to the Heian capital and was, therefore, dedicated to the city’s founder, Kanmu Tennō. A closer look at the shrine’s founding story, however, reveals a much more complex account that illustrates the fits and starts of State Shintō in the third decade of the Meiji period. By disentangling the standard narrative of Heian Jingū’s founding, this article touches not only on doctrinal issues such as the deification of past emperors, but also on material aspects such as early attempts at reconstructing long-lost structures and the Meiji government’s creation of a set of plans that regulated the appearance of newly erected shrines. Doing so will help explain how the design of this major imperial shrine could deviate so significantly from the stipulated template and be so replete with Chinese influences at a time when the relationship between the two countries was one of outright hostility..
2. Ellen Van Goethem, Of Trees and Beasts: Site Selection in Premodern East Asia, Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University (JAH-Q), 1, 1-7, 2016.03, This paper focuses on a site selection practice called shijin sōō 四神相応(“correspondence to the four deities”) in Japanese sources. The practice is a subcategory within site divination (Ch. fengshui, Jp. fūsui); the latter encompasses practices and beliefs connected to determining ideal sites to construct graves, found cities, build houses, etc. Among the Chinese, Korean, and Japanese sources that describe this specific divinatory practice of “correspondence to the four deities,” several texts provide a practical—and in most cases fairly easily realizable albeit not always sound—solution to remedy any shortcomings in the surrounding topography. According to these sources, lack of auspiciousness due to missing landscape features could be corrected by planting specific species of trees. In a number of cases, the sources even go so far as to specify the actual number of trees to be planted..
3. Ellen E. M. A. Van Goethem, Asuka-Fujiwara through Foreign Eyes - Research from Abroad 海外の視点から探る飛鳥・藤原京~海外の研究者の研究~, 世界に伝えたい「飛鳥・藤原」の魅力  記念講演資料集2016, 17-27, 2016.03, In this paper, I briefly summarize roughly 130 years of foreign interest in and scholarship on the Asuka period (538-710) in general and the Asuka-Fujiwara area in particular. This summary is merely intended to highlight some of the broader trends and is by no means exhaustive, in part because it only focuses on some of the scholarship published in English, French or German, leaving out many other scholars’ efforts at bringing the Asuka era (and area) to the attention of the scholarly community and the wider public..
4. VAN GOETHEM ELLEN, 「飛鳥・藤原」世界遺産化応援エッセー  Asuka-Fujiwara: The Beginning of Japanese History, 世界に伝えたい飛鳥・藤原の魅力 記念講演資料集2015 (明治大学日本古代学研究所・世界遺産「藤原・飛鳥」登録推進協議会), 35-35, 2015.03.
5. Ellen E. M. A. Van Goethem, ‘Applying for Kakenhi: From Start-Up to Wakate A’, 15-19, 2014.03.
6. Ellen E. M. A. Van Goethem, “Feng Shui Symbolism in Japan: The Four Divine Beasts” , Asien- und Afrikastudien der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 2013.11, This paper presents a discussion of the appearance and context of feng shui symbolism in Japan. Attention is focused on the four divine beasts and their associated symbolism from their initial appearance on the Japanese archipelago until the ninth century and from the mid-nineteenth century until the present day, in an attempt to show how this symbolism became fully assimilated to the point that it appeared in (early) modern times in contexts no longer consciously associated with “original”, foreign practices or was fully absorbed into contexts that are deemed quintessentially Japanese.
By doing so, I would like to argue that the four directional animals preserved their role of “multivalent signs”, susceptible to many applications, interpretations, meanings and values. As symbols, visual depictions of underlying concepts, the four divine beasts adapted to (or, better still, were appropriated by) changing circumstances and ideologies to appear in new and entirely different contexts..
7. Ellen E. M. A. Van Goethem, “The Four Divine Beasts -- Asuka Through European Eyes”, 国際飛鳥学講演会報告書2012 , 25-31, 2012.11, 本論文では、風水思想における景観上での四方四神の表現方法に関する比較研究の結論を紹介する。集合的には、四方四神が異なる名前で知られており、中国では四靈や四獣、日本では四禽や四神と呼ばれる。また、個別には、四獣は、後方(もしくは北方)の玄武、前方(もしくは南方)の朱雀、左方(もしくは東方の)青龍、右方(もしくは西方)の白虎として知られている。
しかしながら、風水に関する現存する最古の記録では、伝説の四獣のそれぞれに対する地形的な特徴は不明瞭なままである。後に、少なくとも二つの共存する風習が、東アジアにおける風水の中で、発達してきたようである。
一つの風習では、自然地形の存在が強調され、四獣は山などの地形として表現された。これに対し、もう一つの風習では、それぞれの四獣について、異なる自然的・人為的な地形的特徴の存在が必要とされている。本論文では、日本で「四神相応」と呼ばれる、後者の風習に注目する。.
8. Ellen Van Goethem, The Four Divine Beasts -- Asuka Through European Eyes, 国際飛鳥学講演会報告書2012, 25-32, 2012.11, 本論文では、風水思想における景観上での四方四神の表現方法に関する比較研究の結論を紹介する。集合的には、四方四神が異なる名前で知られており、中国では四靈や四獣、日本では四禽や四神と呼ばれる。また、個別には、四獣は、後方(もしくは北方)の玄武、前方(もしくは南方)の朱雀、左方(もしくは東方の)青龍、右方(もしくは西方)の白虎として知られている。
しかしながら、風水に関する現存する最古の記録では、伝説の四獣のそれぞれに対する地形的な特徴は不明瞭なままである。後に、少なくとも二つの共存する風習が、東アジアにおける風水の中で、発達してきたようである。
一つの風習では、自然地形の存在が強調され、四獣は山などの地形として表現された。これに対し、もう一つの風習では、それぞれの四獣について、異なる自然的・人為的な地形的特徴の存在が必要とされている。本論文では、日本で「四神相応」と呼ばれる、後者の風習に注目する。
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9. Ellen Van Goethem, The Four Directional Animals in East Asia: A Comparative Analysis, Asien- und Afrika-Studien der Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin, 38, 201-216, 2011.11, In this paper , I present some tentative conclusions about the comparative research I have been conducting into the way(s) in which the four creatures that each guard one of the (cardinal) directions are represented in the physical landscape within the practice(s) of geophysical divination.
In China, in Korea, as well as in Japan, these four directional beasts are identified as the Black Turtle-Snake (玄武) of the back/north , the Vermilion Bird (朱雀) of the front/south, the Azure Dragon (青龍) of the left/east, and the White Tiger (白虎) of the right/west. However, the earliest texts on divination remain vague about the specific landscape features corresponding to each of the four mythical animals. In later times, at least two co-existing traditions seem to have developed within the practice of site divination in East Asia. Following one tradition, emphasis lay on the presence of natural features with all four animals represented in the landscape as mountains. Another tradition, however, required the presence of a different natural or man-made landscape feature for each of the four beasts.
This paper focuses on the latter tradition, in Japanese referred to as “shijin sōō 四神相応” (“correspondence to the four deities”). Through an investigation of written sources, this paper will trace the origin and evolution of the observances of shijin sōō, as well as provide a basic analysis of the different textual traditions. Furthermore, this paper will challenge the commonly held view that the practice of shijin sōō was a divination process used to determine the location of capital cities..
10. Ellen Van Goethem, Pleasing the Four Gods: Shijin sōō (四神相応), Site Selection and Site Adaptation, Cultural Crossroads, Proceedings of the 26th International SAHANZ Conference, CD-rom, 2009.07.
11. Ellen Van Goethem, Shijin sōō and the Site Selection Process of Chinese-style Capitals in Japan, Conference proceedings CD of the 4th International Conference on Scientific Feng Shui & Built Environment 2009, Sustainability and Operability, CD-rom, 2009.02.
12. Ellen Van Goethem, The Status of Descendants of the Baekje Kingdom during Emperor Kanmu’s Reign, Korea Journal, 47, 2, 136-159, 2007.07.
13. Ellen Van Goethem, Influence of Chinese Philosophical Thought on the Construction of Nagaokakyō, Japan's Forgotten Capital, International Conference on East Asian Architectural Culture, Kyoto 2006 – Reassessing East Asia in the Light of Urban and Architectural History, II, 435-444, 2006.12.
14. Ellen Van Goethem, Tracing Feng Shui in Ancient Japanese Capital Cities – Case-study: Nagaokakyō, Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Scientific Feng Shui and Built Environment, 2006.10.
15. Ellen Van Goethem, The Construction of the Nagaoka Palace and Capital – Mokkan 木簡 as a Historical Source, Nachrichten der Gesellschaft für Natur- und Völkerkunde Ostasiens (NOAG), 76, 179-180, 143-74, 2006.09.