Cultural Astronomy of the Japanese Archipelago : Exploring the Japanese Skyscape book cover
1st Edition

Cultural Astronomy of the Japanese Archipelago
Exploring the Japanese Skyscape

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 20, 2020
ISBN 9780367407988
November 18, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge
176 Pages - 106 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Goto introduces the diverse and multi-layered skylore and cultural astronomy of the peoples of the Japanese archipelago.

Going as far back as the Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun periods, this book examines the significance of constellations in the daily life of farmers, fishermen, sailors, priests and the ruling classes throughout Japan’s ancient and medieval history. As well as covering the systems of the dominant Japanese people, he also explores the astronomy of the Ainu people of Hokkaido, and of the people of the Ryukyu islands. Along the way he discusses the importance of astronomy in official rituals, mythology, and Shinto and Buddhist ceremonies.

This book provides a unique overview of cultural astronomy in Japan and is a valuable resource for researchers as well as anyone who is interested in Japanese culture and history.

Table of Contents

1. Japanese People and Stars: Cultural Astronomy and Star Lore of the Japanese  2. Stars in Mythology and Classical Literature  3. Star Lore of the Hokkaido Ainu  4. Ethnoastronomy in the Ryukyu Islands  5. Archaeoastronomy of Prehistoric Japan: A Historical Survey  6. Fallen Star Legends in Japanese Folk Beliefs  7. Cosmology Seen in House and Burial Orientation of the Hokkaido Ainu, Northern Japan  8. The Sun and the Kingdom of Ryukyu: An Ethnohistorical Approach to State Formation  9. Epilogue

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Akira Goto is Professor of Anthropology at Nanzan University, Japan. Born in 1954, Sendai, Japan, Prof. Goto obtained his B.A. and M.A. from University of Tokyo (archaeology), followed by his Ph.D. in anthropology from University of Hawaii. He was also the director of Anthropological Institute, Nanzan University from 2010-2018.