The 7th Annual Hasekura International Japanese Studies Symposium Naraku: Discord, Dysfunction, Dystopia

Date September 27-29, 2022
Place Sendai International Center, Tachibana (2nd Floor), Shirakashi1 (3rd Floor)MAP
Host International Graduate Program in Japanese Studies, Tohoku University
The world we know is unravelling, beset by problems ranging from the collapse of
decaying capitalist orders, to never-ending wars, to global pandemics.
Naraku (奈落) is a Japanese term that resonates with the current state of the globe.
Originally a religious term, its meaning has evolved in recent times to refer to
deeply flawed conditions more generally, becoming “the worst of all possible worlds”
in its longer form of naraku no soko (奈落の底). This symposium draws its inspiration from naraku,
here interpreting it as describing states of discord, dysfunction, and dystopia.
Historical concerns with decline, systemic failure, and the betrayal of hopes;
literary and other depictions of failed and failing societies and futures of death and destruction;
religious prophecies of spiritual and worldly decay; and philosophical musings and lamentations concerning the multifold failings of humanity and the futility of human civilization are
a small sampling of the ways that naraku intersects with scholarly concerns.
This symposium brings together scholars from five continents specializing in a wide range of
disciplines to explore dysfunction and systemic failure in all their forms and discuss naraku
in past, present, and future.

Language: English
To Participate:
Registration form:
Registration deadline: September 25