Conference: Sea Religion in Japan, UCSB, June 13-15

Sea Religion in Japan

International Conference

University of California, Santa Barbara

June 13-15, 2016

Much of the symbolic system underlying Japanese religions today presupposes a continental, “landlocked” environment, centered on agriculture (especially rice cultivation) and focusing on mountains as the privileged sites of the sacred. Unsurprisingly, then, studies on Japanese religiosities have downplayed (if not ignored altogether) the role of the sea, despite a wealth of material provided by historians, folklorists, and anthropologists.

The University of California, Santa Barbara is excited to announce a conference on sea religion in Japan, to be held at UCSB on June 13-15, 2016. The conference brings together leading experts on Japanese religious history and emerging young scholars from several countries, in a systematic project to reorient the study of Japanese religions.

Conference participants include keynote speakers Allan Grapard (UCSB, Emeritus) and Saitō Hideki (Bukkyō University), as well as papers presented by Abe Yasurō (Nagoya University), Jane Alaszewski (SOAS), Lindsey DeWitt (Kyushu University), Itō Satoshi (Ibaraki University), Kanazawa Hideyuki (Hokkaido University), Kawamura Kiyoshi (National Museum of Japanese History), Sujung Kim (DePauw University), Max Moerman (Barnard College at Columbia University), Ōuchi Fumi (Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University), Fabio Rambelli (UCSB), Katherine Saltzman-Li (UCSB), Satō Masato (Kitakyūshū City University), Bernhard Scheid (Austrian Academy of Sciences), Gaynor Sekimori (independent scholar), Emily Simpson (UCSB), and Mark Teeuwen (Oslo University).

The conference is organized by Fabio Rambelli (University of California, Santa Barbara, ISF Endowed Chair in Shinto Studies)

Travel grants are available for graduate students from other universities who would like to attend the conference. Email CV and cover letter stating research interests in connection with the conference topic to Fabio Rambelli:

For more information, see the conference website at

About Travis

I am a scholar of Japanese & Okinawan history with a particular interest in the history of arts and culture, and inter-Asia interactions, in the early modern period. I have been fortunate to enjoy the opportunity to live in Okinawa for six months in 2016-17, and in mainland Japan on multiple occasions, including from Sept 2019 to now.
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