[KS] Publication of new monograph "The God Susanoo and Korea in Japan's Cultural Memory"

weiss at lit.kyushu-u.ac.jp weiss at lit.kyushu-u.ac.jp
Wed Jan 12 23:39:29 EST 2022

Dear list members,


It is my pleasure to announce that my book "The God Susanoo and Korea in
Japan's Cultural Memory: Ancient Myths and Modern Empire" has now been
published by Bloomsbury in the Bloomsbury Shinto Studies Series and is
available at:

For a 35% discount, enter the discount code GLR 9XLUK on the first page at



This book discusses how ancient Japanese mythology was utilized during the
colonial period to justify the annexation of Korea to Japan, with special
focus on the god Susanoo. Described as an ambivalent figure and wanderer
between the worlds, Susanoo served as a foil to set off the sun goddess, who
played an important role in the modern construction of a Japanese national

Susanoo inhabited a sinister otherworld, which came to be associated with
colonial Korea. Imperialist ideologues were able to build on these
interpretations of the Susanoo myth to depict Korea as a dreary realm at the
margin of the Japanese empire that made the imperial metropole shine all the
more brightly. At the same time, Susanoo was identified as the ancestor of
the Korean people. Thus, the colonial subjects were ideologically
incorporated into the homogeneous Japanese "family state."

The book situates Susanoo in Japan's cultural memory and shows how the
deity, while being repeatedly transformed in order to meet the religious and
ideological needs of the day, continued to symbolize the margin of Japan.


With best wishes,


David Weiss

Assistant Professor

Premodern Japanese Literature and Language

Kyushu University, Faculty of Humanities

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