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Time in Medieval Japan

Time in Medieval Japan

Objective

The project explores time in medieval Japan, taking a new approach to historical articulations of the concept of time, based on the theory of symbolic forms. It will examine symbolic representations and social regulations of time in a civilisation that is often juxtaposed to contemporary, globalised modernity. We will investigate into medieval Japan as a dynamic and internally differentiated society, and not as a unified “traditional” culture dominated by a qualitative concept of time. We will focus on its plural ways of registering, measuring, articulating, and regulating time. The aim is to disclose the specific cultural practices operative in the respective ways of negotiating time, and to achieve a more comprehensive and detailed account of human strategies in dealing with this fundamental restriction of our existence. In a closely coordinated set of case studies, we examine representative spheres connected to various symbolic forms and socio-cultural agendas: the Zen monastery, the female court, and the market. An intersectional case study explores the symbolic mediations of the menstrual cycle, connecting these spheres and uniting aspects of the physical, ritual and symbolic regulation of human body time. Each case study explores the symbolic forms prevalent in the respective settings, and the aspects of time that are deemed relevant and selected for symbolic articulation. We will analyse temporal encoding, structure and application in the regulation of affairs, the competence to account and regulate these processes, and the influence on feelings of dismay in the face of the socio-cultural realities of time. Special attention is paid to the conflicts that arise when established regimes of temporal regulation and expression clash with each other and with individual experience. The results will be compared to the history of time in the Western world, and integrated into a theory of the symbolic forms of time.
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Host institution

UNIVERSITAT ZURICH

Address

Ramistrasse 71
8006 Zurich

Switzerland

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 2 497 500

Beneficiaries (1)

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UNIVERSITAT ZURICH

Switzerland

EU Contribution

€ 2 497 500

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 741166

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 September 2017

  • End date

    31 August 2022

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 497 500

  • EU contribution

    € 2 497 500

Hosted by:

UNIVERSITAT ZURICH

Switzerland