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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Elisabeth Scherer

Elisabeth Scherer

Elisabeth Scherer
Japanese Studies, Rhetoric
(PhD Students, August 1, 2008 - November 30, 2008)

  • Japanese cinema
  • Japanese folk beliefs
  • gender images

Abstract of research project

Female ghosts in Japanese Cinema and their origins in Japanese traditional arts and folk beliefs.

Yūrei, a term denoting female ghosts like Sadako in Nakata Hideo‘s film „Ringu“, can be traced back to restless souls in Nō theatre, horrific creatures that populated Kabuki stages of Edo period and the works of ukiyo-e masters like Hokusai or Yoshitoshi. Literary personifications of female ghosts appeared as early as in Heian period, e.g. in Genji Monogatari and Konjaku Monogatarishū. One of the research objectives is to find out what these representations of female yūrei and their modifications throughout cultural history reveal about Japanese society.