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Gaynor Sekimori 

Prof. Sekimori is affiliated with SOAS in London. Also a visiting professor at Kokugakuin University in Tokyo.


B.A. (Oriental Studies) Hons. Australian National University, Canberra
Dip. Ed.  University of Western Australia
M.A. Sophia University, Tokyo. Thesis: Tominaga Nakamoto and the Shutsugo gogo
Ph.D. University of Cambridge. Dissertation: Kami-Buddha Separation (shinbutsu bunri) and Haguro Shugendo

Associate Professor, Institute of Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo, 2002-2008
Presently working as an academic editor and translator (Japanese-English)

Research interests: Japanese religious history, with a particular interest in Shugendo and its institutional and ritual history. Religious visual material, particularly as related to popular religion in the Edo period and its employment as a means to highlight iconographic changes resulting from shinbutsu-bunri. The selected publications and papers give a good idea of the range.

Some publications
Forthcoming: “Foetal buddhahood: from theory to practice – embryological symbolism in the Autumn Peak ritual of Haguro Shugendo”  (article in volume, Brill)
"The Akinomine of Haguro Shugendo, an Historical Perspective," Transactions of the International Conference of Eastern Studies, 1995. Revised and Expanded. Japanese Religions Sage, 2012.
“Defining Shugendo Past and Present: The Restoration of Shugendo at Nikko and Koshikidake”. Cahiers d’Extreme Asie2011.
“Shugendō and Its Relationship with the Japanese Esoteric Sects: A Study of the Ritual Calendar of an Edo Period Shugendō Shrine-Temple Complex.” East Asian Tantrism, ed. Richard Payne, Brill, 2011.
“Shugendo: Japanese Mountain Religion. State of the Field and Bibliographic Review” Religion Compass. January2009. Reissued in Japanese Religions Sage, 2012.
“Sacralizing the Border, The Engendering of Liminal Space.” The Transactions of the Asiatic Society of JapanFourth series, Vol. 20 (2006): 53-69
“Star Rituals and Nikko Shugendo.” Culture and Cosmos. 10, 1-2 (2006): 217-250
 “Paper Fowl and Wooden Fish: The Separation of Kami and Buddha Worship in Haguro Shugendō, 1869-1875”.Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 32, 2 (2005): 197-234

Edited and translated:
The Mandala of the Mountain: Shugendo and Folk Religion. Miyake Hitoshi. Translated (in part), edited and with an introduction. Keio University Press, 2005.
Shugendô: The History and Culture of a Japanese Religion / L'histoire et culture d'une religion japonaise. Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie, 18 (2009).

Selected conference papers: 
JSAA (Canberra) 2007 “Tradition, Reason and Emotion: Female Exclusion and Preserving the Past in the Omine Mountains.”
AAR (San Diego) 2007 “Legends of the Fall: The Iconoclasm of Sacred Space”
EAJS (Lecce) 2008 “O-take Dainichi Nyorai: Representation and Transformation in Premodern Japan”
BAJS (Sheffield) 2009  “Ritual Under Pressure – Haguro Shugendo and Kami-Buddha Separation (shinbutsu bunri)  
AAS (Philadelphia) 2010 “Miko and Haguro Shugendo”
EAJS (Tallinn) 2011 “Kuginuki nenbutsu and the uses of sacred space”
BAJS (Norwich) 2012 “Visual Representation of the Separation of Buddhism and Shinto” (Efuda and iconographic change)

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