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Eccentric Spaces, Hidden HistoriesNarrative, Ritual, and Royal Authority from The Chronicles of Japan to The Tale of the Heike$
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David T. Bialock

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780804751582

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804751582.001.0001

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Reimagining late Heian and Early Medieval Space

Reimagining late Heian and Early Medieval Space

(p.217) 7 Reimagining late Heian and Early Medieval Space
Eccentric Spaces, Hidden Histories
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines how changes in the conceptualization of defilement over the course of the late Heian and early medieval periods transformed the character of ritual space which ultimately undermined an earlier practice of royal authority. It analyzes this shift in relation to dengaku and the weirdness associated with the heteromorphic and shows how several contradictory images of the tennō coexisted in the medieval imaginary about royal authority. This chapter also explores some of the paradoxes and contradictions underlying the medieval imaginary of sacred space, particularly the ambiguous character of heterotopic space as typified by borders and liminal sites.

Keywords:   defilement, ritual space, royal authority, dengaku, heteromorphic, tennō, sacred space, heterotopic space, liminal sites, medieval imaginary

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