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Imagining Exile in Heian JapanBanishment in Law, Literature, and Cult$
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Jonathan Stockdale

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839833

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839833.001.0001

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Spirits in Exile

Spirits in Exile

Sugawara no Michizane and the Vengeful Spirit Cults

(p.63) 4 Spirits in Exile
Imagining Exile in Heian Japan

Jonathan Stockdale

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter explores the cults of vengeful spirits (goryo) that emerged in Heian Japan, which provided worship for members of the court who died in exile, many of whom were believed to have returned posthumously to haunt the capital. Focusing on the case of Sugawara Michizane, the chapter argues that the worship of such figures reveals the dialectics of exile at the Japanese court, in which religious or cultic practices provided a rejoinder to the political practice of exile employed by the Fujiwara house above all others.

Keywords:   goryo, onryo, Sugawara Michizane, Kitano shrine, Tenjin, Fujiwara

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