University of Pittsburgh
March 25, 2004

Elizabeth Oyler to Discuss Kôwakamai April 1

"Ballad-drama" tells the story of Japan's first military governor
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Kôwakamai, Japan's medieval "ballad-drama," dramatizes how the country's first shogunate, or military governor, came to power. In an April 1 lecture titled "Warrior Culture and Celebrations of the Past: Patronage and Power in Tokugawa Japan," Elizabeth Oyler, assistant professor of Japanese in the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures at Washington University in

St. Louis, will explore Kôwakamai and its relationship to the office of the shôgun in the period of unrest leading up to establishment of the Tokugawa line of shôguns in the early 17th century. The lecture will take place at 2:30 p.m. in 205 Lawrence Hall, 3942 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

The period of Tokugawa rule in Japan, also known as the Edo period, lasted from 1603 to 1867 and was marked by peace and seclusion. Oyler will discuss the role of kôwakamai in establishing historical and aesthetic authority for warrior rule and legitimating later generations of shôguns as spiritual inheritors of Japan's seminal generations of samurai.

Oyler received the Ph.D. degree from Stanford University. She joined the faculty of Washington University in 1999. Medieval Japanese narrative and performance are Oyler's research interests.

The lecture is sponsored by Pitt's Asian Studies Center within the University Center for International Studies and the University Honors College; its funding was provided by the Japan Iron and Steel Foundation and Mitsubishi endowments. For more information, call 412-624-7370.