Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Van Goethem
Kyushu University
Website URL
ancient history (6th through early 9th c.), capital cities, inscribed wooden tablets, historical archaeology, reception history, site divination, fengshui, Heian Jingu, reconstruction
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

My main focus is on the Asuka, Nara, and early Heian periods, particularly on the layout of Chinese-style capital cities, on religious and philosophical thought underpinning the construction of these cities, and on inscribed wooden tablets (mokkan). I have also published on site divination practices in premodern East Asia and on the influence of fengshui thought on contemporary Japanese architecture. My current research centers on Heian Jingu, with a special interest in issues related to the (re-)construction of long-lost buildings, the deification of emperors, and changes in the shrine’s perception over the last century.

Recent Publications

‘Animated City: Life Force, Guardians, and Contemporary Architecture in Kyoto,’ in Fabio Rambelli, ed. Spirits and Animism in Contemporary Japan: The Invisible Empire (Bloomsbury, 2019).
‘Heian Jingū: Monument or Shintō Shrine?,’ Journal of Religion in Japan 7:1 (2018): 1–26.
‘Of Trees and Beasts: Site Selection in Premodern East Asia,’ Journal of Asian Humanities at Kyushu University (JAH-Q) 1 (2016): 1–7.
‘Asuka-Fujiwara through Foreign Eyes – Research from Abroad,’ in 世界に伝えたい「飛鳥・藤原の魅力」記念講演資料集 (Research Institute for Ancient Japanese Studies, Meiji University and Committee for the Promotion of UNESCO Recognition of the Asuka and Fujiwara Area, 2016), 17–27.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
Material Culture, Religion, Urban History