An Introduction to Aenokoto: Ritual, History, ICH

Michael Dylan Foster (University of California, Davis)

This brief (approx. 10 minutes) presentation introduces the Aenokoto ritual, which takes place in December and February in a rural region of Japan and has been recognized both nationally and international as ICH. The ritual’s history is linked to the development of folkloristics in Japan—both as a discipline but also in terms of national identity. The presentation sets the context for our ethnographic film about a contemporary performance of Aenokoto. Focusing on visual aspects of the ritual and the role of the tourist gaze, the film raises questions about vision, “authenticity,” community, and belief.

Part of 06-12 Observing Ritual: Invisible Gods, Tourists, and Ethnographic Filmmaking in Japan, Friday, November 03, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm