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Imagining the FetusThe Unborn in Myth, Religion, and Culture$
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Jane Marie Law and Vanessa R. Sasson

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195380040

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195380040.001.0001

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Out of Place: Fetal References in Japanese Mythology and Cultural Memory

Out of Place: Fetal References in Japanese Mythology and Cultural Memory

Chapter:
(p.259) Out of Place: Fetal References in Japanese Mythology and Cultural Memory
Source:
Imagining the Fetus
Author(s):

Jane Marie Law (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195380040.003.0014

This chapter explores three references to fetal imagery in Japanese mythology and cultural memory where the fetal reference clearly works as symbol. Though historically dispersed, these three examples provide a map for locating a certain kind of fetal imagination: the fetus that is unusual, out of place, or somehow violated. This chapter demonstrates how these examples offer a typology of sorts for imagination of the fetus. The fetus that garners attention is the fetus that does not turn out right, somehow does not follow the norms of reproduction, or explodes an essential counter-memory dominating collective memory of the past.

Keywords:   Kojiki, Nihongi, Japan, violation, Leech Child, miscarriage, spontaneous abortion, Ebisu, Emperor Ojin, Nanjing Massacre, counter-memory, cultural memory, cultural

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