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Re: [SCA-JML] Fwd: [PMJS] Meeks on Miko

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  • the.lady.phoenix@gmail.com
    I ve always translated it as Preistess. As that seems to fit better. They are more then mediums and shamans are usually part of a less structured
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 1, 2012
      I've always translated it as Preistess. As that seems to fit better.
      They are more then "mediums" and "shamans" are usually part of a less
      structured religious structure then the mikos are part of. The term
      Priestess long predates the terms shaman or medium.

      Also Mikos are exclusively female. A Miko is a "Shrine Maiden" a
      maiden is a woman. The Kanji for Miko are;
      Mi=Shaman,Oracle, Medium, Priest/Priestess, diviner, sorcerer/socereress
      Ko=child, little, young, young woman
      Depending on which source you use for translation. Translating
      languages is more of an art then a science as anyone will tell you.
      Call a christian religious leader a shaman or medium and see the
      reaction for a good time. They prefer priest, if you want the truth
      from the horse's mouth ask a real Miko what translated Title they
      want. Though looking at the few official websites I could find from
      Japan it is most often translated as Shrine Maiden.


      On 01/10/2012, JL Badgley <tatsushu@...> wrote:
      > I thought this may be of interest, given questions I've often seen about
      > Miko. I'm interested in the article quoted, and I'll have to see if I can
      > find it.
      > -Ii
      > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      > From: "Ross Bender" <rosslynnbender@...>
      > Date: Oct 1, 2012 5:58 AM
      > Subject: [PMJS] Meeks on Miko
      > To: <pmjs@...>
      > Lori Meeks, in her recent article "The Disappearing Medium" makes a strong
      > argument that in medieval Japan the miko were not marginal figures, but
      > rather were well-integrated into the religious and institutional life of
      > the great temple and shrine complexes, and that some had quite high status.
      > She demonstrates that they played a large variety of roles, as healers,
      > exorcists, transmitters of oracles, spirit mediums and more. Particularly
      > interesting is her description of their importance in the development of
      > art forms such as kagura and imayo. IMHO this is a very important article
      > which should break ground in opening a discussion of the role of these
      > women (and some men) in premodern Japan. (I need to point out that she does
      > not discuss my favorite miko, the nameless woman who gave an oracle from
      > Hachiman pronouncing Taira no Masakado as the "New Emperor.")
      > "The Disappearing Medium: Reassessing the Place of Miko in the Religious
      > Landscape of Premodern Japan" (2011) History of Religions, 50:3.
      > Meeks opens her essay by remarking on the great splash made by Carmen
      > Blacker's "The Catalpa Bow" in 1975. Shamanism was much in vogue in the
      > seventies. Mircea Eliade's classic "Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of
      > Ecstasy" had appeared in 1964, and Hori Ichiro's "Nihon no shamanizumu" in
      > 1971. Hori and Kitagawa discussed "shamanistic Buddhism" in their works of
      > the late sixties. In popular culture, "The Teachings of Don Juan" was
      > published by UC Berkeley in 1968 and became a best seller. I remember
      > watching Jim Morrison, of The Doors, explaining that he was a shaman in a
      > TV interview during Woodstock.
      > My question here is the appropriateness of "shaman" as a translation for
      > "miko" or "kamunagi". Meeks touches on the question, titling one of her
      > sections "The Shamanic Consultant", and using the term rather freely. In
      > the past there has not been much hesitation about this translation.
      > However, Eliade, using the male Tungusic or Siberian shaman as his classic
      > model, dismissed the miko in Japan as a weak female form of shamanism, as
      > mediums rather than shamans.
      > The term "shaman" is thrown around very freely these days. As Meeks points
      > out, it is anthropologists who tend to discuss the phenomenon, rather than
      > historians of religion. To give just one example, Laurel Kendall uses the
      > term "shaman" in her studies of the Korean mudang, and it seems to fit.
      > Meeks raises many interesting questions, but for now my question to the
      > list is whether "miko" = "shaman", or should it be translated simply as
      > "medium."
      > Ross Bender
      > http://rossbender.org/japan.html
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