Student projects on Japanese religion exhibited at East Asia Library
The East Asia Library is currently hosting a poster exhibition featuring Stanford undergraduate students' final projects from the Introductory Seminars course RELIGST 6N: "Religion in Anime and Manga," taught by Prof. Michaela Mross of the Department of Religious Studies.
Fourteen students' works are featured in the exhibition, which is located on the second floor landing of the East Asia Library. Each poster highlights particular religious themes within a specific Japanese anime/manga title. As Prof. Mross writes in her introduction,
In contemporary Japan, manga and anime are very popular and members of all age groups read or watch these works for their entertainment. Many works have been translated into Western languages. As a result, manga and anime have become well-known in North America and Europe.
Japan is often characterized as a highly secularized society with most Japanese describing themselves as non-religious. Nonetheless, we find many religious images and themes in manga and anime, attesting to the continuing influence of Buddhism and Shintō, the two main religions in Japan. Manga and anime are replete with images of buddhas and gods, engaging tales of miracle-working monks and mischievous spirits, as well as visions of transcendence.
The exhibition, which is co-sponsored by the Introductory Seminars Program, the Department of Religious Studies, VPTL, and the East Asia Library, will be on display until April 15.