10-21-2019: This is an update and repost from May of this year. Please check out the YouTube video above. If you go to YouTube, put a “like” or comment if you have a question or compliment! I will be presenting more about my investigation into the sky deities of Japan at the Applied Geography Conference in October. This presentation grew out of my “Meteorology and Myth” research. The abstract for my presentation: “Art, Allegory and Geographic Education: Cultural and Meteorological Lessons from the Sky Deities of Japan” has been accepted for a special session on Physical Geography. Here is a sample slide:
The following is a slideshow of some of the artwork to be discussed, TBD
Credit goes to the original artists. No copyright infringement is intended. See the full presentation for all credits and references, TBD.
This year’s AGC will be held in Charlotte, NC October 23-25. See the link here for more information about the conference,
This post is a placeholder for REFERENCES and LINKS for a student research poster to be presented at the North Carolina Geographical Society annual meeting in Greensboro, NC on November 1, 2019. See these PDF files to download all weblinks:
ABSTRACT: Lightning is a short-lived, but powerful part of nature. Although lightning photographs are often published, lightning flashes have seldom been painted by landscape artists. Colorful skies are common in art history, but painted lightning is rare. Most lightning storms in western landscape art have depicted the flashes as either white, or yellowish. An interesting part of art history is the red lightning bolts depicted in the classic paintings of Japan’s Edo Period (1603 – 1868). Edo’s Ukiyo-e artists almost always depicted lightning as red in color. Furthermore, the bolts are often painted in a nearly abstract, linear fashion, and not in lightning’s true dendritic shape. Is the red lightning of this famous period “artistic license”, or can the deep red colors be explained as something else? Are there some logical reasons why these artists painted lightning as red? Could the style reflect mythology rather than realism? Importantly, are there atmospheric science lessons to be learned, and teaching moments to be made in this discussion? The purpose of this educational project is to advance that dialog.
My Poster for the Library’s Annual Creativity Showcase!
The media blurb from Library: “The Mary Livermore Library will be sponsoring the Third AnnualUNCP Research and Creativity Showcase on April 15, 2019 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. This event will feature poster and speaker presentations at the newly-renovated Mary Livermore Library. These presentations will highlight the scholarship, research, and creative works of UNCP faculty and staff during the past year.”
Contact me if you want to learn more about my “Meteorology and Myth” project.
Notice: I have updated this article, originally posted on March 5, to include photos from the event on April 15, 2019. I also contributed another poster to the event “Blogging through the GEOG-ing” as per the TLC Directors request,
Next year my library showcase event poster will continue the Meteorology and Myth theme with a new chapter — “A Fair Candlemas”. See you then.
FYI: The following is the abstract for my oral paper presentation at the upcoming North Carolina Academy of Science meeting to be held in Wilmington, NC March 22-23, 2019.
Science education, meteorology and myth: The lightning and wind gods of Japan.
This project derives from educational modules developed for teaching atmospheric science concepts to non-science, general education college students. Folklore and mythology are not proper history or science fact, however there may be persistent, underlying truths to the narrative themes inherent in folklore. Japan’s Shinto religion holds Raijin as a god of lightning and thunderstorms, and Fujin as the god of windstorms and tornadoes. There are rational, scientific reasons why the activities of these metaphysical sky deities persist into modern, secular Japanese culture. Although Raijin and Fujin were revered as “kami” or gods, they were depicted as demonic, destructive forces of nature in traditional Japanese art and architecture. This educational project will explain the science analogies which can be used to explain the Shinto allegory in Japanese culture. Meteorological lessons were made to describe, or at least reinforce the mythology as depicted in Japan’s art, architecture and land use. Myths such as Raijin’s penchant for eating the navels of children, or why Fujin’s skin is green, can be used as discussion points to illustrate meteorological principles in an interesting way for non-science majors. For example, all Japanese painters of the Edo Period depicted lightning flashes as red in color, even though lightning clearly is not red. It might have been artistic license, or perhaps there are meteorological reasons as to why lightning was always colored that way. This teaching module explains weather phenomenon such as gust fronts, nitrogen fixation by lightning, the destructive east winds of cyclones, and others. Through the use of atmospheric science concepts in the context of art and mythology, it is hoped that arts and humanities students will come to better appreciate meteorology. Geoscience majors in turn, could have basic meteorological concepts reinforced, and also gain a better appreciation for art, history and culture.
Feel free to contact me for a copy of the full presentation or collaborative ideas.
Update! Here is a slide show gallery of my presentation.