Bulletin of the Society for Near Eastern Studies in Japan
Online ISSN : 1884-1406
Print ISSN : 0030-5219
ISSN-L : 0030-5219
Current issue
Displaying 1-7 of 7 articles from this issue
  • Yoshifumi YASUOKA
    Article type: research-article
    2020 Volume 63 Issue 1 Pages 1-20
    Published: September 30, 2020
    Released on J-STAGE: October 01, 2023

    This paper offers a new art-historical meaning regarding the grid reform of anthropomorphic representations that took place in Egypt around the mid-seventh century BC. The objective of this paper is two-fold. First, it is to demonstrate the problems with previous interpretations, which depended, on the one hand, upon the written record of Diodorus Siculus on the Egyptian method of statue production, and upon comparative analyses of the two-dimensional representation of human figures on the other. This paper offers a proportional analysis of three-dimensional objects, particularly the so-called “sculptor’s models,” and demonstrates that the clear discrepancies in the proportions between two- and three-dimensional art support a straightforward understanding of Diodorus’ account against the more “creative” interpretations suggested in recent studies.

    Secondly, this paper is devoted to giving new meaning to the art-historical context of the grid reform. This reform—in which Late Period Egyptians abandoned the tradition that had functioned well for nearly 1,800 years and created a completely new system by uniting the Egyptian metrological system and the traditional method of grid projection—reflects less improvement in the appearance of the image than a metaphysical development that had never been seen or experienced before. It saw the creation of a module system based on anthropometry in a true sense, one that seems to have stimulated the Aegeans to refine the Egyptian system to suit their own cultural aesthetics in subsequent centuries. Thus, it is no exaggeration to state that anthropometry, which has been a core tenet in Western art throughout history, has its roots in Egyptian art.

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  • A Reference to the Experience of the Human Heart
    Yuta SAGARA
    Article type: research-article
    2020 Volume 63 Issue 1 Pages 21-33
    Published: September 30, 2020
    Released on J-STAGE: October 01, 2023

    Previous studies examining the thoughts of Ibn ʿArabī (d. 1240) have seldom considered his intellectual relationship with earlier Sufis when emphasizing his impact on posterity by initiating “Akbarian tradition.” His most well-known theory of “God’s self-disclosure” (tajallī) states that God is a non-limited being lacking a specific form and revealing Himself in various limited forms. Researchers have primarily understood this theory as the metaphysical theory discussing the existential world’s ranking structure regarded as being some level of God’s self-disclosure process, by applying the framework of later, more sophisticated theories. However, the fact that the concept of the heart (qalb)—central to the psychology or doctrine of the self-discipline of experiential mysticism before Ibn ʿArabī—is established in this theory as recognizing God’s self-disclosure is less appreciated. In this paper, I analyze Ibn ʿArabī’s doctrine of the human heart and God’s self-disclosure by referring to earlier Sufi texts and reexamine his theory of “God’s self-disclosure” in line with earlier Sufi thoughts based on its relationship with experiences of the heart.

    Ibn ʿArabī refers to the cosmos surrounding humanity as the locus of God’s self-disclosure to the human heart, adopting an ontological viewpoint that was lacking in previous thoughts. However, he does this with the primary aim of describing and evaluating the inner states of mystics who recognize God’s self-disclosure. Further, he often describes God’s self-disclosure based on the conception of the heart developed in earlier mystical tradition; thus, the relationship with the heart determines the orientation of this theory. Therefore, the theory vividly presents the experiential elements of earlier psychology or the doctrine of self-discipline affected by the notions or representations accumulated within them. This differs from the later theoretical modes of his intellectual inheritors.

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  • Comparison with Japanese, English and French
    Sayuri IGARASHI
    Article type: research-article
    2020 Volume 63 Issue 1 Pages 34-49
    Published: September 30, 2020
    Released on J-STAGE: October 01, 2023

    This paper offers a case study drawing from two sources of written language with different styles: literature and legal contracts. By comparing the use of the passive in Japanese, Persian, English and French, this paper identifies distinctive features of the Persian passive, an area that has not been thoroughly analyzed to date.

    To what degree is the passive actually used in Persian, and in what forms does it appear? This paper elucidates these points and, in addition, compares Persian with the three other languages to achieve a more multifaceted analysis.

    A comparison of typical usage of the passive in each language led to the following conclusions:

    1) The rate of appearance of the passive does not differ greatly between literature and legal contracts.

    2) The passive appears extremely infrequently in Persian legal contracts compared to the other languages.

    3) Similarly to the case of Japanese, appearances of the passive in Persian literature were less than half that of their English and French counterparts.

    A possible explanation is that the difference in writing style between the languages causes the difference in the syntax used. In the case of Japanese, where unpaired transitive verbs appear frequently in legal contracts, verbs are forced to take the passive form as substituting intransitive verbs when no performer of an action is specified. In Persian, on the other hand, peripheral syntax is frequently used in a semantic aspect rather than the typical passive form. Thus, when looking at sentences with typical syntax, the passive appears less frequently than it does in the other languages besides Japanese.

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