Group Heian Update

Hey everybody, Jacob Cooper from Group Heian here again to give you an update on the great progress we’re making in the development of our podcast. For the most part, our script drafts and audio drafts are coming along really well and I believe that in the end we’ll all be satisfied with the end product.

One problem that we’re facing right now is the selection of the audio music that we’ll be using during our podcast. Our group has been relentlessly pouring through the free music files provided to us by the CTL but have yet to really decide on an appropriate song to use during our podcast. Many of the songs we have found feel inauthentic while others simply don’t match the mood we’re trying to set during the Podcast episode. Despite this, I feel very confident that our group will make a decision on the music that will satisfy all members fairly soon. However, I feel that musical selection is very important to the production of the Podcast so we need to take our time when making that decision.

Another problem we’re confronting is the content of the written script. I don’t believe that we are struggling with academic content but rather with making the podcast sound less like a formal essay or presentation. As of right now our script reads like a book and we would prefer it to be a bit more of a conversational style of podcast. One solution we have proposed is using Madison as a host type figure that would make the transitions between sections more fluid but we are unsure if we want to clog up the podcast with material that is not necessarily content-based. As we continue to develop this script, I am confident that the group will find a healthy balance between the two.

All things considered, Group Heian is plowing forward full steam ahead. As we continue to hammer out issues we run up against, we simultaneously make large strides towards producing a great podcast. Hopefully everything works out!

Group 3 Update 1/9/17

Greetings everyone,

Group 3 is not only surviving, but thriving. Today we had an extremely focused and on topic discussion in class as well as a productive meeting outside of class hours. We’re really making some good progress and I’m excited to share it with you. Unfortunately we have yet to develop a suitable name for our group but I can assure you that it is next on the docket.

We’ve narrowed our topic down quite a bit, and are now committed to exploring the role Confucianism plays in defining gender roles within Japanese society—specifically from the Heian and Kamakura periods of Japanese history that span from 794 to 1333 CE. The group has found some good primary and secondary sources from these time periods that deal with how society functioned at the time and the role that Confucianism played in the development of such societies. We also made some progress on the structure front of the podcast but I’ll save that for our presenter to cover tomorrow.

We also helped one another flesh out ideas for our individual research and I believe that we are making strong progress in all directions. Having such a cooperative group is very helpful for this process because it allows us to work well with one another and bounce ideas between us. Overall, I believe that we’re making strong headway towards a phenomenal podcast and I’m very excited to see what’s in store for our yet to be named group.

(Jacob Cooper’s Post)

Day 5: Death Axes the Fox and Prepares for a Festival

Natsuhiko, Kyogoku. “北斎妖怪百景.” Hokusai Yōkai Hyakkei (Book, 2004) []. May 09, 2016. Accessed January 09, 2017.
Death welcomes you to a new week! Our group hopes you had an enjoyable weekend. In our last post, we covered topic proposals for the podcast episode. After conducting more research over the past few days, death has finally claimed its second victim (see day 2 post for our first).

After much deliberation, we have decided to drop fox spirits and focus on the Qixi/Tanabata festival. Although there could have been unique discussions about the symbolism of fox spirits, we found some possible hardships. Mainly, there is an abundance of stories meaning a variety of fox spirits with different meanings. There are some that serve the gods, mostly focus on causing mischief for people, and etc. As a result, this could jeopardize the organization of our podcast. Causing us to go in many different directions instead of having a full and deep analysis.

However, we are excited to begin more research on Qixi and Tanabata! First, we are interested to see the development of the story in both China and Japan. The tale is also popular in Korea, but the holiday is not largely celebrated and our group would like to keep this discussion as concise as possible. Have we claimed a third victim? At any rate, we are largely interested in looking at the time periods surrounding these stories. For China, we will mainly be researching society during the Han dynasty. There will be two periods for Japan: Heian and Edo. The former is when the holiday was introduced to Japanese society and the latter when the whole population was able to celebrate. Beforehand, Tanabata was only celebrated by the elite. An interesting society development we could analyze. In addition, Group Death is considering looking into marriage structures during these time periods because the focus of the story is marriage and how the lovers were separated. This will especially be an interesting topic for our China research because Lawrence informed us that three versions of the Qixi story were created over time. This development could mean changing societal norms.

More details will be coming tomorrow! Good luck to group member Eve as she will be presenting tomorrow. Thank you for your continued support!