Meeting with a provisional dissertation supervisor (30.5.2014)

I know it is quite a few days later but since it is the end of exam period I have decided to just relax and not pay much attention to this blog. Well, that’s going to change with this post and other posts once I’ll finish reading some of the articles that I am reading at the moment.

Anyway, as for the meeting, it appears that my possible future dissertation supervisor will be a professor that lectured us on religion in Japan in 1st semester this year. She is a nice lady with several publications of her own. During the meeting we spoke a bit about the possible topic of the dissertation. I mentioned that I would probably do something related to Kannon, the pilgrimage and maybe marketization of the pilgrimage as well. Yet, I still have to find my own specific angle on the whole matter which will hopefully happen in the next upcoming 3 or 4 months.

We also spoke about interviewing people as that will possibly my preferred method of acquiring information. The information she gave was quite similar to the content of the article that I am reading at the moment and that I mentioned in ‘Where to collect data from’ post. She re-emphasized the fact that priests are most likely to talk a bit more openly about the topic whereas the pilgrims might be a bit more distant. She also advised me to try to build relationship with the temples where I would do interviews, as in to find out if there were any events happening in the temple, or maybe just visit it and look around. Since all the temple are situated in Chichibu, it is not that far from Tokyo which makes it quite easy for me to travel there. One more thing that the supervisor advised was to start contacting the individuals once I arrive in Japan, despite the fact that I might not feel comfortable enough to make interviews yet, it is better to make sure if the person I will want to interview will be present when I come. That means I will have to have a set travel plan in place when I arrive in Japan, to be able to give specific dates.

Also what I found very nice and very forthcoming was the fact that the lecturer offered to contact her contacts in Japan to see if anyone has done any work in the field that I will be researching to see if I could come to them for some help. I found that very sweet and as she said herself it would speed up the whole process of researching.

She also suggested a few more articles for reading. These, though, are more to get some good references for Japanese authors on the topic so that when I get to Japan, I won’t have to waste much time thinking about what to read and potentially waste time reading something that won’t be useful at all. One of those suggestions was to read a certain chapter (I no longer remember its exact name properly but it included word ‘Geography’ and the author’s name was Barbara something I think) from the ‘Nanzan Guide to Religion’. So that is my next aim, to photocopy it in the library and take it with me home.

I quite regret that I didn’t take paper and pen to jot down the information, or that I didn’t type the information down the exact evening because right now I don’t remember much more that have been said. So I am hoping that what I have scribbled down here is the important stuff that stayed in my memory.

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