The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.
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Staff Members

YAMANAKA Yuriko
YAMANAKA YurikoYAMANAKA Yuriko
Center for Cultural Resource Studies・Associate Professor
Research Specialization
  • Comparative study of traditions on Alexander the Great; West Asia, Iran
Individual Research Projects
  • Comparative Study of Marvels and the Uncanny: Human Imagination and the Natural World
Personal website

Academic Qualifications:

  • B.A. Kalamazoo College 1988
  • M.A. Univ. of Tokyo 1991
  • Ph.D. Univ. of Tokyo 2007

Research Topics:

Comparative study of traditions on Alexander the Great.

Recent Research Interests:

Yuriko Yamanaka’s research interests lie in the field of comparative literature. Her main focus has been the transmission of pre-Islamic traditions concerning Alexander the Great into the mediaeval Islamic world. She has recently published, The Allegoresis of Alexander the Great: From Antiquity to Medieval Islam (2009, in Japanese). In this book she examines texts in Arabic and Persian, from the beginnings of Islam in the 7th century to the Mongol invasion in the middle of the 13th century, with the aim of understanding the formation and transformation of the image of Alexander, and its place in the faith, political ideas, and historical consciousness of medieval Muslims.

Geographical Areas of Interest:

West Asia, Iran

Discipline:

Comparative literature and culture

Doctoral thesis:

2007
Allegoresis of Alexander in the Classical Age of Islam.

Publications:

2012
"The Islamized Alexander in Chinese Geographies and Encyclopaedias," Richard Stoneman, Kyle Erickson and Ian Netton (eds.), The Alexander Romance in Persia and the East, Ancient Narrative Supplements 15, 2012, pp. 263-274.
2010
2010 Les modes de transmission du savoir: Alexandre le Grand et l'évolution de l'historiographie arabe. Dans A. Saito et Y. Nakamura (dir.) Les outils de la pensée: étude historique et comparative des «textes», pp.99-101, Paris: Éditions de la Maison des Sciences de l'homme.
2010
Les modes de transmission du savoir: Alexandre le Grand et l'évolution de l'historiographie arabe. A. Saito (éd.) Les outils de la pensée : Étude historique et comparative des textes. Paris: Éditions de la Maison des Sciences. de l'Homme.
2009
Alekusandā hensō (The Allegoresis of Alexander). (In Japanese), Nagoya: Nagoya University Press.
2009
The Paper Road : Missing Link between China and Europe. In A. Saito (ed.) Text and Human Sciences, pp.195–208. Kyoto: Jinbunshoin.
2009
The Tear-bottle. In T. Imaseki (ed.) Cultural Study on Tears, (In Japanese), pp.104–115. Tokyo: Seikansha.
2007
Un héros aux mille et un visages: Classification des récits sur Alexandre dans la littérature médiévale arabe et persane. Classer les récits: Théories et pratiques, pp.241–256. Paris: L’Harmattan.
2006
Alexander the Great in the Wake of Islamic Historiography. Comparative Literature and Culture 87: 17–40. (English abstract), Special Issue: The Middle East (27)–(28).
2006
Foreword: The Force of Narrative: What Scheherazade Relates to Us. Comparative Literature and Culture 87: 1–2.
2006
The Arabian Nights and Orientalism: Perspectives from the East and West, Y. Yamanaka and T. Nishio (eds.). London: I.B.Tauris.
** Runner-up of The Katharine Briggs Folklore Award 2006: Judges' Report (pdf)**
** Reviews:
Reviewed by Marina Warner. Times Literary Supplement, 3 November, 2006.
Reviewed by William L. Hanaway, Emeritus, University of Pennyslvania. Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, January, 2007, pp.828.
Reviewed by Robert W. Lebling. Saudi Aramco World Sept/Oct. issue, 2006, pp.40.
2006
Alexander in the Thousand and One Nights and the Ghazali Connection. In Y. Yamanaka and T. Nishio (eds.) The Arabian Nights and Orientalism: Perspectives from the East and West, London: I.B. Tauris, pp.93–115.
2004
Les Mille et Une Nuits et les automates: I'interaction infinie de la science et de la fiction. Les Mille et Une Nuits en partage, pp.39–52. Sindbad.
2003
History and Kingship through the Looking Glass: A Comparative Study of Specula/Jian in Oriental and Occidenal Literatures. In C. Szyska and F. Pannewick (eds.) Crossings and Passages in Genre and Culture, pp.11–25. Wiesbaden: Reichert.
2002
The Eskandarname of Manuchehr Khan Hakim: A 19th Century Persian Popular Romance on Alexander. Iran: Questions et Connaissances. Actes du IVe Congrès Européen des Etudes Iraniennes organisé par la Societas Iranologica Europaea (6–10 September, 1999), Vol. II: Periodes médiévale et moderne (Studia Iranica, Cahier 26), pp.181–189. Paris.
2001
The Desert as a Realm of Unbound Passion: Love and Madness in the Tale of Layla and Majnun. In T. Nishio (ed.) Cultural Change in the Arab World (Senri Ethnological Studies 55), pp.143–148.
2001
Urban Space in Vision: Exploring the City of Brass in theThousand and One Nights. In R. Haag-Higuchi and C. Szyska (eds.) Erzalter Raum in Literaturen der islamischen Welt / Narrated Space in the Literatures of the Islamic World. Wiesbaden.
1999
Ambiguïté de l’image d’Alexandre chez Firdawsi-: Les traces des traditions sassanides dans le Livre des Rois. In L. Harf-Lancner, C. Kappler and F. Suard (eds.) Alexandre le Grand dans les littératures occidentales et proche-orientales, pp.341–53. Universite Paris X, Paris.
1998
The Philosopher and the Wise King: Aristotle and Alexander the Great in Arabic and Persian Literature. Proceedings of the International Congress: Comparative Literature in the Arab World (1995). Egyptian Society of Comparative Literature, Cairo.
1993
From Evil Destroyer to Islamic Hero: The Transformation of Alexander the Great’s Image in Iran, Annals of Japan Association for Middle East Studies, 8: 55–87.

Book Review:

2007
Notes on the Shahnameh Vol. 1, Djalal Khaleghi-Motlagh Parts (1)–(2), Persian Heritage Foundation, NY: Bibliotheca Persica Press, 2001. Middle Eastern Literatures Vol. 10 No. 1, April, 2007.

Presentations:

2009
“The Arabian Nights in Japanese Traditional Performing Arts.” The Arabian Nights: Encounters and Translations in Literature and the Arts, 15-17 December, New York University, Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi.
2009
“Birth of the Novel in Iran and Japan: A Comparative Study.” Societas Iranologica Europaea Mid-term Conference: How to Write the History of Modern Persian Literature– State-of-the-art Approaches and Perspectives, 10–12 July, Bamberg University, Germany.
2009
“The Tear Bottle Quest–European Perceptions of the Biblical Orient and Iranian Shiite Ritual.” Lecture Series: Mythen und Realitäten: Die Beziehungen zwischen Europa und dem Nahen Osten, 2 July, Center for Near and Middle East Studies, Marburg University, Germany.
2008
“Migrating Narratives: Fragments of the Islamized Alexander Romance in Chinese and Japanese Geographies and Encyclopaedias.” Workshop: Crossroads of Culture, Commerce, and Human Movement–Continental and Maritime Silk Routes Compared, 31 October–1 November, Marburg University, Germany.
2008
“D’Alexandre à Iskender ou la fortune du Roman d’Alexandre en Orient. (ms. Supplément Turc 635)” Trésors du patrimoine écrit, Bibliothèque nationale de France–Institut national du patrimoine, 3 June, Auditorium Colbert, Paris.
2007
“Imitatio Alexandri in Ghaznavid Panegyrics and Historiography.” 6th European Conference of Iranian Studies, Institute of Iranian Studies of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, 18–22 September, Vienna, Austria.
2007
“Les modes de transmission du savoir: Alexandre le Grand et l’ évolution de l’ historiographie arabe.” “Les outils de la pensée: Étude comparative de «textes» et de leurs fonctions sociales.” 29 May, Fondation Maison des sciences de l’ homme-Minpaku, Paris.
2007
“Un héros aux mille et un visages: Classification des récits sur Alexandre dans la litterature médiévale arabe et persane.” Les Hommes et les recits: Reconnaître, classer, interpréter, 24–26 May, INALCO Fondation Singer-Polignac, Sorbonne-Paris IV, Paris, France.
2007
“Iskandar dar tavarikh-e Arabi va Farsi.” (Alexander in Arabic and Persian Historiography). International Symposium: Iranian Culture and Persian Literature (JSPS AA Science Platform Program), 6–7 January, Senri Life Science Center, Osaka.
2003
“Iskandar Dhu ’l-Qarnayn in the Persian Tales of the Prophets.” Fifth European Conference of Iranian Studies, 6–11 October.
2002
“Alexander, Lord of the Two Horns, in the Thousand and One Nights.” International Symposium: Arabian Nights and Orientalism in Resonance, 12–13 December, National Museum of Ethnology.
2001
“History and Kingship through the Looking Glass: A Comparative Study of Specula in Oriental and Occidental Literatures.”, 26–30 March.
2000
“Eskandar and the ’Ayyars: A 19th century Persian Popular Romance on Alexander.” Iranistik 2000: Aktuelle Trends iranistischer Forschung, 4–6 October, Otto-Friedrich-Universitat, Bamberg.
2000
“Eskandar and the ’Ayyars: A 19th century Persian Popular Romance on Alexander.” Iranistik 2000: Aktuelle Trends iranistischer Forschung, Otto-Friedrich-Universitat Bamberg, Germany.
1999
“Urban Space in Vision: Exploring the City of Brass in the Thousand and One Nights.” Ortsansichten–Raumbilder. Funktion und Reprasentanz von Raumen und Orten in Literaturen der islamischen Welt, Bamberg, Germany
1999
“The Eskandar-name of Manuchehr Khan Hakim: A 19th Century Persian Popular Romance on Alexander.” Societas Iranologica Europaea 4eme Conference Europeenne, Cite Universitaire, Paris.
1999
“Qajar Alexander Romance: The Kolleyat-e Haft jeldi-ye Eskandar-name.” Asian Federation for Middle East Studies Associations, Tokyo Keizai University,
1998
“The Ambiguous Image of Alexander the Great in the Shah-namah of Firdawsi: Traces of Sassanian Tradition, 27.” Deutscher Orientalistentag, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat, Bonn, Germany.
1997
“Ambiguité de l'image d'Alexandre chez Firdawsi-: les traces des traditions sassanides dans le Livre des Rois.” “La figure d'Alexandre le Grand dans les traditions medievales occidentales et proche-orientales.” Ministre de l'education nationale, de l'enseignement superieur et de la recherche, Universite de Paris III, Paris, France.
1995
“The Philosopher and the Wise King: Aristotle and Alexander the Great in Arabic and Persian Literature.” Comparative Literature in the Arab World, Cairo University, Egypt.
1991
“Persepolis Seen through Foreign Eyes.” Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association, Aoyama Gakuin Daigaku.