Student NameJohn Livingston
Faculty Mentor NameAnn Wehmeyer
CollegeLiberal Arts and Sciences
MajorHistory/Foreign Language and Literature - Japanese (Double Major)
Research InterestsModern Japanese History, Japanese Folklore, China-Japan Relations,
OrganizationsJapanese Club, Weightlifting Club
Hobbies and InterestsRunning, Hiking, Language practice

Research Project

Akurojin-No-Hi: Construction of an Urban Legend from Changing Times

“The Akurojin-no-hi (悪路神の火) is a flame-like ghost, originating from the folklore of Mie Prefecture, Japan. Little is known about the ghost other than it appears on rainy nights, and those who encounter it become gravely ill. The origin of, and information regarding this spirit are largely unknown, but there seems to be a connection between historic urban, and economic developments within Mie Prefecture and the timing of alleged Akurojin-no-hi sightings that are available. I believe that more research into this creature will allow not only a greater understanding of how the legend of it was popularized, but also provide a greater understanding of its connection to the changes within Mie Prefecture in the 17th and 18th century, as well as the symbolic meaning of its defined characteristics, within Mie Prefecture and the connection of those traits to other creatures within Japanese folklore.