Prof. Dr. Matthias Hayek

Internationales Kolleg für Geisteswissenschaftliche Forschung "Schicksal, Freiheit und Prognose. Bewältigungsstrategien in Ostasien und Europa"
Hartmannstr. 14
91052 Erlangen

Associate Professor

Home Institution: UFR LCAO, Paris Diderot University (France)

IKGF Visiting Fellow September 2013 - January 2014

(Last change of profile by end of stay)

IKGF Research Project:

The rationalization of discourse on divination in Early Modern Japan (17th-18th century): Nishikawa Joken and Baba Nobutake.

Curriculum Vitae

Matthias Hayek, born in 1980, studied Philosophy first at Toulouse Le Mirail University, before transferring to Paris IV-Sorbonne University, where he continued his studies in Philosophy and Sociology. Meanwhile, he also studied Japanese language and civilization at INALCO (National Institute for Oriental Languages, Paris). He achieved an MA in Sociology and the Philosophy of Knowledge on the social morphologies of Ancient Japan at Paris IV, and completed a Master′s thesis on Abe no Seimei, a 10th century Japanese diviner, at INALCO in 2003, before enrolling on a Doctoral course at the latter institution. Having been granted a scholarship by the Japanese Ministry of Education, he then spent five years at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (IRJS) in Kyoto, where he undertook his PhD researches on the evolution of Japanese divination techniques and systems and how they are related to social and political change. During his stay at IRJS, he also worked as a research assistant, and was actively involved in the ′Strange phenomena and Yôkai′ database project.

Back in France, in 2008, he obtained his PhD at INALCO, and was first appointed temporary assistant professor at Paris-Diderot University. He became an associate professor in 2009. Since then, he has been involved in various scientific venues in Europe and abroad, dealing with divination, the calendar or strange phenomena in Japan. While continuing his researches on early modern Japanese divination, he currently works on the diffusion of knowledge through books in Early Modern Japan, with a focus on early Japanese Encyclopaediae, such as the Wakan sansai zue (c1713), and on the emergence of a semi-professional ′clerisy′ who actively contributed to the diffusion of new knowledge in various fields.

Selected Publications

Books and Editions

  • Listen, Copy, Read: Popular Learning in Tokugawa Japan (ed., with A. Horiuchi, and co-author), Leiden: Brill, tbp.
  • Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 40(1): Onmyôdô in Japanese History (ed. with Hayashi Makoto, and co-author), 2013
  • Ofuda: Images gravées des temples du Japon (co-author with J. Kyburz et al.), Paris: Collège de France, Institut des Hautes etudes japonaises, 2011


  • "Astrologia giapponese d'Antelmo Severini: de la réception de l′hémérologie dans le Japon pré-industriel" in Études Japonaises, textes et contextes, Commémoration du 50e anniversaire de la fondation de l′Institut des Hautes Études Japonaises du Collège de France, Paris : Collège de France, Institut des Hautes Études Japonaises, 2011 : 27-43.
  • "L′Invention d′une divination " traditionnelle" aux accents modernes L′art de juger de l′aspect des demeures de Matsu.ura Kinkaku (début XIXe s.)" in Japon Pluriel 8. Arles: Picquier, 2010: 319-327


  • "Editors′ Introduction" (with Hayashi Makoto), Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 40(1), 2013: 1-18.
  • "Correcting the Old, Adapting the New: Baba Nobutake and the (Relative) Rejuvenation of Divination in the Seventeenth Century", Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, 40(1), 2013: 169-188.
  • "Les Manuels de divination japonais au début de L′époque d′Edo (xviie siècle): décloisonnement, compilation, et vulgarisation", Extrême-Orient Extrême-Occident, 35 2013: 83-112.
  • "The Eight Trigrams and Their Changes: An Inquiry into Japanese Early Modern Divination". Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 38(2),2011: 329-368.
  • "算置考-中世から近世初期までの占い師の実態を探って". 京都民俗, 2010, 1-26.