Death and Dying in Contemporary Japan

Author: Hikaru Suzuki

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0415631904

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 1054

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This book, based on extensive original research, explores the various ways in which Japanese people think about death and how they approach the process of dying and death. It shows how new forms of funeral ceremonies have been developed by the funeral industry, how traditional grave burial is being replaced in some cases by the scattering of ashes and forest mortuary ritual, and how Japanese thinking on relationships, the value of life, and the afterlife are changing. Throughout, it assesses how these changes reflect changing social structures and social values.

Japanese Tree Burial

Ecology, Kinship and the Culture of Death

Author: Sébastien Penmellen Boret

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317912446

Category: Social Science

Page: 222

View: 4842

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Tree burial, a new form of disposal for the cremated remains of the dead, was created in 1999 by Chisaka Genpo, the head priest of a Zen Buddhist temple in northern Japan. Instead of a conventional family gravestone, perpetuating the continuity of a household and its identity, tree burial uses vast woodlands as cemeteries, with each burial spot marked by a tree and a small wooden tablet inscribed with the name of the deceased. Tree burial is gaining popularity, and is a highly-effective means of promoting the rehabilitation of Japanese forestland critically damaged by post-war government mismanagement. This book, based on extensive original research, explores the phenomenon of tree burial, tracing its development, discussing the factors which motivate Japanese people to choose tree burial, and examining the impact of tree burial on traditional views of death, memorialisation, and the afterlife. The author argues that non-traditional, non-ancestral modes of burial have become a means of negotiating new social orders and that this symbiosis of environmentalism and memorialisation corroborates the idea that graveyards are not only places for the containment of human remains and the memorialisation of the dead, but spaces where people (re)construct, challenge, and find new senses of belonging to the wider society in which they live. Throughout, the book demonstrates how the new practice fits with developing ideas of ecology, with the individual’s corporality nourishing the earth and thus re-entering the cycle of life in nature.

Japanese Tree Burial

Ecology, Kinship and the Culture of Death

Author: Sébastien Penmellen Boret

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317912446

Category: Social Science

Page: 222

View: 1234

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Tree burial, a new form of disposal for the cremated remains of the dead, was created in 1999 by Chisaka Genpo, the head priest of a Zen Buddhist temple in northern Japan. Instead of a conventional family gravestone, perpetuating the continuity of a household and its identity, tree burial uses vast woodlands as cemeteries, with each burial spot marked by a tree and a small wooden tablet inscribed with the name of the deceased. Tree burial is gaining popularity, and is a highly-effective means of promoting the rehabilitation of Japanese forestland critically damaged by post-war government mismanagement. This book, based on extensive original research, explores the phenomenon of tree burial, tracing its development, discussing the factors which motivate Japanese people to choose tree burial, and examining the impact of tree burial on traditional views of death, memorialisation, and the afterlife. The author argues that non-traditional, non-ancestral modes of burial have become a means of negotiating new social orders and that this symbiosis of environmentalism and memorialisation corroborates the idea that graveyards are not only places for the containment of human remains and the memorialisation of the dead, but spaces where people (re)construct, challenge, and find new senses of belonging to the wider society in which they live. Throughout, the book demonstrates how the new practice fits with developing ideas of ecology, with the individual’s corporality nourishing the earth and thus re-entering the cycle of life in nature.

Abandoned Japanese in Postwar Manchuria

The Lives of War Orphans and Wives in Two Countries

Author: Yeeshan Chan

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136883894

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 3411

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This book relates the experiences of the zanryu-hojin - the Japanese civilians, mostly women and children, who were abandoned in Manchuria after the end of the Second World War when Japan’s puppet state in Manchuria ended, and when most Japanese who has been based there returned to Japan. Many zanryu-hojin survived in Chinese peasant families, often as wives or adopted children; the Chinese government estimated that there were around 13,000 survivors in 1959, at the time when over 30,000 "missing" people were deleted from Japanese family registers as" war dead". Since 1972 the zanryu-hojin have been gradually repatriated to Japan, often along with several generations of their extended Chinese families, the group in Japan now numbering around 100,000 people. Besides outlining the zanryu-hojin’s experiences, the book explores the related issues of war memories and war guilt which resurfaced during the 1980s, the more recent court case brought by zanryu-hojin against the Japanese government in which they accuse the Japanese government of abandoning them, and the impact on the towns in northeast China from which the zanryu-hojin were repatriated and which now benefit hugely from overseas remittances from their former residents. Overall, the book deepens our understanding of Japanese society and its anti-war social movements, besides providing vivid and colourful sketches of individuals’ worldviews, motivations, behaviours, strategies and difficulties.

The Price of Death

The Funeral Industry in Contemporary Japan

Author: Hikaru Suzuki

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 9780804779838

Category: Social Science

Page: 280

View: 2856

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Funerary practices have long been a classic topic of anthropological inquiry, which has tended to focus on death rituals as expressions and reinforcers of community ties and values. In this book, the author looks at funerals as an urban business, based on her fieldwork at a large Japanese funeral company. Her central theme is the progressive commercialization of what once were primarily religious rituals. The book depicts the process of contemporary Japanese funerals, the practices of those who provide commercial funeral services, and the motivations and behavior of the mourners who purchase those services. In so doing, it examines the role of funeral companies in shaping Japanese cultural practices and changing an important aspect of Japanese society. The author addresses several related questions: What cultural changes accompanied the shift from traditional community funeral rituals to commercial funeral services? How did the mass consumption of commercial funerals produce cultural homogeneity while allowing for differences in individual services? How does the marketing of professional funeral services mediate changing cultural values? How have commercial services served to objectify changing concepts of dying, death, and the deceased in contemporary Japan? The author demonstrates that the funeral industry, the purchasers of funeral services, and Japanese values surrounding death are mutually dependent and are responsible for supporting, representing, and transforming cultural practices. Throughout, the author relates vivid and often moving details and anecdotes to lend a personal element to her study of the commodification of death in Japan.

Subject to Death

Life and Loss in a Buddhist World

Author: Robert Desjarlais

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022635590X

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 6578

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If any anthropologist living today can illuminate our dim understanding of death’s enigma, it is Robert Desjarlais. With Subject to Death, Desjarlais provides an intimate, philosophical account of death and mourning practices among Hyolmo Buddhists, an ethnically Tibetan Buddhist people from Nepal. He studies the death preparations of the Hyolmo, their specific rituals of grieving, and the practices they use to heal the psychological trauma of loss. Desjarlais’s research marks a major advance in the ethnographic study of death, dying, and grief, one with broad implications. Ethnologically nuanced, beautifully written, and twenty-five years in the making, Subject to Death is an insightful study of how fundamental aspects of human existence—identity, memory, agency, longing, bodiliness—are enacted and eventually dissolved through social and communicative practices.

Savage Park

A Meditation on Play, Space, and Risk for Americans Who Are Nervous, Distracted, and Afraid to Die

Author: Amy Fusselman

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544303296

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 208

View: 9290

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"A fascinating and daresay essential meditation on childhood, parenthood, and the importance of wild spaces for those wild creatures known as kids."—Dave Eggers How fully can the world be explored when you are focused on trying not to die? This is the question that lies at the heart of Amy Fusselman’s Savage Park. America is the land of safety, of protecting children to make sure that nothing can possibly hurt them. But while on a trip to Tokyo with her family, Fusselman stumbled upon an adventure playground called Hanegi Playpark, where children sawed wood, hammered nails, and built open fires. Her conceptions of space, risk, and play were shattered. In asking us to reexamine fundamental ideas about our approaches to space and risk and how we pass these concepts down to our children, Fusselman also asks us to look at the world in a different way. Perhaps it isn’t variety, but fear that is the spice of life. This startling revelation is at the heart of Savage Park, and will make readers look at the world in a whole new way. “I yield to no one in my admiration for Amy Fusselman’s work. Her new book, Savage Park, further explores with astonishing power, eloquence, precision, and acid humor her obsessive, necessary theme: the gossamer-thin separation between life and death.” —David Shields, author of Reality Hunger “In this unusually refreshing meditation (which reads like a novel), we are given a tour of the space around and within us. With poetic efficiency Amy Fusselman reveals what makes us savage or not; why secret, wild spaces are essential; and why playing should be taken seriously.” —Philippe Petit, high-wire artist

Psychotherapy and Religion in Japan

The Japanese Introspection Practice of Naikan

Author: Chikako Ozawa-de Silva

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134305311

Category: Psychology

Page: 224

View: 8557

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Naikan is a Japanese psychotherapeutic method which combines meditation-like body engagement with the recovery of memory and the reconstruction of one's autobiography in order to bring about healing and a changed notion of the self. Based on original anthropological fieldwork, this fascinating book provides a detailed ethnography of Naikan in practice. In addition, it discusses key issues such as the role of memory, autobiography and narrative in health care, and the interesting borderland between religion and therapy, where Naikan occupies an ambiguous position. Multidisciplinary in its approach, it will attract a wide readership, including students of social and cultural anthropology, medical sociology, religious studies, Japanese studies and psychotherapy.

Precarious Japan

Author: Anne Allison

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822377241

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 4367

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In an era of irregular labor, nagging recession, nuclear contamination, and a shrinking population, Japan is facing precarious times. How the Japanese experience insecurity in their daily and social lives is the subject of Precarious Japan. Tacking between the structural conditions of socioeconomic life and the ways people are making do, or not, Anne Allison chronicles the loss of home affecting many Japanese, not only in the literal sense but also in the figurative sense of not belonging. Until the collapse of Japan's economic bubble in 1991, lifelong employment and a secure income were within reach of most Japanese men, enabling them to maintain their families in a comfortable middle-class lifestyle. Now, as fewer and fewer people are able to find full-time work, hope turns to hopelessness and security gives way to a pervasive unease. Yet some Japanese are getting by, partly by reconceiving notions of home, family, and togetherness.

A Japanese View of Nature

The World of Living Things by Kinji Imanishi

Author: Kinji Imanishi

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136131221

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 9591

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Although Seibutsu no Sekai (The World of Living Things), the seminal 1941 work of Kinji Imanishi, had an enormous impact in Japan, both on scholars and on the general public, very little is known about it in the English-speaking world. This book makes the complete text available in English for the first time and provides an extensive introduction and notes to set the work in context. Imanishi's work, based on a very wide knowledge of science and the natural world, puts forward a distinctive view of nature and how it should be studied. Imanishi's work is particularly important as a background to ecology, primatology and human social evolution theory in Japan. Imanishi's views on these subjects are extremely interesting because he formulated an approach to viewing nature which challenged the usual international ideas of the time, and which foreshadow approaches that have currency today.

Shinto

Author: Helen Hardacre

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190621710

Category: Shinto

Page: 720

View: 9584

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Distinguished scholar of Japanese religions and culture Helen Hardacre offers the first comprehensive history of Shinto, the ancient and vibrant tradition whose colorful rituals are still practiced today. Under the ideal of Shinto, a divinely descended emperor governs through rituals offered to deities called Kami. These rituals are practiced in innumerable shrines across the realm, so that local rites mirror the monarch's ceremonies. Through this theatre of state, it is thought, the human, natural, and supernatural worlds will align in harmony and prosper. Often called "the indigenous religion of Japan," Shinto's institutions, rituals, and symbols are omnipresent throughout the island nation. But, perhaps surprisingly, both its religiosity and its Japanese origins have been questioned. Hardacre investigates the claims about Shinto as the embodiment of indigenous tradition, and about its rightful place in the public realm. Shinto has often been represented in the West as the engine that drove Japanese military aggression. To this day, it is considered provocative for members of the government to visit the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors the Japanese war dead, and this features as a source of strain in Japan's relations with China and Korea. The Yasukuni Shrine is a debated issue in Japanese national politics and foreign relations and reliably attracts intensive media coverage. Hardacre contends, controversially, that it was the Allied Occupation that created this stereotype of Shinto as the religion of war, when in fact virtually all branches of Japanese religions were cheerleaders for the war and imperialism. The history and nature of Shinto are subjects of vital importance for understanding contemporary Japan, its politics, its international relations, and its society. Hardacre's magisterial work will stand as the definitive reference for years to come.

Japanoise

Music at the Edge of Circulation

Author: David Novak

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 082235392X

Category: Music

Page: 292

View: 7073

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Drawing on more than a decade of research in Japan and the United States, David Novak traces the "cultural feedback" that generates and sustains Noise, an underground music genre combining distortion and electronic effects.

Posthumanism and Literacy Education

Knowing/Becoming/Doing Literacies

Author: Candace R. Kuby,Karen Spector,Jaye Johnson Thiel

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351603086

Category: Education

Page: 254

View: 4742

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Covering key terms and concepts in the emerging field of posthumanism and literacy education, this volume investigates posthumanism, not as a lofty theory, but as a materialized way of knowing/becoming/doing the world. The contributors explore the ways that posthumanism helps educators better understand how students, families, and communities come to know/become/do literacies with other humans and nonhumans. Illustrative examples show how posthumanist theories are put to work in and out of school spaces as pedagogies and methodologies in literacy education. With contributions from a range of scholars, from emerging to established, and from both U.S. and international settings, the volume covers literacy practices from pre-K to adult literacy across various contexts. Chapter authors not only wrestle with methodological tensions in doing posthumanist research, but also situate it within pedagogies of teaching literacies. Inviting readers to pause, slow down, and consider posthumanist ways of thinking about agency, intra-activity, subjectivity, and affect, this book explores and experiments with new ways of seeing, understanding, and defining literacies, and allows readers to experience and intra-act with the book in ways more traditional (re)presentations do not.

Metabolic Living

Food, Fat, and the Absorption of Illness in India

Author: Harris Solomon

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822374447

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 3096

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The popular narrative of "globesity" posits that the adoption of Western diets is intensifying obesity and diabetes in the Global South and that disordered metabolisms are the embodied consequence of globalization and excess. In Metabolic Living Harris Solomon recasts these narratives by examining how people in Mumbai, India, experience the porosity between food, fat, the body, and the city. Solomon contends that obesity and diabetes pose a problem of absorption between body and environment. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork carried out in Mumbai's home kitchens, metabolic disorder clinics, food companies, markets, and social services, he details the absorption of everything from snack foods and mangoes to insulin, stress, and pollutants. As these substances pass between the city and the body and blur the two domains, the onset and treatment of metabolic illness raise questions about who has the power to decide what goes into bodies and when food means life. Evoking metabolism as a condition of contemporary urban life and a vital political analytic, Solomon illuminates the lived predicaments of obesity and diabetes, and reorients our understanding of chronic illness in India and beyond.

The Weight of Obesity

Hunger and Global Health in Postwar Guatemala

Author: Emily Yates-Doerr

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520961900

Category: Social Science

Page: 248

View: 4610

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A woman with hypertension refuses vegetables. A man with diabetes adds iron-fortified sugar to his coffee. As death rates from heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes in Latin America escalate, global health interventions increasingly emphasize nutrition, exercise, and weight loss—but much goes awry as ideas move from policy boardrooms and clinics into everyday life. Based on years of intensive fieldwork, The Weight of Obesity offers poignant stories of how obesity is lived and experienced by Guatemalans who have recently found their diets—and their bodies—radically transformed. Anthropologist Emily Yates-Doerr challenges the widespread view that health can be measured in calories and pounds, offering an innovative understanding of what it means to be healthy in postcolonial Latin America. Through vivid descriptions of how people reject global standards and embrace fatness as desirable, this book interferes with contemporary biomedicine, adding depth to how we theorize structural violence. It is essential reading for anyone who cares about the politics of healthy eating.

Daughters of Parvati

Women and Madness in Contemporary India

Author: Sarah Pinto

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812245830

Category: Psychology

Page: 296

View: 7555

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In her role as devoted wife, the Hindu goddess Parvati is the divine embodiment of viraha, the agony of separation from one's beloved, a form of love that is also intense suffering. These contradictory emotions reflect the overlapping dissolutions of love, family, and mental health explored by Sarah Pinto in this visceral ethnography. Daughters of Parvati centers on the lives of women in different settings of psychiatric care in northern India, particularly the contrasting environments of a private mental health clinic and a wing of a government hospital. Through an anthropological consideration of modern medicine in a nonwestern setting, Pinto challenges the dominant framework for addressing crises such as long-term involuntary commitment, poor treatment in homes, scarcity of licensed practitioners, heavy use of pharmaceuticals, and the ways psychiatry may reproduce constraining social conditions. Inflected by the author's own experience of separation and single motherhood during her fieldwork, Daughters of Parvati urges us to think about the ways women bear the consequences of the vulnerabilities of love and family in their minds, bodies, and social worlds.

Reel World

An Anthropology of Creation

Author: Anand Pandian

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822375168

Category: Social Science

Page: 360

View: 1431

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Reel World explores what happens to life when everything begins to look and feel like cinema. Drawing on years of fieldwork with Tamil filmmakers, artists, musicians, and craftsmen in the south Indian movie studios of "Kollywood," Anand Pandian examines how ordinary moments become elements of a cinematic world. With inventive, experimental, and sometimes comical zeal, Pandian pursues the sensory richness of cinematic experience and the adventure of a writing true to these sensations. Thinking with the visceral power of sound and image, his stories also broach deeply philosophical themes such as desire, time, wonder, and imagination. In a spirit devoted to the turbulence and uncertainty of genesis, Reel World brings into focus an ecology of creative process: the many forces, feelings, beings, and things that infuse human endeavors with transformative potential.

Japanese Tourism and Travel Culture

Author: Sylvie Guichard-Anguis,Okpyo Moon

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134104820

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 9697

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This book examines Japanese tourism and travel, both today and in the past, showing how over hundreds of years a distinct culture of travel developed, and exploring how this has permeated the perceptions and traditions of Japanese society. It considers the diverse dimensions of modern tourism including appropriation and consumption of history, nostalgia, identity, domesticated foreignness, and the search for authenticity and invention of tradition. Japanese people are one of the most widely travelling peoples in the world both historically and in contemporary times. What may be understood as incipient mass tourism started around the 17th century in various forms (including religious pilgrimages) long before it became a prevalent cultural phenomenon in the West. Within Asia, Japan has long remained the main tourist sending society since the beginning of the 20th century when it started colonising Asian countries. In 2005, some 17.8 million Japanese travelled overseas across Europe, Asia, the South Pacific and America. In recent times, however, tourist demands are fast growing in other Asian countries such as Korea and China. Japan is not only consuming other Asian societies and cultures, it is also being consumed by them in tourist contexts. This book considers the patterns of travelling of the Japanese, examining travel inside and outside the Japanese archipelago and how tourist demands inside influence and shape patterns of travel outside the country. Overall, this book draws important insights for understanding the phenomenon of tourism on the one hand and the nature of Japanese society and culture on the other.

Death in a Church of Life

Moral Passion during Botswana’s Time of AIDS

Author: Frederick Klaits

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520945840

Category: Religion

Page: 368

View: 2943

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This deeply insightful ethnography explores the healing power of caring and intimacy in a small, closely bonded Apostolic congregation during Botswana’s HIV/AIDS pandemic. Death in a Church of Life paints a vivid picture of how members of the Baitshepi Church make strenuous efforts to sustain loving relationships amid widespread illness and death. Over the course of long-term fieldwork, Frederick Klaits discovered Baitshepi’s distinctly maternal ethos and the "spiritual" kinship embodied in the church’s nurturing fellowship practice. Klaits shows that for Baitshepi members, Christian faith is a form of moral passion that counters practices of divination and witchcraft with redemptive hymn singing, prayer, and the use of therapeutic substances. An online audio annex makes available examples of the church members’ preaching and song.

Religious Violence in Contemporary Japan

The Case of Aum Shinrikyo

Author: Ian Reader

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 113681941X

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 900

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The Tokyo subway attack in March 1995 was just one of a series of criminal activities including murder, kidnapping, extortion, and the illegal manufacture of arms and drugs carried out by the Japanese new religious movement Aum Shinrikyo, under the guidance of its leader Asahara Shoko. Reader looks at Aum's claims about itself and asks, why did a religious movement ostensibly focussed on yoga, meditation, asceticism and the pursuit of enlightenment become involved in violent activities? Reader discusses Aum's spiritual roots, placing it in the context of contemporary Japanese religious patterns. Asahara's teaching are examined from his earliest public pronouncements through to his sermons at the time of the attack, and statements he has made in court. In analysing how Aum not only manufactured nerve gases but constructed its own internal doctrinal justifications for using them Reader focuses on the formation of what made all this possible: Aum's internal thought-world, and on how this was developed. Reader argues that despite the horrors of this particular case, Aum should not be seen as unique, nor as solely a political or criminal terror group. Rather it can best be analysed within the context of religious violence, as an extreme example of a religious movement that has created friction with the wider world that escalated into violence.