Death and Dying in Contemporary Japan

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Author: Hikaru Suzuki

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0415631904

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 1197

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

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Author: Sébastien Penmellen Boret

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317912446

Category: Social Science

Page: 222

View: 3342

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

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Author: Yeeshan Chan

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136883894

Category: Social Science

Page: 208

View: 9534

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.

Subject to Death

Life and Loss in a Buddhist World

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Author: Robert Desjarlais

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022635590X

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 1818

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.

The Price of Death

The Funeral Industry in Contemporary Japan

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Author: Hikaru Suzuki

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 9780804779838

Category: Social Science

Page: 280

View: 545

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.

Savage Park

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

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Author: Amy Fusselman

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0544303296

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 208

View: 8903

"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

Happiness and the Good Life in Japan

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Author: Wolfram Manzenreiter,Barbara Holthus

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317352726

Category: Social Science

Page: 262

View: 1336

Contemporary Japan is in a state of transition, caused by the forces of globalization that are derailing its ailing economy, stalemating the political establishment and generating alternative lifestyles and possibilities of the self. Amongst this nascent change, Japanese society is confronted with new challenges to answer the fundamental question of how to live a good life of meaning, purpose and value. This book, based on extensive fieldwork and original research, considers how specific groups of Japanese people view and strive for the pursuit of happiness. It examines the importance of relationships, family, identity, community and self-fulfilment, amongst other factors. The book demonstrates how the act of balancing social norms and agency is at the root of the growing diversity of experiencing happiness in Japan today.

The Soul of Anime

Collaborative Creativity and Japan's Media Success Story

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Author: Ian Condry

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822397552

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 6065

In The Soul of Anime, Ian Condry explores the emergence of anime, Japanese animated film and television, as a global cultural phenomenon. Drawing on ethnographic research, including interviews with artists at some of Tokyo's leading animation studios—such as Madhouse, Gonzo, Aniplex, and Studio Ghibli—Condry discusses how anime's fictional characters and worlds become platforms for collaborative creativity. He argues that the global success of Japanese animation has grown out of a collective social energy that operates across industries—including those that produce film, television, manga (comic books), and toys and other licensed merchandise—and connects fans to the creators of anime. For Condry, this collective social energy is the soul of anime.

Psychotherapy and Religion in Japan

The Japanese Introspection Practice of Naikan

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Author: Chikako Ozawa-de Silva

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134305311

Category: Psychology

Page: 224

View: 8531

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

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Author: Anne Allison

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822377241

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 9153

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.

Posthumanism and Literacy Education

Knowing/Becoming/Doing Literacies

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

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351603086

Category: Education

Page: 254

View: 9798

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.

A Japanese View of Nature

The World of Living Things by Kinji Imanishi

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Author: Kinji Imanishi

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136131221

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 1697

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.

Dystopia and Economics

A Guide to Surviving Everything from the Apocalypse to Zombies

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Author: Charity-Joy Revere Acchiardo,Michelle Albert Vachris

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351685643

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 82

View: 4407

Government collapsing? Zombies hunting you down? Everyone you know killed by a global epidemic? Not to worry! Economics holds the keys to survival. Often known as "the dismal science", it is particularly equipped to reveal order in what seems like chaos. Economists observe human behaviour: what leads us to take action, and the subsequent consequences. However, the choices made by individuals are not made in isolation; they influence and are influenced by the actions of others. A set of rules, even if unwritten, guides human behaviour. Foundational economic principles stand firmly in place, even when society is breaking down, and an understanding of these basic tenets of societies is essential to surviving the end of the world as we know it. In this book, the authors draw from popular culture to show economic principles at work in the dystopian societies depicted in The Walking Dead, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hunger Games, Divergent, A Clockwork Orange, and Last Man on Earth. In each society, its members face resource and social constraints that incentivize particular behaviours and lead to predictable outcomes. How does human behaviour change when resources are severely limited, the legal system breaks down, or individual freedom is stifled? The examples presented here shed an eerie light on the principles that guide our actions every day. Dystopia and Economics: A Guide to Surviving Everything from the Apocalypse to Zombies provides a user-friendly introduction to economics suitable for a general audience as well as devoted students of the discipline.

Shinto

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Author: Helen Hardacre

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190621710

Category: Shinto

Page: 720

View: 7469

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.

Metabolic Living

Food, Fat, and the Absorption of Illness in India

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Author: Harris Solomon

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822374447

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 2982

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.

Advancing Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy

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Author: Thomas G. Blomberg,Julie Mestre Brancale,Kevin M. Beaver,William D. Bales

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317571991

Category: Social Science

Page: 498

View: 9307

Advancing Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy is a definitive sourcebook that is comprised of contributions from some of the most recognized experts in criminology and criminal justice policy. The book is essential reading for students taking upper level courses and seminars on crime, public policy and crime prevention, as well as for policy makers within the criminal justice sphere. There has been a growing recognition of the importance of evidence-based criminal justice policies from criminologists, policymakers, and practitioners. Yet, despite governmental and professional association efforts to promote the role of criminological research in criminal justice policy, political ideologies, fear, and the media heavily influence criminal justice policies and practices. Bridging the gap between research and policy, this book provides the best-available research evidence, identifies strategies for informing policy and offers direct policy recommendations for a number of pressing contemporary issues in criminal justice, including: Delinquency, intervention programs and community crime prevention, Problem-oriented policing and the science of hot-spot policing, Sentencing and drug courts, Community corrections, incarceration and rehabilitation, Mental illness, gender, aging and indigenous communities.

Death in a Church of Life

Moral Passion during Botswana’s Time of AIDS

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Author: Frederick Klaits

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520945840

Category: Religion

Page: 368

View: 9176

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.

A Disability of the Soul

An Ethnography of Schizophrenia and Mental Illness in Contemporary Japan

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Author: Karen Nakamura

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801467985

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 6439

Bethel House, located in a small fishing village in northern Japan, was founded in 1984 as an intentional community for people with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Using a unique, community approach to psychosocial recovery, Bethel House focuses as much on social integration as on therapeutic work. As a centerpiece of this approach, Bethel House started its own businesses in order to create employment and socialization opportunities for its residents and to change public attitudes toward the mentally ill, but also quite unintentionally provided a significant boost to the distressed local economy. Through its work programs, communal living, and close relationship between hospital and town, Bethel has been remarkably successful in carefully reintegrating its members into Japanese society. It has become known as a model alternative to long-term institutionalization. In A Disability of the Soul, Karen Nakamura explores how the members of this unique community struggle with their lives, their illnesses, and the meaning of community. Told through engaging historical narrative, insightful ethnographic vignettes, and compelling life stories, her account of Bethel House depicts its achievements and setbacks, its promises and limitations. The print edition of the book is accompanied by a DVD containing two fascinating documentaries about Bethel made by the author-Bethel: Community and Schizophrenia in Northern Japan and A Japanese Funeral (winner of the Society for Visual Anthropology Short Film Award and the Society for East Asian Anthropology David Plath Media Award). The ebook contains a link to the site where readers can stream both films. A Disability of the Soul is a sensitive and multidimensional portrait of what it means to live with mental illness in contemporary Japan.

Escaping Japan

Reflections on Estrangement and Exile in the Twenty-First Century

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Author: Blai Guarné,Paul Hansen

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1315282755

Category: Social Science

Page: 254

View: 3627

The idea that Japan is a socially homogenous, uniform society has been increasingly challenged in recent years. This book takes the resulting view further by highlighting how Japan, far from singular or monolithic, is socially and culturally complex. It engages with particular life situations, exploring the extent to which personal experiences and lifestyle choices influence this contemporary multifaceted nation-state. Adopting a theoretically engaged ethnographic approach, and considering a range of "escapes" both physical and metaphorical, this book provides a rich picture of the fusions and fissures that comprise Japan and Japaneseness today.

Poverty and the Quest for Life

Spiritual and Material Striving in Rural India

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Author: Bhrigupati Singh

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226194547

Category: Social Science

Page: 349

View: 2842

The Indian subdistrict of Shahabad, located in the dwindling forests of the southeastern tip of Rajasthan, is an area of extreme poverty. Beset by droughts and food shortages in recent years, it is the home of the Sahariyas, former bonded laborers, officially classified as Rajasthan’s only “primitive tribe.” From afar, we might consider this the bleakest of the bleak, but in Poverty and the Quest for Life, Bhrigupati Singh asks us to reconsider just what quality of life means. He shows how the Sahariyas conceive of aspiration, advancement, and vitality in both material and spiritual terms, and how such bridging can engender new possibilities of life. Singh organizes his study around two themes: power and ethics, through which he explores a complex terrain of material and spiritual forces. Authority remains contested, whether in divine or human forms; the state is both despised and desired; high and low castes negotiate new ways of living together, in conflict but also cooperation; new gods move across rival social groups; animals and plants leave their tracks on human subjectivity and religiosity; and the potential for vitality persists even as natural resources steadily disappear. Studying this milieu, Singh offers new ways of thinking beyond the religion-secularism and nature-culture dichotomies, juxtaposing questions about quality of life with political theologies of sovereignty, neighborliness, and ethics, in the process painting a rich portrait of perseverance and fragility in contemporary rural India.