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The Price Of Death

Author: Hikaru Suzuki
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804779838
Size: 44.80 MB
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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.

Death And Dying In Contemporary Japan

Author: Hikaru Suzuki
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415631904
Size: 59.36 MB
Format: PDF
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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.

Invisible Population

Author: Natacha Aveline-Dubach
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 0739171445
Size: 40.92 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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"Provides new information on funerary practices in East Asia's largest cities in which spatial constraints and the secularization of lifestyles are driving innovation. It reveals common trends in Japan, China and Korea, and addresses emerging challenges such as urban sustainability and growing social inequities."--Publisher's description.

Japanese Tree Burial

Author: Sébastien Penmellen Boret
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317912438
Size: 16.17 MB
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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.

Time Consumption And Everyday Life

Author: Elizabeth Shove
Publisher: Berg
ISBN: 1847886248
Size: 71.32 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Has material civilization spun out of control, becoming too fast for our own well-being and that of the planet? This book confronts these anxieties and examines the changing rhythms and temporal organization of everyday life. How do people handle hurriedness, burn-out and stress? Are slower forms of consumption viable? In case studies covering the United States, Asia and Europe, international experts follow routines and rhythms, their emotional and political dynamics and show how they are anchored in material culture and everyday practice. Running themes of the book are questions of coordination and disruption; cycles and seasons; and the interplay between power and freedom, and between material and natural forces. The result is a volume that brings studies of practice, temporality and material culture together to open up a new intellectual agenda.

Bringing Zen Home

Author: Paula Kane Robinson Arai
Publisher:
ISBN:
Size: 40.11 MB
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This book maps new territory in Zen by explicating a domestic Zen filled with the ritual healing practices of contemporary Japanese female elders. It develops a 10-part theory on Japanese Zen Buddhist womens Way of Healing. It also analyzes how ritualized activities function in Soto Zen mode.

Islands Of Eight Million Smiles

Author: Hiroshi Aoyagi
Publisher: Harvard Univ Council on East Asian
ISBN:
Size: 66.88 MB
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Since the late 1960s a ubiquitous feature of popular culture in Japan has been the "idol," an attractive young actor, male or female, packaged and promoted as an adolescent role model and exploited by the entertainment, fashion, cosmetic, and publishing industries to market trendy products. This book offers ethnographic case studies regarding the symbolic qualities of idols and how these qualities relate to the conceptualization of selfhood among adolescents in Japan and elsewhere in East Asia. The author explores how the idol-manufacturing industry absorbs young people into its system of production, molds them into marketable personalities, commercializes their images, and contributes to the construction of ideal images of the adolescent self. Since the relationship between the idols and their consumers is dynamic, the study focuses on the fans of idols as well. Ultimately, Aoyagi argues, idol performances substantiate capitalist values in the urban consumer society of contemporary Japan and East Asia. Regardless of how crude their performances may appear in the eyes of critics, the idols have helped establish the entertainment industry as an agent of public socialization by driving public desires toward the consumption of commoditized fantasies.