Ritual Poetry and the Politics of Death in Early Japan Book

Ritual Poetry and the Politics of Death in Early Japan

  • Author : Gary L. Ebersole
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Date : 2020-09-01
  • Category : History
  • Pages : 350
  • ISBN : 9780691218298

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This examination of death rituals in early Japan finds in the practice of double burial a key to understanding the Taika Era (645-710 A.D.). Drawing on narratives and poems from the earliest Japanese texts--the Kojiki, the Nihonshoki, and the Man'yoshu, an anthology of poetry--it argues that double burial was the center of a manipulation of myth and ritual for specific ideological and factional purposes. "This volume has significantly raised the standard of scholarship on early Japanese and Man'yoshu studies."--Joseph Kitagawa "So convincing is the historical and religious thought displayed here, it is impossible to imagine how anyone can ever again read these documents in the old way."--Alan L. Miller, The Journal of Religion "A central resource for historians of early Japan."--David L. Barnhill, History of Religions

Suicidal Honor Book

Suicidal Honor

  • Author : Doris G. Bargen
  • Publisher : University of Hawaii Press
  • Date : 2006-09-30
  • Category : Literary Criticism
  • Pages : 304
  • ISBN : 9780824829988

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On September 13, 1912, the day of Emperor Meiji’s funeral, General Nogi Maresuke committed ritual suicide by seppuku (disembowelment). It was an act of delayed atonement that paid a debt of honor incurred thirty-five years earlier. The revered military hero’s wife joined in his act of junshi ("following one’s lord into death"). The violence of their double suicide shocked the nation. What had impelled the general and his wife, on the threshold of a new era, to resort so drastically, so dramatically, to this forbidden, anachronistic practice? The nation was divided. There were those who saw the suicides as a heroic affirmation of the samurai code; others found them a cause for embarrassment, a sign that Japan had not yet crossed the cultural line separating tradition from modernity. While acknowledging the nation’s sharply divided reaction to the Nogis’ junshi as a useful indicator of the event’s seismic impact on Japanese culture, Doris G. Bargen in the first half of her book demonstrates that the deeper significance of Nogi’s action must be sought in his personal history, enmeshed as it was in the tumultuous politics of the Meiji period. Suicidal Honor traces Nogi’s military career (and personal travail) through the armed struggles of the collapsing shôgunate and through the two wars of imperial conquest during which Nogi played a significant role: the Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904–1905). It also probes beneath the political to explore the religious origins of ritual self-sacrifice in cultures as different as ancient Rome and today’s Nigeria. Seen in this context, Nogi’s death was homage to the divine emperor. But what was the significance of Nogi’s waiting thirty-five years before he offered himself as a human sacrifice to a dead rather than living deity? To answer this question, Bargen delves deeply and with great insight into the story of Nogi’s conflicted career as a military hero who longed to be a

Man   y  sh   and the Imperial Imagination in Early Japan Book

Man y sh and the Imperial Imagination in Early Japan

  • Author : Torquil Duthie
  • Publisher : BRILL
  • Date : 2014-01-09
  • Category : Poetry
  • Pages : 464
  • ISBN : 9789004264540

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In Man’yōshū and the Imperial Imagination in Early Japan, Torquil Duthie examines the literary representation of the late seventh-century Yamato court as a realm of "all under heaven."

Death and Dying in Contemporary Japan Book

Death and Dying in Contemporary Japan

  • Author : Hikaru Suzuki
  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Date : 2013
  • Category : Social Science
  • Pages : 240
  • ISBN : 9780415631907

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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.

The Material Culture of Death in Medieval Japan Book

The Material Culture of Death in Medieval Japan

  • Author : Karen Margaret Gerhart
  • Publisher : University of Hawaii Press
  • Date : 2009-07-29
  • Category : Religion
  • Pages : 292
  • ISBN : 9780824837556

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This study is the first in the English language to explore the ways medieval Japanese sought to overcome their sense of powerlessness over death. By attending to both religious practice and ritual objects used in funerals in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it seeks to provide a new understanding of the relationship between the two. Karen Gerhart looks at how these special objects and rituals functioned by analyzing case studies culled from written records, diaries, and illustrated handscrolls, and by examining surviving funerary structures and painted and sculpted images. The work is divided into two parts, beginning with compelling depictions of funerary and memorial rites of several members of the aristocracy and military elite. The second part addresses the material culture of death and analyzes objects meant to sequester the dead from the living: screens, shrouds, coffins, carriages, wooden fences. This is followed by an examination of implements (banners, canopies, censers, musical instruments, offering vessels) used in memorial rituals. The final chapter discusses the various types of and uses for portraits of the deceased, focusing on the manner of their display, the patrons who commissioned them, and the types of rituals performed in front of them. Gerhart delineates the distinction between objects created for a single funeral—and meant for use in close proximity to the body, such as coffins—and those, such as banners, intended for use in multiple funerals and other Buddhist services. Richly detailed and generously illustrated, Gerhart introduces a new perspective on objects typically either overlooked by scholars or valued primarily for their artistic qualities. By placing them in the context of ritual, visual, and material culture, she reveals how rituals and ritual objects together helped to comfort the living and improve the deceased’s situation in the afterlife as well as to guide and cement societal norms of class and gender. Not only doe

Religions of Japan in Practice Book

Religions of Japan in Practice

  • Author : George J. Tanabe Jr.
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Date : 2020-06-30
  • Category : Religion
  • Pages : 584
  • ISBN : 9780691214740

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This anthology reflects a range of Japanese religions in their complex, sometimes conflicting, diversity. In the tradition of the Princeton Readings in Religions series, the collection presents documents (legends and miracle tales, hagiographies, ritual prayers and ceremonies, sermons, reform treatises, doctrinal tracts, historical and ethnographic writings), most of which have been translated for the first time here, that serve to illuminate the mosaic of Japanese religions in practice. George Tanabe provides a lucid introduction to the "patterned confusion" of Japan's religious practices. He has ordered the anthology's forty-five readings under the categories of "Ethical Practices," "Ritual Practices," and "Institutional Practices," moving beyond the traditional classifications of chronology, religious traditions (Shinto, Confucianism, Buddhism, etc.), and sects, and illuminating the actual orientation of people who engage in religious practices. Within the anthology's three broad categories, subdivisions address the topics of social values, clerical and lay precepts, gods, spirits, rituals of realization, faith, court and emperor, sectarian founders, wizards, and heroes, orthopraxis and orthodoxy, and special places. Dating from the eighth through the twentieth centuries, the documents are revealed to be open to various and evolving interpretations, their meanings dependent not only on how they are placed in context but also on how individual researchers read them. Each text is preceded by an introductory explanation of the text's essence, written by its translator. Instructors and students will find these explications useful starting points for their encounters with the varied worlds of practice within which the texts interact with readers and changing contexts. Religions of Japan in Practice is a compendium of relationships between great minds and ordinary people, abstruse theories and mundane acts, natural and supernatural powers, altruism and self-interest, d

Puppets of Nostalgia Book
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Puppets of Nostalgia

  • Author : Jane Marie Law
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Date : 2015-03-08
  • Category : Social Science
  • Pages : 338
  • ISBN : 9781400872954

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Puppets of Nostalgia is the first major work in any Western language to examine the ritual origins and religious dimensions of puppetry in Japan. In a lucid and engaging style accessible to the general reader, Jane Marie Law describes the "life, death, and rebirth" of awaji ningyo shibai, the unique form of puppet theater of Awaji Island that has existed since the sixteenth century. Puppetry rites on Awaji helped to maintain rigid ritual purity codes and to keep dangerous spiritual forces properly channeled and appeased. Law conducted fieldwork on Awaji, located in Japan's Inland Sea, over a ten-year period. In addition to being a detailed history and ethnography of this ritual tradition, Law's work is, at a theoretical level, a study of the process and meaning of tradition formation, reformation, invention, and revitalization. It will interest scholars in a number of fields, including the history of religions, anthropology, cultural studies, ritual and theater studies, Japanese studies, and social history. Focusing on the puppetry tradition of Awaji Island, Puppets of Nostalgia describes the activities of the island's ritual puppeteers and includes the first English translation of their performance texts and detailed descriptions of their rites. Because the author has lived on Awaji during extended periods of research, the work includes fine attention to local detail and nuanced readings of religious currents in Japan that affect popular religious expression. Illustrated throughout with rare photographs, the book provides an in-depth view of a four-hundred-year-old tradition never so thoroughly revealed to Western readers. Originally published in 1997. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover edit

Tsumi   Offence and Retribution in Early Japan Book

Tsumi Offence and Retribution in Early Japan

  • Author : Yoko Williams
  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Date : 2013-10-11
  • Category : History
  • Pages : 240
  • ISBN : 9781136874222

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Covering the period from before the emergence of the first political units through to the formation of the Japanese ritsuryo state in the 8th century, this book offers a ground-breaking scholarly diachronic analysis of tsumi (offence and retribution) from a politico-historical perspective. Taking as its starting point the native forms of tsumi in the realms of myth and prayer, the study traces their development through the periods of the formation of the state and the centralization of the governing structure, to the introduction of a written-law system of governing. Through detailed and logical analysis this study illuminates early Japanese political thought, written and unwritten law and the essentially political notion of tsumi.

The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Emotion Book

The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Emotion

  • Author : John Corrigan
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Date : 2008-01-02
  • Category : Religion
  • Pages : 544
  • ISBN : 9780199721566

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The academic study of religion recently has turned to the investigation of emotion as a crucial aspect of religious life. Researchers have set out in several directions to explore that new terrain and have brought with them an assortment of instruments useful in charting it. This volume collects essays under four categories: religious traditions, religious life, emotional states, and historical and theoretical perspectives. In this book, scholars engaged in cutting edge research on religion and emotion describe the ways in which emotions have played a role in Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and other religions. They analyze the manner in which key components of religious life -- ritual, music, gender, sexuality and material culture -- represent and shape emotional performance. Some of the essays included here take a specific emotion, such as love or hatred, and observe the place of that emotion in an assortment of religious traditions and cultural settings. Other essays analyze the thinking of figures such as St. Augustine, Soren Kierkegaard, Jonathan Edwards, Emile Durkheim, and William James. This collection offers a range of critical perspectives on the academic study of religion and emotion, in the form of syntheses, provocations, and prospective observations, that will inform the work of those already engaged in the field. Taken together, the writings included in this handbook serve as an ideal entry point for anyone wishing to familiarize themselves with the new academic study of religion and emotion.

Imperial Politics and Symbolics in Ancient Japan Book

Imperial Politics and Symbolics in Ancient Japan

  • Author : Herman Ooms
  • Publisher : University of Hawaii Press
  • Date : 2009-01-01
  • Category : Religion
  • Pages : 353
  • ISBN : 9780824832353

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This title offers an understanding of a formative stage in the development of the Japanese state. It presents a wide-ranging and fine-grained examination of the power struggles, symbolic manipulations, mythological constructs, and historical revisions that both defines and propelled these changes.

Shinto Book


  • Author : Helen Hardacre
  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Date : 2016-12-01
  • Category : Shinto
  • Pages : 720
  • ISBN : 9780190621711

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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.

Holy Tears Book

Holy Tears

  • Author : Kimberley Christine Patton
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Date : 2018-06-26
  • Category : Religion
  • Pages :
  • ISBN : 9780691190228

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What religion does not serve as a theater of tears? Holy Tears addresses this all but universal phenomenon with passion and precision, ranging from Mycenaean Greece up through the tragedy of 9/11. Sixteen authors, including many leading voices in the study of religion, offer essays on specific topics in religious weeping while also considering broader issues such as gender, memory, physiology, and spontaneity. A comprehensive, elegantly written introduction offers a key to these topics. Given the pervasiveness of its theme, it is remarkable that this book is the first of its kind--and it is long overdue. The essays ask such questions as: Is religious weeping primal or culturally constructed? Is it universal? Is it spontaneous? Does God ever cry? Is religious weeping altered by sexual or social roles? Is it, perhaps, at once scripted and spontaneous, private and communal? Is it, indeed, divine? The grief occasioned by 9/11 and violence in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, and elsewhere offers a poignant context for this fascinating and richly detailed book. Holy Tears concludes with a compelling meditation on the theology of weeping that emerged from pastoral responses to 9/11, as described in the editors' interview with Reverend Betsee Parker, who became head chaplain for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City and leader of the multifaith chaplaincy team at Ground Zero. The contributors are Diane Apostolos-Cappadona, Amy Bard, Herbert Basser, Santha Bhattacharji, William Chittick, Gary Ebersole, M. David Eckel, John Hawley, Gay Lynch, Jacob Olúpqnà (with Solá Ajíbádé), Betsee Parker, Kimberley Patton, Nehemia Polen, Kay Read, and Kallistos Ware.

Encyclopedia of Social History Book

Encyclopedia of Social History

  • Author : Peter N. Stearns
  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Date : 1993-12-21
  • Category : History
  • Pages : 896
  • ISBN : 9781135583477

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A reference surveying the major concerns, findings, and terms of social history. The coverage includes major categories within social history (family, demographic transition, multiculturalism, industrialization, nationalism); major aspects of life for which social history has provided a crucial per

Political Theory for Mortals Book

Political Theory for Mortals

  • Author : John E. Seery
  • Publisher : Cornell University Press
  • Date : 2018-10-18
  • Category : Political Science
  • Pages : 240
  • ISBN : 9781501718311

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Despite an abundance of violence occurring in political contexts, no liberal political theorist since Thomas Hobbes has talked directly and coherently about death. John E. Seery does. He contends that liberalism desperately needs a theoretical framework in which to discuss pressing matters of human mortality. Among the contemporary political issues that cry out for theoretical articulation, Seery suggests, are abortion politics, ethnic cleansing, suicide assistance, national reparations, environmental degradation, and capital punishment. Seery offers a new conception of social contract theory as a framework for confronting death issues. He urges us to look to an older tradition of descent into an underworld, wherein classic theorists consulted poetically with the dead and acquired from them political insight and direction. In this lively book, Seery excavates the infernal tradition by rereading the politics of death in Platonism, early Christianity, and contemporary feminism. Building on those traditions, he proposes a new, constructive image of death that can serve democratic theory productively. Reconsidered from the "land of the shades," social contractarian theory is sufficiently altered that, for example, a pro-life Christian and a pro-choice secularist might be able to strike common ground upon which to discuss abortion politics.

Political Memoir Book

Political Memoir

  • Author : Conference on Political Memoirs (1989 : University of British Columbia)
  • Publisher : Psychology Press
  • Date : 1994
  • Category : Political Science
  • Pages : 351
  • ISBN : 0714634719

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The genre of political memoir has a long history, from its origins in classical times through its popularity in the age of courts and cabinets to its ubiquity in modern mass cultures where retired politicians increasingly attract large and eager readerships for their revelations. Yet there is virtually no scholarly criticism which treats this complex form of literature as a distinct genre, fusing autobiographical, historical and political elements. The essays in this book draw together the collaborative findings of a team of British, European, American and Canadian scholars to present a pioneering historical and critical study of the genre of political memoir, analysing the development of its distinct functions and assessing leading memoirists in European, American, Canadian, Indian and Japanese societies. The editor, George Egerton, introduces the volume and surveys the principal features of the genre over its long history. Otto Pflanze analyses the memoirs of Bismarck; Robert Young, Milton Israel, Joshua Mostow and Robert Bothwell study the memoir literature of France, India, Japan and Canada respectively. Barry Gough and Tim Travers look at naval and military memoirists, while Zara Steiner, B.J.C. McKercher and Valerie Cromwell assess the memoirs of diplomats and their families. Leonidas Hill examines the memoirs of leading Nazis. John Munro, Francis Heller and Robert Ferrell convey inside information on the making of memoirs - notably by the Canadian Prime Ministers Diefenbaker and Pearson and the American President Truman. Stephen Ambrose assays Nixon as memoirist, while Janos Bak portrays the status of memoirists under totalitarian regimes. Wesley Wark and John Naylor analyse theproliferation of intelligence memoirs and government efforts to protect official secrets from the revelations of the candid memoirist. The principal findings reached by the contributors in their study of this problematic but influential genre are set out by the editor in the concluding