Pilgrimages and Spiritual Quests in Japan: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Pilgrimages and Spiritual Quests in Japan

1st Edition

Edited by Peter Ackermann, Dolores Martinez, Maria Rodriguez del Alisal


206 pages

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This exciting new book is a detailed examination of pilgrimages in Japan, including the meanings of travel, transformation, and the discovery of identity through encounters with the sacred, in a variety of interesting dimensions in both historical and contemporary Japanese culture, linked by the unifying theme of a spiritual quest.

Several fascinating new approaches to traditional forms of pilgrimage are put forward by a wide range of specialists in anthropology, religion and cultural studies, who set Japanese pilgrimage in a wider comparative perspective. They apply models of pilgrimage to quests for vocational fulfilment, examining cases as diverse as the civil service, painting and poetry, and present ethnographies of contemporary reconstructions of old spiritual quests, as conflicting (and sometimes global) demands impinge on the time and space of would-be pilgrims.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Travel as Spiritual Quest in Japan Part 1: Pilgrimages, Paths and Places 1. Pilgrimage Roads in Spain and Japan 2. Pilgrimage, Space and Identity: Ise (Japan) and Santiago de Compostela (Spain) 3. The Concept of Pilgrimage in Japan 4. The Daily Life of the Henro on the Island of Shikoku during the Edo Priod as Mirror of Tokugawa Society 5. Stranger and Pilgrimage in Village Japan Part 2: Reconstructing the Quest 6. Current Increase in Walking Pilgrims 7. New Forms of Pilgrimage in Japanese Society 8. Old Gods, New Pilgrimages? A Whistle Stop Tour of Japanese International Theme Parks Part 3: The Quest for the Magic, Liminal, or Non-Ordinary 9. Pilgrimages in Japan. How Far are they Determined by Unconsciously Held Assumptions? 10. Agari-Umai, or the Eastern Tour: A Ryukyuan Royal Ritual and Its Transformations 11. Takiguchi Shuzo and Joan Miro 12. 'Hiroshima, mon Amour': An Inner Pilgrimage to Catharsis Part 4: The Quest for Vocational Fullfillment 13. 'Initiation Rites' and 'Pilgrimage' of Local Civil Servants in the Age of Internalization 14. Travel Ethnography in Japan 15. A Japanese Painter's Quest: Suda Kunitaro's Journey to Spain. Pilgrimage and Experience: An Afterword

About the Editors

Maria Rodriguez del Alisal is President of the Fundacion Instituto de Japonologia and Head of the Japanese Language Department in the Official School of Languages in Madrid, Spain. Her research interests include the transmission of socio-cultural values through religious festivals, advertising and mono-zukuri (the manufacture of objects).

Peter Ackermann is Professor of Japanese Studies, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany. His research interests include Japanese language, education and schooling, communication processes and the development and transmission of cultural values and assumptions.

Dolores Martinez is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology with reference to Japan at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK. Her research interests have included maritime anthropology, religion, gender, tourism and the mass media in Japan.

About the Series

Japan Anthropology Workshop Series

Editorial Board:
Pamela Asquith, University of Alberta
Eyal Ben Ari, Kinneret Academic College, Sea of Galilee, Israel

Hirochika Nakamaki, Suita City Museum, Japan
Christoph Brumann, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany

Henry Johnson, University of Otago, New Zealand

Founder Member of the Editorial Board:
Jan van Bremen, University of Leiden

Routledge is very proud to be publishing this important series, which has already signed up a good list of high quality books on interesting topics, and has a truly international range of authors and editors.

A key aim of the series is to present studies that offer a deep understanding of aspects of Japanese society and culture to offset the impression of constant change and frivolity that so tempts the mass media around the world.  Living in Japan brings anyone into contact with the fervent mood of change, and former residents from many other countries enjoy reading about their temporary home, but there is a demand also to penetrate less obvious elements of this temporary life.  Anthropologists specialise in digging beneath the surface, in peeling off and examining layers of cultural wrapping, and in gaining an understanding of language and communication that goes beyond formal presentation and informal frolicking.  This series will help to open the eyes of readers around the world from many backgrounds to the work of these diligent anthropologists researching the social life of Japan.

Submissions from prospective authors are welcomed, and enquiries should be sent in the first instance to the series editor Professor Joy Hendry (jhendry@brookes.ac.uk).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / Japan
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General