Pilgrimages and Spiritual Quests in Japan  book cover
1st Edition

Pilgrimages and Spiritual Quests in Japan

ISBN 9780415481335
Published October 22, 2008 by Routledge
206 Pages

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Book Description

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 

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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-N├╝rnberg, 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.