346 pages | 25 B/W Illus.
Are Japanese people religious – and, if so, in what ways? David Lewis addresses this question from the perspective of ordinary Japanese people in the context of their life cycles, and explores why they engage in religious activities. He not only discusses how Japanese people engage in different religious practices as they encounter new events in their lives but also analyses the attitudes and motivations behind their behaviour. Activities such as fortune-telling, religious rites in the workplace, ancestral rites and visits to shrines and temples are actually engaged in by many people who view themselves as ‘non- religious’ but express their motivations in terms other than the conventional ‘religious’ ones. This book outlines the religious options available, and assesses why people choose particular religious activities at various times in their lives or in specific circumstances. The author challenges some widespread assumptions about religion in urban and industrial contexts and also shows how some of the underlying motivations behind Japanese behaviour are expressed both in religious and non-religious forms.
Introduction: A grass-roots perspective
1. The fieldwork area
2. Roots of Japanese religiosity
3. Growing up
4. Finding one’s way
5. House and car
8. Times of crisis
10. Shifting worldviews
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 (email@example.com).