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Mortuary Practices, Buddhism, and Family Relations in Japanese Society

Mortuary Practices, Buddhism, and Family Relations in Japanese Society Mortuary Practices, Buddhism, and Family Relations in Japanese Society NAM-LIN HUR University of British Columbia Mark Rowe. Bonds of the Dead: Temples, Burial, and the Transformation of Contemporary Japanese Buddhism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011. 256 pp. $91 (cloth), $29 (paper). Satsuki Kawano. Nature’s Embrace: Japan’s Aging Urbanites and New Death Rites. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2010. 232 pp. $47 (cloth), $27 (paper). In Bonds of the Dead, Mark Rowe, who focuses on “the grave as the center of the ancestral orbit” in Japanese mortuary practices, observes that, due to the gradual loss of its gravitational pull, “the economic and social bedrock of temple Buddhism in Japan has eroded to the point where even its continued existence is publicly called into question” (222). Here, Rowe speaks to the decline of what is commonly known as the danka system. In contrast, in Nature’s Embrace, Satsuki Kawano finds that the dominance of Buddhist death-related rituals couched in the tradition of the danka system remains by and large intact. Whether the danka system is in decline or not, both Rowe and Kawano agree that in understanding the religious texture of mortuary and memorial practices in Japanese society today, it is essential to acknowledge enduring Buddhist http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review University of Hawai'I Press

Mortuary Practices, Buddhism, and Family Relations in Japanese Society

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © Research Institute of Korean Studies, Korea University
ISSN
2158-9666
eISSN
2158-9674

Abstract

Mortuary Practices, Buddhism, and Family Relations in Japanese Society NAM-LIN HUR University of British Columbia Mark Rowe. Bonds of the Dead: Temples, Burial, and the Transformation of Contemporary Japanese Buddhism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011. 256 pp. $91 (cloth), $29 (paper). Satsuki Kawano. Nature’s Embrace: Japan’s Aging Urbanites and New Death Rites. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2010. 232 pp. $47 (cloth), $27 (paper). In Bonds of the Dead, Mark Rowe, who focuses on “the grave as the center of the ancestral orbit” in Japanese mortuary practices, observes that, due to the gradual loss of its gravitational pull, “the economic and social bedrock of temple Buddhism in Japan has eroded to the point where even its continued existence is publicly called into question” (222). Here, Rowe speaks to the decline of what is commonly known as the danka system. In contrast, in Nature’s Embrace, Satsuki Kawano finds that the dominance of Buddhist death-related rituals couched in the tradition of the danka system remains by and large intact. Whether the danka system is in decline or not, both Rowe and Kawano agree that in understanding the religious texture of mortuary and memorial practices in Japanese society today, it is essential to acknowledge enduring Buddhist

Journal

Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture ReviewUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: May 22, 2013

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