Download Nature's Embrace: Japan's Aging Urbanites and New Death by Satsuki Kawano PDF

By Satsuki Kawano

Based on huge fieldwork, Nature’s Embrace unearths the rising pluralization of dying rites in postindustrial Japan. Low start premiums and excessive numbers of individuals closing completely unmarried have resulted in a scarcity of ceremonial caregivers (most regularly married sons and their better halves) to make sure the transformation of the lifeless into ancestors resting in peace. accordingly, older adults are more and more doubtful approximately who will practice memorial rites for them and keep their graves. during this examine, anthropologist Satsuki Kawano examines Japan’s altering demise rites from the point of view of these who choose to have their cremated is still scattered and have a good time their go back to nature.

For these with out little ones, ash scattering is a good technique, because it calls for neither a grave nor a caretaker. even if, the adoption of ash scattering isn't restricted to the childless. via forgoing graves and lightening the weight on more youthful generations to take care of them, this new mortuary perform has given its proponents an elevated experience of keep an eye on over their posthumous lifestyles. via picking out ash scattering, older adults contest their based prestige in eastern society, which more and more perspectives the elderly as passive care recipients. As such, this research explores not just new advancements in mortuary practices, but in addition voices for elevated self-sufficiency in overdue maturity and the elderly’s reshaping of ties with more youthful generations.

Nature’s Embrace deals insightful dialogue at the upward push of recent loss of life rites and ideologies, older adults’ perspectives in their demise rites, and Japan’s altering society throughout the eyes of getting older urbanites. This booklet will have interaction quite a lot of readers attracted to demise and tradition, mortuary ritual, and alterations in age relatives in postindustrial societies.

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Extra info for Nature's Embrace: Japan's Aging Urbanites and New Death Rites

Example text

Most participants in this study belong to these cohorts, which played major roles in the spread of new urban middle-class lifestyles and ideologies. In the realm of mortuary practices, the members of the transitional cohorts are the principal movers of new memorial strategies. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the “new patterns of constraints and opportunities” available to the transitional cohorts to contextualize my informants’ memorial strategy of ash scattering. Chapter 2 locates the GFPS movement in the Japanese history of mortuary practices and reviews the diverse mortuary practices available in today’s Japan in order to further contextualize the practice of ash scattering.

Access to non-family caregiving is also restricted by common assumptions regarding vulnerability in a family setting. The most needy elderly are those living alone, followed by those cared for by working unmarried children, and those cared for by a daughter or a daughter-in-law (Jenike 2003, 182). The individual conditions of older adults, medical or otherwise, are not consistently considered when distributing outside care resources; rather, resources are allocated to compensate for the lack or reduced availability of live-in female family caregivers.

This chapter critically examines the historical-transition thesis, which is sometimes employed to argue that new mortuary practices emerged because the nuclear-family system has replaced the stem-family system and fostered mortuary practices more consistent with the new family system. The adoption of ash scattering by GFPS members suggests some reconstitution of stem-family formation rules in Japan’s postindustrial society. The final chapter considers ash scattering in contemporary Japan as a culturally specific revivalist practice.

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