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Narratives of Sorrow and DignityJapanese Women, Pregnancy Loss, and Modern Rituals of Grieving$
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Bardwell L. Smith

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199942138

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199942138.001.0001

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Situating the Rites of Mourning

Situating the Rites of Mourning

Two Temples and a Variety of Visitors

(p.56) 3 Situating the Rites of Mourning
Narratives of Sorrow and Dignity

Bardwell L. Smith

Oxford University Press

Discusses two Jōdoshū temples that provide different models of counseling by priests and memorial services for mizuko. This material was obtained through interviews over a twenty-year period of twenty years with the priests who conducted these services. The first of these priests is Hara Satoshi at Adashino Nenbutsuji, who provided counseling to large numbers of both male and female laypeople. At the second temple, Jikishian, there are written expressions, mainly by women, in a genre called Omoidegusa (Recollections), which are analyzed here for the first time. The chapter then includes extended comments on this material by the head priest Oda Hōryū in his efforts to counsel and to place mizuko kuyō within a Buddhist context. His comments are the most wide-ranging discussions of this subject by a Japanese Buddhist priest.

Keywords:   Hara Satoshi, Adashino Nenbutsuji, Omoidegusa, Jikishian, commercialization, fetus, Jōdoshū

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