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Sacred High City, Sacred Low CityA Tale of Religious Sites in Two Tokyo Neighborhoods$
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Steven Heine

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195386202

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195386202.001.0001

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Introduction: Japanese Religious Context In Traditional and Contemporary Perspectives

Introduction: Japanese Religious Context In Traditional and Contemporary Perspectives

(p.2) (p.3) Introduction: Japanese Religious Context In Traditional and Contemporary Perspectives
Sacred High City, Sacred Low City

Heine Steven

Oxford University Press

How important are the vast number of religious sites in Tokyo? Why and to what extent do they endure and even thrive in the context of modern society that responds to the push of ancient traditions and the pulls of contemporary secularization? This chapter gives an overview of how a carefully selected number of holy sites will be used to consider the various ways that traditional notions of sacred space are appropriated and continue to function in Tokyo, as well as in urbanized Japanese society more generally. It provides a preview of case studies of temples and shrines drawn from two representative yet contrasting neighborhoods: Akasaka in the affluent and influential central district of Yamanote or the High City; and Inarichō in the downbeat yet perpetually creative peripheral district of Shitamachi or the Low City.

Keywords:   Demon's Gate, Matsuri, Omikoshi, Retribution, The Funeral

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