9780824820909

Practically Religious : Worldly Benefits and the Common Religion of Japan

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780824820909

  • ISBN10:

    0824820908

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1998-11-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Hawaii Pr
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Summary

Praying for practical benefits (genze riyaku) is a common religious activity in Japan. Despite its widespread nature and the vast numbers of people who pray and purchase amulets and talismans for everything from traffic safety and education success to business prosperity and protection from disease, the practice has been virtually ignored in academic studies or relegated to the margins as a product of superstition or an aberration from the true dynamics of religion. Basing their work on a fusion of textual, ethnographic, historical, and contemporary studies, the authors of this volume demonstrate the fallacy of such views, showing that, far from being marginal, the concepts and practices surrounding genze riyaku lie at the very heart of the Japanese religious world.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction 1(7)
Buddhism and This-Worldly Benefits
8(5)
Shito and Practical Benefits
13(1)
Genze riyaku in Japanese Religion
14(9)
A Common Religion
23(9)
Overview of the Book
32(5)
Benefits in the Religious System: Settings and Dynamics
37(34)
Comprehensive Responses: Types and Extent of Practical Benefits
45(5)
The Social Geography of Benefits: Benefits and Religious Identity
50(3)
Changing Times and New Benefits
53(7)
Practical Benefits, Religious Institutions, and Ritual Processes: The Case of Kawasaki Daishi
60(8)
Individual Wishes and Social Requests
68(3)
Scripture and Benefits
71(36)
This-Worldly Promises: The Lotus Sutra
73(4)
Benefits in Early Buddhist Teachings
77(3)
Benefits as Divine Blessings: The Flower Garland Sutra
80(2)
Benefits as Windfall: Fujii Masao
82(2)
Benefits as Objectives: Iijima Yoshiharu
84(3)
Benefits as Concession and Mystery: Ocho Enichi
87(2)
Benefits as Folk Syncretism: Tsuruoka Shizuo
89(5)
Postmodern Jodo Shin Catholicism: Sasaki Shoten
94(3)
Enculturation through Coexistence: Nara Yasuki
97(3)
Sutra Buddhism as Folk Religion
100(2)
Kubosa: Bourgeois Benefits in Shinto
102(5)
Buying Out Chance: Morality, Belief, and Prayer
107(33)
Good Luck (koun) and Moral Luck (kaiun)
108(7)
Material Spirituality
115(5)
Social Welfare and Repayment of Gratitude
120(3)
Materialism, Selfishness, and Prayers for All
123(3)
Belief and Disbelief in Magic
126(10)
Prayer and Purchase
136(4)
The Providers of Benefits: Gods, Saints, and Wizards
140(38)
Personalization and Purchase
143(3)
Ninomiya's Pill and the Gathering of Gods and Buddhas
146(9)
Intensifying Assimilation: The Impact of Meiji Disestablishment
155(1)
The Seven Gods of Good Fortune
156(7)
The Place of the Gods
163(3)
The Benefits of a Saint: Kobo Daishi
166(4)
Wizards
170(6)
The Diverse Gathering
176(2)
The Dynamics of Practice
178(28)
The Open Display of Desire
181(1)
Purchase, Practice, and the Price of Benefits
182(6)
The Importance of Plurality
188(2)
Rituals, Intimacy, and the Role of Priests
190(2)
Actions, Amulets, and Obligations
192(3)
Return and Renewal: The Cycle of Purchase and Gratitude
195(2)
Leaving Messages: The Use of Votive Tablets
197(2)
Pilgrimage and the Pursuit of Benefits
199(2)
Social Organizations and the Pursuit of Benefits: Ko and Kaisha
201(3)
The Dynamics of Practice
204(2)
Selling Benefits: The Marketing of Efficacy and Truth
206(28)
Creating a Religious Department Store
206(3)
Marketing Reputation through Stories
209(3)
Advertising through Events, Festivals, and Rituals
212(3)
Contemporary Media
215(2)
New Technologies: Selling Benefits by Fax and Internet
217(5)
Material Goods: Wholesale Suppliers
222(3)
Competition and Survival
225(4)
Marketing Truth
229(2)
Stagnation and Vibrancy
231(3)
Guidebooks to Practical Benefits
234(22)
A Nineteenth-Century Example
235(4)
Contemporary Guidebooks
239(3)
Guidebooks and the Reporting of Miracles
242(3)
Unusual Benefits: The Example of the Nippon zenkoku goriyaku gaido
245(2)
Common Religion in a Modern City: Tokyo goriyaku sanpo
247(6)
The Religious Landscape
253(3)
Conclusions
256(7)
Notes 263(22)
Bibliography 285(14)
Index 299

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