This exciting new book is a detailed examination of pilgrimages in Japan, including the meanings of travel, transformation, and the discovery of identity through encounters with the sacred, in a variety of interesting dimensions in both historical and contemporary Japanese culture, linked by the unifying theme of a spiritual quest.
Several fascinating new approaches to traditional forms of pilgrimage are put forward by a wide range of specialists in anthropology, religion and cultural studies, who set Japanese pilgrimage in a wider comparative perspective. They apply models of pilgrimage to quests for vocational fulfilment, examining cases as diverse as the civil service, painting and poetry, and present ethnographies of contemporary reconstructions of old spiritual quests, as conflicting (and sometimes global) demands impinge on the time and space of would-be pilgrims.
Maria Rodriguez del Alisal is President of the Fundacion Instituto de Japonologia and Head of the Japanese Language Department in the Official School of Languages in Madrid, Spain. Her research interests include the transmission of socio-cultural values through religious festivals, advertising and mono-zukuri (the manufacture of objects).
Peter Ackermann is Professor of Japanese Studies, University of Erlangen-Nrnberg, Germany. His research interests include Japanese language, education and schooling, communication processes and the development and transmission of cultural values and assumptions.
Dolores Martinez is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology with reference to Japan at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK. Her research interests have included maritime anthropology, religion, gender, tourism and the mass media in Japan.