Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Bonds of the DeadTemples, Burial, and the Transformation of Contemporary Japanese Buddhism$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mark Michael Rowe

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226730134

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226730165.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 04 July 2022

Avoiding Abandonment

Avoiding Abandonment

(p.44) Chapter Two Avoiding Abandonment
Bonds of the Dead

Mark Michael Rowe

University of Chicago Press

This chapter addresses the difficulties of finding a grave in contemporary Japan and the dangers inherent in not finding one. It begins by introducing the concept of muen (to be without bonds), a multivalent term that encapsulates the fears of Japanese who do not have graves, as well as those who lack relatives to maintain their graves into the future. Although the fear of dying alone, without anyone to care for your grave, is certainly not limited to the modern period, demographic, social, and economic shifts have recently pushed the problem of muen into the national spotlight. Muen implicates twenty-first century Japan as a society that is not only incapable of caring for its dead but also cannot even identify them.

Keywords:   contemporary japan, muen, economic shifts, graves, relatives, abandonment

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.