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Bonds of the DeadTemples, Burial, and the Transformation of Contemporary Japanese Buddhism$
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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

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 March 2020

Scattering Ashes

Scattering Ashes

Chapter:
(p.152) Chapter Five Scattering Ashes
Source:
Bonds of the Dead
Author(s):

Mark Michael Rowe

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226730165.003.0006

This chapter moves outside the idiom of Buddhist graves and memorials to consider the scattering of ashes, an innovative burial practice that began around the same time as eternal memorial graves. Despite that fact that more than 99 percent of all Japanese are cremated today, scattering is still a very recent and controversial practice. After tracing the modern development of scattering and the civic group that has been instrumental in its promotion, this chapter will explore a wide range of responses and consider what further insights they may offer into the relationship between Buddhist doctrine, families, and burial. It is also shown here that despite demographic, household, and economic shifts weakening the hold of temples on Japanese deathways, Buddhist identity in Japan is still intimately connected to the central role of temple priests in mortuary rites.

Keywords:   scattering ashes, buddhist graves, burial practice, eternal memorial graves, buddhist identity, temple priests, mortuary rites

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