Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Nature's EmbraceJapan's Aging Urbanites and New Death Rites$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Satsuki Kawano

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833725

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833725.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Historical Perspectives

Historical Perspectives

(p.53) Chapter Two Historical Perspectives
Nature's Embrace

Satsuki Kawano

University of Hawai'i Press

The Grave-Free Promotion Society (GFPS) has been scattering the ashes of its members since 1991, as opposed to the traditional practice of interring them in a family grave. GFPS members feel that they would like to choose their own mortuary practices rather than follow the social convention. They are also critical of for-profit cemetery providers and Buddhist temples that demand high ceremonial costs. By briefly reviewing the history of Japanese mortuary practices, this chapter contextualizes the binaries that often characterize ash scattering and the family grave: the individual versus the collective, fluidity versus fixity, and a new practice versus a persisting custom. After situating the scattering of ashes in historical contexts, it explores to what extent and in what ways the scattering of ashes through the GFPS is similar to, or different from, earlier mortuary practices in Japan. By reincorporating fluidity and flexibility, the scattering of ashes belongs to a series of new mortuary practices expanded since the 1990s to cope with the effects of postindustrial shifts on Japanese society.

Keywords:   Grave-Free Promotion Society, ash scattering, death rites, family graves, cremation, mortuary practices, interment, Japanese society

Hawaii 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.