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Nature's EmbraceJapan's Aging Urbanites and New Death Rites$
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Satsuki Kawano

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833725

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833725.001.0001

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(p.167) Conclusion
Nature's Embrace

Satsuki Kawano

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter considers ash scattering in contemporary Japan as a culturally specific revivalist practice. It argues that ash scattering allows aging urbanites to manage their posthumous security within the small family they had established when young and had known into their late adulthood. Rather than being the logical “conclusion” to individualism as a culturally specific version of revivalism, ash scattering through the Grave-Free Promotion Society (GFPS) and its new definition of death in today's Japan represent only one possible development of the new middle-class urban culture. It is a mistake, therefore, to characterize ash scattering as a strategy of the marginalized. Nature's embrace was born out of, rather than apart from, postwar Japan's mainstream trends.

Keywords:   ash scattering, self-reliance, mortuary practices, personhood, revivalism, Grave-Free Promotion Society, middle class, urban culture

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