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The Fox and the Jewel: Shared and Private Meanings in Contemporary Japanese Inari Workship: Shared and Private Meanings in Contemporary Japanese Inari Worship (Englisch) Taschenbuch – Dezember 1998

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An exploration of the rich complexity of the worship of the deity Inari in contemporary Japan. The work covers institutional and popular power in religion, the personal meaningfulness of religious figures and the communicative styles that preserve homogeneity in the face of factionalism.


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20 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Inari and Jung by "Kitsune-Onnna" (Fox Woman) 15. Januar 2004
Von K.E. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Well, I have been familiar with Inari, sort of "Fox God", since I was born and raised in Japan. However, after I read this book, I noticed that I had not known what Inari really means! Why do we have so many "Fox God shrines" in Japan? What is the relationship beteen Shinto and Inari? What about Inari and Buddhisim?
I have not seen a book like this, even in Japanese, which ambitiously tries to investigate for these complicated, but culturally fascinating issues. The author lived in Japan for a couple of years, at two major Inari Shrines (Fushimi and Toyokawa), and conuducted a thorough field study. In fact, the author could not solve all the intricated miteries of Inari, but, most importantly, she found out that even many priests and monks working at Fushimi or Toyokawa do not know histories of their shrines, nor understand what Inari really means! In that sense, Inari is not purely religion, but sort of a popular culture and practice. So, we may say this is a great book of anthropology of Japanese culture.
I met Karen, the author, at the Jung Institute in Zurich. Karen introduced herself, in Japanese, as "Kitsune-Onna", Fox-woman. She was so brave that she quit a tenure position in an American college, and decided to become an Jungian analyst. Karen, I look forward to seeing you again, and to see what comes out from the combination of your American nativeness, deep insight of Japanese culture, and Jungian psychology.
12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Invaluable reference on Shinto 11. November 2003
Von faithful urban reader - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Smyers, an acknowledged expert on the cult of Inari (Japanese Rice God/dess) has provided a thorough and engaging examination of the many facets of Inari worship and symbology. Her analysis, both anecdotal and anthropological, of the role of women in the shamanistic forms of Inari worship brings to light
their importance in Japan's shamanic past and present. Smyers obtained access to many levels of Inari worship, from fire ceremonies held in individual believers' homes (a suspensful and riveting account), to the larger Inari centers throughout Japan, and has provided a detailed, comprehensive and
fascinating account of this little-known, but widespread, form of worship. A must read for anyone interested in Japan, Shinto, Buddhism, shamanism and the metaphysical.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Jewel of a Study 8. März 2006
Von Crazy Fox - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
If you live almost anywhere in Japan, you will see the landscape dotted with red torii gates that are the signature of Inari Shrines. From little roadside sheds to great shrine complexes, from evergreen groves to office building rooftops, they're everywhere. And there's hardly a local shrine that doesn't have a smaller Inari shrine off to the side on its grounds. So certainly something so prevalent, and obviously the object of active religious practice, must hold an important key to understanding religion in Japan. And yet almost no scholars have paid much attention to Inari worship, with the thankful exception of Smeyers, who does a truly excellent job in this very important study.

The merits of this book are many. The primarily anthropological approach allows the author to zero in on what Inari really means to various people without getting tangled up in the Buddhism or Shinto question (to which the answer is perhaps both and neither), but she deftly avoids the socioeconomomic reductivism, the ahistorical fuzziness, and the cultural essentialism into which such an approach can lapse. The folk religion/elite religion false dichotomy is also transcended in favor of a multivalent look at the different significances of Inari from multiple perspectives and differing contexts along with how these all mutually conflict against, interact with, or deliberately ignore each other.

"The Fox and the Jewel" is of high scholarly caliber, full of fascinating little details which all add to the big picture (neither the forest nor the trees are lost sight of here). And it is invaluable for helping us understand this vital religious phenomenon ubiquitious in Japan.
12 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Great book on Inari 25. Februar 2003
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This book covers the Shinto, Buddhist and Shaman aspects of Inari worship in Japan. It is very clearly written and well researched. The book is one of the best I have found on Japanese culture, an area of current interest to me.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Academic, but amazing. 19. August 2013
Von Paige - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This is an academic book, but don't let it fool you into thinking that it's dry and hard to follow.

I got this due to my interest in Japanese folklore, and specifically kitsune (fox) lore, and was NOT DISAPPOINTED AT ALL! Smyers explores and shows us what goes on in Toyokawa Inari and Fushimi Inari, two of the "top" Inari sites, and the differences and similarities between practice, clergy routines, with interviews from general laypeople, clergy, local spiritual leaders, and more.
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