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Anzan Kigan. Rituelle Geburtspraktiken Japans im Wandel der Zeit


Göhlert, Christian; Göhlert, Christian (2014). Anzan Kigan. Rituelle Geburtspraktiken Japans im Wandel der Zeit. Asiatische Studien, 68(1):189-232.

Abstract

Before access to modern obstetrics became widely available in Japan,
people had to resort to folk medicine, as well as to a number of religious and
magical practices to alleviate the danger that pregnancy and childbirth brought
with them. Collectively, these practices are known as anzan kigan – the prayer for
safe delivery. Modernization, urbanization and technological advances since the
Meiji Restauration all had a profound effect on these practices. Some have all but
disappeared, others have persisted, albeit in modified form. Yet others seemed
to be on the decline, only to experience a veritable renaissance in recent years.
Based on fieldwork conducted in Gumma and Kagoshima, as well as an analysis
of recent maternity journals, this paper takes a look at how and why these practices
have changed, as well as at the strategies that shrines and temples that offer
anzan kigan services have adopted to stay relevant in modern times. It argues that
anzan kigan has changed from a socially significant set of practices with heavy
religious connotations to a secularized and commercialized event that is most
relevant on the level of individual families. Practices that have always been or
could be adapted to be compatible with this change are going strong, while those
that are not are in the process of dying out for good.

Abstract

Before access to modern obstetrics became widely available in Japan,
people had to resort to folk medicine, as well as to a number of religious and
magical practices to alleviate the danger that pregnancy and childbirth brought
with them. Collectively, these practices are known as anzan kigan – the prayer for
safe delivery. Modernization, urbanization and technological advances since the
Meiji Restauration all had a profound effect on these practices. Some have all but
disappeared, others have persisted, albeit in modified form. Yet others seemed
to be on the decline, only to experience a veritable renaissance in recent years.
Based on fieldwork conducted in Gumma and Kagoshima, as well as an analysis
of recent maternity journals, this paper takes a look at how and why these practices
have changed, as well as at the strategies that shrines and temples that offer
anzan kigan services have adopted to stay relevant in modern times. It argues that
anzan kigan has changed from a socially significant set of practices with heavy
religious connotations to a secularized and commercialized event that is most
relevant on the level of individual families. Practices that have always been or
could be adapted to be compatible with this change are going strong, while those
that are not are in the process of dying out for good.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:Journals > Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques > Archive > 68 (2014) > 1
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Language:German
Date:2014
Deposited On:03 Oct 2014 11:54
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 07:24
Publisher:Schweizerische Asiengesellschaft; Verlag Peter Lang AG
ISSN:0004-4717
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515

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