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Anthropology

Anthropology, JST Video

Anthro 101 | What is cultural anthropology?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hi everyone, I am back with one new video (for a brand new series) dedicated to anthropology.
This is going to be a challenging experiment for me, because talking about anthropology means to analyze the origin of this discipline, its developments and how it interacts, today, with the rest of human sciences and politics.

However, I am thrilled to give it a try, and today I want to begin with a brief intro, a very first definition, a quick answer to the question “What is anthropology?”

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Anthropology, Culture tips

New Religions in Japan

Reading Time: 7 minutes

We are back to something very dear to my study, religions and shamanism in Japan. Shamanism in contemporary Japan is a topic of interesting researches expecially among anthropologists and sociologists, and it is now widely connected to the developments of the so-called New Religions Movements, and the figures of the kyōso 教祖, their female charismatic founders

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oshirasama, the girl and the horse
Anthropology, Field Journal

Oshirasama, the girl and the horse

Reading Time: 7 minutes

We said many times that itako are popular for the kuchiyose, the calling of the dead. However, the locals are still familiar with another – somewhat ancient – practice that itako still perform today: the Oshirasama-asobase. This is a very peculiar ritual in which the blind woman uses two wooden stick dressed and adorned with amazing fabrics, and that are supposed to represent a legendary girl Tamaya-goze, and her horse Sendankurige.

Little disclaimer: this is a very technical post… a lot of specific language and citations are employed, so I can understand you if you feel sceptic about it, but i must warn you, the legend is incredible and it’s worth the reading.

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