Cover, Title, Copyright

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Contents

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List of Illustrations

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xi

I would like to acknowledge my colleagues, students, friends, and family who have assisted me in the completion of this book. First and foremost, I need to thank all my informants who shared their experiences with me. Without their stories and gracious cooperation this book would not have been possible...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-16

Late in the rainy season, on July 12, 2007, the main hall of Kōsaiji, an Ōbaku Zen temple in eastern Tokyo, is overflowing with visitors. Temple patrons have come to attend the yearly segakie, a Buddhist ceremony commonly performed during the obon season to feed the hungry ghosts. Elderly couples, middle-aged women, and young...

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1. Order, Karma, and Kinship: Animals in Japanese History and Culture

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pp. 17-50

The Nihon shoki (720), one of the earliest extant written records of Japanese history, contains a myth that explains the divine origins of agriculture, sericulture, and animal husbandry. Amaterasu, the sun goddess, dispatches her brother, the moon god Tsukiyomi, to call on the goddess Ukemochi. Ukemochi faces the land...

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2. Masking Commodification and Sacralizing Consumption: The Emergence of Animal Memorial Rites

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pp. 51-89

Mr. Watanabe manages Jindaiji Dōbutsu Reien Sekai Dōbutsu Tomo no Kai, the pet cemetery of the World Association of Animal Lovers on the grounds of Jindaiji (Tendai temple, Chōfu, Tokyo). He is also the owner of Suijin’en, a stylish Japanese gourmet restaurant at the foot of the temple. Every year in the...

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3. Pets, Death, and Taxes: The Legal Boundaries of Religion

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pp. 90-123

On June 17, 2007, I visited Jimyōin, a Tendai temple in Kasugai City in the hilly suburbs north of Nagoya, to attend the monthly memorial service for pets. After the service, the taxi driver who took me back to the nearest train station criticized pet memorial services at temples such as Jimyōin: such rituals served as...

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4. Embodying Hybridity: The Necrogeography of Pet Memorial Spaces

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pp. 124-155

Ms. N., who is middle-aged and unmarried, lives in Tokyo. In 2006, when her parents passed away in short succession, they were interred at a Buddhist temple. Her father’s cremains filled the last space in the family grave. Ms. N. began to ponder her options for her own future interment. Eventually, the family would...

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5. Vengeful Spirits or Loving Spiritual Companions? Changing Views of Pet Spirits

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pp. 156-185

Early in the afternoon on Sunday, July 15, 2007, the small main hall of Jikei’in, a Rinzai temple in Fuchū, western Tokyo, with one of the largest and busiest pet cemeteries in the metropolitan area, is crowded with sixty people — mostly middle-aged women and a few young women and elderly men (figure 19). Despite the...

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Epilogue

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pp. 187-194

Each year on April 8, the Maintenance Association of the Bronze Statue of Loyal Hachikō (Chūken Hachikō Dōzō Ijikai) sponsors the Hachikō Spirit Propitiation Festival (Hachikō Ireisai) to commemorate the spirit of Hachikō (1923–1935), a dog of the Akita breed. Hachikō had gained the admiration of the Japanese public by waiting daily...

Notes

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pp. 195-222

Glossary

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pp. 223-229

Bibliography

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pp. 231-255

Index

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pp. 257-265