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Book Cover
Author Hardacre, Helen, 1949-

Title Marketing the menacing fetus in Japan / Helen Hardacre
Published Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, ©1999


Description 1 online resource (xxii, 344 pages) : illustrations, maps
Series Twentieth-century Japan ; 7
Twentieth-century Japan ; 7.
Contents 1. Reproductive Ritualization Before Mizuko Kuyo -- 2. The Practice of Mizuko Kuyo and the Changing Nature of Abortion -- 3. Abortion in Contemporary Sexual Culture -- 4. The Practitioners of Mizuko Kuyo -- 5. Mizuko Kuyo in Four Locales -- App. Sectarian Patterns in Mizuko Kuyo
Summary Abortion has been practiced throughout Japanese history and, since its postwar legalization, has come to be widely accepted. Its legal status is not under attack. Contemporary religious groups do not mobilize against it, nor do political parties compose their platforms around the issue. Yet in the 1970s religious entrepreneurs across all doctrinal boundaries mounted a surprisingly successful tabloid campaign to popularize a religious ritual for aborted fetuses called mizuko kuyo. Using images derived from fetal photography, they published frightening accounts of fetal wrath and spiritual attacks, prompting many women to seek ritual atonement for abortions performed even decades earlier." "The first feminist study of mizuko kuyo, this book analyzes the ritual and the conflict surrounding it from a variety of perspectives. In four field studies in different parts of the country, Helen Hardacre observed contemporary examples of mizuko kuyo as practiced in Buddhism, Shinto, and the new religions. She also analyzed historical texts and personal accounts by women who have experienced abortion and by their male partners. She conducted interviews with contemporary practitioners of mizuko kuyo and extensive observations of ritual practice. She reveals how a commercialized ritual form like mizuko kuyo can be marketed through popular culture and manipulated by the same forces at work in the selling of any commodity. Her conclusions reflect upon the deep current of misogyny and sexism running through these rites and through feto-centric discourse. -- Provided by publisher
Notes "A Philip E. Lilienthal book."
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 285-293) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Fetal propitiatory rites -- Buddhism.
Fetal propitiatory rites -- Japan
Abortion -- Religious aspects.
Abortion -- Japan
RELIGION -- Christian Rituals & Practice -- General.
RELIGION / Comparative Religion
Abortion -- Religious aspects
Fetal propitiatory rites
Fetal propitiatory rites -- Buddhism
Form Electronic book
ISBN 9780520922044