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Book Review: "Japanese Buddhism: A Cultural History"

In my quest through Japanese religion, I have just finished reading “Japanese Buddhism: A Cultural History”, written by Yoshiro Tamura. The book discusses Buddhism in other countries, Buddhism in Japan, Japan before Buddhism, other religions in Japan, Japanese history, Japanese anthropology, and modern perspectives, all in a book that’s only 232 pages. For such a… Continue reading Book Review: "Japanese Buddhism: A Cultural History"

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Book Review – "The Catalpa Bow" – Part III: Suigyou

Here is Part III of my book review of “The Catalpa Bow: A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan”, written by Carmen Blacker. This is a continuation of the discussion on the three important practices, or gyou, that are carried out by Japanese shaman ascetics: fasting, cold water austerities, and mantra chanting. In the last… Continue reading Book Review – "The Catalpa Bow" – Part III: Suigyou

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Book Review – "The Catalpa Bow" – Part II: Fasting

Here I will begin addressing topics specifically discussed in Carmen Blacker’s book, “The Catalpa Bow: A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan.” This book covers a very broad subject in shamanism with a wide variety of investigations, but what I have been most interestested in is the ascetic practices in Japanese religion, and in this… Continue reading Book Review – "The Catalpa Bow" – Part II: Fasting

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Book Review – "The Catalpa Bow: A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan" – Part I: Introduction

In attempt to find the root and reasoning for Japanese culture as a whole, I have been directed to this book written by Carmen Blacker, “The Catalpa Bow: A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan.” In this quest to better understand Japan, I have found myself repeadetly focusing on religion as the conductor of belief… Continue reading Book Review – "The Catalpa Bow: A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan" – Part I: Introduction