Ca’ Foscari Japanese Studies | 6
Death and Desire in Contemporary Japan
Representing, Practicing, Performing
Andrea De Antoni
Ritsumeikan University, Japan
Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia
The title of this volume refers to the Buddhist concepts of suffering, impermanence and dependent origination, which link the ideas of Death and Desire. This book stems from a research conducted in the last few years at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, supported by the Japan Foundation. A great deal of work has been done by scholars in various disciplines about dying in Japan, but research has tended to focus on the practices through which death is settled and institutionalised. Yet, what about untamed and unsettled death? What about the cases in which death cannot be successfully coped with by ritual means? What happens if institutions and discourses are not enough to tame it? What about the cases in which unsettled death suddenly intrudes the social? What are the forms it takes and the consequences it has in the social? These are the questions that the volume addresses, by enmeshing representations, practices and performing arts, through contributions that rely on approaches from different disciplines. Each of them analyses one of the multiple and fragmented possibilities in which untamed death can tame the social.