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Death and Desire in Contemporary Japan

Representing, Practicing, Performing

edited by

Andrea De Antoni    Ritsumeikan University, Japan    

Massimo Raveri    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.

May 31, 2017
Copyright: © 2017 Andrea De Antoni, Massimo Raveri. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Table of contents


Tracing Communication Paradigms in Hiroshima and Nagasaki's Storytelling
Francesco Comotti   
April 6, 2017
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Cinzia Cimalando   
Dec. 31, 2016
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Evanescence and Desire in Ano ie (1953) by Enchi Fumiko
Daniela Moro   
Nov. 11, 2016
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The Company-sponsored Funeral of the Founder. Arrangement and Creation of the Most Important Funeral Service in the Company’s History
Hirochika Nakamaki   
March 27, 2017
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Dark Tourism, Creation and Consumption of Haunted Places in Contemporary Kyoto
Andrea De Antoni   
March 7, 2017
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The Reporting and Investigation of Medical-related Deaths in England and Japan
Louella Matsunaga   
Aug. 30, 2016
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Quest for the New Identity among Modern Japanese Elites
Susumu Shimazono   
Dec. 9, 2016
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Beyond Epistemic Transfiguration in Thanatology
Matteo Cestari   
March 27, 2017
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Andrea De Antoni    Massimo Raveri   
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