Gender and Spiritual Therapy in Japan
Keywords:New Age, spiritual therapies, Japan, gender
Therapies that are advertised as caring for mind, body and spirit, have become increasingly visible since the 1980s, and consist of the central focus of New Age activities in the West, and more recently in non-Western countries such as Japan. This article aims at demonstrating the applicability to the Japanese setting of theories that link the overwhelming presence of women among practitioners and clients of these “spiritual therapies” to their ability of both legitimizing and subverting traditional discourses of femininity. The author focuses particularly on Japanese women therapists’ testimonies that combine a legitimization of women’s involvement in spiritual therapies through their association with the beauty industry, with an overt criticism of the socio-economic conditions that encourage gender discrimination.
Arimoto Yumiko. 2011 Supirichuaru shijo no kenkyu. Tokyo: Toyokeizai.
Bednarowski, Mary Farrell. 1992 "The New Age Movement and Feminist Spirituality: Overlapping Conversations at the End of the Century." In Perspectives on the New Age, edited by James R. Lewis and J. Gordon Melton, 167-178. New York: State University of New York Press.
Bishop, Beverly. 2000 "The Diversification of Employment and Women's Work." Globalization and Social Change in Contemporary Japan, edited by Harumi Befu, J.S. Eades and Tom Gill, 93-109. Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press.
Ellwood, Robert. 1992 "How New is the New Age?" In Perspectives on the New Age, edited by James R. Lewis and J. Gordon Melton, 59-67. New York: State University of New York Press.
Gaitanidis, Ioannis 2010 "Socio-Economic Aspects of the "Spiritual Business' in Japan: A Survey of Professional Spiritual Therapists." Shukyo to Shakai 16: 143-160.
"At the Forefront of a "Spiritual Business': Independent Professional Spiritual Therapists in Japan." Japan Forum 23(2): 185-206. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09555803.2011.598015
Hardacre, Helen. 1984 Lay Buddhism in Contemporary Japan: Reiyukai Kyodan. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Horie, Norichika. 2008 "Media no naka no karisuma - Ehara Hiroyuki to media kankyo." In Media ga umidasu kamigami, edited by Kokusai Shukyo Kenkyusho, 41-64. Tokyo: Akiyama Shoten.
/11 "Spirituality and the Spiritual in Japan: Translation and Transformation." Journal of Alternative Spiritualities and New Age Studies 5. [accessible online at http://www.asanas.org.uk/files/005Horie.pdf]
Inoue, Nobutaka, ed. 2011 Joho jidai no Aum Shinrikyo. Tokyo: Shunjusha.
Lofton, Kathryn. 2006 "Practicing Oprah; or, the Perspective Compulsion of a Spiritual Capitalism." The Journal of Popular Culture 39(4): 599-621. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5931.2006.00281.x
Miller, Laura. 2006 Beauty Up: Exploring Contemporary Japanese Body Aesthetics. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Mullins, Mark 1992 "Japan's New Age and Neo-New Religions: Sociological Interpretations." In Perspectives on the New Age, edited by James R. Lewis and J. Gordon Melton, 232-246. New York: State University of New York Press.
Christianity Made in Japan: A Study of Indigenous Movements. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.
Nagase, Nobuko. 2006 "Japanese Youth's Attitude towards Marriage and Child Rearing." In The Changing Japanese Family, edited by Marcus Rebick and Ayumi Takenaka, 39-53. London: Routledge.
North, Scott. 2009 "Negotiating What's "Natural': Persistent Domestic Gender Role Inequality in Japan." Social Science Japan Journal 12(1): 23-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ssjj/jyp009
Owen, Alex. 2004 The Place of Enchantment: British Occultism and the Culture of the Modern. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Kisala, Robert J. and Mark R. Mullins, eds. 2001 Religion and Social Crisis in Japan: Understanding Japanese Society through the
Aum Affair. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Palmer, Susan J. 1994 Moon Sisters, Krishna Mothers, Rajneesh Lovers: Women's Roles in New Religions. New York: Syracuse University Press.
Reader, Ian. 2000 Religious Violence in Contemporary Japan: The Case of Aum Shinrikyo. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.
"Chronologies, Commonalities and Alternative Status in Japanese New Religious Movements: Defining NRMs outside the Western Cul-de-sac." Nova Religio 9(2): 84-96. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/nr.2005.9.2.084
Rebick, Marcus. 2006 "Changes in the Workplace and Their Impact on the Family." In The Changing Japanese Family, edited by Marcus Rebick and Ayumi Takenaka, 75-93. London: Routledge.
Riis, Ole and Linda Woodhead 2012 A Sociology of Religious Emotion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Roemer, Michael. 2009 "Religious Affiliation in Contemporary Japan: Untagling the Enigma." Review of Religious Research 50(3): 298-320.
Rosenberg, Nancy R., ed. 1994 Japanese Sense of Self. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sakamoto, Kazue. 1999 "Reading Japanese Women's Magazines: The Construction of New Identities in the 1970s and 1980s." Media Culture Society 21: 173-193. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/016344399021002003
Shimazono, Susumu. 1996 Seishin sekai no yukue--Gendai sekai to shinreisei undo. Tokyo: Tokyodo.
"'New Age Movement' or "New Spirituality Movements' and Culture." Social Compass 46(2): 121-133. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/003776899046002002
From Salvation to Spirituality: Popular Religious Movements in Modern Japan. Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press.
Sointu, Eeva and Linda Woodhead. 2008 "Spirituality, Gender, and Expressive Selfhood." Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 47(2): 259-276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2008.00406.x
Sugimoto, Yoshio. 2003 An Introduction to Japanese Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sullins, D. Paul 2006 "Gender and Religion: Deconstructing Universality, Constructing Complexity." American Journal of Sociology 112(3): 838-880. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/507852
United Nations Development Program (UNDP). 2009 Human Development Report 2009--Overcoming Barriers: Human Mobility and Development. New York: United Nations Development Program.
Walter, Tony and Grace Davie. 1998 "The Religiosity of Women in the Modern West." The British Journal of Sociology 49(4): 640-660. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/591293
Woodhead, Linda 2007 "Gender Differences in Religious Practice and Significance." In The Sage Handbook of the Sociology of Religion, edited by James Beckford and N.J. Demerath III, 550-570. London: Sage. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781848607965.n28