Spirit Tree: Origins of Cosmology in Shinto Ritual at Hakozaki
E Leslie Willaims

Spirit Tree: Origins of Cosmology in Shinto Ritual at Hakozaki

  • Publish Date: 2007-03-06
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Leslie E. Williams

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Despite what some scholarship has suggested, Shint does exhibit a unifying cognitive integrity. Spirit Tree offers a unique social psychological interpretation of Shint ritual at the Hakozaki Hachiman Shrine in Fukuoka, Japan and situates the cosmological organization of this practice within the larger context of ritual in East Asia. Employing a comparative approach, this study blends two theoretical orientations: cultural anthropology and Jungian psychology. Hakozaki's rituals are a combination of a Yayoi period female medium tradition with a complex set of Chinese Yin-Yang Five Phase principles. Both systems are based on the feminine archetype, a fundamental conceptual foundation of Shint ritual practice, which cognitively links woman and the earth. While the female shaman tradition is female-affirming in outlook, the later Chinese system is much less so. This monograph is a new acknowledgement of the conceptual continuity of Shint ritual as an outgrowth of social cognition.

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