PL EN


2017 | 12 | 66-85
Article title

Szamanizm w Japonii

Content
Title variants
EN
Shamanism in Japan
Languages of publication
PL
Abstracts
EN
Japanese shamanism is a constantly evolving field of research, despite the fact that its roots still remain mysterious. One of the most common theories states that its nature is secondary, it might be related to tungusic or altai people, spread to Korea, Hokkaido and Ryūkyū Islands, then mixed with Polynesian and Melanesian beliefs, and with time became part of today’s Japanese Buddhism and shintō traditions. The article describes the characteristics of Japanese shamanism: it’s cosmology, silhouette of a shaman, most important myths and practices and also it’s important relation to Japanese theatre. Shamans act like a bridge between humans, deities and otherworld, and they’re the only living people capable of coming in contact with the dead. In Japan there are two kinds of shaman: female priestess miko and Buddhist ascetic monk yamabushi. Japanese shamanism is one of the rarer examples of female-focused type. They believed only a woman could control the spiritual force. Miko is responsible for performing spirit possessions and fortunetelling. Yamabushi on the other hand was living deep in the mountains and by undergoing a strict training was able to enter trance state. He was close to local people who sought advice from him in many important everyday decisions, as well as regarding special events. There are also other groups performing shamanistic practices, but they’re considered less authentic, mostly because they don’t have the abilities to experience ecstatic vision or to enter trance state. Among those are, for example: blind mediums itako, kitsunetsukai (fox or snake owners) and onmyōji (in and yo fortunetellers). In the article the Authors attempt to construct an alternative definition of a shaman – because the strictly narrow definition doesn’t seem to reflect the complexity of beliefs found in Japanese culture. Nowadays shamanism is popular among many Japanese new religions and sects, and also had its impact on pop culture, which furthers the impression of how important this subject matter is for Japan.
Keywords
Year
Issue
12
Pages
66-85
Physical description
Dates
published
2017-12-13
Contributors
author
References
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.ojs-issn-2353-8724-year-2017-issue-12-article-2705
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