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Above the CloudsStatus Culture of the Modern Japanese Nobility$
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Takie Sugiyama Lebra

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780520076006

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520076006.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 12 July 2020



Immortalizing the Ancestors

(p.106) Four Successors
Above the Clouds

Takie Sugiyama Lebra

University of California Press

This chapter looks at kazoku families in terms of succession: what is involved, who the successors—or descendants—were, how they related to the predecessors, and what contemporary successors did and do to keep their ancestors alive. Inevitably, the discussion leads us to explore more fully the structure of the ie (stem-family household), a central element of Japanese social organization. The chapter consists of two parts. Part One is concerned with succession itself, which again calls up the central issues of this book: opposition and collusion between structure and practice, or culture and nature. Part Two turns to rituals and symbols that memorialize and celebrate ancestors, thus perpetuating them. The perspective here extends to the post-Meiji state of religion, especially the relationship of Shinto and Buddhism, to show how that history affected the ancestor rites for the kazoku more than for commoners.

Keywords:   kazoku families, succession, stem-family household, social organization, religion, Shinto, Buddhisk

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