La culture urbaine des Balkans : (XVe-XIXe siècles). 3, La by Verena Han, Marina Adamović (ed.)

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By Verena Han, Marina Adamović (ed.)

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A closer examination of these religious rites will further elucidate the depth of these persistent ideas. 3 Families remember their departed members at the Buddhist altar in the home. 30 Understanding Japanese society THE RELIGIOUS CHARTER Within a house, the charter for the continuity of the ie takes the form of a Buddhist altar, or butsudan, where the memory of the ancestors is preserved. When a member of the house dies, a tablet is made bearing the posthumous name given to him or her by the Buddhist priest who performs the funeral, and this is kept in the altar.

Every family was by law expected to be registered with a local Buddhist temple, which also kept a record of deaths as they occurred. It was during this period that the Samurai ethic became a conscious ‘way’ of life, and, despite the lack of contact with China, Confucianism was again drawn upon to support the carefully regulated, hierarchical system which they guarded. This period was for two centuries stable and relatively peaceful. In the middle of the nineteenth century, however, when Western ships began to press for access to Japanese ports, the strict social order had already begun to break down.

Kinoshita lived in the community with his family, participated in all its activities, daily, seasonal and special, and became a wellknown figure to the management and local residents alike. They shared with him as they experienced them the trials and tribulations of creating community life from scratch, and he was able to follow up particular issues over a continuing period to see how they would 34 Understanding Japanese society develop and resolve themselves. The results are laid out in comparison with experiences reported elsewhere, and they are placed in the context of the overall Japanese facilities available for this section of society, as well as of studies carried out in other parts of the world.

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