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|Title:||<論文>神女の回心はいかに語られたか : 近代沖縄における村落祭祀の解体と力の転位|
|Other Titles:||How Was the Conversion of aFemale Priest to ChristianityRepresented ?: Dislocation of the Idea of Powers and the Dismantling of the Traditional Village rituals in Modern Okinawa|
|Author's alias:||OIKAWA, Takashi|
Noro (traditional priests in Okinawa)
modernity in Okinawa
quality of human
|Journal title:||コンタクト・ゾーン = Contact zone|
The purpose of this paper is to clarify the facts about the transformation of traditional religious rituals in modern Okinawa. In the Ryukyu Kingdom era (-1879), the ritual system performed by priests called "Noro" functioned as part of the state order in Okinawa. A Noro is a female priest whose status is inherited based on her pedigree. She was considered to have religious qualities called "Sa (Seji)." A Noro, who was appointed to her role by the kingdom, performed religious rituals in each village, and the king gave the energy of the cosmos to the people through these performances. However, after the islands of Okinawa were incorporated into Japan by the Ryukyu-Shobun (the Disposition of Ryukyu) in 1872-1879, the government wanted to end the public function of these rituals. As a result, the legacy of the rituals was left down to the private faith of the people, so Noro were dismissed. Many researchers have understood the decline of traditional religious rituals in modern Okinawa as a result of "de-magicalization, " which is a general trend within the process of modernization. In the opinion of this paper, the transformation of traditional religious rituals in the process of modernization was not so simple. To solve this problem, this paper focuses on changes in two powers ((1) the power of the gods, and (2) the spiritual power of human beings) that have been included in the traditional religious rituals. The power of the gods is the influence that the subjects of the ritual exert on human beings, and religious awe of this power prompted the people to continue with the ritual. The spiritual power of human beings is a religious qualification considered necessary for Noro to have by nature in order for them to respond and render service to the gods. The connection between the two powers was at the heart of the traditional religious rituals, but their harmonious relationship was based on the public position of the ritual in the Ryukyu kingdom. In modern times, as the concept of "Religions, " which is based on Western European history and is characterized by internal "belief, " was introduced to Japan, these rituals as "practical" religion began to lose their social reality. In other words, while people lost faith in the power of the gods, the spiritual power of human beings began to function independently of traditional rituals and altered human qualities by being culturally neutral. In this paper, we propose that such a process be referred to by the mechanical metaphor of "dislocation." In order to describe these dislocations ethnographically, this paper focuses on the life history of a woman named Kame OSHIRO. She was born in Okinawa in 1872, and she was raised as a Noro with excellent spiritual power. However, because of an unfortunate experience, she began to doubt traditional religion and turned to Christianity. In the process, alongside efforts to destroy "superstition" and in interactions with intellectuals in Okinawa, she promoted the modernization of Okinawa's village society. At that time, Christianity was considered to be a most excellent idea in Japan so her choice was supported by intellectuals, but people in the village (Tamagusuku) criticized her angrily. This conflict was very serious, so Oshiro was temporarily but completely isolated in the village. The conflict was settled after negotiations, and Oshiro was able to build a church in the village after World War II. In this paper, I would like to write about this process with reference to the framework of "social drama" of Victor Turner. Turner proposed to understand social dynamics as a four-phase process: (1) breach, 2) crisis, 3) redressive action, and 4) reintegration. This framework, called "social drama, " may also be of use in understanding how adjustment occurs between the traditional and the modern. In this framework, this paper discusses the problem of "how her faith was told as a drama" and analyzes the logic. I can point to three features in Oshiro's story: 1) the expectations of the intellectuals to her faith. Her faith was highly appreciated by intellectuals and social activists like Fuyu IHA, Antei HIYANE and young pastors in Okinawa. First, this was because she had abandoned the "superstitions" and chosen Christianity as the "correct faith, " but this was not the only reason. At that time, Christianity had been positioned in higher education to nurture modern subjects, so Iha discussed the importance of religions as a vehicle to modernize Okinawa. In light of this, the case of Oshiro could be regarded as the realization of an ideal and political vision to achieve enlightenment. 2) Attention to individuality or personal qualities. In her story, emphasis is directed to the fact that her personal qualities are praised. For example, if she is portrayed as a talented Noro, her childhood episodes can be cited as the reason for her talent. In other words, she was described as an excellent religious woman, regardless of the god of the village. When she destroyed the god of the village, this emphasis on individuality justified her action. Because the spiritual power of Oshiro was attributed to her personality, her traditional power to serve the gods was converted into a power to resist them. 3) The structure of traditional initiation. In the religious culture of Okinawa, the structure of the religious experience is drawn as starting with the experience of hardship, and through the encounter with gods to serve, and win religious relief at the end. Many folk shamans called "Yuta" served after passing through such a traditional initiation structure. Oshiro converted to Christianity in a similar way. This was one reason why people in Okinawa recognized that she had a special relationship with the God of Christianity and that this relationship justified her abandoning the traditional gods. I would argue that changes in the relationship between the public and private promoted these dislocations. In short, as a result of the concept of "religions" becoming private, traditional ritual collapsed, and the spiritual power of human beings became independent from folk religion. In a way, some concepts derived from traditional religions are connected to modern society in Okinawa.
|Appears in Collections:||006|
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