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Mourning the Unborn Dead – A Buddhist Ritual Comes to America - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Mourning the Unborn Dead: A Buddhist Ritual Comes to America

Jeff Wilson


Americans from a wide variety of backgrounds have increasingly been appropriating the Japanese Buddhist ritual mizuko kuyō, which this book uses as a window into the complexity of the process of adapting Buddhism to a new culture. In Japan, mizuko kuyō is used by women after abortion or miscarriage to placate the fetal spirit and offer it assistance in the afterlife. In America, for Japanese-American Buddhists it can be a marker of sectarian affiliation, a method of generating funds, and a way to serve the wishes of newer Japanese immigrants. For converts to Zen, mizuko kuyō helps women deal w ... More

Keywords: abortion, acculturation, American Buddhism, Buddhism, culture war, miscarriage, mizuko kuyō, ritual, Zen

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780195371932
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195371932.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jeff Wilson, author
Renison COllege, University of Waterloo
Author Webpage