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CCBlog — animism

The Japan we fail to see - Dynastic tables

Francesco Baldessari animism animismo Francesco Baldessari history japan kotodama magic religion travel

The Japan we fail to see - Dynastic tables

As soon ancestor worship kicks in, dynastic tables appear. The unenvied privilege of noble houses in Europe, detailed birth records going back many generations are a normal feature of family life in animistic cultures. To worship your ancestors you must know who they are. Things get very complicated pretty soon, so writing them down is indispensable. But here comes the interesting part. In dynastic tables nobody has an equal. Because of a combination of blood affiliation and age, everyone has a unique position. Consequently, this type of society has strong hierarchies, but weak interpersonal relationships. They develop complex language to...

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The Japan we fail to see - animism

Francesco Baldessari animism Francesco Baldessari history japan magic travel

The Japan we fail to see - animism

To understand ancestor worship you have to start from animism, which is its direct cause and its necessary background. There are different opinions on what exactly animism is, but the way I understand more than a religion it is a way of seeing the world. Animism consists in believing that you can understand the world through introspection rather than observation. To find solutions, you therefore look inside and not outside. This may sound like a form of mysticism, but it’s the opposite. The simplest way to interpret the world is intuition, and that is what animism uses. To an animist...

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The Japan we fail to see, part two

Francesco Baldessari animism Francesco Baldessari giappone history japan kotodama travel

The Japan we fail to see, part two

Many of those who have been in Japan, even for decades, have never heard of ancestor's worship, or, if they have, like me until recently do not have a clear idea of what it is. It is therefore a sobering thought that the Japanese spend more time on ancestors worship than on all other rituals put together. ¥270 billion are spent every year on the altars used to the purpose. Chances are good that most of the Japanese you know practice it in a form or another. Nor is it just a quaint tradition. Ancestors worship reshapes societies that practice...

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Animismo in Giappone e i fantasmi delle cose

Francesco Baldessari animism animismo Francesco Baldessari giappone japan travel viaggi

Animismo in Giappone e i fantasmi delle cose

L’animismo in Giappone è un fenomeno complesso con riflessi inattesi e di grande importanza. È un fenomeno superficialmente affascinante e con un pizzico di comicità.

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Animism in Japan

Francesco Baldessari animism Francesco Baldessari japan religion science

Animism in Japan

Science is not, as many believe, accumulated knowledge but, like animism, a method of analysis. It can be summed up as “Always verify your statements against reality, and pay attention to the results of your verification. Draw your conclusions and repeat the process”.  Verification is paramount. Whatever cannot be somehow verified is irrelevant. Historiography, psychology, sociology and other disciplines partly based on subjective experience pose problems of verification, but there are ways to contain the problem through tools like statistics and polls.The rise of of science occurred in Europe because the way we interpreted reality had already changed and we...

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