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Seven Hindrances of Women? A Popular Discourse on Okinawan Women and Religion

Kawahashi Noriko and 川 橋 範 子
Japanese Journal of Religious Studies
Vol. 27, No. 1/2 (Spring, 2000), pp. 85-98
Published by: Nanzan University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30233642
Page Count: 14
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Seven Hindrances of Women? A Popular Discourse on Okinawan Women and Religion
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Abstract

It is often assumed by some feminist groups that religion is essentially oppressive of women. A recent popular discourse in Japan, exemplified by the award-winning book Inaguya nanabachi (Seven hindrances of women), identifies certain culturally specific religious activities, such as ritual bone-washing (senkotsu), with the subordination of Okinawan women. In this essay, the author critiques Inaguya nanabachi and argues on the basis of her fieldwork in the Okinawan village of Ōgimi that religion is not univocal or essentially oppressive and is potentially a means for creating a post-patriarchal world.

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