HARVARD EAST ASIAN MONOGRAPHS
Cover: Prayer and Play in Late Tokugawa Japan in HARDCOVER

Harvard East Asian Monographs 185

Prayer and Play in Late Tokugawa Japan

Asakusa Sensōji and Edo Society

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Product Details

HARDCOVER

$42.00 • £33.95 • €37.80

ISBN 9780674002401

Publication: April 2000

Short

320 pages

6 x 9 inches

13 line illustrations, 5 tables

Harvard University Asia Center > Harvard East Asian Monographs

World

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The unique amalgam of prayer and play at the Sensōji temple in Edo is often cited as proof of the “degenerate Buddhism” of the Tokugawa period. This investigation of the economy and cultural politics of Sensōji, however, shows that its culture of prayer and play reflected changes taking place in Tokugawa Japan, particularly in the city of Edo. Play was an integral part of the business of religion at Sensōji, and the temple supplied both in equal measure to often rootless Edoites.

Nam-lin Hur’s reappraisal of prayer and play and their inherent connectedness provides a cultural critique of conventional scholarship on Tokugawa religion and shows how Edo commoners incorporated cultural politics into their daily lives through the pursuit of prayer and play.