Description - The Japanese Enthronement Ceremonies by D. C. Holtom
Unbroken for ages eternal, the Japanese ruling dynasty is the oldest in the world, and its enthronement ceremonies are the most ancient. The recent enthronement of the former Crown Prince Akihito as Emperor focused world attention on this little-known but highly significant event, much of which is enacted in private. In the first instance, there was curiosity about the outward aspects of the ceremony - the objects and costumes which had not been seen since the accession of the Emperor Hirohito in 1926 - and which harked back to an ancient past. What was their origin? There was an even greater interest in the underlying aspects of the enthronement - what was its meaning? Both questions are answered in this volume, privately published in 1928, which contains the finest detailed descriptions of the ceremonies available in the English language, with charming illustrations. In an approach that combines history and anthropology, it presents meticulous descriptions of the rituals, costumes, offerings, equipment, music, seating plans, buildings in which the ceremonies are held and much more, giving their present function and past history.
It also examines the underlying importance of the rites, in which the people manifest a tenacity of historical continuity coupled with an assimilative power that constitutes one of the greatest sources of strength. Above all, it establishes the enthronement as the most powerful single manifestation of Shinto, the all-important foundation of Japanese culture. This work is essential reading for all those who seek to understand Shinto and, through it, Japan.
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(235mm x 159mm x mm)
Publisher: Kegan Paul
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Book Reviews - The Japanese Enthronement Ceremonies by D. C. Holtom