The Material Culture of Death in Medieval Japan

Material Culture of DeathThe Material Culture of Death in Medieval Japan, by Karen M. Gerhart, is the first in the English language to explore the ways medieval Japanese sought to overcome their sense of powerlessness over death. By attending to both religious practice and ritual objects used in funerals in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it seeks to provide a new understanding of the relationship between the two. Gerhart looks at how these special objects and rituals functioned by analyzing case studies culled from written records, diaries, and illustrated handscrolls, and by examining surviving funerary structures and painted and sculpted images.

August 2009 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3261-2 / $39.00 (CLOTH)