Nature, Ritual, and Society in Japan's Ryukyu Islands

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Despite their small area, the southern islands of Japan can be seen as stepping stones towards a more nuanced view of cultural osmosis between Japan and the outside world. This book presents an ethnographic portrayal of the people of the Southern Ryukyu Islands and their world. In particular it explores the mind of the islanders, their relationship with the natural world, their social relationships, and the rituals which represent and give expression to these relationships. Based on extensive original research, including participant observation, the book allows the authentic voices of the Ryukyu Island worlds to speak for themselves as well as setting the work in the wider context of anthropology, Japanese Studies and Pacific Island studies.