• Do Kentucky Kami Drink Bourbon? Exploring Parallel Glocalization in Global Shinto Offerings

    Author(s):
    Kaitlyn Ugoretz (see profile)
    Date:
    2022
    Subject(s):
    Religions, Asia, Ethnology, Globalization, Japanese--Religion
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Digital religion, domestic altar, Glocalization, shinto, Asian religions, Ethnography, Japanese religions, Material religion
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/8hyv-ks37
    Abstract:
    Scholars of Japanese religion have recently drawn attention to the global repositioning, “greening”, and international popularization of Shinto. However, research on Shinto ritual practice and material religion continues to focus predominantly on cases located within the borders of the Japanese state. This article explores the globalization of Shinto through transnational practitioners’ strategic glocalization of everyday ritual practices outside of Japan. Drawing upon digital ethnographic fieldwork conducted in online Shinto communities, I examine three case studies centering on traditional ritual offerings made at the domestic altar (kamidana): rice, sake, and sakaki branches. I investigate how transnational Shinto communities hold in tension a multiplicity of particularistic understandings of Shinto locality and authenticity when it comes to domestic ritual practice. While relativistic approaches to glocalization locate the sacred and authentic in an archetypical or idealized form of Japanese tradition rooted in its environment, creolization and transformation valorize the particularities of one’s personal surroundings and circumstances. Examining these strategies alongside recent and historical cases in Shinto ritual at shrines within Japan, I propose that attending to processes of “parallel glocalization” helps to illuminate the quasi-fictive notion of the religious “homeland” and close the perceived gap in authenticity between ritual practices at home and abroad.
    Notes:
    This article belongs to the Special Issue Globalization and East Asian Religions, edited by Ugo Dessi and Lukas Pokorny (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/religions/special_issues/globalization_and_east_asian_religions).
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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