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The issue of population ageing in East-Asia has been extensively studied but we remain in the dark as to the fate of the region’s growing dead population, particularly in the largest metropolitan areas where there is bitter competition for space among the various human activities. From private cemetery developers to undertakers, not to mention a vast array of sub-contractors, death is discreetly helping a multitude of industry players to prosper. The result has been the transformation of funeral services into a fully-fledged industry that is rapidly expanding and adapting to the needs of urban societies with their extreme lack of space. In the specific context of East-Asian megacities, funeral rituals and practices are evolving rapidly in an attempt to conform to spatial constraints and address emerging challenges such as urban sustainability and growing social inequalities.

Research dealing with death in East-Asia has so far focused on symbolic and religious issues, ignoring the social, economic and spatial dimensions that have become crucial in a context of rapid urbanization. This book aims to remedy this situation while highlighting for the first time the shared characteristics of funerary issues across Japan, Korea and China.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780739190906
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 01/16/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Natacha Aveline-Dubach is research director at the CNRS, specializing in urban land issues and currently posted to the French Research on Contemporary China in Hong Kong. She graduated from INALCO in Japanese studies, received a PhD in urban sciences from EHESS (which was awarded the Shibusawa-Claudel Prize) and the Habilitation from Lyon 2 University in 2005. From 2006 to 2010, she served as director of the Northeast Asia CNRS regional office in Tokyo. She has extensively published on Japanese urban land issues.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Natacha Aveline-Dubach
Chapter 1: Creative Destruction—The Shattering of the Family Grave System in Japan, Natacha Aveline-Dubach
Chapter 2: The Experience of Death in Japan’s Urban Societies, Katsumi Shimane
Chapter 3: Emerging Burial Spaces and Rituals in Urban Japan, Fabienne Duteil-Ogata
Chapter 4: The Revival of the Funeral Industry in Shanghai: A Model for China, Natacha Aveline-Dubach
Chapter 5: Dealing with the Dead: Funerary Rites in Contemporary Shanghai, Maylis Bellocq
Chapter 6: Traditional Funerary Rites Facing Urban Explosion in Guangzhou, Yukihiro Kawaguchi
Chapter 7: Cremation’s Success in Korea: Old Beliefs and Renewed Social Distinctions, Elise Prebin
Chapter 8: Funerary Sites in Seoul: A History Marked by Colonial Experience, Ryohei Takamura
Chapter 9: Overview of Korea’s Funeral Industry, Shi-Dug Kim

What People are Saying About This

Elizabeth Kenney

Invisible Population: The Place of the Dead in East Asian Megacities is an excellent and insightful study of death-related practices and industries in China, Korea, and Japan. Based on fieldwork in these three very different Asian countries, the authors explore changes in funeral customs, innovations in the forms and locations of graves, and the treatment of the corpse. The research is well integrated and clearly presented. The book can be read by both scholars and students of East Asia.

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