Donnerstag, 17. Mrz 2016, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

Who Let the Dog-God Out?

Bodily Perceptions, Inugami Possession and Exorcism in Contemporary Tokushima Prefecture

Andrea de Antoni (Ritsumeikan University)

Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie, Seminarraum Jap 1
Spitalgasse 2, UniversitätsCampus Hof 2, Eingang 2.4, 1090 Wien


This lecture will focus on the role of bodily perceptions and affect (Massumi 2002) in spirit possession and exorcism in contemporary Japan Applying an anthropological approach, I will particularly rely on ethnographic data I collected through fieldwork in Kenmi Jinja, a Shinto shrine in Tokushima Prefecture. This shrine is renown all over Japan for a healing ritual (gokit?) from spirit possession, especially (though not exclusively) by the Dog-God (Inugami). I will describe people’s feelings of “being possessed” and “relieved” or “healed”, as well as their perceptions and reactions during the ritual. I will also refer to my own experiences of this ritual that I underwent in order to provide a more accurate account of how deliverance takes place. I will argue that spirits emerge in the social as associations of particular symptoms and bodily perceptions, as well as through affective correspondences among humans (the Shinto priest, patients…) and non-humans (tools used during the ritual), based on practice.

Andrea de Antoni is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, and main editor of the Japan Anthropology Workshop (JAWS) Newsletter. Here at the University of Vienna, he is presently teaching a course on the anthropology of religion for the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology.


Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften/Japanologie und AAJ (Akademischer Arbeitskreis Japan)


Mag. Angela Kramer
Universität Wien
Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften - Japanologie