Pure Land Buddhism and Whaling Culture in the Chūgoku Region
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This chapter investigates the whaling culture of the Chūgoku Region (western Honshū) on the coast of the Sea of Japan. Field research in this region features Kayoi on Ōmi Island, Nagato, which was one of the main stations for the Chōshū-Kitaura Classical Whaling Base. Because it has religiously preserved the memorial rites for whales, Kayoi is referred to as the “Mecca of the Japanese culture of mourning the deaths of whales.” This chapter presents the locale’s fascinating whaling culture and analyzes the relationship between the local belief in Pure Land Buddhism and the area’s whaling culture.