山形大学紀要（人文科学） 第17巻 第3号（2012）091-104
尤 銘 煌 ・ 苗 択 遠
Ohkura village is a typical beautiful mountain village in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. It’s could be said that the average culture and figure of Japan can be found by examining the Ohkura village.
Since the depopulation and aging of this society is a serious concern, the way of rites of passage in Ohkura village had been transformed. For example, many temples and shrines were forced to shoutdown causing the number of believers and supporters to greatly decline. Many traditional ceremonies, such as the ceremony of First-visit to shrine, the Seven-Five- Three year old ceremony, the funeral ceremony and so on have steadily declined. Also, the shortage of bride candidates made the number of wedding ceremonies decrease. The mutual help given to each other used to be the essential fundament to maintain the rites of passage. Now, it has become difficult due to depopulation.
Under the background of this society, this paper will discuss the changing procedures of the rites of passage in Ohkura Village based on the results of a field trip. In addition, social problems also will be examined and discussed.
The Transition of Rites of Passage in Depopulating and Aging Societ
―The Case of the Most Beautiful Village of Ohkura, Mogami Country, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan
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