International Journal for the Study of New Religions, Vol 3, No 2 (2012)

Gender and Spiritual Therapy in Japan

Ioannis Gaitanidis
Issued Date: 31 Dec 2012


Therapies that are advertised as caring for mind, body and spirit, have become increasingly visible since the 1980s, and consist of the central focus of New Age activities in the West, and more recently in non-Western countries such as Japan. This article aims at demonstrating the applicability to the Japanese setting of theories that link the overwhelming presence of women among practitioners and clients of these “spiritual therapies” to their ability of both legitimizing and subverting traditional discourses of femininity. The author focuses particularly on Japanese women therapists’ testimonies that combine a legitimization of women’s involvement in spiritual therapies through their association with the beauty industry, with an overt criticism of the socio-economic conditions that encourage gender discrimination.

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DOI: 10.1558/ijsnr.v3i2.269


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