Accepted Paper:

When the dead call - kinship, religion and Immigration seen in the practices of the Yuta in Brazil  

Author:

Victor Hugo Martins Kebbe Silva (Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar))

Paper short abstract:

The aim of this research is to analyze the practices of the Yuta - mediums who acts in Okinawa, Japan and Brazil - among the families of Okinawan descendants in São Paulo, Brazil, focusing to comprehend the ways in which Okinawan tradition and kinship are conceived and resignified within this complex relationship between Japanese immigration, kinship and religiousness.

Paper long abstract:

Ellen Schattschneider has made a relevant discussion regarding Japanese kinship and religiousness in Social Anthropology, presenting an intricate relationship between kinship, religiousness, transmigration and cosmology, in which kinship is responsible for the contact between the world of the living and the world of the dead in Tohoku, Japan. Similarly, we can see that the Okinawan shamanism performed by the yuta - mediums who acts in Okinawa, Japan and Brazil- operates within a similar logic by uniting two distinct dimensions, with the dead having an essential and active role in the life of the living. In their practice, the yuta introduce, signify and resignify the perceptions of Okinawan kinship which connects the living to their ancestors, with the possibility of the dead influencing on their kin: disrespectful practice or failure to worship the ancestors results in structural issues in the family, including families of Okinawan descendants in the city of Sao Paulo that have detached from Okinawa, Okinawan "culture" and "tradition” a long time ago. The aim of this research is to analyze the Yuta practice among the families of Okinawan descendants in São Paulo, Brazil, focusing to comprehend the ways in which kinship is conceived and resignified within this complex relationship between Japanese immigration, kinship and religiousness.

Panel P032
Transnational migration, kinship and relatedness