Caring for the dead : affective relationship between people and human remains in Aguni, Okinawa
This essay will examine the affective relationships people have with human remains and by extent, the souls of the deceased in Aguni, Okinawa. In conceptualising care, I will explore how senkotsu (bone washing) and other emerging mortuary practices perpetuate and reconfigure the cycle of care between the living and the dead. The element of fear and disgust present in these interactions will also be explored, as such notions centre around these care practices. I demonstrate that with the use of senses such as touch, people forge intimate and affective relationships with the dead. I will also discuss the emergence of new practices of senkotsu and how cremation plays a part in that. Furthermore, I will explore how changing practices alter the ways people fashion caring and affective intimacy with the dead.
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