Embodied Divinity and the Gift: The Case of Okinawan Kaminchu

  • Noriko KawahashiEmail author
Part of the Sophia Studies in Cross-cultural Philosophy of Traditions and Cultures book series (SCPT, volume 17)


In this paper Noriko Kawahashi presents the specificity of Okinawan women’s religious practices. Women priestesses, respected as divinities who are incarnated in female form, are the primary agents of religion. Men are relegated to politics. This dual polito-religious structure has existed for many centuries. The special rituals where the divine priestesses exercise their benevolent power by administering religious blessings and providing protection for all people are described in detail.


Religious predominance of women Living deity Female ritual specialists Women’s sacred status Female power Ontological foundation Body-soul relationship 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EngineeringNagoya Institute of TechnologyNagoyaJapan

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