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Female Shamans

Female Shamans

Ōshiro Tatsuhiro and Yuta

(p.140) Chapter 6 Female Shamans
The Alien Within
Leith Morton
University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter turns to post-imperial Japan and the fiction of Öshiro Tatsuhiro, who is possibly the best-known contemporary Okinawan novelist. One reason Öshiro became established as an author in the postwar era is because of the particular history of Okinawa, which was returned to Japan from American control only in 1972. Öshiro's work includes the creation of an Okinawan vision of selfhood and identity that is not merely the fateful Other to mainland Japanese culture; it attempts to situate the Okinawan experience within a larger conception of the Japanese self. The chapter analyzes a story written in the 1990s that describes a phenomenon that is uniquely Okinawan—the yuta, or female shamans.

Keywords:   yuta, female shamans, Öshiro Tatsuhiro, Okinawa, postwar era, selfhood, mainland Japanese culture

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