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Keeping the Culture of Death Alive: One Hundred Years of a Japanese American’s Family Mortuary

Communication Department, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR 97520, USA
Genealogy 2017, 1(3), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy1030015
Received: 4 May 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender’s Influence on Genealogy Narratives)
This article explores a Japanese American family mortuary and its 100 years of service and involvement with the Japanese American community in Los Angeles through five generations of the Fukui family. The Fukui Mortuary is Los Angeles’s oldest Japanese American family mortuary and has provided the Japanese American community with services relating to death and bereavement for nearly a century. Through autoethnographic and ethnographic methods, this research examines a site within the Japanese American community after World War II where death, ethnicity, nationality and gender intersect. Studying the cultural and traditional options people have to negotiate, participate and engage in one’s cultural practices during a time of death allows us to investigate the structures of power, economics and institutions that are embedded in our histories and societies. Through the mobilization and service of cultural traditions related to death, the Fukui mortuary contributes to the story of Japanese Americans and how ideas of death, religion, gender and ethnicity are situated in community involvement and the genealogy of the Fukui family. View Full-Text
Keywords: Japanese American; hybridity; Asian American; death; bereavement; communication; ethnicity; gender; race; ethnography Japanese American; hybridity; Asian American; death; bereavement; communication; ethnicity; gender; race; ethnography
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Yamaguchi, P. Keeping the Culture of Death Alive: One Hundred Years of a Japanese American’s Family Mortuary. Genealogy 2017, 1, 15.

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