Date of Award
International and Intercultural Communication
Christina R. Foust, Ph.D.
Brazilian Amazon, Hito, Japanese-ness, Religious racism, Sūkyō Mahikari
This dissertation presented an analysis of how leaders and adherents of a Japanese religion called Sūkyō Mahikari understand and interpret jinshu (race) and hito(person) in a particular way, and how this ideology is practiced in the city of Belém, in the Brazilian Amazon. The teachings of Sūkyō Mahikari classify humanity into five races (yellow, white, red, blue/green, black/purple) and five religions (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism). In this classification, the original humans - hito, the kingly race ōbito, and the God-given supra-religion sūkyō - deteriorated into ningen (people), the other races, and shūkyō (religions) along an evolutionary timeline. I argued that this organization developed an overrepresented and ideal hito who is a wajin (predominant ethnicity of Japan), kumite (Sūkyō Mahikari practitioner), Japanese citizen, cisgender heterosexual male, middle- to higher-class, anti-Marx, rational and modern Man (Wynter). This instantiation of Man is based on a form of racism and systemic oppression centered on Japanese supremacy to which I have given the term Japanese-ness.
My objective is to present the concept of Japanese-ness and analyze case studies of oppression in Sūkyō Mahikari in Japan and Brazil. The methodology, framework, and research commitment is anti-racism, whereas the methods used to analyze the religious experience and texts are: representation analysis of its official literature (Hall), autoethnography (Ellis et al.; Jones), auto-archaeology (Fox; Harrison and Schofield), and participant observation (Bernard) to describe my insights first when I was a follower, and then in the role of ethnographer.
This study has contributed to the expansion of Communication Studies and Religious Studies by deepening research on Whiteness, religious racism, jinshu sabetsu (racism), and Brazilian racismo. To achieve this contribution, I directly challenged Euro-U.S.-centrism and Abrahamic-centrism.
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de Almeida, Moana Luri, "Raça, Jinshu, Race: Whiteness, Japanese-ness, and Resistance in Sūkyō Mahikari in the Brazilian Amazon" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1428.
Received from ProQuest
Moana Luri de Almeida
Communication, Religion, Ethnic studies
Critical and Cultural Studies Commons, Ethics in Religion Commons, Ethnic Studies Commons, Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication Commons, History of Religions of Eastern Origins Commons, International and Intercultural Communication Commons