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Double imagem, double ritual: the Photography and the Primordial Lotus Sutra

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Alexsânder Nakaôka Elias
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Doctoral Thesis
Press: Campinas, SP.
Institution: Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Maria Suely Kofes; Sylvia Caiuby Novaes; Andréa Claudia Miguel Marques Barbosa; Christiano Key Tambascia; Iara Cecília Pimentel Rolim
Advisor: Fabiana Uno; Maria Suely Kofes

This essay is the result of seven years of an intense relationship with the Honmon Butsuryu-shu (HBS) community, a segment of Japanese Buddhism which is considered the first of its tradition in Brazil. Through fieldworks conducted in local temples, but also in Japan, India and Nepal, I¿ve had the opportunity to follow the daily life of monks and followers and learn how the various ceremonies, symbolic contexts, relations of power between the priests, believers and lay people. To accomplish this journey, two aspects were essential: the first refers to the presence of an important interlocutor, Correia Odoshi (master), an HBS priest who has a high hierarchical level, deep knowledge of religion in Brazil and is the person responsible for authorizing my insertions in the fieldwork, legitimizing my position as "photographer-anthropologist" into the community. The second factor, closely announced by the first, is the fact that the photographic act permeated all my interactions with HBS. Therefore, almost as a second "object" of this research, photography became the base of my relationship with this buddhist group, which, over time, named me an "official photographer" of religious practices in the Oterás (temples). Furthermore, the purpose of the present work is to understand how the ritual and relational practices of the HBS are established, whose point of view is an image, scripture and sacred prayer called Namumyouhourenguekyou. From these reflections, I propose that the photographic act is analyzed as a contemporary ritual, involving several characters (photographers, photographed, whoever looks at photographs, etc.) and revealing important relationships in the community. Concerning elaborated images (which have a materiality), it is essential to mention that they constitute the link to carry out this essay, by permeating all work and constituting my research method, which was established through the concept of (dis)assembly. In this method, it is necessary to emphasize that it occurred in at least three levels: the first refers to the making of "visual experiments", with arrangements formed only by images. The second occurred at the intersection between the text and the photographs, expressed by "verbo-visual" chapters, in which the photos appear interspersed with the writing, without the intention that they fulfill a merely tautological and illustrative position. And the third consists exactly on the composition of the physical/printed essay, a "thing" that intercalates and refers to the assembly of the other two levels mentioned (AU)

FAPESP's process: 14/01555-9 - Image and ritual: photography and the Sutra Lotus primordial
Grantee:Alexsânder Nakaóka Elias
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate