Types of Divination and their Characteristics : A Look at Books on Divination in Contemporary Japan

  • SUZUKI Kentaro

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  • 占いの諸類型とその特質 : 現代日本の占い本を通して
  • ウラナイ ノ ショ ルイケイ ト ソノ トクシツ ゲンダイ ニホン ノ ウラナ

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Many kinds of divination are being practiced throughout Japan today, but there are few academic studies on the subject. This paper is an attempt to gain a foothold in the study of divination in contemporary Japan. There is such a great variety of forms in modern divination that the first thing we need to do is to classify them into types according to two remarkable distinctions. The first index of distinction is the difference between the principles of divination that provide ultimate grounds for their divinatory practice. The second is the difference of the kinds of corrective measures taken to improve one's fortunes. Books on divination written for the general reader are used as the materials for this study. First I will classify the types of divination, and then clarify the substantial characteristics peculiar to each type of divination, which produce indexical features differentiating one type from another, in light of our way of perceiving and recognizing the relation between human beings and those entities that cause one's fortune and misfortune. Through this classification I expect to find clues that will help elucidate the whole structure of Japanese religious thinking and consciousness.


  • Religion and Society

    Religion and Society 1 (0), 5-28, 1995

    The Japanese Association for the Study of Religion and Society

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