Brandeis Anthropology Department


Immortal Wishes explores experiences of place, sacred landscape and spiritual transformation at a Shinto mountain shrine founded by a rural Japanese woman in the 1920s. The shrine is located on the slopes of Mt. Akakura, a sacred site in the northern Japanese region of Tsugaru.

This website offers supplementary materials as teaching resources, including Quicktime video clips and suggested readings and questions, that may be helpful for those reading the book or using it in courses.

Readers' Comments

"Immortal Wishes reveals the deeply embodied nature of a religion which is physically labored at with a subtlety and intensity that is as sensuous as it is spiritual. It is this aesthetis - personal, historical, collective- that Ellen Schattschneider captures with the delicacy of her prose and analysis" --Dr. Anne Allison, Duke University.

" Schattschneider has given us an account of Japanese religious experience that is at once powerfully evocative and analytically sophisticated.  Immortal Wishes is a remarkable book that should prove invaluable not only for students of Japan but also for anyone wanting to understand the transformative power of religious experience." --Dr. Bradd Shore, Emory University


Read an excerpt from Immortal Wishes

immortal wishes:
labor and transcendence
on a Japanese sacred mountain

Ellen Schattschneider

Duke University Press (2003)

Website developed by Ellen Schattschneider (Brandeis University)