As the current Japan-based research lab for the University of Oxford’s international Ritual, Community and Conflict project, members of our lab recently traveled to Miyajima Island in Hiroshima, to gather data from Daisho-in’s mass fire-walking event.

Photos by Chris Kavanagh (unless indicated otherwise).




Led by Oxford PhD student Chris Kavanagh (currently on a long-term research posting here at our lab), grad students Rob Thomson and Shuhei Tsuchida joined research assistants from Hiroshima University to capture insights from both participants and observers of this twice-yearly ritual.

We are greatly indebted to the cooperation of Bishop Yoshida and priest Sakai; without their help we would not have been able to conduct our questionnaires designed to explore how taking part in the ritual impacts community and interpersonal relationships.



Photo above by Rob Thomson.

A big thanks also to our great team of research assistants from Hiroshima University.



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