Marriage as a pilgrimage to the fatherland: The case of Japanese women in the Unification Church

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Abstract

Drawing on cases of Japanese women's conversion narratives and everyday practices of married life, this article examines the religious nature of transnational marriage between Japanese women and Korean men through the Unification Church. I use the term pilgrimage from these women's perspective because they view their marriages as a religious journey for salvation to the 'fatherland' of Reverend Moon, the founder of the Unification Church and not based on romance or economic motivation. These Japanese women aspire to fulfill the mission of accomplishing 'a true family' for world peace through marriage with Korean men who they had never met in person earlier. A true family, according to the Unification Church, is the only way of reaching salvation, through marriage that transcends race, religion and the nation-state. I explore how the Unification Church propagates the notion of repentance and salvation by making the Japanese women who follow them to become unconditionally devoted subjects of the Korean patriarchal family and church.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-34
Number of pages19
JournalAsian Journal of Women's Studies
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies

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