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Celebrating life after death: the appearance of snapshots in Japanese pet gravesites

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This paper examines the content, display and communicative value of snapshot photographs found in Japanese pet cemeteries and identified as doubutsu no haka no shashin (animal grave pictures). A case study from Jindaiji Pet Cemetery in Tokyo explores how ordinary people illustrate Berger's anthropomorphization theme through observed relationships between family photography, pet-extended families, memory and beliefs in the afterlife of both humans and their animal companions. Evidentiary values and pictorial features of personal pictures of domestic animals are discussed and related to Japanese society and culture, to home media, vernacular photography and visual culture.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-10-01

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