Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig
Well, I have read the book and I think it is better than I thought it would be, having read the Nanzan review you posted. Stalker is very good on kotodama, so much so that I am going to add another to the columns I am writing. Since William Gleason has published his new book--which I now have, a serious discussion on kotodama (based on Omoto, other Japanese sources like Yamaguchi & later scholars, Ueshiba, Stevens and Gleason) will very much be in order.
The remarks I made on chinkon kishin apply equally to kotodama, but what the Japanese have done is to separate the actual practice from kotodama gaku (the study of the phenomenon), rather like Evelyn Underhill did in her pioneering work on western mysticism.
Like Abe in his The Weaving of Mantra, Stalker has looked at the main Japanese works on her subject (virtually none of which have been translated). She discusses the contemporary cultural background, which is generally left untouched by Stevens and also by Gleason.