Dr. Irit Averbuch is currently an Associate Professor at the
Department of East Asian Studies, Tel-Aviv University.
Irit Averbuch was born in Tel-Aviv in 1952, Graduated from
the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1976 (Assyriology and Japanese Studies),
continued toward MA studies in the Department of Comparative Religion in the
Hebrew University, and completed the Masters degree (MTS) in Harvard Divinity
School in 1980. She received her Ph.D.
in the Study of Religion from Harvard University GSAS in 1989. Her doctoral thesis analyzed the ritual
meaning and impact of sacred dances of the Take School of Hayachine Kagura. As part of her research she performed several
kagura dances with her master group Ishihatooka Kagura.
Her general fields of interest continue to dwell on Japanese
religious praxis, especially on the so-called Japanese folk religious culture:
religious rituals, the folk performing arts, and their contemporary
survival. For her recent research on
kagura poem-songs she conducts fieldwork in various kagura schools and
performances around Japan.
Dr. Averbuch is the author of The
Gods Come Dancing: A Study of the
Japanese Ritual Dance of Yamabushi
Kagura (Cornell East-Asia Series, 1995). She has also published articles in leading
academic journals in her field, including Japanese
Journal of Religious Studies, Asian Folklore Studies and Journal of Ritual Studies, and several book chapters.