Shinto and the State, 1868-1988

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Princeton University Press, 1989 - Religion - 203 pages

Helen Hardacre, a leading scholar of religious life in modern Japan, examines the Japanese state's involvement in and manipulation of shinto from the Meiji Restoration to the present. Nowhere else in modern history do we find so pronounced an example of government sponsorship of a religion as in Japan's support of shinto. How did that sponsorship come about and how was it maintained? How was it dismantled after World War II? What attempts are being made today to reconstruct it? In answering these questions, Hardacre shows why State shinto symbols, such as the Yasukuni Shrine and its prefectural branches, are still the focus for bitter struggles over who will have the right to articulate their significance.


Where previous studies have emphasized the state bureaucracy responsible for the administration of shinto, Hardacre goes to the periphery of Japanese society. She demonstrates that leaders and adherents of popular religious movements, independent religious entrepreneurs, women seeking to raise the prestige of their households, and men with political ambitions all found an association with shinto useful for self-promotion; local-level civil administrations and parish organizations have consistently patronized shinto as a way to raise the prospects of provincial communities. A conduit for access to the prestige of the state, shinto has increased not only the power of the center of society over the periphery but also the power of the periphery over the center.

 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
3
Shinto in the Tokugawa Era 16001868
9
Ise Pilgrimage
15
THE MODERN HISTORY OF RELATIONS
21
The Meiji Restoration and the Beginning of State Shinto
27
The Slump of Middle Meiji 18801905
33
Freedom of Religion
39
The Pantheon Dispute
48
Provincial Centers of the Cult of the War Dead
92
Shrine Mergers
98
LargeScale State Rites
104
Customary Observances and Shinto
110
The Imperial Rescript on Education
121
Shintos Role in Restricting Religious Freedom
128
Shinto and the Occupation
134
The Implementation of the Occupations Policy on Religion
140

Conclusion
58
Shrine Administrators
65
Questions of Doctrine and Rites
72
SHRINES AND THE RITES OF EMPIRE
79
Distribution of Ise Talismans and Almanacs
86
The Tsu Grounds Purification Case
149
EPILOGUE
160
The Shinto Directive
167
Selected Sources 191 Index
199
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