ANTH 2230 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Post-Occupation Japan, Meiji Period, Legal Separation

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Published on 30 Nov 2011
School
University of Guelph
Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTH 2230
ANTH 2230
Regional Ethnography:
Japanese Society
11/08/11
Today’s topics
Religion (II)
Shinto and Buddhism (I)
-Shinto: Native Japanese Religion
Kami (deities)
-Buddhism: Foreign religion
The introduction of Buddhism in the 6th century
Accepted among the elite class and emperors
Became the state religion in the 8th century
Focuses on the issues of death
-Blending Shinto and Buddhism
Continued until 1868
Theologies reconciling Shinto and Buddhism developed
Shinto and Buddhism (II)
-The Introduction of Christianity (1549 AD)
Arrival of Jesuit missionaries,
-The Tokugawa/Edo Period
Danka Seido (The Family Parishioner System)
Obligatory Buddhist Temple Membership, important to follow rituals as
a form of indentifying themselves as not Christian, not that they were
strong Buddhists
Shinto—Subordinate
-See Kawano (2005), Ritual Practice in Modern Japan, Chapter 1 (Kami,
Buddhas, and Ancestors)
Religion During The Meiji Period
-The Official Separation of Shinto and Buddhism (Legal separation)
State policy, new state and new image
Socially Shinto and Buddhism were still blended, people were forced to
recognize the deities but didn’t ignore their Buddhist traditions
-State Shinto as the national ideology
Not a religion , state Shinto, ensuring nationalism and commitment to the
emperor
Tied to Ultra-Nationalism, political leaders were strong believers of this state
religion, encouraged these traditions as a form of patriotic duty
Tried to separate from Buddhism, re-evaluated religious text, limited sources
on shinto
Religion in Postwar Japan
-Religious freedom
-Shinto = accepted as a religion, shrine Shinto is no longer a political tool
-Conventional membership in Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, people
before and after the war people still participated equally in both despite the
government efforts, not seen as separate but complement each other instead
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Document Summary

The introduction of buddhism in the 6th century: accepted among the elite class and emperors, became the state religion in the 8th century. Blending shinto and buddhism: continued until 1868. The tokugawa/edo period: arrival of jesuit missionaries, danka seido (the family parishioner system, obligatory buddhist temple membership, important to follow rituals as a form of indentifying themselves as not christian, not that they were strong buddhists, shinto subordinate. See kawano (2005), ritual practice in modern japan, chapter 1 (kami, The official separation of shinto and buddhism (legal separation: state policy, new state and new image, socially shinto and buddhism were still blended, people were forced to recognize the deities but didn"t ignore their buddhist traditions. State shinto as the national ideology: not a religion , state shinto, ensuring nationalism and commitment to the emperor. Tied to ultra-nationalism, political leaders were strong believers of this state religion, encouraged these traditions as a form of patriotic duty.

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