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Lecture 16

Lecture 16, Shinto and Buddhism

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University of Guelph
ANTH 2230
Satsuki Kawano

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 - The number of adherents in 2001 (does not necessarily display individual beliefs but rather pa
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