A New History of Shinto (Blackwell Brief Histories of by John Breen

By John Breen

This available consultant to the improvement of Japan’s indigenous faith from precedent days to the current day bargains an illuminating creation to the myths, websites and rituals of kami worship, and their position in Shinto’s enduring spiritual identity.Offers a different new method of Shinto historical past that mixes serious research with unique researchExamines key evolutionary moments within the lengthy heritage of Shinto, together with the Meiji Revolution of 1868, and gives the 1st serious historical past  in English or eastern of the Hie shrine, probably the most very important in all JapanTraces the improvement of assorted shrines, myths, and rituals via heritage as uniquely diversified phenomena, exploring how and once they merged into the trendy inspiration of Shinto that exists in Japan todayChallenges the old stereotype of Shinto because the unchanging, all-defining middle of eastern tradition

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Given the central position of the Ise Shrine in modern Shinto, it would have been both logical and useful to focus on this site. 12 Other shrines and their rituals were “Shintoized” by way of assimilation to Ise, as the shrine of the imperial ancestors. Therefore, we have chosen to focus on another important shrine that can give us a better idea of what was there prior to Shintoization. Excellent studies of the shrine sites of Kasuga (Grapard 1992a), Konpira (Thal 2005), Kumano (Moerman 2006) and O¯yama (Ambros 2008) already exist; partly for that reason, this book will focus on another shrine complex that is today known as Hiyoshi (in its earlier guises, as Hie), located at the foot of Mount Hiei near Kyoto.

In the sphere of Japanese court ceremonial, then, Buddhism was older than the jingi cult, and the latter developed in close dialogue with a pre-existing Buddhist presence. Yin-Yang ritualists reduced the gods to ethereal forces subject to the rules of a cosmic dynamic, and in that way undermined the individuality and the particularity of locale-specific deities. Buddhism had much the same effect, but its rhetoric was different. Buddhism came with a long tradition of dealing with local spirits that can be traced back all the way to the religion’s early dissemination in India (DeCaroli 2004).

After the final addition of Hie Shrine in the eleventh century, the new network comprised only 22 shrines, all located in the vicinity of the capital – this in contrast to the jingi network, whose 2,861 shrines were spread across the country. The 22 shrines were presented with kinensai offerings twice a year, and performed interim rituals to deal with crises. With the exception of Ise, all these shrines were part of temple-shrine complexes dominated by monks (Grapard 1988). Shrines, Myths, and Rituals in Premodern Times 41 In the provinces, jingi-type shrine rituals declined even more drastically.

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