Encyclopedia of Shinto Kokugakuin University
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Doctrines and Theories


This term signifies a particular school of thought that espoused the idea of shunning and expelling Buddhism. It also refers to the historic movement that based on this type of thought eventually destroyed Buddhist temples, halls, images, and ritual implements and forcibly expelled Buddhist monks. ...

Han honjisuijakusetsu (Anti-honjisuijaku thought)

This term covers a range of theories that were created during the medieval period which argue for the superiority of indigenous kami over Buddhist deities. These theories were voiced in opposition to the Buddhist honji suijaku theory which posited that the kami were merely local manifestations of t...


The term honji suijaku refers to the idea that the Buddhist deities provisionally appear as Shintō kami in order to spiritually save sentient beings in Japan. The kami are thus the manifestations (suijaku; literally "traces;" i.e. the form appearing in the world to save sentient beings) of the...


The common appellation given to a branch of Edo-period scholarship and thought that had as its subject the interpretation of Japanese classics and ancient literature. At times it also displayed a discourse that aimed at restoring the classical world of ancient Japan. Analogous concepts are kodō...


The term Mitogaku signfies the scholarship and academic traditions that arose in the Mito Domain, one of the Go-Sanke (the three highest ranking branches of the Tokugawa clan) of the Edo-period. This academic school was also called "Suifu no gaku," and "Tenpōgaku," but after the Meiji Restorat...

Sansha takusen (var. Sanja takusen)

Oracles (takusen) of the three deities Tenshō-kōtaijingū (Amaterasu), Hachiman Daibosatsu, and Kasuga Daimyōjin that circulated widely from the middle ages until the early modern period. This term also refers to an object of worship that takes the form of a hanging scroll inscri...


"New kokugaku ." A movement for the revival and rebirth of kokugaku in the modern period. The term refers in particular to the discipline of folklore-based studies of Japanese culture, as advocated in the postwar period by Yanagita Kunio and Orikuchi Shinobu. According to Orikuchi, two such new kok...


According to this line of thinking, Japan was created by its native kami and its divine creators conferred upon it a special protection. This notion was not originally a chauvinistic one; however, there were occasions when it was, especially during moments of mounting foreign pressures. Of the clas...


The idea of sonnō signified reverence for the ruling monarchy of a state or realm. In ancient China, Confucius (551-479 BC) venerated the then-defunct court of Zhou. He called for the orderly unification of the divided realm and state under the authority of this dynasty. A process which he exp...

The Unity of Shintō, Confucianism and Bhuddism

The notion of shinjubutsu itchi held that Shintō, Confucianism and Buddhism are ultimately identical. Ideas of the one-ness of Shintō, Confucianism and Buddhism saw their greatest expansion during the medieval period and into the early modern period, and it is thought that there were two ...

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