Encyclopedia of Shinto Kokugakuin University
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Research on Shinto


1. History (Antiquity) Research

—Empirical Research—       If we adhere to the broad definition, Shintō is a religious practice or a life style and doctrine that is based in the indigenous concept of the kami. Due to the fact that the ancient Japanese ordered many aspects of their lives accord...

2. History (Middle Ages) Research

We encounter very difficult problems related to the history of medieval Shintō when we try to comprehend the Middle Ages as a time of jinbutsu shūgō (the fusion of kami and Buddha). The problem is whether it is possible to discuss Shintō history in opposition to the history of ...

3. History (Early Modern) Research

Historical studies of early modern Shinto have been undertaken from the perspectives of political history, socio-economic history, intellectual history, and the history of the ordinary people (minshūshi). Concretely this has meant a focus on four areas: (1) the policies of the Edo Bakufu on ma...

4. History (Modern) Research

The history of civilization and Shintō       The "history of civilization" (bunmei shigaku) that was introduced to Japan in the early Meiji Era assumed a historical progression from a state of primitivity to one of civilization. Evident at the most fundamental level in the ...

5. History (Contemporary) Research

Murakami Shigeyoshi's Research on State Shintō       The research on state Shintō begun by Murakami Shigeyoshi with his 'religious studies' approach, and inherited by scholars such as Nakajima Michio, Miyachi Masato, Yasumaru Yoshio, Haga Shoji and Akazawa Shiro, is de...

Anthropological Research

—Theories of Kingship and Structural Analysis—       The theoretical impact of anthropology on Shintō scholarship can be divided into two categories: (1) research on the emperor system based on theories of kingship; and (2) mythological research through structural...

Archaeological Research

The archeology of Shintō is a field that focuses on sites and relics relating to rituals, as well as other archeological materials that can shed light on ancient beliefs. As a field of study, Shintō archeology was advocated, outlined and defined by Ōba Iwao in 1935. Ōba dedicat...

Folklore Research

The establishment of Japanese Ethnology and Shintō ResearchThis research deals primarily with Shintō phenomena observed in the daily lives of people. There has been much scholarly output since the founding of the scholarly field of ethnology. In general, Japanese ethnology is said to have...

Mythological Research

The Japanese mythology relevant to the study of Shinto is recorded in classical sources from the Nara and early Heian periods. It is often called Kiki mythology (Kiki shinwa) and refers to the chapters on the age of the kami in the Kojiki and Nihon shoki. Alternatively, it is also described as "cla...

Para-scientific, Psychical or Occult Research on Shinto

An area of Shintō research which is not recognized as a scientific approach based on empiricism or rationality. There are numerous branches of this form of investigation, but they can be grouped in two representative categories. The first category (1) of these is associated with recent researc...

Religious Research

Religious studies of Shintō began in earnest after The Second World War, but before the war some pioneering work can already been seen. The representative of this is Katō Genchi, who in his books Historical Studies in the of Religious Development in Shintō (Shintō no Shūky&...

Theological Research

The theological approach to Shintō research is claimed by some to be essentially Shintō apologetics, or studies in defense of Shintō beliefs. However, Shintō theology in fact has two aspects. On the one hand it is the public justification of one's private faith in Shintō, a...





"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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