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Home » 9. Texts and Sources » Other Basic Texts
Sanshatakusenkō
(Ise Sadatake)
This is a work investigating Sanshatakusen (The Oracles of the Three Shrines, see Sansha takusen (var. Sanja takusen) ). It was written by Ise Sadatake and comprises one volume. The colophon is dated 1784. Sadatake argued that Sansha takusen, which was popular in his day, was actually a spurious work compiled by Urabe Kanetomo in order to portray his family, which specialized in divination (kiboku), as a house of Shintō. The first suspicion Sadatake had about the divine oracles (takusen), which deals with the three shrines of Amaterasu kōtai jingū, Hachiman Daibosatsu, and Kasuga Daimyōjin, was that the term sansha takusen did not appear in any of the national histories or any record. The appearance of a divine oracle was an important event for the state, and the circumstances of the message from above should be submitted to the governing official, where it would be inspected and then officially recorded. Next, Sadatake took issue with the problem of the organization of the "three shrines" and the contents of the oracle, and he pointed out that there were common points with Buddhism, and the message was at variance with the ancient liturgies (norito) in both style and terminology. Therefore he concluded that Kanetomo created Sansha takusen by setting up a doctrine based on Buddhist beliefs, with reference to the three embodiments of Amida. He viciously attacked the document of the divine oracles that Kanetomo had fabricated because Kanetomo had portrayed himself as trustworthy and pure. In response to those who argued that the document could still be respected, due to its value in teaching human morality, Sadatake concluded that from the standpoint of Confucianism, using fabrication to teach principles (sagi ni yoru hōben) should be avoided.
        Ise Sadatake (1717-1784) is known as a scholar of ancient practices and the author of Sadatake zakki, and the Ise family is renowned as a house of the Muromachi period that passed on teachings of the proper behavior of the warrior class. In response to the Yoshida family which oversaw the work of all the priests (shinshoku) of the nation at the time, Watarai Nobutsune and Yoshimi Yoshikazu and others criticized the Yoshida family's efforts to legitimize this movement, invigorating the work of researching and investigating the texts regarding Shintō even among classes other than priests. Sadatake reflected contemporary trends such as the development of a reconsideration of ancient rites and kokugaku (National Learning) in his own studies, investigating things related to Shintō; Sansha takusen kō is one of these. It is contained in Shintō sōsetsu (Kokusho hankōkai, 1911; reprinted in 1993, Yumani Shobō).

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