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Home » 9. Texts and Sources » Other Basic Texts
(Kaibara Ekiken)
This comprises one volume. It expounds upon the origins and characteristics of ancient Shintō, and gives moral instruction into the basis for and the method of the worship of the heavenly and earthly deities, as well as the relation of the deities to Confucianism and Buddhism. Kaibara Ekiken wrote this work in 1704. Ekiken was a profound scholar well versed in both Japanese and Chinese studies, and he also had interest in Shintō. One of his distant ancestors was a priest at the Kibitsu Shrine in Bitchū, and he had rather early contact with the works of Watarai Nobuyoshi, and even visited Yoshikawa Koretari; he also listened to Shintō lectures by Matsushita Kenrin. This work expounds upon the union of Shintō and Confucianism, and criticizes the rising influence of Buddhism. Also, he argues that because the Kojiki and Nihon shoki are not scriptures of Shintō, but are historical works, the student of Shintō should use the four books (yonsho, later Confucian works) and five Confucian classics (gokyō). Other works of Ekiken include Shinju benkō aimotorazu ron. These are contained in Ekiken zenshū (Ekiken Zenshū Kankōkai, 1910).

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