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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Medieval and Early Modern Schools
Fukko Shintō
"Restoration Shinto," also known as "Pure Shinto" (Jun Shintō), "Ancient-Way Shinto" (Kodō Shintō), "Nativist Shintō" (Kokugaku Shintō), and "Shintō Fukkoha" (the Shintō Restoration Faction). This term is usually employed to refer generally to early modern nativist Shinto thought (or Kodō, "teachings of the ancient way"). In this case, it refers to forms of thought that investigated an idealized form of Shintō ostensibly existing before the arrival of influences from Buddhism and Confucianism—as opposed to the various Shintō doctrines promulgated by Buddhists (Bukka Shintō) and Confucians (Juka Shintō). However, the term Fukko Shintō is also frequently used to refer not to the entirely of nativist Shinto thought, but more narrowly to the school of Hirata Atsutane, with its strong religious character based on a system of ideas concerning the soul (reikonkan) and the other world, and which culminated in a political movement aimed at restoring imperial power (ōsei fukko) and eliminating foreign influence. In other words, the term Restorationist (fukko) Shinto came to be applied to that part of the Nativist Shinto movement of the late Tokugawa and early Meiji period. The term fukko Shintō was first used officially in a document of the Shintō Bureau (Shintō Jimukyoku) dated March 1868 proposing that "the religion of our empire is to be declared as fukko Shintō ."
       The movement for the organization of Shinto clergy (shinshoku) with Nativist leanings began in concert with the priests' disavowal of registration with Buddhist temples; while retaining their affiliation as Shinto priests with traditional lineages in charge of kami matters (jingidō), such as the Shirakawa and Yoshida, members began mobilizing toward reconstitution of the Jingikan and the restoration of ancient kami cults. In this process, the Hakke Shirakawa house, which had adopted Hirata Nativism, vastly expanded its influence. In response, the Yoshida lineage also attempted to gain the support of kami priests by appointing Yano Harumichi as its educational superintendent. In this way they aimed at a "restoration" of traditional Yoshida teachings to a "pure ancient way," claiming that the insitution for the restored way of the kami was the clear and evident original way." In this case, the term fukko referred, rather than merely to the religious situation before Buddhism and Confucianism, to a "pure ancient Way" predating the traditional kami cults (jingidō) of the established Shirakawa and Yoshida houses as they developed during the middle ages. The movement aiming at the reconstitution of the Jingikan led by the Hirata Nativists against the Shirakawa and the Yoshida emphasized the unity of ritual and rule (saisei itchi) and the idea that in Emperor Jinmu lay the origin of Japan's national polity. At first, this movement opposed the traditional houses in charge of kami cults, but it later split into two factions over the issue of the actual meaning of the Shinto restoration. For Nativists of Hirata Atsutane's school such as Tamamatsu Misao and Yano Harumichi, on the one hand, restoration signified a solid definition of the moral and religious life of the realm through the establishment of the Jingikan as defined in the ancient Ritsuryō Code, the rejection of Western cultural influence, and the supremacy of their brand of Shinto over Chinese learning and Buddhism; all this was to be carried out on the basis of a close relationship with court nobles in Kyoto. On the other hand, the Tsuwano faction followed the radical anti-foreign position of Ōkuni Takamasa, who was instrumental in defining the four great men of Nativism, and it sided with the leading officials of the Chōshū faction. The goal of the Tsuwano faction was not the restoration of the Jingikan ceremonies as defined in the Ritsuryō Code, but the establishment of the unity of religion and government through the restoration of imperial authority over ritual by literally taking example from Emperor Jinmu. For them, the idea of Emperor Jinmu's "creative work" (Jinmu sōgyō) did not mean merely a restoration of the sovereign's authority as defined by the Ritsuryō Code, but it had the same significance as a literal "new making." They established the doctrines of a Fukko Shintō religion that transmitted Hirata Atsutane's ideas of the invisible world of the deities, in this way aiming for a unity of religion and rule that would resist the influence of Christianity. They also attempted a general indoctrination of the Japanese people by creating a special Office of Preceptors (Kyōdōshoku), namely, a system of "moral instructors" that mobilized Buddhism and Chinese learning as well. The Tsuwano faction ultimately failed in its attempt to realize this dissemination of a Shintoistic Great Teaching (taikyō senpu), but they were dedicated in their efforts toward realizing a unity of religion and rule appropriate to a modern nation state.
       However, Yano and the other members of the Hirata school opposed the Tsuwano faction; they stressed the need to restore the ancient Jingikan and resisted the governments policies, refusing to abandon their original anti-Buddhist and anti-Confucian positions and xenophobic attitudes. In the Meiji period, nativists of the Hirata school upholding this kind of anachronistic positions were called Shinto restorationists (fukkoha Shintōka) or nativist restorationists (fukkoha kokugakusha). The movement for the reestablishment of the Jingikan by members of Shinto lineages and priests of the Hirata school continued, but became increasingly estranged from modern Nativism, which in the meantime had restructured itself into scholarly disciplines such as philology, textual studies and historiography. When, during the Taishō period, early modern Nativism began to be studied from the point of view of the history of thought and philosophy, the doctrines concerning the Ancient Way (kodō) by the four great exponents of Nativism were called, respectively, "pure Shinto," "nativist Shinto," "restorationist nativism," and "restoration Shinto."
See also kokugaku , Hirata Atsutane , Ōkuni Takamasa

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