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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Medieval and Early Modern Schools
Jingidōke
A collective term for lineages engaging in Shinto as their traditional house occupation. In the early period, these included the jingi clans (jingi shizoku), namely, clans connected to the Jingikan such as the Nakatomi and Inbe. In the early ninth century, postitions at the Jingikan became hereditary for a small number of clans, while other clans were gradually excluded and thus declined. Kogo shūi notes and deplores this process as follows:

The Jingikan should properly employ kami-specialists from the Nakatomi, Inbe, Sarume, Kagamitsukuri, Tamatsukuri, Tatetsukuri, Kamuhatori, Shitori, Omi, and other clans; but recently, only two or three clans, including the Nakatomi and Inbe, are left. The other clans are no longer considered for appointments. These descendents of kami are scattered, and their lineages are about to die out.

        From the late Heian period on, the post of superintendent or head (haku) of the Jingikan became hereditary within the princely Shirakawa Hakuō house which descended from Emperor Kazan, while associate intendents (fuku) were selected from the Ōnakatomi and Urabe clans. The Inbe clan had disappeared by this time. The Shirakawa, Ōnakatomi and Urabe clans, then, established themselves as the "three houses of Shinto." They were officially recognised as jingidō-ke when the Yoshida house (a branch of the Urabe clan that developed Yoshida Shintō in the late Muromachi period) assumed control over shrine priests throughout the country in the early Edo period.
        The traditional occupations of aristocratic court families in the early modern period are recorded in Shoke kagyō ki [Records of the traditional occupations of the various houses]. Here, the Shirakawa, the Fujinami (a branch of the Ōnakatomi) and the Yoshida branch of Urabe are identified as houses engaged in jingidō , the "Way of the gods of heaven and earth." Already in 1433, representatives of these same three houses jointly decided on the duration of the period of mourning after the death of retired emperor Go-Komatsu (according to Morosato-ki, the diary of Nakahara Morosato). It would seem that at least by this time, and possibly even as early as the early medieval period, these three houses were generally recognized as the three houses of the Jingikan, each representing its own "Shinto lineage" (Shintō-ryū). It was only in the Muromachi period, however, that the position of the Ōnakatomi clan was monopolized by the Fujinami house, and that of the Urabe clan by the Yoshida house.
        Within the Shirakawa clan, the position of Superintendent (haku) of the Jingikan became hereditary within the lineage of Akihiroō (1095-1180), a product of the Kazan Genji line. This happened in the late Heian period; the name of Shirakawa was in fact adopted first in the mid-Kamakura period. At times, this lineage was split and conflicts occurred over the position of haku. For a short period, the Shirakawa engaged in active study of the Nihon shoki and succeeded in establishing themselves as an independent jingi house; but already in the Muromachi period it lost its dynamism. The Shirakawa became dependent on tutelage by the Yoshida, who were formally their subordinates, and they were soon overshadowed by them. In the Edo period, however, Masatakaō took the initiative to develop a Shirakawa house teaching, which came to be known as Hakke Shintō, "the Shinto of the haku house." This house received an annual stipend of 200 koku, with an additional 30 koku awarded for the performance of haku rituals.
        The Ōnakatomi claimed descent from the deity Amenokoyane. The clan name of Nakatomi was granted to Tokiwa in the late sixth century; the character Ō meaning "great" was added in 769 as a reward to Ōnakatomi no Kiyomaro (702-788) for his services. From this time onwards, the Ōnakatomi monopolized both the most senior positions within the Jingikan (haku and fuku), as well as the position of Chief Priest (saishu) at the Grand Shrines of Ise. The saishu not only participated in rituals at the Ise shrines four times annually, but also oversaw the management of the shrines' "kami districts" (shingun). Soon, the Ōnakatomi saishu acquired a powerful position in the Ise region. In the mid-Heian period they established their headquarters in Iwade, on the banks of the river Miyagawa in Ise province. Here, they flourished until the late Muromachi period. As conditions in Ise became increasingly volatile, the saishu moved back to Kyoto. From Kagetada's generation they were once more counted as members of the court aristocracy. It was at this time that they adopted the name of Fujinami. As servants of the Great Deity of Ise, the Fujinami house did not develop its own Shinto school, in contrast to the Shirakawa. In addition to the post of saishu at Ise, the Ōnakatomi also had the important task of reciting the "Words of Praise of the Heavenly Kami" (amatsukami no yogoto) at the banquet that concluded the Daijōsai enthronement ceremony. Their house stipend amounted to 173 koku, while the saishu himself received 616 koku.
        The Yoshida hoiuse of the Urabe clan is said to have descended from diviners (urabe) from Izu. Their original task was to perform divination (using tortoise shells, see kiboku) at the Jingikan, but they gradually extended their activities to the administration of kami ceremonial, and rose to the rank of assistant intendents. They developed their own house tradition of learning, focusing on the Nihon shoki, and built up a treasured collection of texts. They joined the ranks of the higher aristocracy (kugyō) with Kanehiro (1348-1402) in the mid-Muromachi period, and adopted the name of Yoshida at that time. Later in the period, Yoshida Kanetomo (1435-1511) created what may well be called a "new Shinto," drawing upon the Yoshida house traditions. His Yoshida Shintō exerted a strong influence in the chaotic period after the Ōnin wars of 1467-77. Since the time of Kanetomo, the heads of the Yoshida house used the title "Head of the kami" (jingi chōjō). They consolidated their position as the supreme authority in Shinto matters and became the main jingidō-ke. With control over priests at shrines throughout the country until the beginning of Meiji, they collected a house stipend of 760 koku. After Meiji, the Shirakawa, Fujinami and Yoshida all were granted the aristocratic status of viscounts (shishaku).
        The term jingidō was introduced by the Yoshida in the late medieval period, and initially, jingidō-ke probably referred to the Yoshida alone. Soon, however, it came to be used for all three houses that had longstanding connections with the Jingikan. Each of these houses had Shinto as its traditional house occupation, but within the court they had different specialties, and each house performed rituals on the basis of its own longstanding tradition. The Yoshida house actively propagated Yoshida Shintō and strove to extend its control over priests throughout Japan; in the second half of the Edo period, the Shirakawa developed their own Hakke Shinto in competition with the Yoshida. These two traditions then became the two dominating forces of the Shinto world.

-Okada Shōji
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
4-10-28 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-8440, Japan
URL http://21coe.kokugakuin.ac.jp/
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