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The Shinto Cultivation Program as seen in Shaji Torishirabe Ruisan
The volume Shaji Torishirabe Ruisan [A Compilation of Documents of the Religious Reform in the Meiji Period] is a valuable historical document providing insight into the religious administration of the early Meiji government during the days of its Kyōbushō, or Ministry of Religion (1873-1878). This document records the questions, concerns, opinions, and reports of regional administrators and people interested in religion, as well as the official responses and directives of the ministry. Highlights of this volume include the section relating to the ministrys Shinto cultivation program (Shintō kyōka) which provides a glimpse into the actual state of affairs at the time. The ministry had established a central headquarters for the Shinto cultivation program (taikyōin), and most prefectures established similar headquarters to organize activities at the prefectural level. There were also plans to create local headquarters at every shrine and temple, but by December 1874 after some 227 had been established, there were great doubts about their effectiveness. In shrines and localities in which zealous leadership emerged, there were instances of public discourses attracting audiences numbering in the thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands. The section on shrine Shinto and sect-based Shinto (kyōha Shintō) in this historical document is reprinted in the Shintōkyōka chapter of Shaji Torishirabe Ruisan (Institute of Japanese Culture and Classics, Kokugakuin University, ed.).
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