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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Personalities
Oka Kumaomi
Scholar of National Learning (kokugaku) and Shinto priest of the late Edo period. Born on the ninth day of the third month of 1783 in the village of Kibemura, Kanoashi District in the province of Iwami (present-day Shimane Prefecture). Kumaomi was the illegitimate child of Oka Tadahide, a member of the priesthood at the shrine Tomitakeyama Hachimangū. Because his father was an admirer of Motoori Norinaga (1730-1801), Oka's education from childhood was based in Shinto. In 1807 he became a student of Norinaga's disciple Senge Toshizane (1764-1831), under whom he studied kokugaku, and from 1808 he spent one year studying in Edo. During this time he became a student of Murata Harukado (1765-1836), having been introduced by Ōkuni Takamasa (1792-1871). He also became devoted to the teachings of Hirata Atsutane (1776-1843), whose teachings had a strong impact on him, though he never became Hirata's disciple. In 1811, Kumaomi fomented a movement in the domain of Tsuwano (western Shimane) calling for the revival of Shinto funeral ceremonies (shinsōsai), and after thirty years of activity, he received official sanction for the services in 1848.
        In 1816 Oka opened a private academy called the Ōinkan and worked to promulgate Shinto spirituality, and in 1849 he was called upon to take the post of kokugaku instructor at a newly established domainal institute called the Hanō Yōrōkan; through education and the practical application of such nativist ideals, he laid the foundation for a distinctive Tsuwano school of Shinto thought. Kumaomi died on the sixth day of the eighth month of 1851 at the age of sixty-nine. His works include of Heisei shinsho, Sendai no kodō, Sandaikō no tsuikō, Rei no utsubari, Senze no jūsho, Doku inshi kō, Doku inshi ron, Ōsha kashū and Nihon shoki shiden, among others.

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