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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Personalities
Senge Takatomi
(1845-1918)
Religious practitioner and politician of the Meiji and Taisho eras. Avowed eightieth-generation descendent of the "divine" governor-kami of Izumo (Izumo kokusō); chief priest (gūji) at the shrine Izumo Taisha; and first leader of the Shinto sect Izumo Ōyashirokyō.
        Senge Takatomi was born on the sixth day of the eighth month of 1845, son and heir of the seventy-ninth Izumo kokusō, Senge Takazumi, in the Kizuki-no-ōyashiro (now, Izumo Taisha) governor's mansion in present-day Shimane Prefecture. Takatomi became the Chief Priest (gūji) at the shrine Izumo Taisha in the first month of 1872, and in the fourth month of the same year was appointed Provisional Junior Prefect of Instruction (gon-shōkyōsei) in the Shinto Office of Preceptors kyōdōshoku (part of the government-sponsored Great Promulgation Campaign; see taikyō senpu), making him a central Shinto figure of the Meiji era.
        In January of 1873, he organized a confraternity called the Izumo Taisha Keishinkō, which later served as the basis of the Shinto sect Izumo Ōyashirokyō. From around 1875 the Shinto world was divided by the saijin ronsō conflict (the "pantheon dispute,") with the Grand Shrines of Ise and Izumo deadlocked in bitter opposition over the deities to be enshrined in the Shinto Office (see Shintō Jimukyoku). Takatomi, as an active advisor to the Izumo faction, stood opposed to Ise faction leaders like Tanaka Yoritsune. Amidst the administrative strife within the Office of Preceptors in January 1882, Takatomi's sense that there was an urgent need to propagate Shinto led him to resign his office as chief priest at Izumo Taisha and establish the new independent sect Shintō Taisha-ha (present-day Izumo Ōyashirokyō), thus becoming its first Superintendent.
        In July 1884, he received the court rank of Baron (danshaku) and became active in politics beginning in 1888, serving subsequently in the posts of Councilor (gikan) of the Genrōin, Member of the House of Peers, Governor of Saitama and Shizuoka Prefectures and Metropolitan Tokyo, and Justice Minister. Senge died January 3, 1918, at the age of seventy-four. He was given the upper second court rank. His works include Daidō yōgi (Guide to the Great Way), Kyōshi taiyō (Principle Teachings), Kuni no mihashira (The True Pillar of the Nation) and Izumo Taisha, among many other works.

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