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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Modern Sectarian Groups
Shinji Shūmeikai
A Shinto-derived new religion strongly influenced by Sekai Kyūseikyō. Its founder, Koyama Mihoko (1910-), received Sekai Kyūseikyō's ritual of jōrei (spiritual healing and purification) while giving birth in 1940, and became a devotee of the movement the following year. She engaged actively in proselytizing activities, using her house as a religious center for the movement. Even after the death of Sekai Kyūseikyō's founder Okada Mokichi (1882-1955), Koyama continued to serve as a committee member in the movement and as a head of its proselytization office.
       She appears to have gradually developed doubts about the way the movement was conducting its activities, however, and taking the opportunity of the movement's drive towards the centralization of power known as the "ichigenka," she left and became independent in 1970. At the time, Koyama's church had 18,000 members and represented one of the very largest congregations in the movement. As a doctrinal ideal, Shinji Shūmeikai retains the invocation of Okada Mokichi to "eliminate illness, poverty and war, and construct a paradise on earth," and it seeks to revive the fundamentals of Mokichi's teaching, calling him its "spiritual leader" (meishu) and referring to Koyama as its "organizational leader" (kaishu). Moreover, it carries out spiritual purification in the same way as Sekai Kyūseikyō, by tekazashi (raising the hand and emitting spiritual light), which is claimed to have the effect of purifying spirits, and alleviating illness, suffering, and other afflictions.
       In 1983 the group completed the construction of a founder's hall in its 100,000m² grounds called Misono (lit., "garden of the kami") located at Shigaraki-chō in Shiga Prefecture. The group believes that the spring water found at Misono produces miraculous healings in the same way as the practice of jōrei (spiritual purification). It is active in proselytizing activities, conducting campaigns outside major railway stations in which groups of university-age members approach passersby and offer to purify them using jōrei. The group has also engaged in mission activities in Hong Kong and the United States.
       Headquarters: Shiga Prefecture
       Nominal membership: approximately 440,000 (S)

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