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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Modern Sectarian Groups
Shintō Shinkyō
A Shinto-derived new religion founded by Unigame Ito (1876-1976). Born in Kanzaki district of Hyogo Prefecture, Unigame was devoted from an early age to venerating the kami. Since the family into which she married was affiliated with the Buddhist True Pure Land sect (Jōdō Shinshū), she carried on her veneration of the kami on her own. In 1914 she experienced spirit possession (kamigakari) as the result of which she began to assert the need for tatekae tatenaoshi—"reconstructing and rebuilding the world anew."
       Unigame thereafter assumed the role of the womb or nashiro (Lit., "seed bed") of the deity, implying that she was a living shrine of the kami. From the Taisho (1912-26) to the early Showa (1926-1945) eras, Unigame traveled throughout the country praying for a solution to the dangers then facing the nation. In due course the number of her followers increased, and in 1940 the movement was registered under the Religious Organizations Law (Shūkyō Dantaihō) as a religious association. Following the end of World War II, her group registered as a religious organization under the Religious Corporations Ordinance (Shūkyō Hōjinrei) in 1947, and in 1953 as a religious legal person under the Religious Corporations Law (Shūkyō Hōjinhō).
       In 1976, Unigame died at the age of 100, but her son Unigame Takatsugu had already been serving since 1947 as the second leader of the movement. Its main focus of worship is Tenchi Oyagami ("parent god of heaven and earth"). While Unigame's teachings are said to be based on direct revelations from this deity, they demonstrate clear influences from Ōmoto and Tenrikyō.
       Headquarters: Hyogo Prefecture
       Nominal membership: approximately 7,800

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