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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Modern Sectarian Groups
Tenshindō Kyōdan
A Shinto-derived new religion with strong eclectic tendencies, founded by Tamura Reishō (1890-1968). While working in the office of the Governor-General of Korea, Reishō studied the Daoistic magical arts transmitted in Korea since ancient times. It is said that after returning to Japan in 1917, Tamura for a time became a member of the Christian-derived new religion Dōkai which had been founded by Matsumura Kaiseki (1859-1939). From the latter part of the Taisho era (i.e. early 1920s on), he began to perform spiritual healing through the practice of tekazashi (holding up one's hand to perform spiritual purification) and in 1927, established the Reidō Ryōhō Kenkyūjo ("Institute for Spirit-Movement Healing") which in 1932 became Tenshinkai and in 1935 Tenshindō.
       From around this time the movement gained strength as famous individuals from various walks of life were associated with the group. It also proved successful in developing and selling health-related goods, and together these led to increasing activity as the group published periodicals and constructed various facilities. Under the provisions of the prewar Religious Organizations Law (Shūkyō Dantaihō), it was registered as a "religious association" (shūkyō kessha).
       During the war it of necessity had to cease publishing its periodicals and stop holding meetings, but in 1947 it was registered as a religious corporation under the Religious Corporations Ordinance (Shūkyō Hōjinrei) and also began expanding its religious facilities from that year. In 1953 it registered under the Religious Corporations Law (Shūkyō Hōjinhō).
       In 1968 Tamura Reishō died, and for a time his grandson Motoki served as his successor. In 1970 his eldest son's wife Shunshō (1920-) became the movement's spiritual leader (dōshu) and took over guidance of the followers, but in 1991 she gave up this role. At present Teruko, the wife of Reishō's third son, is the group's spiritual leader.
       Headquarters: Tokyo
       Nominal membership: approximately 2,000 (M)

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