Download A New History of Shinto (Blackwell Brief Histories of by John Breen PDF

By John Breen

ISBN-10: 1405155167

ISBN-13: 9781405155168

This obtainable advisor to the advance of Japan’s indigenous faith from precedent days to the current day deals an illuminating advent to the myths, websites and rituals of kami worship, and their position in Shinto’s enduring non secular identity.Offers a special new method of Shinto background that mixes severe research with unique researchExamines key evolutionary moments within the lengthy heritage of Shinto, together with the Meiji Revolution of 1868, and gives the 1st serious historical past  in English or eastern of the Hie shrine, some of the most vital in all JapanTraces the advance of varied shrines, myths, and rituals via background as uniquely various phenomena, exploring how and once they merged into the trendy suggestion of Shinto that exists in Japan todayChallenges the old stereotype of Shinto because the unchanging, all-defining middle of eastern tradition

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Extra resources for A New History of Shinto (Blackwell Brief Histories of Religion)

Example text

Yet it is striking that the actual ceremony, as it was recorded in historical times, moved away from such an exclusive focus on rice. In the sources there are almost no traces of a distribution of rice ears. The earliest source that gives any details on the ritual, Engi shiki lists an enormous variety of “offerings” (heihaku) to be distributed at kinensai, ranging from different kinds of cloth (silk, hemp, bark-cloth, “common cloth”) to weapons (shields, spearheads, bows, quivers) and such foodstuffs as sake, dried abalone, bonito, and deer meat; rice is conspicuously absent from the list.

Buddhism had the capacity to undermine the legitimacy of lineage prerogatives by including specific deities in general categories of beings that were ultimately subject to the power of the Dharma. The potential threat posed by this property of Buddhism became clear in the 760s, when Empress Sho¯toku (r. 764–70) came close to handing the throne to the Buddhist monk Do¯kyo¯ (d. 772). After her death, the court took drastic measures to strengthen the ritual foundations of lineage rule. During his years in power, Do¯kyo¯ had built a shrine temple at Ise, symbolizing Buddhist supremacy even over the imperial sun cult.

At the end of the ceremony, the hafuri were instructed to “humbly receive these offerings … bear them up and present them [to the gods]” (Bock 1972: 70). In contrast to provincial governors, these hafuri were hardly part of the political elite. To most listed shrines the court assigned socalled “kami households” (kanbe), households whose tax payments and corvée duties were reserved for the running of those shrines. Hafuri were chosen from among these households, and they performed duties directly connected with the worship of the kami.

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