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Japan's Ignored Cultural Revolution the Separation of Shinto and Buddhist Divinities in Meiji ( Shimbutsu Bunri) and a Case Study Tonomine - Grapard

Japan's Ignored Cultural Revolution the Separation of Shinto and Buddhist Divinities in Meiji ( Shimbutsu Bunri) and a Case Study Tonomine - Grapard

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Japan's Ignored Cultural Revolution: The Separation of Shinto and Buddhist Divinities in Meiji("Shimbutsu Bunri") and a Case Study: TōnomineAuthor(s): Allan G. GrapardSource:
History of Religions,
Vol. 23, No. 3 (Feb., 1984), pp. 240-265Published by:
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Accessed: 08/12/2010 10:14
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Allan G.GrapardJAPAN'SIGNOREDCULTURAL REVOLUTION:THE SEPARATIONOFSHINTOANDBUDDHISTDIVINITIESIN MEIJI(shimbutsubunri)ANDACASE STUDY: TONOMINEIn1868,theJapanese governmentissued decreesorderingthe dis-sociationof Shinto and Buddhistdivinities(shimbutsubunri),causingaseriesof eventssometimesaccompaniedbywhatisknownasthesuppressionof Buddhism(haibutsu kishaku).W. G.Beasley,in hislongstudyof theMeijiRestoration,doesnot even mentionthesephenomenaandgoessofar asgenerouslytograntaboutfourlines ofthe bookto thesubjectof Shinto.' What ismore,generalworksonthehistoryof theJapanese religionshardlypresenttheseevents,asiftheyhadbeenof littlesignificanceinthe overallpictureofMeijior ofreligionsingeneralandtherefore didnot deservescrutiny.The
Thisstudyispartofaninvestigationof theKasugacult,whichIhavebeenconductinginJapanin 1981-82 undertheauspicesof the Social ScienceResearchCouncil.IW. G.Beasley,TheMeijiRestoration(Stanford,Calif.: StanfordUniversityPress,1972).
?1984byTheUniversityofChicago.Allrightsreserved.0018-2710/84/2303-0003$01.00
 
History ofReligionssubjecthasbeentreatedby onlya fewJapanesescholars in thepasttenyears,and much workremainstobe done.2When onereflects onit,theattitudeon thepartof most ofthesescholars isonlynatural,for it isbasedonatotalignoranceoftheextentto which Shintoand Buddhisminteractedover thecenturies.Had historians ofreligionsrecognizedandproperlyevaluated theseinteractions,theywould nothave failedto seethe events of theyearssurroundingtheMeijiRestorationassomethingelse thana "restora-tion"precisely,butassomethingmore akintoa cultural revolutionofsurprising magnitudeand offar-reachingrootsandconsequences.Thisintroduction willattempttoestablishaperspectiveontheculturaldiscourseexpressedbyShinto-Buddhist interactions overthecenturies,inordertoevidencetheimpactoftheMeiji changesandtheirscope.ItwillsuggestthatJapanesereligiositywasintricatelyconnected to thatdiscourse-ifnotbeingthediscourseitself-andthatthereforeany ruptureinit,suchastheMeiji"dissociations,"causeddrasticshiftsinreligiousattitudes,without theknowledgeofwhich,pastandcontemporary Japanese religiositycannotbeade-quatelyinterpreted.ThenwewillproposeadetailedaccountofwhathappenedinMeijiattheshrine-templemultiplexofTonomine,dedicated to the first oftheFujiwara,Katamari. Wehopethatin thisprocessa number ofrelevantquestionsconcerningShinto-Buddhistinteractionsand theirfateinMeijiwillbe askedand that ourremarks willindicatethepressingneedforfurtherstudiesofaninterdisciplinarycharacter.Forreasons that willbecome clearas weprogress,wewill usetheterm"dissociation"ratherthan the term"separation"totranslatetheJapanesetermbunri;wewillalsobreakwithhabit inrenderingshimbutsubytheterms"ShintoandBuddhist divinities"ratherthanby"ShintoandBuddhism"andthisbecauseShintodivinitiesare notalwaysthe sameasShintoas areligioussystem.Wewillreturntothesequestionslater.Now,if theMeijiideologuesneededtodissociateShintodivinitiesfromBuddhistdivinities,itwasprobablybecause thesedivinitieshadbeenassociated.However,readingcontemporaryscholarshipintheWestwouldgivefewcluesastothe natureand extentoftheseassociations,forthesimplebutmostfrighteningreasonthat mostscholarshavebeen,orstillare,under theinfluence oftheMeiji
2
Muchofthefactualinformationcontainedin thisarticle is takenfrom:YasumaruYoshio,KamigaminoMeijiishin(Tokyo:Iwanamishinsho,1979);and fromTama-muroFumio,Shimbutsuhunri(Tokyo: Ky6ikusha,1977).
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