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Celebrity Gods: New Religions, Media, and Authority in Occupied Japan (Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture)

By Benjamin Dorman

Celebrity Gods explores the interplay of latest religions and the media in postwar Japan. It makes a speciality of the leaders and founders (kyōsō) of Jiu and Tenshō Kōtai Jingū Kyō, new religions of Japan’s fast postwar interval that got vast press cognizance. Jiu was once associated with the preferred prewar staff Ōmotokyō, and its actions have been according to the millennial visions of its chief, a lady known as Jikōson. while Jiu attracted the mythical sumo champion Futabayama to its reason, Jikōson and her actions grew to become a widely-covered reason célèbre within the press. Tenshō Kōtai Jingū Kyō (labeled odoru shūkyō, “the dancing religion,” by way of the click) used to be led via a farmer’s spouse, Kitamura Sayo. Her uncompromising imaginative and prescient and activities towards making a new society―one that was once a long way faraway from what she defined because the “maggot global” of postwar Japan―drew harsh and sometimes mocking feedback from the print media.

Looking again for precursors to the postwar courting of recent religions and media, Benjamin Dorman explores the numerous function that the japanese media normally performed in defining acceptable and applicable social habit, performing at occasions as mouthpieces for presidency and spiritual specialists. utilizing the situations of Renmonkyō within the Meiji period and Ōmotokyō within the Taishō and Shōwa eras, Dorman indicates how amassed pictures of recent religions in pre-1945 Japan grew to become absorbed into these of the rapid postwar interval. Given the inability of formal spiritual schooling in Japan, the media performed a tremendous function in transmitting notions of appropriate habit to the general public. He is going directly to represent the leaders of those teams as “celebrity gods,” demonstrating that the media, which have been in most cases untrained in non secular historical past or principles, selected to style them as “celebrities” whose antics deserved derision. whereas the prewar media had provided different kyōsō as the antithesis of respectable, ethical electorate who stood towards the goals of the country, postwar media studies offered them basically as not worthy for democratic society.

Celebrity Gods delves into an under-studied period of non secular background: the Allied career and the postwar interval as much as the early Fifties. it's a huge interdisciplinary paintings that considers kin among jap and profession bureaucracies and the teams in query, and makes use of basic resource files from career records and interviews with media staff and individuals of non secular teams. For observers of postwar Japan, this study presents a roadmap to assist comprehend concerns in relation to the Aum Shinrikyō affair of the 1990s.

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Shōriki proved to be an excellent writer and entrepreneur who used sensational information insurance and numerous gimmicks to spice up revenues. He had a tremendous influence on baseball in Japan and based the Yomiuri Giants, yet below his management the newspaper additionally prompted the fortunes of cross and sumo. pass Seigen received immense exposure via Shōriki’s help. His genius used to be extensively lauded within the print media and even supposing move was once no longer a countrywide hero of the stature 70 | star gods of the sumo nice Futabayama, who ultimately joined him in Jiu, he was once however a major determine whose presence in Jiu boosted the group’s information price.

On a trip to China in 1935, move joined Kōmanjikai Dōin. He was once attracted to its religious teachings and positioned nice religion within the oracles that shaped the foundation of its practices. In 1938 Ōta and Ōshima approached visit enlist his help in developing a brand new bankruptcy of Kōmanjikai Dōin in Japan. jointly they attempted to sign in the gang as a spiritual association, however the executive it seems that refused permission due to the fact a chinese language faith couldn't be brought to Japan. thirteen to not be defeated, they determined to shape a eastern help base for the gang.

The Bōchō Shinbun made no try and tackle Kitamura’s teachings yet fairly defined her as a madwoman. The articles centred extra on her refusal to put up the rice quota and willingness to inspire others to wreck the legislations besides. additionally they contained a few inaccuracies, comparable to the declare that it used to be Kitamura’s husband who truly refused at hand over the rice and that her item of religion was once Inari, the god of the harvest. On 22 could, a wide crew of supporters accumulated contained in the courthouse including different curious onlookers and contributors of the clicking celebrity within the m aggot global | one hundred seventy five to listen to the court’s choice.

243 Bibliography .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269 Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288 Acknowledgments This booklet begun with a dialogue in 1997 on the Nanzan Institute of faith and tradition with Robert Kisala, who advised an research of the career interval. via him i used to be capable of spend time on the collage of Tokyo less than the information of Shimazono Susumu, who used to be beneficiant along with his time and recommendation. He brought me to Tsushima Michihito of Kansei Gakuin collage and Fujii Takeshi of Tokyo Gakugei college, specialists in Jiu and Tenshō Kōtai Jingū Kyō respectively.

Not just did the Religions department locate that schooling Ministry bureaucrats confirmed a few resistance to the hot regulations, its officials have been additionally puzzled after they learned that representatives of proven spiritual teams that had lengthy been used to govt keep watch over and popularity indicated their wish for presidency involvement in non secular affairs. The fight over the japanese spiritual Affairs part printed major gaps among the understandings over the translation and management of faith lower than the hot “democratic” regime.

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