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In Search of the WayThought and Religion in Early—Modern Japan, 1582-1860$
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Richard Bowring

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198795230

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198795230.001.0001

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The Way of the Kami

The Way of the Kami

Chapter:
(p.88) 6 The Way of the Kami
Source:
In Search of the Way
Author(s):

Richard Bowring

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198795230.003.0006

This chapter deals with the politics of religion in the early years of the Tokugawa period. It does so by taking up two very different examples, one in the domain of Mito and the other in the Okayama domain. In the former, Buddhist temples were rationalized in order to save both money and space and we see the first attempts to clarify the distinction between Buddhism and Shintō, which had up to that point been inextricably intertwined. This process went much further in Okayama, although in neither case was the attempt really successful. The main aim of the chapter, however, is to analyse the unusual phenomenon of arguments in favour of a synthesis between Shintō and Confucianism. This had already begun with the work of Hayashi Razan but was further developed by Yamazaki Ansai, whose influence proved to be crucial and long-lasting.

Keywords:   Tokugawa Shintō, Yamazaki Ansai, Kaibara Ekiken, Shintō–Confucian synthesis, Mito domain, Okayama domain

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