A New History of Shinto

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This accessible guide to the development of Japan’s indigenous religion from ancient times to the present day offers an illuminating introduction to the myths, sites and rituals of kami worship, and their role in Shinto’s enduring religious identity.
  • Offers a unique new approach to Shinto history that combines critical analysis with original research
  • Examines key evolutionary moments in the long history of Shinto, including the Meiji Revolution of 1868, and provides the first critical history in English or Japanese of the Hie shrine, one of the most important in all Japan
  • Traces the development of various shrines, myths, and rituals through history as uniquely diverse phenomena, exploring how and when they merged into the modern notion of Shinto that exists in Japan today
  • Challenges the historic stereotype of Shinto as the unchanging, all-defining core of Japanese culture
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About the author

John Breen is Reader in Japanese at SOAS (University of London) and Associate Professor at the International Research Centre for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, where he edits the journal Japan Review. His publications include Yasukuni, the War Dead and the Struggle for Japan’s Past (edited, 2008), Inoue Nobutaka, Shintō: A Short History (translated and adapted with Mark Teeuwen, 2002), Shintō in History: Ways of the Kami (edited with Mark Teeuwen, 2000), and Japan and Christianity: Impacts and Responses, (edited with Mark Williams, 1996).

Mark Teeuwen is Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Oslo. As well as the books authored and edited with John Breen, he is co-editor of Buddhas and Kami in Japan: Honji Suijaku as a Combinatory Paradigm (with Fabio Rambelli, 2003) and The Culture of Secrecy in Japanese Religion (with Bernhard Scheid, 2006).

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Additional Information

Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Sep 13, 2011
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Pages
280
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ISBN
9781444357684
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Eastern
Religion / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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For updates online, visit the Nanzan Guide site at Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and Culture.

The Nanzan Guide to Japanese Religions combines, for the first time in any language, state-of-the-field theoretical and critical discussions with concrete resources students and scholars need to conduct research on Japanese religions. Even seasoned scholars typically approach their research in an unsystematic manner, becoming familiar with a particular area of inquiry while remaining largely unaware of what exists in the rest of the field. This inefficient method hinders particularly less-experienced researchers and circumscribes their lines of inquiry. The Nanzan Guide provides both beginners and specialists with a reference that will serve as a basic introduction to Japanese religions and allow them to conduct research more proficiently and in greater depth.

Overlapping and thought-provoking chapters, written by leading specialists, offer a variety of perspectives on the complicated and multifaceted field of Japanese religions. The essays are divided into four sections: religious traditions (Japanese religions in general, Shinto, Buddhism, folk religion, new religions, Christianity); the history of Japanese religions (ancient, classical, medieval, early modern, modern, contemporary); major themes (symbolism, ritual and the arts, literature and scripture, state and religion, geography and environment, intellectual history, gender); and practical essays (finding references and using libraries, working with archive collections, conducting fieldwork). A chronology of religion in Japanese history is also provided.

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