Download Celebrity Gods: New Religions, Media, and Authority in by Benjamin Dorman PDF

By Benjamin Dorman

Star Gods explores the interplay of recent religions and the media in postwar Japan. It specializes in the leaders and founders (kyōsō) of Jiu and Tenshō Kōtai Jingū Kyō, new religions of Japan's instant postwar interval that bought large press realization. Jiu was once associated with the preferred prewar team Ōmotokyō, and its actions have been in response to the millennial visions of its chief, a girl known as Jikōson. whilst Jiu attracted the mythical sumo champion Futabayama to its reason, Jikōson and her actions turned a widely-covered reason célèbre within the press. Tenshō Kōtai Jingū Kyō (labeled odoru shūkyō, "the dancing religion," by means of the clicking) 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 used to be some distance faraway from what she defined because the "maggot world" of postwar Japan--drew harsh and sometimes mocking feedback from the print media. on reflection 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 instances as mouthpieces for presidency and spiritual experts. utilizing the circumstances of Renmonkyō within the Meiji period and Ōmotokyō within the Taishō and Shōwa eras, Dorman exhibits how collected photos of recent religions in pre-1945 Japan turned absorbed into these of the speedy postwar interval. Given the shortcoming of formal non secular schooling in Japan, the media performed a big 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, that have been commonly untrained in non secular background or principles, selected to style them as "celebrities" whose antics deserved derision. whereas the prewar media had awarded different kyōsō because the antithesis of good, ethical voters who stood against the goals of the country, postwar media studies provided them basically as undeserving for democratic society. big name Gods delves into an under-studied period of non secular historical past: the Allied profession and the postwar interval as much as the early Fifties. it truly is a major interdisciplinary paintings that considers kinfolk among eastern and career bureaucracies and the teams in query, and makes use of basic resource files from career data and interviews with media staff and participants of spiritual teams. For observers of postwar Japan, this study presents a roadmap to aid comprehend matters on the subject of the Aum Shinrikyō affair of the Nineteen Nineties.

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

Sample text

Japanese bureaucrats devised a statement that contained the ethical injunctions they considered the basis of Japanese society. Certified copies of the rescript were distributed to schools throughout the country and ceremoniously read at all important school events. Students were required to study and 28 | celebrity gods memorize its text for their moral education classes. 11 Under the system introduced by the government, new groups that appeared either became a sub-sect of one of the thirteen groups or existed as semi-religious organizations (shūkyō ruiji dantai) or as suspect, quasi-religious organizations (giji shūkyō dantai).

Given that Buddhism had only begun to recover from an intense period of persecution and was in the process of redefining itself, this clarification of the dangers and “heresy” represented by Renmonkyō was linked to Buddhism’s sense of identity in the new social landscape. 56 Its editorial series added further pressure on the authorities by arguing that if 40 | celebrity gods a religion interfered with the nation’s existence the government was bound to dissolve it under the authority of the Home Ministry.

Ethics taught in schools was conducted through using the vocabulary of Confucian morality, which emphasized the importance of fostering love for the nation and respect for renmonkyō and the meiji press | 43 the emperor. Terminology that derived from Confucian discourses on religion and morality, in which any practice not subservient to the state or “rational” Confucian interests was employed by bureaucrats and also the media. These terms reflected broader social and official attitudes and Yorozu Chōhō used it to great effect to describe Renmonkyō.

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