Fukuba, Bisei (or Yoshishizu)

Fukuba, Bisei (or Yoshishizu)
   A disciple of Okuni Takamasa, and one of the most significant Meiji-period national learning (kokugaku) leaders. In his own fief of Tsuwano in Western Japan he carried out an early dissociation of kami from Buddhism (shinbutsu bunri) in 1867 and after the Meiji restoration became an important administrator of Shinto affairs in the jingikan, which had been revived partly by his efforts. In the jingikan he opposed the 'Hirata' faction who wished to restrict the jingikan's activities to the conduct of imperial rites, arguing instead for the promulgation of a common creed which would unite the people. He was the principal architect of the taikyo senpu undo (great promulgation campaign) of 1870-1884 and actively trained priests to preach official doctrines, proselytise as 'national evangelists' (kyodo-shoku), form networks of shrines based on Ise jingu, conduct parishioner's funerals and carry out pastoral work. In 1897 his leading role in a badly mismanaged memorial ceremony in Tokyo for the last pre-Meiji emperor Komei contributed to public and government scepticism about the reliability of Shinto priests in public affairs.

A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. .

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