- An independent new religion founded in the 19th century by Kawate, Bunjiro (18141883), a peasant from Okayama prefecture. During an illness Kawate had a mystical encounter with the much-feared Taoist deity Konjin in which the deity revealed his true benevolent nature. Subsequently Kawate referred to Konjin as Tenchi-no-kane-no-kami, 'golden kami of heaven and earth' or Konko Daijin 'great kami of golden light'. In 1859 Kawate revealed that the god had taken over his body and he was now Konko Daijin. He began to provide mediation (toritsugi) between the kami and human beings in a role which has since been occupied continuously by a kyoshu (spiritual head) chosen from the Kawate family. The movement, which has branch churches all over Japan and.some overseas, was given the status of a Shinto sect in 1900.See Kyoha Shinto.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.