- Kurozumi, Munetada
- (1780-1850)The founder of the Edo period independent new religion which became the Shinto sect Kurozumi-kyo. His father was a Shinto priest. Kurozumi developed a Neo-Confucian-style aspiration to 'become a kami', experiencing much illness and misfortune in his early life including the sudden death of both his parents in an epidemic when he was 32. He fell critically ill and in 1814 had a mystical experience in which the sun as a divinity entered his body. He identified the sun-deity as Tensho-kotai-jin, i.e. Amaterasu-o-mi-kami and taught that she was the universal creator and parent god and that each living thing is a bunshin or wake-mitama (part-soul) of the divine. He made no connection between Amaterasu and the imperial lineage. From this time onwards Kurozumi preached healing through prayer and devotion to the creator-deity Amaterasu and the realisation of the essential unity of kami and human being through purification of the heart, attracting a large following through faith-healing. He emphasised also the traditional Edo Confucian virtues of decency, frugality and sincerity which attracted influential samurai followers. He practised religious exercises including a thousand-day retreat within the shrine and gained official recognition when he healed the former daimyo Ikeda, Narimasa. In 1843 Kurozumi resigned his hereditary position as a priest. His collected writings form the sacred scriptures of Kurozumi-kyo.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.