- Okuni, Takamasa
- (1792-1871)A kokugaku scholar who took a leading role in the administration of shrine affairs in the aftermath of the Meiji restoration. He was a well-educated samurai from the domain of Tsuwano (Shimane) who studied kokugaku with Hirata, Atsutane. He subsequently developed his own ethical-religious teaching called honkyo (fundamental teaching) which revered Amaterasu and promoted the idea of diligent pursuit of one's allotted calling. He was concerned to develop a strong nationally organised religion which could accommodate and thereby counter the influence of Western Christianity, a tradition which fascinated and alarmed him and on which he wrote in 1868 a work entitled 'My views on the religion of the lord of heaven'. Although Okuni exerted considerable influence as a central shrine administrator in the early years of Meiji, he was unable to succeed in his goal of spreading Shinto through the 'great teaching' campaign (taikyo senpu undo) and after the pantheon dispute (saijin ronso) his interpretation of Shinto as a tradition which would provide a doctrinal and pastoral framework for the life of ordinary people lost ground to the 'Hirata' faction's emphasis on the priests' conduct of imperial state rites focusing on the Ise jingu.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.