Saijin ronso

Saijin ronso
   'Pantheon dispute'. The dispute arose from a proposal by Senge, Takatomi (1845-1918) chief priest of the Izumo taisha that the main kami of Izumo, O-kuni-nushi-no-mikoto should be added as Lord of the Underworld to the 'official' pantheon of Amaterasu and the three deities of creation (zoka no kami) who were the focus of worship of the great promulgation campaign (taikyo senpu undo). By 1875 the priests of the Ise jingu had gained control of the campaign, so the Izumo proposal challenged their position. The dispute spread throughout the country and shrine priests and preachers were forced to take sides. The dispute was submitted to the imperial household but no decision about the pantheon was made. Instead shrine priests above a certain rank were forbidden to become national evangelists (kyodo-shoku) and therefore could not teach parishioners or, most importantly, perform funerals. This ruling meant that priests did not have to state whether the deity of Izumo was or was not part of the official pantheon. The prohibition on taking funerals undermined the relationships which had been built up between parishioners and shrines during the taikyo senpu undo campaign, and provoked a number of major evangelists to secede and form sects of their own, many of which became kyoha shinto sects in due course. The dispute demonstrated the fragility of Shinto doctrine and led eventually to the establishment of theological institutions including Kogakkan university. More significantly the dispute turned priests (and government) away from the very idea of a great promulgation campaign involving doctrines and pastoral work of the kind backed by the Okuni/Fukuba line and shifted their loyalties to the Hirata style of kokugaku which emphasised the elite ritual and liturgical (non-doctrinal) role of shrine priests.

A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. .

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  • Inaba, Masakuni — (1834 1898)    A former daimyo and member of the Meiji government who followed Hirata, Atsutane s interpretation of kokugaku. He was influential in Shinto affairs but resigned from the government after the debacle of the pantheon dispute (saijin… …   A Popular Dictionary of Shinto

  • Kogakkan University —     Imperial Learning Hall University . One of the two large Shinto universities responsible for the training of priests, (the other is Kokugakuin). It was established in 1882 under the name of Jingu Kogakukan (or Kogakkan) near the Ise jingu as… …   A Popular Dictionary of Shinto

  • 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,… …   A Popular Dictionary of Shinto

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