- Watarai Shinto
- or Ise shinto, Geku shinto. The form of Shinto developed by Watarai, Ieyuki and his successors which gave prominence to the outer shrine (geku) of Toyo-uke traditionally served by the Watarai clan. Developing ideas from Shingon esoteric Buddhism and onmyo-do (yin and yang), Watarai Shinto adapted shrine-priest purification rituals (harae) to make them available to ordinary individuals. In doing so they identified the various kami at Ise as the essential source of individual purification or 'original enlightenment' (the Buddhist notion of hongaku). Consequently, a pilgrimage to Ise or participation in rituals associated with Ise organised by oshi became a means of self-purification and progress towards enlightenment. In the seventeenth century Watarai shinto was revived in a Confucian (shushi) idiom appropriate to the age by Deguchi (Watarai), Nobuyoshi. The kami were now equated with ri (the cosmic inner and outer principle which supports the ordered society) rather than Buddhist enlightenment, so a pilgrimage to Ise meant a closer union of one's own inner nature with ri. In the mid-eighteenth century the combination of anti-Confucian tendencies, kokugaku ideas which emphasised the primacy of the inner shrine as a focus for imperial devotion rather than commoners' pilgrimage, and scholarly doubts about the authenticity of the shinto gobusho, all contributed to the decline of Watarai Shinto.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.