- Priestly clan (from 1375; formerly the Urabe). Along with the Shirakawa clan, the Yoshida filled the post of Jingihaku for the Imperial household. Scholars and spokesmen such as Yoshida, Kanetomo and Yoshida, Kanemigi established their authority as experts in the history and status of shrines, initially in central Japan around Kyoto but eventually in all areas of Japan. Though their influence waned under criticism from Hirata, Atsutane and other kokugaku activists in the late eighteenth century the Yoshida were responsible up to 1868 for issuing licences and ranks to all shrines except the minority directly linked to the Imperial house which came under the control of the Shirakawa. Under their tutelage many local kami and folk-deities were given official recognition and lay people became increasingly involved in the communal management of shrines.
A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. Brian Bocking.