國學院大學
國學院大學デジタルミュージアム

Encyclopedia of Shinto

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カテゴリー1 1. General Introduction
カテゴリー2 History of Shrines and Shinto
Title
Text When compared with the ancient period, the history of Shinto in the medieval period underwent a variety of changes. It is possible to identify the origins of medieval Shinto thought and institutions as far back as the mid-Heian period, with the result that for purposes of explanation it is necessary to begin with the tenth century.

The Ritual System
The shrine institutions characteristic of the Kamakura and Muromachi periods begin with the formation of the mid-Heian period system of tribute to twenty-two designated shrines (nijūnisha). This system was founded on sixteen shrines in the capital and nearby Yamato regions, including Ise, Iwashimizu, and Kamo, to which were added six other shrines, namely, those of Kitano, Yoshida, Hirota, Umemiya, Gion, and Hie. Members of the court close to the emperor acted as his envoys to pay tribute at these shrines in prayers for rain (kiu), prayers for good weather, prayers for good harvest and other occasions of national concern. In the time of Taira Kiyomori (1118-1181) near the end of the Heian period, discussions were held regarding whether to add the Itsukushima shrine in Aki Province, but the number of shrines did not change, and the system lasted through the end of the Muromachi period. In addition, based on government sponsorship of the ujigami rites of the emperor’s maternal relatives, the observance of certain shrine festivals became fixed within the annual calendar of court nobles, and these continued until the end of the medieval period and included the involvement of official bodies. Apart from those rites typical of Shinto under the ancient Ritsuryō system, a set of rites developed through the medieval period which included imperial envoy festivals.
     In addition, the observance of "extraordinary festivals" (rinjisai) at such shrines as Kamo, Iwashimizu, Hirano, and Gion serve as a noteworthy form of direct imperial participation in rites and those rites the status of those rights was further enhanced by imperial pilgrimages. Although they were court rituals, these became newly established objects of private devotion as observances held "at imperial request." The extraordinary rites continued to be observed through the medieval period as annual events, but the practice of pilgrimages by reigning emperors continued only to the Kamakura period; the last was observed by Emperor Godaigo (r. 1318-1339), after which imperial pilgrimages were undertaken by retired emperors. The imperial pilgrimage to the Kamo Shrine, however, was revived during the Bunkyū era (1861-1863) in the closing days of the early modern period.
     In the provinces, a hierarchy of shrines was established by designating certain shrines as ichinomiya (first shrine), ninomiya (second shrine), and so forth. The ichinomiya was regarded as the tutelary shrine for the entire province, and similar importance was paid to sōja ("joint shrine"), shrines established near the provincial seat where all the kami of the province could be venerated at a single locale. The local "provincial seat festivals" typified by observances at sōja and ichinomiya provided spiritual support for the residential bureaucrats and local provincial ruling class, and frequently featured dedicatory events such as yabusame (horseback archery), hitotsumono (shrine processions featuring children on horseback), tōtsura (a race involving ten horses), and kurabeuma (another form of horse race). Such rites continued to be performed into the Kamakura period, and in some cases served a dual role as military training. Because the Kamakura shogunate set its sights on absorbing the functions of the former provincial governors, it attached great importance to shrine administration, and jurisdiction of the ichinomiya shifted from the earlier provincial governors to local provincial lords installed by the shogunate called "protectors" or shugo. The shrines continued to receive special veneration and protection by the shugo daimyō of the Muromachi period, and then by the warlords of the subsequent period of warring provinces (sengoku). This ritual system of center and periphery that developed through the Kamakura and Muromachi periods was based on the ritual institutions of the Heian period that came into being with the weakening of the ancient Ritsuryō system. As reflected in Entairyaku, even up to the beginning of the Muromachi period, the court’s position was that the rites conducted by provincial administrations at provincial seats constituted elements of the system of court religious observance that had merely been entrusted to the several provinces by the court, and were thus considered to be within a single overarching system of ritual.

Religious Institutions and Practices of the Kamakura Shogunate
The Kamakura shogunate began with Minamoto Yoritomo’s (1147-1199) establishment of a military government in Kamakura. Situated at the end of the Wakamiya Ōji—the central avenue of the military and political capital of Kamakura—the shrine Tsurugaoka Hachiman served as the "clan deity" (ujigami) of the Minamoto and the tutelary deity of the military government. Participation in such rituals as hōjōe (release of captive animals) and yabusame (horseback archery) were made duties of the Minamoto’s Kantō-region vassals. When these vassals were awarded a fief in another part of the country, they frequently enshrined Hachiman as the protective deity of their fief and estates. The shogunate accorded much respect to the ichinomiya of each province and regarded the Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine as the tutelary of all the ichinomiya. Yoritomo also showed great respect for the Grand Shrines of Ise (Ise Jingū), and dedicated estates to it called mikuriya, an act that stimulated the growth of the Ise cult widely in the Tōkaidō region (the main highway along the eastern seaboard). This development was also facilitated by the activity of lower-ranking "provisional suppliant priests" (gonnegi) of Ise, who became active in the role of conveying spiritual entreaties (kitō) to the Ise deities and thus were instrumental in stimulating the later medieval popularity of the Ise cult. Moreover, New Years visits to the two shrines Izusan Gongen (see gongen shinkō ) and Hakone Gongen, together with pilgrimages to the Mishima Shrine (now Mishima Taisha), had significance as military demonstrations. Yoritomo’s expressions of religious faith possessed an element of highly political intent, but on the other hand, the invocations he dedicated to the Grand Shrines of Ise showed an attitude of great respect and awe toward the kami, and serve well to reveal his character.
     The period preceding the Jōkyū Rebellion of 1221 was an insecure one of repeated battles for control of the shogunate, but with the appearance of regent (shikken) Hōjō Yasutoki stability was restored as reasoned judgments came to be respected. In 1232 the basic Kamakura shogunate legal code, Goseibai shikimoku, was adopted, with a first article calling for shrines to be maintained in good repair and for rites to be carried out faithfully. It also described the relation between kami and human beings in the words, "kami increase in majesty through human worship, and humans attain good fortune through the power of the kami." After the Jōkyū Rebellion, the vassals acquired lands in the west and thus came to have control over fiefs around the country, where they were bound by an article instructing them to "not be negligent in observances" at shrines on their estate lands.
     In fact, however, while Goseibai shikimoku was committed to writing in the Kamakura period, the sentiments expressed are believed to have been in continuous operation since the ancient period. The medieval document was not introducing something new, but instead reconfirming the principle recognized since the ancient period that the divine majesty is enhanced by the assiduous upkeep of shrines and performance of rituals, while good human fortune is likewise vouchsafed by receipt of spiritual and divine power (shintoku). Spelling it out in such plain terms, however, had a mutually affirming effect. The second article noted that "although (Buddhist) temples and (Shinto) shrines are different, the reverence due them is the same." In other words, while a difference was recognized between the two kinds of religious institutions, we do not see much difference in the religious lives of vassals as regards attitudes toward shrines versus temples.
     In the late Kamakura period, the virtues of honesty, purity, and mercy were emphasized and influenced the formation of Ise Shintō and the cult of "oracles of the three shrines"(sanja takusen). That Hachiman dwells within the honest person, and not at Usa or Iwashimizu, is a sentiment found in Hachiman gudōkun and Tōdaiji Hachiman genki, while Kashima mondō, compiled in the period of the Northern and Southern courts by Shōkei, transmits a poem attributed to Sugawara Michizane (Tenjin) to the effect that the kami protects those whose minds are in accord with the way of sincerity, even if they are without prayer, thus showing a tendency to emphasize the person’s internal mental state rather than the formal presentation of intercessory prayers. And in Sōunji dono nijūichi ka jō, it states that prayer without the corresponding state of mind will go unanswered, while the proper state of mind will be rewarded with the kami’s protection even in the absence of prayer. Thus emerges the idea that the essence of Shinto lies in attitudes and internal states of mind. Purity in mind and body were required in the presence of the kami, and the state of "inner purity and outer purity" came to be a prerequisite for pilgrimage to Ise. The idea arose that purification of the interior mind and rituals of purification (misogi) of the body function together to contribute to union of the individual with kami, and this concept was also incorporated in Yoshida Shintō. This notion of an inner truth hiding within the mind is inseparable from the formation of medieval theories of Ise Shintō, in which shrine priests (shinshoku) aimed at developing a Shinto with self-conscious identity.

Shinto and Buddhism
Medieval Shinto is often explained in theoretical terms which take the combination of Shinto and Buddhism (see Shinto and Buddhism) as their point of departure. As for the relationship of Shinto and Buddhism’s combinations, since the arrival of Buddhism’s sixth century arrival to Japan, during a span of approximately 1300 years, Shinto and Buddhism developed a variety of mixed forms. A significant portion of Shinto history has been dominated by the relationship The relationship between the Shinto and Buddhism has occupied a significant portion of Shinto’s history and this interaction reached its height from the Heian Period through the middle ages.
     From the Nara period temples called jingūji were built within shrine precincts, and Buddhist monks were appointed to serve at the shrines; sutras readings were dedicated before the kami, and bodhisattva ranks assigned to them, in these ways situating Buddhism in a position superior to the kami. The Buddhist theory of "expedient means" (upaya) was used in order to relegate kami to the subordinate status of attendants or protectors of the Buddhas (see gohō ). Such protector deities were enshrined within Buddhist temples and with the development of the shōen system came to be worshiped on estates owned by temples.
     It was in this context that the honji suijaku ("original substance, manifest trace") theory came to its fullest form. According to this theory, kami were in their essence buddhas or bodhisattvas who had appeared in the guise of kami to the people of Japan to save them. From the mid to late Heian period, this idea spread across the country, and specific buddhas or bodhisattvas were assigned as the "original substance" of specific kami. The power of the buddhas was explained in terms of the virtues of the kami and became a launching point for popular Buddhist teaching. Particularly in the late Heian period, the consciousness that Japan had entered an eschatological "final age" (mappō) with its concomitant wars and rise of rule by military families were reflected in various ways within the world of religion. Buddhist priests consumed with a sense of crisis placed faith in the single Buddha in Amida, or in consideration of the fact that Japan was the "land of the kami" (see shinkoku shisō ), gave increasing importance to the native deities, making pilgrimages to Ise, interpreting classical texts as Nihon shoki and Nakatomi no harae and otherwise attempting to understand the esoteric meanings of Shinto. The Tendai Abbot Jien (1155-1225) expressed doubts about the theory of honji suijaku, saying that "in truth, the kami are the guideposts to the buddhas; why is it said that they are (mere) traces?" and thought that it may be the kami who were the original essences, not the Buddhas.
     It is sometimes said that medieval Shinto was completely absorbed by Buddhism. However, when one observes the behavior of figures such as Jien, Chōgen, Jōkei, Eson, and Ippen, we can see the great respect these Buddhists had for the Shinto cultivated in the "land of the kami." The cordiality of high priests of the older Buddhist sects toward Shinto during the Kamakura period itself helped encourage the awakening and self-awareness of those in the Shinto world.
     The first theory of Shinto developed by Buddhists involved the application of the esoteric Buddhist concept of the non-dual Diamond-Womb mandalas to the Inner and Outer shrines at Ise, thus producing so-called Ryōbu Shintō ("Shinto of the Two Mandalas"). An early work in this tradition is Nakatomi no harae kunge, which dates from the end of the Heian period, and was also responsible for exerting great influence on the development of Ise Shintō. Yoshida Shintō, which was consolidated in the late Muromachi period, took up the issue of its own lineage tradition of "one and only Shinto" (Yuiitsu sōgen Shintō), together with the then-popular but earlier forms of combinatory Ryōbu Shintō and so-called "Shinto of essence and trace" (honjaku engi Shintō) that was associated with specific shrines and their deities. Each of these was established by borrowing from Buddhist thought and theory and the majority of Shinto theories produced from the late Heian to the Kamakura periods could not free themselves from Buddhist influence. An independent class of shrine priest, however, tried self-consciously to hide Buddhist coloration and to systematize Shinto by borrowing Onmyōdō (Japanese Yin-Yang) and Daoist thought.

Ise Shintō
Ise Shintō is usually taken as an exemplar of "medieval Shinto." This Shinto theory, developed by the Watarai house, priests of the Outer Shrine, first appeared in the early Kamakura period and took final shape through the thirteenth century, with figures like Kitabatake Chikafusa (1293-1354) exerting strong influence on the southern court at Yoshino. Factors in the origin of Ise Shintō include the favor shown by high Buddhist monks toward the Grand Shrines of Ise and Shinto, the economic instability of the Grand Shrines and the development of popular Ise cults, as well as the up-swelling of belief in Japan as the "land of the kami" (see shinkoku shisō ). While the term "Shinto" remained unrefined, it was here used to refer to a sort of thought or religion in parallel with Confucianism and Buddhism. In order to understand the resulting Shinto theories, we must recognize the dependence placed on such continental thought as Buddhism and Confucianism, but also recognize the fact that at their essence, they were based on the ancient traditions of the Grand Shrines and the myths transmitted by the national histories. A crucial element of the discourse was the idea that those who serve the kami must realize purity and honesty of mind, and perform their invocations with a united and undisturbed mind. In particular, the Yamato hime seiki, one of the so-called "Five Books of Shinto" or Shintō gobusho states that "Great Japan is a ‘land of kami’ (shinkoku); the safety of the nation is vouchsafed by these divinities (shinmei), and the divinities’ power grows in response to the nation’s worship." In this way, the Shinto theories at Ise were sublimated to a discourse that included the concept of the nation within its scope. This concept can thus be seen as an application of the notion of the correct relationship between kami and humans seen in the first article of Goseibai shikimoku (see above), but here with the nation taking the place of "humans," a development significantly influenced by the historical occasion of the Mongol invasions (1274 and 1281), and the rising consciousness of Japan as "land of kami." A theory of the mutual interdependence between imperial and Buddhist law had emerged toward the end of the Heian period when Buddhism’s influence was predominant, a means of using Buddhism to empower and legitimate the court class, but from the Kamakura period on, the consciousness of Japan as shinkoku underlay an increasing trend toward emphasizing the role of Shinto. Faith in the kami within warrior culture and the role of shrines in the villages of estates (shōen) were likewise phenomena that reflected the new characteristic of Shinto’s own self-awareness.

Yoshida Shintō
During the period of North-South Courts (ca. 1336-1392), Ise Shintō was transmitted by Jihen (dates unknown), a Tendai monk of the Urabe clan, and it eventuated in the development of Yoshida Shintō. Established in the late Muromachi period, Yoshida Shintō would have a strong influence on the shrines and priests of the Edo period, and upon the development of Shinto thought during the early part of that period. Yoshida Kanetomo (1435-1511) a priest of the Kyoto Yoshida Shrine and official of the Jingikan, proclaimed a new theory of Shinto in the Bunmei era (1469-1487), after the end of the Onin Rebellion. Kyoto was in ruins, most of the court had fled, and the court’s rituals had come to a halt for lack of money; it was a period of great social uncertainty.
     In response to the uncertain atmosphere, Yoshida conducted secret transmissions of purifications (harae) to exorcise people’s anxiety, delivered lectures on the "Divine Age chapter" of Nihon shoki, and delivered lectures on Shinto to a wide strata, ranging from Emperor Gotsuchimikado (r. 1464-1500) to court nobles, Hino Tomiko (1440-1496), the shogun’s house, daimyō, and the Zen monks of the "Five Mountains" (Gozan) of Kyoto—known as the intellectuals of the day. His lectures on Mount  Hiei to the monks of the Tendai sect were unprecedented, claiming that Shinto was superior to both Buddhism and Confucianism. Rather than reviving traditional ancient rites, Yoshida proclaimed rites transmitted unique within his lineage. He wrote prolifically and widened his sphere of proselytization by such introductory works of doctrine as Shintō taii, and Yuiitsu shintō myōbō yōshū. He also established a ritual site called the Taigenkyū through the contributions of Hino Tomiko and others. The enshrined deity (saijin) was Kunitokotachi (whom he called Taigen Sonjin), and which he considered the original source of the universe. He authored apocryphal works using a skilful blending of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Shinto and wrote on the close linkage of kami and humans, aggressively promoting the worship of human beings as kami. In fact, when he died, a shrine was built over his remains, dedicated to a deity called Shinryū Daimyōjin. In this, he overturned the principle of Engishiki holding that a corpse must not be buried within lands sacred to the kami. In addition to writing on theoretical topics, Yoshida authored ritual protocols for making entreaties to the kami (kitō), an occupation formally associated with Onmyōdō practitioners, and this later served as one factor helping spread Shinto among the common people.
     Although an official of the Jingikan, Yoshida was more diligent at spreading his own personally created versions of Shinto theory than with reviving court rites. Including the political acumen which served him as a schemer, Yoshida possessed talents that placed him a cut above the kind of Shintoist who traditionally served the kami. One example can be seen in his attempt to subsume the cult of the Grand Shrines of Ise ( Ise shinkō ) by claiming that the imperial regalia at Ise had flown to the Yoshida Shrine. Toward the end of the Muromachi period, the increasing popularity of faith healing and prayers for a agricultural development reached their height became associated with the Ise cult and spread wildly beginning with Kyoto and spreading rapidly into the countryside, with people claiming that "flying deities" (tobishinmei) or "new deities" (ima shinmei) had descended from Ise. Yoshida skillfully attempted to capitalize on this popularity of the Ise cult, but the priests of the Grand Shrines of Ise criticized him to the extent that representatives of Yoshida Shinto were not permitted to join the ranks of imperial envoys to the Grand Shrines until the middle of the early modern period.
     Beginning with the transition from the medieval to the early modern period, Shinto was renewed through Yoshida’s personally created "new Shinto." The idea of enshrining human beings as kami was a creative invention of Yoshida Shintō, and the deification of Toyotomi Hideyoshi as Toyokuni Daimyōjin (see Toyokuni Jinja) or Tokugawa Ieyasu as Tōshō Daigongen (see Tōshōgū) were derived from this Yoshida view. The early modern movement promoting the observance of Shinto funerals (shinsōsai) can likewise been seen as deriving from the "new Shinto" of Yoshida Shintō.
     In terms of its significance for the history of Shinto, the appearance of Yoshida Shintō can be compared to the Meiji Restoration. While it cannot escape evoking the impression of riding roughshod over tradition, its establishment of liturgies for rituals and intercessory prayers (kitō), its organization of priests on a nationwide basis, and contribution to higher levels of awareness and cultivation were by no means insignificant. With the unification of the country following the period of the Warring States, farmers and warriors were separated, folk religious figures took settled dwellings and Shinto priests became professionalized, and these trends reinforced Yoshida Shintō.

Shrines and Village Solidarity
     Along with Shinto’s philosophical development, one cannot ignore the historical role of Shinto in unifying village members for whom local shrines were considered central. From the early Muromachi period (fifteenth century), village solidarity strengthened, and autonomous institutions calledwere created and took over village government. Within these institutions powerful farmers formed assemblies that supervised rites for the ujigami, together with control over common land, water usage, and so on. While shrine guilds (miyaza) had long existed for the purpose of managing shrine affairs, the dissolution of the shōen and the development of autonomous villages resulted in shrine guilds taking on a new importance as a mechanism for structuring participation in festivals. Especially numerous in the Kinki region and Western Japan, these shrine guilds were organized by age groups and their members were called zashū, and were responsible for managing ritual observances. In many cases, such shrine guilds introduced an"annual head" (tōya) system, according to which one villager was elected on a rotating annual basis to serve as a Shinto priest for that year (ichinen kannushi or murabito kannnushi). Shrine management practices which trace their roots to the miyaza are still found widely in and around the Kansai area in present day Japan.
     Village decisions were made at shrine assemblies. A village covenant (kishōmon) would be written and burned, the resulting ashes mixed with sacred water and drunk communally to ensure uniform consensus and create a common consciousness characterized by unity. Village assemblies were based on the principle of majority rule, but final decisions required unanimity, which was regarded as a demonstration of the will of the kami. As for the mental and emotional relationships involved in this process, shrines acted as the linchpin in the shared consciousness of the medieval village which linked the people to the kami and to one another. At times of armed uprisings (tsuchiikki), all village members would gather at the shrine of the local tutelary which served as a source of mental, emotion and spiritual support.
     Also, within the context of ordinary agricultural life, villagers assembled at shrines and worked to protect the communal ujigami. In addition to managing the communal rites of the shrine, village members also added the management of Buddhist structures to their list of responsibilities and, as a personal faith, devotion toward Buddhism was not seen as problematic. Especially in issues concerning the afterlife, the people had little choice but to rely on Buddhism and, while Buddhism, a religion that assumes the salvation of all sentient beings, mixed with Shinto and received acceptance, the uniqueness of Shinto continued to serve as the underpinnings of the community. Along with this continuation and as represented by Yoshida Shinto, Shinto’s religious elements were gradually brought into greater clarity and transmitted into the early modern period.
     In viewing medieval shrines and their surroundings, one can witness a great number of the characteristics particular to the way in which Shinto developed within the context of medieval society. The activities of the shrine workers (jinin or yoriudo) and a new kind of servant to the emperor (kugonin), who made their living off of shrines, represented a new dimension to medieval economics and, in addition, they were indispensable to the administration of rituals. The jinin associated with silk guild of Gion, the Oyamazaki oil guild of Iwashimizu, and the oil guild of Kitano are notable examples and, in the form of such merchant guilds, formed the financial backbone of powerful shrines. The economic history of shrines often illustrates the activities of the affluent members of medieval society. The activity of jinin, however, came to an end with the formation of the political system of the early modern period.
— Okada Shōji