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 9. Texts and Sources
カテゴリー2 Shinto Classics and Literature
Title
Text This is the act of expounding on the Shinto classics and Shinto doctrine to people in plain and easy to understand language, and thus educating and enlightening the masses. Shintō kōshaku is also occasionally referred to as Shintō kōdan. Tachibana Mitsuyoshi, Masuho Zankō, Tamada Naganori, Yano Morimitsu are particularly representative among the individuals involved in performing Shintō kōshaku. Until the beginning of the early modern era the Shinto Classics were transmitted by handwritten manuscript in all but a few exceptionally rare cases. The contents of these manuscripts where often retained privately by the nobility and other specific houses as a type of house knowledge and these were taught in a style of secret teachings where a specific person imparted this knowledge directly to another individual. The study of the classics continued on into the Edo period in this same fashion but, as enthusiastic scholars began to lecture in public, the classics became opened to a wider audience. Famous examples of public lectures include Hayashi Razan, Endō Munechika, and Matsunaga Teitoku's lectures on The Analects, Taiheiki, Hyakunin isshū, and Tsurezuregusa, held between 1603 and 1604. It is said that lectures on Shintō works began in 1672 when Yoshikawa Koretari lectured in the home of the Yoshida family on the "Age of the Kami" section of Nihon shoki.

The lectures of Tachibana Mitsuyoshi

One possible impetus that helped spread the Shintō classics to the masses after this period is the Yoshida family's movement to expand its teaching base. Fundamentally speaking, the Yoshida family broadened their base of influence through popular beliefs. In particular, the Yoshida's distribution of reifu (slips of paper with a writing that is believed to have a spiritual power) such as sanja takusen (oracles of the three deities) and Nakatomi no harae was one of their most effective practices. Furthermore the Yoshida displayed skill in their use of human resources and appointed Shintoists and men of talent from the Sano area. This also reveals confidence with which the Yoshida viewed the age and testifies to the house's enterprising nature. In 1675 the Yoshida family entrusted to Tachibana Mitsuyoshi the presentation of the Nakatomi no harae at the various ichi no miya (provincial shrines) throughout the country. During 1596—1615 the Yoshida family published the imperially authorized manuscript of the Nakatomi no harae, and many other purification manuscripts were published later based on this precedent. It has been reported that a published manuscript of Nakatomi no harae, which has a colophon written by Mitsuyoshi in 1697, exists at Ōasahiko Shrine (the provincial shrine of Awa).
     As Mitsuyoshi traveled through out the country he also held lectures for the public. These wandering lectures are outlined in Shokoku ichi no miya junkeiki (A Record of the Travels and Visits at the Various Provincial Shrines) and Yosashibumi (A Record of the Teachings). Nihon shoki jindai no maki (The "Age of the Kami" section of the Nihon shoki), Nakatomi no harae, and Sansha takusen formed the backbone of Mitsuyoshi's lectures. In most cases the text of Nakatomi no harae was often lectured on in only one sitting, but the text of Jindai no maki was often lectured on in a regular forum numbering close to thirty sessions. Such a lecture held in Aikawa in Sado commenced on the thirteenth day of the eighth month, and concluded with a banquet on the ninth day of the ninth month. This too was based on a standardized format.

The lectures of Masuho Zankō

From 1711—1736 priests of the Jōdo Shinshū, Jōdo, and Nichiren sects energetically conducted sermon monologues (dangi seppō). These monologue-style sermons tended to include slandering other religious groups, and among Shintoists, Masuho Zankō was among those who confronted these pontificators. Zankō placed a torii in his reception hall, recited the words to the ōharae norito (liturgy of the great purification ritual), and in imitation of the esoteric Buddhist goma (the holy fire for invocation) ritual he conducted the Shintō, rite of purifying (harae) the hundred seats. Because of this his lectures was dubbed fūryū kōshaku (lectures of elegance) and its popularity came to dominate a generation. His claims were published in Zankō hachibusho, which received both praise and criticism. The criticism Zankō received, in particular that of the influential Tomobe Yasukata, the head of Suika Shintō and Itō Eiseki (who scholars believe was the monk in charge of education for the Shirakawa family), probably contributed more to the spread of the Zankō style of preaching then it did to stunt the growth in its popularity. There is still no evidence which confirms that Zankō was actually a disciple of the Yoshida family, but Zankō enthusiastically included various teachings of Yoshida Shintō, such as the "three types of purification" and "the oracles of the three deities," in his lectures and, in the later years of his life, he became deeply absorbed in Yoshida Shintō.

The lectures of Tamada Naganori

Tamada Naganori traveled throughout the country between 1789 and 1818 and held lectures on Shintō. Works authored by Tamada consist of as many as ten different volumes, and from among those many works, it should be stated that the works Shintō kōgi (Lectures on Shintō) and Kanke seikeiroku (A Record of the Lineage of the Sugawara Family) are the notes for his lectures. Also, Hyakunin isshū idon—along with serving as good material preserving his lecture style—is extremely important in understanding the extent of Naganori's teaching material. According to recent reports a struggle for power erupted in 1797 in Mikawa between the Shirakawa and Yoshida families, and it has become clear that, because the tension placed on the Yoshida family, Naganori was sent to various shrines and conducted lectures. In the later years of his life Naganori had obtained a vast amount of land in Shimo Kamo where he set up an estate, and on the sixteenth day of the eighth month of 1815, there was a celebration wherein Konoe Motosaki's mother visited this estate. In Kyūdaikaizu of the Kamo Momioya Shrine it is confirmed that there were two lines of the Tamada family, and it is said that the Ōsaka lecture circle began with Naganori, who was in turn a member of a family connected with the Kamo Shrine. From this evidence, it is believed that Naganori had some sort connection with the ancestral shrine.

The lectures of Yano Morimitsu

The followers of Jodo Shinshū, who take Shinran as their founder, went to extremes to protect the traditions of singular devotion (ikkō senju) and, therefore, to avoid the worship of Shinto deities (jingi fuhai). It is a well-known fact that in the Edo period the rejection of shinsatsu (amulets for protection) and rituals for hearth purification by Jodo Shinshū followers frequently caused a great deal of trouble for the Shintō establishment. This friction became extremely intense in Aki and the Iishi District of Izumo, as well as in the Ōchi, Ano, and Nima villages of Sekitō District, especially from 1751 until the early nineteenth century. In 1761 the monk Gōsei of Nishi Honganji was dispatched to the Iwami area, and which signaled the beginning of promotional efforts that emphasized the exclusive practice of the nenbutsu (reciting the name of Amida to achieve rebirth in the Pure  Land). In Akagi of Iishi District is the Seizōji  Temple, the base for Sekitō Shinshū. Yano Morimitsu spent an entire year from 1816 traveling around Iishi and Nogi Districts and developing arguments against Shinshū. Morimitsu's influence grew and he was appointed director of the Shintō affairs of Izumi  Province by the Yoshida family in 1839. As for his lectures, Morimitsu would vigorously criticized the practices of Shinshū followers, who would not receive any amulets, occasionally disposed of their kamidana, and would not put up kadomatsu during the New Year. These actions are recorded in Shinban kudoki (the title on the first page says "The Arguments and Debates of Shintō and Shinshū") and Yoshida kanryō yano sensei shintō kōdan no setsu. In contrast, a monk at the Myōtokuji Temple in Aki Village, Nogi District named Seikai, who was the disciple of the aforementioned Gōsei, wrote a scathing assessment in an addendum to Shintō zokudanben, stating that Morimitsu's lectures were "Bad mouthing and various ramblings that are like that of a kumosuke ganninbō (a vagrant or fraudulent monk), and Hikohachi (a shrewd comic of the Edo period who used colorful language)."
— Nagasawa Hiroko
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