By Benjamin Dorman

Celebrity Gods explores the interplay of recent religions and the media in postwar Japan. It specializes in the leaders and founders (kyōsō) of Jiu and Tenshō Kōtai Jingū Kyō, new religions of Japan’s rapid postwar interval that got sizeable press awareness. Jiu was once associated with the preferred prewar team Ōmotokyō, and its actions have been according to the millennial visions of its chief, a girl referred to as Jikōson. while Jiu attracted the mythical sumo champion Futabayama to its reason, Jikōson and her actions grew to become a widely-covered reason célèbre within the press. Tenshō Kōtai Jingū Kyō (labeled odoru shūkyō, “the dancing religion,” by means of the clicking) was once led by way of a farmer’s spouse, Kitamura Sayo. Her uncompromising imaginative and prescient and activities towards making a new society―one that used to be some distance faraway from what she defined because the “maggot international” of postwar Japan―drew harsh and infrequently mocking feedback from the print media.

Looking again for precursors to the postwar courting of latest religions and media, Benjamin Dorman explores the numerous position that the japanese media frequently performed in defining applicable and applicable social habit, performing at instances as mouthpieces for presidency and spiritual specialists. utilizing the instances of Renmonkyō within the Meiji period and Ōmotokyō within the Taishō and Shōwa eras, Dorman exhibits how collected photographs of latest religions in pre-1945 Japan turned absorbed into these of the fast postwar interval. Given the shortcoming of formal spiritual schooling in Japan, the media performed a tremendous function in transmitting notions of applicable habit to the general public. He is going directly to signify the leaders of those teams as “celebrity gods,” demonstrating that the media, that have been quite often untrained in non secular background or rules, selected to model them as “celebrities” whose antics deserved derision. whereas the prewar media had offered different kyōsō as the antithesis of first rate, ethical voters who stood towards the goals of the country, postwar media experiences awarded them essentially as undeserving for democratic society.

Celebrity Gods delves into an under-studied period of non secular heritage: the Allied career and the postwar interval as much as the early Fifties. it truly is a huge interdisciplinary paintings that considers relatives among jap and profession bureaucracies and the teams in query, and makes use of basic resource records from profession data and interviews with media staff and contributors of spiritual teams. For observers of postwar Japan, this study offers a roadmap to assist comprehend matters on the subject of the Aum Shinrikyō affair of the 1990s.

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Big name within the m aggot global | 185 struggling with proven Religions whereas the Religions department documents display yes facets of Kitamura’s dating with scap officers and the japanese specialists, additionally they convey her carrying on with battles with representatives from verified religions. scap files express that 1949 used to be a very busy 12 months for Kitamura and her workforce during this regard. even if person clergymen and temples in a number of components had locked horns with Kitamura, there have been no coordinated attempt via validated non secular teams to house her until eventually August 1949. fifty one a piece of writing within the Tokuyama Kōron on 6 August 1949 said that the Tokuyama Buddhist organization (Tokuyama Bukkyō Rengōkai), a firm produced from representatives from the Nichiren and natural Land sects in Yamaguchi prefecture, had declared that Tenshō Kōtai Jingū Kyō used to be a heretical faith without doctrinal foundation in Buddhism. additionally, the organization threatened that any of its participants who made touch with the “dancing faith” will be expelled. even supposing the editorial argued for the validated religions within the zone, this isn't to assert that each one perspectives expressed within the paper have been unavoidably in whole contract with the association’s place. On 10 September 1949 the Tokuyama Kōron released a piece of writing reporting on an interview with a follower. the perspective of the reporter used to be really confident towards the believer, encouraging him and the crowd to bop vigorously in an effort to result in peace once attainable. Kitamura frequently attended, and infrequently disrupted, lawsuits at a number of gatherings and meetings that have been designed for “serious” discussions on faith through students and monks from numerous sects. in the course of the rapid postwar interval, there have been normal meetings held between non secular and social leaders discussing matters corresponding to the struggle and collective accountability. On such events the members might frequently move resolutions delivering collective apologies and repentance (zange) for his or her lack of ability to forestall Japan’s route to struggle and converse out opposed to the government’s militaristic schedule. fifty two in the course of Kitamura’s fourth journey to Tokyo, she attended a world roundtable convention on faith held on the Buddhist Tsukiji Honganji temple on 6 November 1948. The members incorporated representatives of verified non secular teams and spiritual experiences students. less than the lighting of reports cameras, Kitamura rose up and introduced a sermon in track (kamiuta) that it seems that surprised the chairman and different individuals. Her sermon, now not strangely, integrated a pointy mes- 186 | big name gods sage that admonished the members to rouse to “god’s country” in any other case dwell perpetually within the beggar’s global. fifty three Seisho reviews of this occasion in slightly successful phrases, even though it is perhaps secure to imagine that no longer all individuals have been happy with her functionality. in the course of her 5th journey to Tokyo, which all started on 2 February 1949, she was once desirous about a whirlwind of comparable occasions.

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