restricted access Shinto Dokugo
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358 SHINTŌ DOKUGO Ise Sadatake | 1782 [Using textual tools much like Norinaga, Sadatake takes a scalpel to what his generation called “Shintō” and determines that it is not a pure, ancient religion as some Shintō priests pretended. He categorizes Shintō into three groups: remnant Shintō, one based on the Book of Changes, and the amalgamated form. He concludes that remnant Shintō, which is preserved in festivals, is close to the original. He also indicates that there are two types of yuiitsu Shintō: a new one and an old one. Thus he tries to unravel years of secretion of ideas not original to the ancient, indigenous religion of Japan.] Shintō is the great Way of our land, and has been highly prized at the imperial court since ancient times. The Statute on Government Personnel [in Ritsuryō] begins with the regulations on the indigenous religion, and the first section of Engi shiki is devoted to procedures of the same religion. From the divine age the three houses of the Nakatomi, Imibe, and Urabe have had exclusive rights to officiate within the religion. [Later] the house of the Imibe came to an end, but the other two houses are still prosperous in the present. Both houses represent the orthodox brand of the religion that has been handed down since the divine age, and people have given unmatched respect to it. With this prestige these two families competed to have direct control over the shrines in the various provinces, because one or the other has always wanted to conduct research into the shrines. However, the traditions are very profound, and as these Shintō officials could not search and discern the truth, I have nothing further to add about their learning. There are many people in society who are not Shintō officials but label themselves “Shintō scholars” and trifle with this [the doctrine of Shintō]. When I hear their theories, I do not feel there is any ancient proof there, their theories full of unfounded new ideas. I also am not a Shintō official, but I have had some small experience in reading the ancient texts, and am able to criticize the inaccurate theories of these people. I cannot remain silent while these [unfounded] theories gain currency in society. It may be too late to try saying this or that, and even if I look into the matter there may be no effect; however, I feel that I will become ill if I do not say something , so I have completed the following which are musings to myself.1 1. This is where the title of the manuscript comes from: Shintō dokugo “musings to myself about Shintō.” SADATAKE | Shintō dokugo359 1 Among the theories of Shintō scholars is the idea of “singular Shintō” (yuiitsu shintō). The term does not refer to the fact that the teachings have not been influenced by Buddhist thought. It is with fear and trembling that I say the word yuiitsu shintō, but in the divine age Amaterasu Ōmikami taught the people, and established the way for the state, and all under heaven, to be governed, which tradition Saruta Hiko preserved.2 From the time when the world was first created, a kami spontaneously appeared in the essences that filled the void, and tradition records his name as Ame no Minaka Nushi. All things and events in both heaven and earth from ancient times down to the present were created by Ame no Minaka Nushi. Therefore, I and other people belong to this kami. The Way of heaven is therefore the Way of man. Likewise, the Way of man eventually becomes the Way of heaven. In the end it is called “singular Shintō” because heaven and man are the same. And as the Way was established below [heaven] on the principle that heaven and man are the same, this is also called Rigaku Shintō. This is the true form of Shintō and that is extremely important. Festivals, ritual prayers, ritual purification, and other rites are also called Shrine Official Shintō or Ritual Shintō, and compared to that mentioned above this is a superficial form of Shintō. This is generally how those scholars explain these differences, but I think this explanation about differences in superficial or profound Shintō are completely ridiculous . 2 I categorize Shintō into three groups: first is Shintō based on the writings of the Chinese work the Book of Changes. The second is Shintō mentioned in the ancient period of our country. The third is Shintō that has...


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