Meiji Gakuin Course No. 3505/3606
Minority and Marginal
Groups of Contemporary
Japan
Tom Gill
Lecture No. 16
Minority
Religions
宗教マイノリティー
Introduction
Japan : A very religious country
where most people are nonreligious
日本:とても宗教的な国で、ほ
とんどの人は無宗教
Guess how many religious
organizations there are in Japan
日本の宗教団体の数は?
18
180
1,800
18,000
180,000
Answer: 180,000
On December 31, 2000, the Cultural Affairs
Agency counted 182,659 religious
organizations (shûkyô hôjin 宗教法人) in
Japan.
Shinto-related 神道系: 85,343
Buddhism-related 仏教系: 77,681
Christian-related キリスト教系: 4,177
Miscellaneous 諸教: 15,458
(They all enjoy tax-exempt status.)
Now guess how many believers there are in
Japan…信者の人数?
1.214,000
2. 2,140,000
3. 21,400,000
4. 214,000,000
5. 2,140,000,000
(Clue: Population of Japan: 127,000,000)
214 million believers in a population
of 127 million!
Source: Cultural
Affairs Agency
(stats for 1999)
文化庁の統計
(1999年)
A lot of Japanese religion
… seems to have become very commercialized
and ‘hollowed out’. Price lists for ‘oharai’
services at shinto shrines… very expensive
funerals and grave sites at Buddhist
temples… Taoism reduced to a device for
artificially raising the cost of weddings on
lucky days…
宗教の空洞化...商品化...
CHRISTIANITY
キリスト教
1549 Francis
Xavier
establishes
Japan's first
Christian
mission at
Kagoshima,
Japan’s deep
south
A checkered history
1550 – 1600 Christianity encouraged by Oda
Nobunaga and Hideyoshi Toyotomi.
1600 – 1853 Suppressed with increasing brutality
by the shoguns. Massacres… (30,000 killed at
Nagasaki in 1638) fumie 踏み絵 … making one
stamp on an image of the cross to prove he was
not Christian
1853 – 1945 Missionaries return, then Christianity
suppressed again with rise of state Shinto…
Christianity was officially prohibited during the
Tokugawa era. Some signs like this one (1711) offered
large rewards for informers
Never widely accepted
Christians have never exceeded 2% of the
population, despite extensive missionary
activity, especially since the end of WW2.
Why? Many say because of its exclusivity:
whereas Buddhism and Shinto have got along
together reasonably well, Christianity
demands that converts abandon other
religions.
キリスト教は排他的だからあまり人気ない?他
の宗教・信念を認めない。
And the moralizing doesn’t suit
「浄・不浄」ではなく「善・悪」
If purity/impurity is the key axis of thought in
Japanese religion, good/evil is arguably the
key axis in Christianity.
An ancient Hebrew proverb says “cleanliness is
next to godliness”… yet hygiene / purity is
emphasized far less in the New Testament
than the Old.
Christian tradition stresses inner devotion, not
outward appearance.
Confession vs. Oharai
A Shinto priest
performs an
‘oharai’ お払い
purification rite
for Cerezo Osaka
football team…
A Catholic priest
listens to one of
his parishioners
confession,
grants
absolution
カトリック教会の
「告解」(告白)、
「ゆるし」
Similarities 共通点
Both oharai and confession / absolution
are cleansing rituals. You come away
from them feeling better, freed from
fear and ready to make a fresh start.
「お払い」と「告白・許し」は両方「心を洗う」よう
な儀式である。終わったら、恐怖から開放さ
れて、人生を新しく出直す気分になる。
Differences 相違点 1
Confession / absolution is a very private ritual,
between just one person and their priest.
The secrecy of the confessional must be
maintained.
Oharai is a public ritual, usually conducted on a
stage for all to see, often for families or
other groups.
「告白・許し」は秘密的な、個人+神父だけの儀
式。お払いはみんな前で、場合により家族
や団体で行われる儀式。
Differences 相違点 2
At confession (告解), you tell the priest about your
sins (罪).He listens, tells you what penance (罪の悔
い改め) to do (e.g. 100 “Hail Mary”s 祈りを100回
繰り返すとか), and doing the penance washes away
the sin, achieving absolution (悔い改めによる「赦
し」).
Oharai has nothing to do with sin. The priest washes
away your ritual impurity (不浄), not your moral
impurity (不正). You are freed from fear of bad luck
縁起悪いこと, not from guilt 罪の意識.
Cf Ruth Benedict
… and the distinction between ‘guilt culture’
and ‘shame culture’ that she makes in The
Chrysanthemum and the Sword (1946).
The book is often criticized these days, but
Benedict sometimes put her finger on truth.
ベネディクトの『菊と刀』に出てくる「罪の文化」
と「恥の文化」理論、参照。
And it’s interesting to note…
… that the movement to liberate the
Burakumin, an outcast group traditionally
thought of as impure, has borrowed a lot of
Christian imagery.
部落開放運動ではキリスト教のシンボルを使う
ことがよくある。「浄・不浄」の「不浄」ではなく、
「善・悪」の「善」だという意味か。
It’s saying: we are good people, on a good/bad
axis, not impure people on a pure/impure
axis.
The Crown of Thorns Emblem
Christian population not quite as
small as it looks
Source: Cultural
Affairs Agency
(stats for 1999)
文化庁の統計
(1999年)
1.76 million Christians is 1.4%
of the population, not 0.8%
But Christianity has made an impact in
various ways.
1. Education – Many of Japan’s best private
universities are run by Christians: Sophia,
ICU, Aoyama Gakuin, Obirin, Nanzan,
Doshisha, Kwansei Gakuin… and of
course, Meiji Gakuin. Few students are
Christians, but they meet a few Christian
ideas while at college.
2. Literature 文学
Some of Japan’s finest novelists
have been Christians: Shusaku
Endo 遠藤周作 (1923-199
6) for instance. Works include
Silence, Scandal, The Samurai、
Deep River, and Life of Jesus.
Endo was a Catholic and a lot of
the power in his writing comes
from the Christian experience
of suffering and persecution.
3. Politics
Japan has had six Christian
prime ministers – the most
recent being Ichiro
Hatoyama – a baptist.
Shigeru Yoshida was a
Christian too,
4. Social Activism 社会運動
A clear majority of the groups doing
support work with homeless people in
Japanese cities are affiliated to some
branch of Christianity.
ホームレス支援活動家の大半はキリスト
教関係者。
賀川豊彦
Toyohiko Kagawa
(1888-1960)
Pioneering
Christian social
activist in the slums
of Kobe; unionist;
anti-war
campaigner
… Meiji Gakuin
graduate
5. Popular culture
Though Christianity itself has never taken
hold, elements of the Christian lifestyle
certainly have – Christmas, Valentines
Day, and of course, Christian weddings.
キリスト教そのものがあまり受けいられていな
いが、「キリスト教ライフスタイル」は別な話!
For better or worse…
… Christianity is little
more than a fashion
statement for most
Japanese.
Where are the ‘protestants’?
Who is keeping the religious spirit alive?
Partly that answer is to be found in the
mountains, where certain sects still practice
the austere, close-to-nature lifestyle.
I’m talking about ‘Shugendo’, which mixes
elements of Buddhism and Shinto, but
focuses on one-ness with nature.
A Yamabushi,
or mountain
ascetic, with
his conch horn
(ほら貝)
Yamabushi
山伏
Practising
austerities
Shugendo
修験道
Worship of nature,
stress on ability to
endure hardship
New religions 新宗教
Japanese people often say that in the
good (?) old days, alienated youths
would join some kind of extremist
political sect, but these days they are
more likely to join a new religion.
昔の若者は「過激派」に、現代の若者は
「新宗教」に入りたがるとよく言われます。
Nearly 10% of population in the
“other” category
Source: Cultural
Affairs Agency
(stats for 1999)
文化庁の統計
(1999年)
10.2 million ‘others’ is 8.5%
of the population, not 4.8%
183,200 religious organizations
Shinto 神道系
Buddhist 仏教系
Christian キリスト教系
Other 諸教
85,565
77,922
4,342
16,292
Cultural Affairs Agency, 2006
The Big Six
1 Soka Gakkai創価学会
8.12 million*
2 Rissho Koseikai立正佼
成会
3 Kofuku no Kagaku幸福
の科学
4 Tenrikyo天理教
6.25 million
5 Reiyukai 霊友会
1.8 million
6 Perfect Liberty PL
1.2 million
2 million
1.9 million
Key points on new religions
1. Offer material benefits in this world and
salvation in the next.
2. Strictly hierarchical order (in most cases).
3. Based on a single charismatic founder
(kyososama 教祖様, worshipped as ‘living god’
(ikigami 生き神).
4. Make money from members, either by tithing
or exploiting their labor.
5. Tend to relate indirectly to Buddhism, Shinto or
Christianity.
And it means more…
Being a member of a new religion may
well mean regular attendance at
meetings and services, helping to
convert other people, paying part of
your salary to the religion in tithes, or
even leaving home to live in a commune.
Soka Gakkai 創価学会
The 3 supreme leaders of Soka Gakkai. From the
left: Makiguchi Tsunesaburo (1871-1944), Toda
Josei (1911-1958), Ikeda Daisaku (b. 1928)…
that’s him on the right of the picture…
“Lay Buddhists”
Soka Gakkai used to be affiliated to
Nichiren Shōshū, a major Buddhist sect
headquartered at Taisekiji Temple on
Mount Fuji.
28 November 1991: power struggle
between Ikeda and Nichiren priests ends
in Soka Gakkai being expelled en masse
from Nichiren Shōshū.
Millions of members
Even the lowest membership
estimates suggest that almost
everybody in Japan who is not
himself a member of Soka Gakkai is
either acquainted with a member or
related to a member.
Ikeda Daisaku, poet
Feel the
charisma!
Soka Gakkai controls Japan’s 3rd biggest
political party
公明党 Komeito
The “Clean Government
Party”
(now in opposition, after several
years in coalition government with
the LDP)
Soka University
All the staff are SG members… now.
The Soka Gakkai style… mixing
peaceful and violent imagery
The No. 2 New Religion
"Joyous Life for all"
"Joyous Life for all"
仏教系創価学会、神道系天理教
Soka Gakkai: Buddhist-related
Tenrikyo: Shinto related
Most new religions are more or less
related to one of the bigger mainstream
religions in some way.
Global Reach
Tenrikyo is estimated to have 2-3
million members, in around 15,000
churches throughout the world.
信者:約2~3百万人
支部:約1万5千ヶ所
Miki Nakayama (1797-1887)
Wife of a poor peasant in the Nara area, who
achieved enlightenment in 1838
“The path to the Joyous Life originated with
Oyasama, whose name is Miki Nakayama. She
was settled as the Shrine of God the Parent at
the age of forty-one and spent the subsequent
fifty years conveying the teachings in their
entirety and providing guidance for people.”
In part, a mother cult
“Though having withdrawn from our sight,
Oyasama remains at the Jiba and, as
ever before, continues to lavish Her
boundless parental love on all people in
the world as the Mother of all
humanity.”
Tenrikyo home page.
But male descendents govern
Since Miki Nakayama’s death, the role
of ‘shin-bashira’ (真柱 true pillar)
has been handed down through the
male line of her descendents.
Tenrikyo HQ: modified Shinto
Tenri City, Nara Pref.
Tenri City 天理市
Tenrikyo’s headquarters are in Tenri City,
Nara prefecture. The entire city is
dominated by Tenrikyo. There are giant
dormitories for believers from other
parts of Japan and the world to stay in
during the giant rallies and study camps.
奈良県天理市:天理教の本拠地
The massive central complex: under
construction for 50 years, still
unfinished 天理参考館
Tenri High School天理高校
The educational branch
Like Soka Gakkai, Tenrikyo has its
own university. It also has a
complete set of educational
facilities, from kindergarten
upwards, in Tenri city.
Tenri Kindergarten 天理幼稚園
Heavy
emphasis
on sport
… especially baseball.
Sport as metaphor スポーツは
隠喩
The idea of sporting success demonstrating
inner spiritual strength has been picked
up by several new religions. Osaka-based
PL Gakuin is another famous baseball high
school with graduates scattered through
the professional game. PL (“Perfect
Liberty” is another new religion.)
Tenrikyo around the World. Global membership is estimated at 2 to 3 million
Country
Churches Besseki 1999
Japan
37,523
20,289
Brazil
383
104
USA
S. Korea
Taiwan
Canada
Argentina
Thailand
Mexico
Australia
France
204
152
78
15
12
12
8
8
8
80
368
812
5
6
71
3
6
4
‘Besseki’ –
lit. ‘separate
seat’ – a
pledge to
give up
one’s
ordinary life
and join
Tenrikyo.
Kofuku no Kagaku 幸福の科学
“Science of
Happiness” –
founded by
Okawa Ryuho.
Promises
miracles…
including a cure
for SARS
Okawa’s book sales exceed 60 million… a dozen
Top Ten bsetsellers since 1991
Sukyo Mahikari
Strong belief in reincarnation.
Spirit mediums communicate with the other
world – typically a possessed woman with a
man to interpret her words.
Worship the kyososama (founder), Okada
Yoshikazu
Believe that Jesus didn’t die, but escaped to
Japan… where he lived in the village of Shingo
to the age of 106.
Yoshikazu and Keishu Okada: The ‘heralding messiah’
and ‘God’s representative on Earth’
He founded the sect, died in 1974, was succeeded by his adoptive daughter
Uses a modified Star of David as its
symbol
Sukyo
Mahikari
HQ in
Takayama,
(Gifu pref.)
Dojo: Magic and
Exorcism in Modern
Japan
by Winston Davis
Stanford UP,
1982…
fascinating study of
Sukyo Mahikari
Shinreikyo – fringe Top 10
Kanichi
Otsuka
(kyososama 教
祖様) and
Kunie Otsuka
(kyobosama教
母様)
A husband and
wife team…
Shinreikyo claims that unlike some
religions, this one really does deliver the
goods.
Slogan: “Miracles are proof of truth.”
The universe has a single law that applies to
everything, and anyone can attain health and
happiness by proceeding in accordance with
that law. But going against that law will bring
illness, accidents, and other misfortune.
Shinreikyo teaches this fundamental law of
the universe.
世の中に一つだけの万能的な法則があり、そ
の法則にさえ従えば誰でも健康と幸せを手に
入れられる
What distinguishes Shinreikyo is that it does
not simply expound this theory, but also
demonstrates it with facts. Kanichi Otsuka,
the founder of Shinreikyo, put it this way:
“Where there is truth, actual proof will
always follow.” Proof of the truth is
manifested by miracles. This means that
cares and problems are resolved, and one‘s
character can improve. 大塚寛一が言うには、
「真実を証明するのは奇跡です。」
I believe in miracles
Miracles really happen, and you too can learn
the fundamental law of the universe by
experiencing them. In this way we can find a
new way of living for a new age. The
teachings of Kyososama (Shinreikyo founder
Kanichi Otsuka) will lead you down the path
of truth.
教祖様の教えを信じれば、奇跡が来るし、絶対
的な真実を知ることができる。
Miracles happen all the time…
Miracle Experiences of
Brain Development with
Skull Expansion
… even when you die.
Miracle
Experiences of
Sublime
Transmigration
It’s easy to sneer
… but seeking
personal benefits
in the here and
now is a feature
of most kinds of
Japanese religion,
old as well as new.
(Ian Reader and
George R. Tanabe,
1998)
“New New Religions”
Agon-shu
Aum Shinrikyo
… founded in the 1980s. Emphasize communal
living, sometimes anticipate coming
Armageddon / end of world.
Tokyo 1995
Tip of the iceberg?
The Aum
facility at
Kamikuishiki,
Yamanashi
Pref., where
the sarin etc
was made
Asahara faces death penalty…
… but Aum Shinrikyo still exists,
renamed as ‘Aleph’… still actively
recruiting…still tax free.
Check out the documentaries ‘A’
and ‘A2’ by Mori Tatsuya
ダウンロード

Tom Gill