Shinto: A History

Author: Helen Hardacre
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Asian History, Comparative Religion, History Of Religion, Shintoism
Book Format: Hardcover

From time immemorial, the Japanese people have worshipped Kami-spirits that inhabit or represent a particular place, or embody natural forces like the wind, rivers, and mountains. Whenever a new settlement was founded a shrine would be erected for the spirits of that place to honor them and ensure their protection. It was believed that Kami could be found everywhere, that no place in Japan was outside their dominion. Shinto encompasses the doctrines, institutions, ritual, and communal life based on Kami worship. The ideal of Shinto, central to this study, is a construct in which a monarch rules through rituals for the Kami, a priestly order assists the sovereign by coordinating rituals, and the people who fulfill their obligations to the collective are in turn blessed by the Kami. Center and periphery join together in untroubled harmony through this theatre of state. Helen Hardacre offers for the first time in any language a sweeping, comprehensive history of Shinto, which is practiced by some 80% of the Japanese people. The basic building blocks of this vast and varied tradition, she shows, include the related concepts of imperial rule and ritual, the claim that rituals for the Kami are public in character, and the assertion that this complex web of ideas and institutions devoted to the Kami embodies Japan's indigenous tradition. This study addresses the story of the emergence and development of these elements and the debates that surround them to this day. Because Shinto is centered on the Kami, it might be assumed that it is a religion, but Hardacre resists that assumption, instead questioning the character of the tradition at each stage of its history. She analyzes and deconstructs the rhetoric of Shinto as a defining feature of Japan's racial identity, inextricably woven into the fabric of Japanese life. This definitive study represents a first, momentous step towards a more developed understanding of Shinto.

Table Of Contents
Chapter One: Shinto in the Ancient Period

Chapter Two: The Kami in Myth

Chapter Three: The Coalescence of Early Shinto

Chapter Four: Shinto During the Middle and Late Heian Period, Tenth Through Twelfth Centuries

Chapter Five: The Esotericization of Medieval Shinto

Chapter Six: Medieval Shinto and the Arts

Chapter Seven: The Late Medieval Period

Chapter Eight: Early Edo-Period Shinto Thought and Institutions

Chapter Nine: Edo Period Shrine Life and Shrine Pilgrimage

Chapter Ten: Shinto and Revelation

Chapter Eleven: Shinto and Kokugaku

Chapter Twelve: Shinto and the Meiji State

Chapter Thirteen: Shinto and Imperial Japan

Chapter Fourteen: Shinto From 1945 Through 1989

Chapter Fifteen: Shrine Festivals and their Changing Place in the Public Sphere

Chapter Sixteen: Heisei Shinto


About Helen Hardacre
Helen Hardacre is Reischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions and Society at Harvard University. Concentrating on Japanese religious history of the modern period, she has done extended field study of contemporary Shinto and Buddhist religious organizations, the religious life of Japan's Korean minority, and contemporary ritualization of abortion. She has also researched State Shinto and directs a research project on constitutional revision
in Japan.


SKU BK-9780190621711
Barcode # 9780190621711
Brand Oxford University Press
Artist / Author Helen Hardacre
Shipping Weight 1.1600kg
Shipping Width 16.000m
Shipping Height 4.100m
Shipping Length 23.600m

Be The First To Review This Product!

Help other Augoods users shop smarter by writing reviews for products you have purchased.

Write a product review

More From This Category