Kokutai - Political Shintô from Early-Modern to Contemporary Japan

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URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10900/68861
Dokumentart: Book
Date: 2016-03
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Asien- und Orientwissenschaften
DDC Classifikation: 200 - Religion
290 - Other religions
950 - History of Asia; Far East
Keywords: Schintoismus , Japan , Politische Religion , Konfuzianismus
Other Keywords:
political religion
Japanese intellectual history
Japanese nationalism
ISBN: 978-3-946552-00-0
License: http://tobias-lib.uni-tuebingen.de/doku/lic_mit_pod.php?la=de http://tobias-lib.uni-tuebingen.de/doku/lic_mit_pod.php?la=en
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The history of modern Japan begins with a paradox. This period’s axiomatic starting point, the Meiji Restoration of 1868, was marked by intentions which, in further consideration, appear anything but modern: the restoration of seemingly archaic imperial rule. This apparent contradiction cannot be overlooked in any examination of the foundations of modern Japan and its concept of government. Over the course of the Meiji period, this traditionalistic idea was implemented in a comprehensive, religiously and politically based concept of government that postulated a uniquely Japanese »national polity« (kokutai). This idea, being based on earlier political Shintô thought, formed the official and binding Japanese concept and ideology of the modern state, in which the institution of the emperor served as the metaphysical and mythical core of the national family. So it must be doubted that the ideology of political Shintô was an invention of modern times, as many scholars of modern Japan believe. In particular, the centrally important relationship between Shintô and Confucianism must be taken into account, as well as the highly relevant but complicated topic of nativism. In this sense the Japanese case also provides an extremely valuable example for comparative analysis of religion and politics in general. The study presented here consists of a revised and enlarged translation of the author’s former work (in German): „Shintô und die Konzeption des japanischen Nationalwesens (kokutai). Der religiöse Traditionalismus in Neuzeit und Moderne Japans.“ (Leiden: Brill 1998). For the sake of a general distribution of publicly funded research and thus in accordance with the so called Open Access principles, this book is published and distributed freely by the University of Tübingen.

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