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The relationship of Shinto and Buddhism?

 
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Sima Qian
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 5:54 am    Post subject: The relationship of Shinto and Buddhism? Reply with quote
So i've heard some interesting claims from both the Shinto and Buddhist sides. Anecdotes like how the Shinto deities are just emanations of the Buddhas, or vice versa.

Aside from the apparent "one-up's manship," i was wondering if anyone here with a better grasp of religion in Japan could say a few words about the relationship of Shinto and Buddhism.

Was it antagonistic? Cooperative? Both? Subtle detente?
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
There have certainly been times when one religion or the other was violently opposed to the other - when Buddhism was first introduced, it led to major political in-fighting at the highest levels of power; in the late 19th to early 20th century there was the movement known as State Shinto, in which Buddhism, seen as a foreign influence and counter to the nativist nationalist ideas of a new Imperial Japan, came under attack.

But in other periods, for the most part, as far as I am aware, both religions worked together to form the Japanese religious experience. One of the key things to understand about Japanese religion is that Shinto and Buddhism are not fundamentally opposed to one another as religions in the West tend to be, claiming to be the one true Teaching and reviling the other.

Deities and other aspects of both faiths are incorporated into both in a process called syncretism. Rather than one-upmanship, it's an incorporation, a mixing.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Shinto and Buddhism had been mixed up until Meiji.
You can still find Shinto shrine inside of Buddhism temple garden or Buddha is enshrined in Shinto shrine.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I recommend you using the keyword "Honji Suijaku 本地垂迹" in your search (whether books or internet).

For my History of Japanese Religions course I had to research this for a paper. Depending on why you are researching the topic and if I am assured my work will remain...*my work*....I'd be willing to send you a copy of the paper.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
In Meiji, He(emperor)was the head of the Shintô religion, Japan's native religion. The Meiji reformers brought the emperor and Shintô to national prominence, replacing Buddhism as the national religion, for political and ideological reasons.

- According to The Meiji Restoration and Modernization
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Also keep in mind the fact that the term Shinto didn't even exist before Meiji.
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nagaeyari
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Matsuhide wrote:
Also keep in mind the fact that the term Shinto didn't even exist before Meiji.


Hmmm..this surprises me. I SWEAR I've seen it used pre-Meiji.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
nagaeyari wrote:
Matsuhide wrote:
Also keep in mind the fact that the term Shinto didn't even exist before Meiji.


Hmmm..this surprises me. I SWEAR I've seen it used pre-Meiji.

...well, so taught my Medieval Japanese Religion professor...
I'm packing/moving at the moment so I can't look up my notes, but he said it was given that name to distinguish it as the National religion (also re-enforcing the Emperor's claim to power through his lineage documented in the Kojiki etc.) and separate it from foreign-derived Buddhism.

I wouldn't be surprised if the term existed pre-Meiji but, supposedly, not in the context we know it as now, i.e. the name of a specific religion.
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JLBadgley
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I want to say that there were various types of 'shinto' before the Meiji period, but that the Meiji period saw them all organized (or reorganized) under the Imperial Household (there had been the Jingikan, previously, but I'm not sure how much control it had exercised).

Ah! Here we go:

Kashima Shinto Ryu
Shinto Kasumi Ryu
Shinto (or Shindo) Muso Ryu

I'm pretty sure both were using the term 'Shinto' (as in '神道') since pre-Meiji. Kashima Shinto Ryu is named for Kashima Jingu. Kasumi Shinto Ryu appears to be an offshoot, which led to Shinto Muso Ryu (Muso Gunnosuke's school of jojutsu, developed from the previous Shinto Ryu).

So we have an example of its use, pre-Meiji, tied to a Shinto shrine.

-Josh
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
JLBadgley wrote:
I want to say that there were various types of 'shinto' before the Meiji period, but that the Meiji period saw them all organized (or reorganized) under the Imperial Household (there had been the Jingikan, previously, but I'm not sure how much control it had exercised).

Ah! Here we go:

Kashima Shinto Ryu
Shinto Kasumi Ryu
Shinto (or Shindo) Muso Ryu

I'm pretty sure both were using the term 'Shinto' (as in '神道') since pre-Meiji. Kashima Shinto Ryu is named for Kashima Jingu. Kasumi Shinto Ryu appears to be an offshoot, which led to Shinto Muso Ryu (Muso Gunnosuke's school of jojutsu, developed from the previous Shinto Ryu).

So we have an example of its use, pre-Meiji, tied to a Shinto shrine.

-Josh

This is pretty much illustrating the point I was trying to make. Aren't most people referring to martial arts when they use the term shinto? Hence this thread in the Art and Religion forum?
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Matsuhide wrote:
JLBadgley wrote:

Ah! Here we go:

Kashima Shinto Ryu
Shinto Kasumi Ryu
Shinto (or Shindo) Muso Ryu

...

So we have an example of its use, pre-Meiji, tied to a Shinto shrine.

-Josh

This is pretty much illustrating the point I was trying to make. Aren't most people referring to martial arts when they use the term shinto? Hence this thread in the Art and Religion forum?


But isn't the fact that it is specifically associated with a 'shinto' shrine relevant?

In other words, you don't see Yagyu claiming that it is 'Yagyu Shinto Shinkage Ryu', etc.--because he is not claiming ties to a particular shrine. It is relevant that all of the 'Shinto Ryu' martial arts are specifically relating their arts to a shrine or set of shrines (Kashima and Katori Jingu).

Thus we have the term tied directly with shrines. I'm sorry that it is associated with martial arts--do you propose that because of its association with martial arts, however, the connection is meaningless?

The other terms I've heard are things like 'X-Ryu Shinto', where they are talking about a certain lineage of practices within the Shinto tradition. I don't know if the 'Shinto' is simply a modern add-on to indicate that it was a school of kami worship, though.

-Josh
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JLBadgley
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here's a non-martial arts related answer:

Quote:

日本における「神道」という言葉の初見は、『日本書紀』の用明天皇の条にある「天皇信佛法尊神道」(天皇、仏法を信じ、神道を尊びたまふ)である。

- from J-Wikipedia

So in the Nihongi (Nihon Shoki, above), in the section on Yomei Tennou, we have the use of the word 'shinto' to indicate the Way of the Kami. My Aston translation is at home right now or I'd take a look at what he says on that passage.

However, what I think most people are talking about when they say 'shinto' wasn't used until the Meiji era or later is:

Quote:

明治20年(1887年)代になると西欧近代的な宗教概念が日本でも輸入され、宗教としての「神道」の語も定着し始める。明治30年(1897年)代には宗教学が本格的に導入され、学問上でも「神道」の語が確立した [1]。

- ibid

So, while the word existed previously as a reference to 'way of the kami', I would say that it was the Meiji era that, faced with the exposure to western religions, defined 'Shinto' specifically as we know it today. My understanding of this is that 'shinto' was just a word to describe something. Like 'sado' or 'budo'--it is just the way of something. It could probably have been expressed as 'kami no michi' just as easily as in a sinified form.

Here's another argument, though, for why it would be an earlier term adapted later. Looking at the word linguistically: I believe any sinified word such as 'shinto' created during the Meiji era would have been 'shindo' (and, in fact, we do have evidence of this pronunciation, but you dont' want martial arts examples). The fact that it is 'shinto' would indicate, to me at least, that it has older roots and has had time to morph into a set Japanese word, rather than using the strict on'yomi readings as I would expect if it were a creation from the Meiji period or later.

-Josh
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Badgley,
You're pretty much saying what I believe to be the case, but I'm definitely no expert (and even less so without my notes).
I'd check my Nihongi, but it's packed along with my notes at the moment.
I wouldn't be surprised if an earlier term was adopted during the Meiji era in an effort to give it more legitimacy, but can't back the claim at the moment (if ever...).
Maybe we should start a new thread on this topic since we're beginning to monopolize this one?
I'd love to get to the bottom of this.
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