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Old 02-26-2014, 06:46 PM
Mermaid1962's Avatar
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So there's a division of religion and state but not really. I'm thinking about the situation in the UK, in which the coronation oath includes being Defender of the Faith--the leading layperson of the Church of England. So in that case, to change to another religion would mean breaking the coronation oath and causing a constitutional crisis and perhaps the removal of the monarch. I wonder whether there's anything in the constitution in Japan that says that the monarch is required to be Shinto???

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Old 03-17-2014, 11:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Somewhere, Canada
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There are conspiracy theories that some of the members of the Imperial Japanese family are Catholics. Its not completely a crazy theory, some of the family members acquired Christian education most notably the Empress and the Crown Princess.

There are records of the Japanese monarchy studying the Bible in the late 20th century as part of their progress of modernisation to better understand Western civilisation and there was even a suggestion to convert all members of the Imperial family into Christians which did not push through.

I won't be surprised if Emperor Akihito himself received Christian education. It's not like this is the first crazy twist with Japanese history.

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Old 04-18-2014, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 View Post
I wonder sometimes whether the Emperor actually believes that he's a god. How can a person believe that unless he's mentally ill or actually is Divine? And when is this divinity conferred? Are heirs considered gods-in-waiting, or do they become gods at the time of enthronement? Also, I understand that the post-WWII constitution took divinity away from the Emperor and made him a constitutional monarch. Do the Japanese still believe that the Emperor is divine?
First off, the idea that the Tenno/Mikado/"Emperor" was "forced to renounce his divinity", IS A COMPLETE MISCONCEPTION...

The Mikado was seldom EVER considered an actual deity in the mainstream monotheistic sense, & as a matter of fact, the Japanese concept of deityhood IN GENERAL, is quite different from what many people think of as divine...

Humanity Declaration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,


BBC - Religions - Shinto: Divinity of the Emperor


They might as well have asked the ENTIRE NATION to "renounce their divinity"...

Frankly, it was completely ridiculous to make him supposedly "give up" his sacred status, especially considering that Christians ought to have been forced to renounce the EXCLUSIVE divinity of Yeshua/Jesus...

The Mikado can STILL be a descendant of 1 of the highest Kami!!

In fact, he still is to this day!!

EDIT: I'm fairly certain that he IS IN FACT, A DESCENDANT OF AMATERASU!!

DOUBLE-EDIT: I don't want to sound like I'm picking on Christianity, per se, but it is awfully hypocritical for the victors to tell the Mikado to "renounce" his sacred status, & NOT force Christians to do something similar, (especially the fundamentalist types)...

Now, I don't completely agree with this article, but still...

He does have a point!!
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:28 AM
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But victors have always been able to do what they want to. Okay, we now have rules even when it comes to war. But I don't think we had reached that point yet back then. And as Japan had lost the war, it actually was okay to humiliate the Japanese. They still have an imperial house though, which is the only still-reigning imperial house in the entire world.
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:41 AM
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by Furienna View Post
But victors have always been able to do what they want to. Okay, we now have rules even when it comes to war. But I don't think we had reached that point yet back then. And as Japan had lost the war, it actually was okay to humiliate the Japanese. They still have an imperial house though, which is the only still-reigning imperial house in the entire world.
He only said that he wasn't a * MANIFEST KAMI*, (in other words: he wasn't himself an *INCARNATION* of a divinity)!!

He can *STILL* be a descendant of Amaterasu!!



(For the last 2, scroll down to the comments section('s)!!
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Old 09-29-2017, 02:45 AM
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I look forward to reading this thread. Just had a conversation with a Japanese friend and she shared what the Emperor actually does in the temple and why it is so important for the Emperor to be male. Very interesting. This is a significant aspect to the society. It goes very deep.
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Old 12-07-2017, 06:53 PM
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Inside the Niinamesai: The Emperor's Most Difficult Ritual | JAPAN Forward
Labor Thanksgiving Day is a Japanese national holiday celebrated on November 23rd. [...] Under the American Occupation, General Douglas MacArthur abolished all holidays based on traditional Shinto myths, rituals, and ceremonies. Thus, a 1948 law officially erased the name Niinamesai.

Nonetheless, within the Shinkaden Hall of the Imperial Palace, the Emperor continues to privately conduct the Niinamesai rituals. What happens during this “most significant and most grueling of all the Imperial rituals”?

At 6:00 PM on the 23rd, the “evening rites” of the Niinamesai begin. Clad in white ceremonial robes made of silk, the Emperor proceeds from the Ryōkiden Hall to the Shinkaden, where the ritual is conducted. These robes—called gosaifuku—are only used for the Niinamesai by the Emperor. Due to their weight, they can take over half an hour to don.


During the ceremony, it is forbidden to even approach the Shinkaden ritual hall. Only two servants assist the Emperor in his observation of the rites. During the ritual, the Emperor offers rice presented from various parts of the country, rice harvested at the palace, and wine made from freshly harvested rice and millet to the enshrined ancestors and spirits.

Next, a text called Otsugebumi is read, praying for a fruitful bounty of grains and for the happiness of the nation and its people. Part of the wine and food offering is consumed in an act called Naorai. Finally, the Crown Prince proceeds from the Ryōkiden and joins his father in prayer at the Shinkaden, after which the two leave the hall together.

The “evening rites” are completed at 8:00 PM. Following the traditional proceedings, from 11:00 PM that night to 1:00 AM on the 24th, the “daybreak rites” are conducted. The ceremonies each last two hours—totaling four hours.

Most of the proceedings are carried out with the Emperor sitting in seiza, wearing heavy robes which are difficult to move in. Because of this, as the Niinamesai approaches each year, the Emperor is known to sit seiza for long times in order to accommodate himself to the position. Yet another reason this ritual is called “grueling” is because of the temperature. In late November, during the evening when the ritual is held, temperatures can sometimes dip below 10 degrees Celcius (50 degrees Fahrenheit), and there is no heating in the Shinkaden.


Considering the burden on the Emperor’s body, after he reached age 75—roughly a decade ago—the final 30 minutes of the daybreak rites were abbreviated. After age 77, the evening rites were similarly contracted. After age 80, his participation at the daybreak rites was curtailed. For comparison, Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito) ceased participation in the daybreak rites at age 69 and, later, the evening rites at age 70.

According to the Imperial Household Agency, when the current Emperor reached the age when the daybreak rites were halted for his father, it was suggested that he might do the same, but he indicated a strong wish that they “proceed as before.” [...]

Even today, the Emperor refuses to sleep until he has received a report from a chamberlain that the rituals have been successfully completed by an Imperial Household official representing him, which happens after 1:00 AM.

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Old 05-07-2018, 02:05 AM
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Religious Faith and the Emperor as a Symbol of the State |
Is the Emperor a Shintoist?

[…] All religious organizations must report the numbers of their followers to the government’s department of religious affairs each year. Taken together, these figures suggest that believers in various Shintō-type sects come to around 90 million.

But in public opinion surveys, only around two percent of the Japanese people define themselves as followers of Shintō. The reality is that most people do not identify themselves as believers in Shintō, even though their names may be listed as parishioners at one local shrine or another.


The Long Relationship Between the Imperial House and Buddhism
In fact, if we look through history, we find that most Japanese emperors have placed their faith not in Shintō but in Buddhism.

The eighth century Nihon Shoki (Chronicle of Japan) records that when Buddhism was brought to Japan, Emperor Kinmei (died 571) was indelibly struck by the beauty of the Buddhist images he saw. The decision by the Emperor Shōmu (701–756) to construct the great Tōdaiji temple in Nara was inspired by his own faith, which eventually drove a major project mobilizing all the skills and resources of the state.

[...] By the time the Kamakura period began in 1185, this devotion to esoteric Buddhism had become so entrenched that emperors took the throne through an ascetic Buddhist accession ritual known as sokui kanjō.

It is safe to say, then, that the religion of the Japanese emperors until the Meiji Restoration was Buddhism. Of course, they had a close relationship with Shintō as well [...] Nevertheless, the relationship with Buddhism was generally much closer.


The Meiji Restoration and a New Connection with Shintō


The Meiji Restoration fundamentally changed the relationship between the emperor and the two religious traditions of Shintō and Buddhism. […] The government took steps to establish a modern nation state with Shintō as one of its defining axes. As part of these changes, Buddhism was swept away from its traditional role within the imperial household. [Imperial cadet branch (shinnō)] Prince Yamashina Akira [...] personally expressed his wishes for a Buddhist funeral, but the Meiji government refused to allow this.

By contrast, the imperial household’s relationship with Shintō became closer than ever. In 1870, the new emperor, then 16, became the first emperor in history to visit Ise Shrine, considered the most important Shintō shrine in the country. […] As part of preparations for the visit, 195 Buddhist temples along the route were destroyed.

[…] Although a Bureau of Shrines and Temples (shajikyoku) was initially established inside the Home Ministry, this was later divided into a bureau for Shintō shrines and a bureau of religion.

[…] One of the reasons for separating Shintō from other religions [...] was to allow the government to make it compulsory for the entire population to take part in Shintō rituals as part of its program of national ethics (kokumin dōtoku).

The emperor would perform a role akin to that of chief priest, performing rites at the three court shrines in honor of the ancestral deities, the spirits of emperors past, and the myriad deities of the heavens and earth. The people, at the same time as praying to the gods, would also worship the emperor who was their chief priest and representative. This was the system established during the Meiji era.


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buddhism, japanese imperial family, japanese royal family, religion, shinto

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