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PrincessKLS2007 05-03-2008 12:06 AM

The Emperor and the Shinto Religion
 
What's their religion and their laws on what religion(s) they can or can't practice and retain their titles.

el-khanz 05-03-2008 03:12 AM

As far as I know their religion is Shinto. If I'm not mistaken, the Emperor is also the highest priest of Shinto.

lucien 05-03-2008 04:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PrincessKLS2007 (Post 761327)
What's their religion and their laws on what religion(s) they can or can't practice and retain their titles.

Shinto,the ancient native religion of Japan.Untill the end of WW II it was the state religion and the Emperor had a God like status.

PrinceOfCanada 05-03-2008 11:49 AM

Not "Godlike". In religious terms, the Emperor is a direct descendant of Ameraterasu, the Sun Goddess of Shinto. Ergo, is a god.

Mermaid1962 05-03-2008 04:11 PM

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?

Charlotte1 05-04-2008 09:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 (Post 761516)
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?

The Emperor doesn't believe he's a god, and no Japanese don't believe the Emperor his divine. At the time of the Meiji Restoration ( mid 19th century) the Shinto religion was reconfigured to centre on the Emperor and it was declared the state religion. Previous to that the Emperor wasn't considered a divine being, this belief sytem lasted until the end of WW2 so less than 80 years.

There are no written laws on the religion of the Imperial Family but it is expected that the Emperor be Shinto as he carries out certain rites that can only be done by a male, Shinto priests are male. This is an arguement the traditionalists use to argue for the continuation of male only Emperors, a female Emperor could not carry out the Shinto rites.

The Imperial Family members carry out certain religious obligations to honour their ancestors several times a year, Masako has been criticised for the fact that she hasn't gone with the other royals for several years now to carry out these observances. ( All done in private, the general public doesn't see most of the religious ceremonies carried out by the royals)

Japanese in general are fairly fluid in their religious practises, as a Japanese person described it to me. Shinto deals with living a good life so people take their children to the Shinto shrine for blessings and they marry at a Shinto Shrine,each new year they pray at the shrine for a good year ( also at exam time for good exam results!) When they die, they have a Buddhist funeral since Buddhism deals with having a good after life. Then once a year, Japanese are Christian ( christmas!).

Mandy 05-04-2008 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Charlotte1 (Post 761758)
The Emperor doesn't believe he's a god, and no Japanese don't believe the Emperor his divine. At the time of the Meiji Restoration ( mid 19th century) the Shinto religion was reconfigured to centre on the Emperor and it was declared the state religion. Previous to that the Emperor wasn't considered a divine being, this belief sytem lasted until the end of WW2 so less than 80 years.

There are no written laws on the religion of the Imperial Family but it is expected that the Emperor be Shinto as he carries out certain rites that can only be done by a male, Shinto priests are male. This is an arguement the traditionalists use to argue for the continuation of male only Emperors, a female Emperor could not carry out the Shinto rites.

The Imperial Family members carry out certain religious obligations to honour their ancestors several times a year, Masako has been criticised for the fact that she hasn't gone with the other royals for several years now to carry out these observances. ( All done in private, the general public doesn't see most of the religious ceremonies carried out by the royals)

Japanese in general are fairly fluid in their religious practises, as a Japanese person described it to me. Shinto deals with living a good life so people take their children to the Shinto shrine for blessings and they marry at a Shinto Shrine,each new year they pray at the shrine for a good year ( also at exam time for good exam results!) When they die, they have a Buddhist funeral since Buddhism deals with having a good after life. Then once a year, Japanese are Christian ( christmas!).

So one could argue that those who claim that the Emperor must be male as oppose to female in order to perform the rites of a Shinto priest, is nothing but propaganda. I believe conservatives claim this is a centuries-old tradition while the so-called "tradition" was changed only 80 years ago in an attempt to ensure male primogeniture.

PrincessKLS2007 05-10-2008 12:06 PM

So what country has a Buddhist royal family? I thought one of the Asian country had Buddhism as an officially religion with a Buddhist royal family.

Shikha Pal 05-11-2008 03:52 AM

I am very Interested in Religion all over the world, and i have read that most Japanese are Buddhist

Vanesa 05-16-2008 06:19 PM

Most of them are a mix of Buddhist and Shintoist. It's like in China, where people could be Buddhist and Taoist at the same time. I know it sound weird..but this is the way it is.

Vanesa.

namiey 05-18-2008 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PrincessKLS2007 (Post 764105)
So what country has a Buddhist royal family? I thought one of the Asian country had Buddhism as an officially religion with a Buddhist royal family.

Thai royal family are buddhist, I bilieve
And Cambodia,Nepal,Bhutan also has the royal family,
but I don't know they are buddhist or not.
However I think they are buddhist
becouse these country are buddhism country.

tete 05-22-2008 12:29 AM

I'm pretty sure the Nepalese Royal Family practices the Hindu religion but I may also be wrong. But apart from that Cambodia, Thailand and Bhutan have monarchs that to my knowledge practice Buddhism.

Vanesa 05-22-2008 07:36 PM

Yes, Nepalese royal family practices Hinduism as their religion. Bhutan is Buddhist, but I don't know what branch of Buddhism does they practice...Anyone??? :question:

Vanesa.

namiey 05-23-2008 05:47 AM

Oh,so I was mistaken?
Sorry for my mistaken!

Furienna 05-23-2008 06:37 PM

Bhutan is most likely a Therevada country. Theravada is the stricter form of buddhism, which says only monks can enter Nirvana after death. Mahayana is the more liberal form of buddhism, which can even be mixed with the country's pre-buddhist domestic religions, like it is in China and Japan.

Next Star 09-03-2008 02:03 AM

I always thiught the Japanese imperial family were buddhist but reading other members post they might be shinto or maybe a mixture of both I guess.

Furienna 09-03-2008 05:32 AM

The people in Japan are often both Shinto and Buddhists. I guess the same thing is true for the imperial family.

norenxaq 09-04-2008 02:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vanesa (Post 766696)
Most of them are a mix of Buddhist and Shintoist. It's like in China, where people could be Buddhist and Taoist at the same time. I know it sound weird..but this is the way it is.

Vanesa.

japanese and chinese also follow confucius

Furienna 09-04-2008 05:20 AM

The Japanese follow Confucius too? I thought only the Chinese (and maybe the Koreans) were Confucians.

Charlotte1 09-04-2008 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Furienna (Post 818869)
The Japanese follow Confucius too? I thought only the Chinese (and maybe the Koreans) were Confucians.

No Japanese don't follow Confucius, the Japanese indigenous religion is Shinto, the imported faith is Buddhism. Much, much later and in a much smaller number Christianity starting with Catholicism.

Furienna 09-04-2008 11:52 AM

That's what I thought too.

caster51 05-08-2009 05:35 AM

Shintoism and Judaism
 
YouTube - Japanese are Jews ?!

YouTube - Japanese are Jews ?

Israelites Came To Ancient Japan
Israelites Came To Ancient Japan

caster51 05-10-2009 12:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by caster51 (Post 932453)

Israelites Came To Ancient Japan
Israelites Came To Ancient Japan

http://www5.ocn.ne.jp/~magi9/isracam3.htm
http://www5.ocn.ne.jp/~magi9/isracam4.htm

I feel something a connection...

fugu plan

YouTube - The Fugu Plan

manchukuo at that time 1938
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16IVk...e=channel_page
The Newborn Empire
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x9znZlHXrI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E3vXXyGMls

Dina 11-23-2011 11:43 PM

It's also interesting to note the Quaker influence post-war.

The Emperor's Tutor

mariaantoniapia 05-23-2012 03:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Furienna (Post 818869)
The Japanese follow Confucius too? I thought only the Chinese (and maybe the Koreans) were Confucians.

I think you are correct.

mariaantoniapia 05-24-2012 01:48 PM

According to Asahi Shinbun (April 27 2012), Akihito and Michiko want to be cremated.

Jacknch 05-24-2012 02:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mariaantoniapia (Post 1418514)
According to Asahi Shinbun (April 27 2012), Akihito and Michiko want to be cremated.

There is an on-line article in the Daily Telegraph which says that the Emperor and Empress have informed the IHA that they would like to be cremated as part of simple services to mark their deaths "to minimise the impact on the lives of the citizens".
The article continues that the head of the IHA said the request was unusual but that TIM have "repeatedly expressed their opinions on the subject".

I hope the following link will work (the headline is rather more suited to a tabloid than a broadsheet newspaper).

Japan Emperor and the Empress want cut-price funerals - Telegraph

DukeOfAster 05-24-2012 02:34 PM

As a child I loved the stuff we did every year like clockwork. I always expected to do those same things as a adult that I did as a child. At 16 I got a job and I did this new thing no one else did just me. Now at 40 I understand those are traditions and eventhough I look back fondly on those days at 16 I started in my on way a new tradition. It did not tear down the walls at my family home home it added a new wall to my home. So I say if the Imperial Majesties want to start some new like being cremated I am sure the Palace wall will be fine. With them doing it the next time it happens it will not cause a shock like it does today.

mariaantoniapia 05-26-2012 04:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DukeOfAster (Post 1418551)
As a child I loved the stuff we did every year like clockwork. I always expected to do those same things as a adult that I did as a child. At 16 I got a job and I did this new thing no one else did just me. Now at 40 I understand those are traditions and eventhough I look back fondly on those days at 16 I started in my on way a new tradition. It did not tear down the walls at my family home home it added a new wall to my home. So I say if the Imperial Majesties want to start some new like being cremated I am sure the Palace wall will be fine. With them doing it the next time it happens it will not cause a shock like it does today.

talking about imperial cremation, it is not new to the Imperial House. Since the Sovereign Empress Jitou, durring the Middle Ages, most emperors were cremated because they were basically Buddhists as well as Shintoists. So, their funerals were conducted according to the Buddhist rite until the death of the Emperor Koumei who was the father of the Emperor Meiji. It became law only in the Meiji Era that the strict observation of Shintoism was forced upon the Imperial House and the Emperor's funeral must be conducted in the rite of the Shintoism.

So, Akihito is trying to reintroducing the older tradition of the cremation of the diceased emperor. I am also hoping that the Imperial Family will be able to practice their old Buddhist tradition because many of the previous emperors are buried in Buddhist temples in Kyoto.

ChiaraC 05-26-2012 10:04 AM

It is very interesting what you say. In this thread (starting with post 707) we have already discussed the emperor´s wish to be cremated, and nobody thought that it had a religious background, but rather practical reasons. The issue was also presented in this way by the press articles that were published (which means nothing, of course).

A blogger whose comments I always find very enlightening commented:
Quote:

Yesterday the Imperial Household Agency made an announcement that will set the Machimura faction's District 24 candidate and every other rightists' head spinning: the ever-surprising and refreshing Heisei Emperor and the Empress [that means: Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko] have asked to be cremated. [...]

The announcement will likely further enhance the reputations of the present emperor and the imperial family. Both are riding high in public opinion in their selfless devotion to the comforting of the people of the Tohoku in the aftermath of 3/11. The imperial couple's request to have the same sort of funeral the law requires of everyone else (again, with the exception of Muslims) and be together forever will likely result in a renewed outburst of public praise and admiration for the trendsetting couple.

The announcement will also drive a further wedge in between the members of the Imperial House and the rightists who claim to be the imperial family's supporters and protectors. The rightists are already up in arms over the proposal to have imperial princesses retain their nobility after marriage. This latest announcement will give the rightists fits.

Of course, the Heisei emperor has always had a penchant for thumbing his nose at the hyper-patriots and their historical blindness. His 2001 acknowledgement of his debts to his Korean ancestors, even in the minimalist way he did it, drove the preposterous celebrators of the pure imperial line nuts. His classic dry put-down of the Tokyo Metropolitan District official who boasted that all the employees of the TMD now sang the national anthem -- "Yes, and wouldn't it have been nice if they had not been coerced to do so?" -- left that official and the right speechless.

The current emperor and empress are opening up space for the succession of the crown prince, a subject that has gained increased urgency with the emperor's recent bypass surgery. If there is a rift between the current imperial couple and the rightists, there will be a chasm between the two when Naruhito and Masako mount the throne.
The Real Emperor Makes Real News

So you think that the request of the imperial couple demonstrates their desire to return to the former peaceful coexistence of Shintoism and Buddhism that had been marred by the Meiji Restoration?

ChiaraC 05-26-2012 10:09 AM

Ise Shrine ponders changing name to Ise Temple
 
Quote:

Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture, one of Japan's most famous Shinto shrines, may change its name to Ise Temple if proponents of the change have their way.
The idea to change the English-language name of Ise Jingu (Ise Grand Shrine) has been floated as a way to help foreigners better understand its centuries-old institution, spokesman Tatsumi Yoshikawa told an audience of some 130 people at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan (FCCJ) on May 24.
Yoshikawa related in-house debate on the potential name change during a lecture on the history of ancient Japan and the role Ise Shrine has played in Japanese society over the years. His remarks surprised some members of the audience as well as officials from the city of Ise and the city's tourism and industry groups. [...]

Yoshikawa gave the lecture as part of a series of events to promote tourism in the city of Ise, ahead of a traditional ceremony next year. Ise Shrine is gearing up for the Jingu Shikinen Sengu, a ceremony to transfer sacred treasures and other symbolic objects to new buildings, in 2013. The ceremony has been held every 20 years for 1,300 years.
The Mainichi

mariaantoniapia 05-26-2012 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChiaraC (Post 1419454)
It is very interesting what you say. In this thread (starting with post 707) we have already discussed the emperor´s wish to be cremated, and nobody thought that it had a religious background, but rather practical reasons. The issue was also presented in this way by the press articles that were published (which means nothing, of course).

A blogger whose comments I always find very enlightening commented:
The Real Emperor Makes Real News

So you think that the request of the imperial couple demonstrates their desire to return to the former peaceful coexistence of Shintoism and Buddhism that had been marred by the Meiji Restoration?

I think that the emperor wants a simple funeral because it costs us but I think it will be good if they can pracrice Buddhism if they wish because there is an old temple called Sennyuji or Mitera in Kyoto where many emperors are buried. If they can openly practice their Buddhist ceremonies within the imperial rituals, then, they can organise houe for their ancestors more easily. At the moment, they do not seem to visit the Mitera so easily like they could before the Meiji era started.

With the Shintoism only policy started in the Meiji Era, Japanese imperial family became more masculine and militant like samurais. Before then, they were more femimin and were the patrons of arts and ancient rituals. They also gave their patronage to certain Buddhist temples.

DukeOfAster 05-26-2012 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mariaantoniapia

talking about imperial cremation, it is not new to the Imperial House. Since the Sovereign Empress Jitou, durring the Middle Ages, most emperors were cremated because they were basically Buddhists as well as Shintoists. So, their funerals were conducted according to the Buddhist rite until the death of the Emperor Koumei who was the father of the Emperor Meiji. It became law only in the Meiji Era that the strict observation of Shintoism was forced upon the Imperial House and the Emperor's funeral must be conducted in the rite of the Shintoism.

So, Akihito is trying to reintroducing the older tradition of the cremation of the diceased emperor. I am also hoping that the Imperial Family will be able to practice their old Buddhist tradition because many of the previous emperors are buried in Buddhist temples in Kyoto.

Interesting ,I did not know that thank you for clarifiying that. This site and the wonderful people who post here have taught me so much.

mariaantoniapia 05-28-2012 05:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChiaraC (Post 1419458)

A temple sounds like a Buddhist building and a shrine is more suited to a Shinto edifice of worship to me. It will be interesting for people from abroad to visit the Sennyuuji (a Buddhist temple) in Kyoto which has kept previous emperors' o-ihais (spirit tablets). There are many emperors buried there, too.

ChiaraC 11-27-2013 07:17 AM

Here is a very interesting article about Shinto and the "double meaning" its rituals and traditions carry in present-day Japan:

Re-engineering Shinto
by David Mcneill, Nov 23, 2013
Quote:

Japan’s ancient, indigenous religion, premodern Shinto, was considered one of the world’s least dogmatic, laidback belief systems. Many of its earthy, animist rituals were tied to a love of nature and tradition, anchored around festivals and ceremonies honoring kami (gods) found in all aspects of life.

After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Shinto was retooled for the modern, bureaucratic state. The first reformists purged Buddhism, made Shinto a state religion and elevated the Emperor to head of state, making him the divine link in an unbroken chain going all the way back to the sun goddess. As such, the religion became inextricably bound up with the rise of Japanese nationalism and its central tenets. The Emperor had a divine right to rule Japan, which was superior to other nations. Millions of Japanese children were taught these supremacist beliefs, fueling the clash with foreign imperialisms. [...]

The two faces of Shinto today are present in the organization’s headquarters. The affable spokesman for the religion’s International Section, Katsuji Iwahashi, stresses Shinto’s essentially peaceful roots and its overwhelmingly benign role in the lives of millions of Japanese as well as its modern, internationalist outlook. [...]

Where does the Emperor stand on female succession? We don’t know, but Shinto conservatives oppose it because allowing an Empress would dilute the “purity of the imperial line,” says Yuzawa. “What if a woman succeeds and marries a foreigner? Non-Japanese blood will be mixed.”

Mariel 11-27-2013 12:18 PM

I speak as a person with very little knowledge of these matters, although I am learning a lot from reading this thread. I expect that the Judeo-Christian tradition is at least a glimmer in the minds of the present royal family, partly because of the education of the empress at a Catholic school--I read that Michiko--or was it Masako--went to the school run by the Ladies of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Even though upper class girls who were not Christian might have gone there and not become Christian, the teachings of the nuns cannot have occurred in a religious vacuum. The women who belong to this order of nuns are highly educated, with many of them having Ph.D's from Western institutions. This is not a small scale education.
What the imperial family actually believes may be a secret, and it's probably pretty syncretic or ecumenical. I hope they have the freedom to discuss these ideas in their households, without being spied on. Oh to be a little bird in a corner listening! We might be surprised at the brain power exhibited. This makes me laugh at my own surmise.

Furienna 11-27-2013 12:37 PM

Only 1 % or so of the Japanese population is Christian, while the majority would be Shintoists and/or Buddhists. But still, Christianity has been around in Japan for four hundred years, and it seems like the Japanese have even started celebrating Christmas! Most people in Japan see it as a non-religious holiday, of course, but I still find it interesting...

Spheno 11-27-2013 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mariel (Post 1621508)
What the imperial family actually believes may be a secret, and it's probably pretty syncretic or ecumenical. I hope they have the freedom to discuss these ideas in their households, without being spied on. Oh to be a little bird in a corner listening! We might be surprised at the brain power exhibited. This makes me laugh at my own surmise.

It's not secret. They are Shintoists and Shinto ceremonies are very important part of their duties. Some rituals are performed only by an Emperor. Sayako Kuroda (formerly Princess Nori) is a chief priestess of one of Shinto Shrines now.

Mermaid1962 02-25-2014 08:20 PM

So according to this quote--"Shinto was stripped of its public status in a bid to separate church and state along U.S. constitutional lines"--I gather that Shinto isn't the official religion of Japan. Does this mean that the
Emperor could convert to another religion and remain the Emperor?

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChiaraC (Post 1621476)
Here is a very interesting article about Shinto and the "double meaning" its rituals and traditions carry in present-day Japan:

Re-engineering Shinto
by David Mcneill, Nov 23, 2013


Furienna 02-25-2014 10:38 PM

Not really, since the emperor has many duties, which are linked to the Shinto religion.

Mermaid1962 02-26-2014 07:46 PM

:previous: So there's a division of religion and state but not really. :ermm: 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???

greentealatte 03-18-2014 12:38 AM

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.

Tuf Pic 04-18-2014 07:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mermaid1962 (Post 761516)
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


In fact ALL JAPANESE WERE CONSIDERED DESCENDANTS OF VARIOUS KAMI!!


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!! :japanflag: :japanflag2:

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)...


http://www.counterpunch.org/2002/12/...-then-and-now/


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


He does have a point!!

Furienna 04-20-2014 09:28 AM

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.

Tuf Pic 09-29-2017 02:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Furienna (Post 1658867)
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!!


...ALSO...


https://zeldauniverse.net/forums/Thr...den-Amaterasu/,

http://www.greenshinto.com/wp/2011/0...ery-of-himiko/,

...&...


http://www.greenshinto.com/wp/2012/0...ess-priestess/!!


(For the last 2, scroll down to the comments section('s)!!

Lady Nimue 09-29-2017 03:45 AM

I look forward to reading this thread. :flowers: 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.

Prisma 12-07-2017 07:53 PM

Inside the Niinamesai: The Emperor's Most Difficult Ritual | JAPAN Forward
Quote:

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.

[...]

Prisma 05-07-2018 03:05 AM

Religious Faith and the Emperor as a Symbol of the State | Nippon.com
Quote:

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.

[…]

Prisma 10-11-2018 01:31 PM

Yasukuni chief priest resigns over criticism of Emperor Akihito: The Asahi Shimbun
Quote:

[...]

The Shinto shrine in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward announced the resignation of Kunio Kohori, 68, in a statement released on Oct. 10.

Kohori came under fire after the Shukan Post weekly magazine reported on his comments made at a meeting in June with Shinto priests and shrine workers. He lashed out at Akihito and other members of the imperial family because they have stayed away from Yasukuni Shrine.

“Don’t you agree that the more the emperor is dedicated to traveling (to former battle sites) to console the spirits of the war dead, the more he will move away from Yasukuni Shrine?” Kohori said, according to the magazine. “To put it bluntly, the emperor is trying to crush Yasukuni Shrine.”

Kohori also raised concerns about what will happen after Akihito abdicates in April next year and Crown Prince Naruhito takes over the throne, according to the magazine.

“Do you think the crown prince will pay a visit to the shrine after he becomes the new emperor? She, who will become the new empress (Crown Princess Masako), abhors Shinto and shrines,” the magazine quoted Kohori as saying.

The magazine, which said it had obtained an audio recording of the 110-minute meeting, published Kohori’s comments in the combined Oct. 12-19 issue.

[...] After the war criminals were enshrined at Yasukuni in 1978, Akihito’s father, Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, stopped making pilgrimages to the shrine.

[...]

Akihito, who became emperor in January 1989, has never visited Yasukuni.

[...]

A crucial issue for Yasukuni Shrine is whether Akihito will visit before he abdicates the Chrysanthemum Throne.

[...]
Ehh... Yasukuni Shrine shouldn't expect visits from Emperor Akihito or new Emperor Naruhito. I doubt Akihito will change his mind after staying away for decades; Naruhito is aware of his father's and grandfather's stances.

It seems the IHA assigns Princesses Akiko or Yoko of Mikasa to the controversial shrine when Imperial presence is needed.

Furienna 10-23-2018 05:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Prisma (Post 2156944)
Yasukuni chief priest resigns over criticism of Emperor Akihito: The Asahi Shimbun

Ehh... Yasukuni Shrine shouldn't expect visits from Emperor Akihito or new Emperor Naruhito. I doubt Akihito will change his mind after staying away for decades; Naruhito is aware of his father's and grandfather's stances.

It seems the IHA assigns Princesses Akiko or Yoko of Mikasa to the controversial shrine when Imperial presence is needed.

Why is the shrine controversial? I'm sorry, but I really don't understand.

Ephram 04-12-2019 04:51 AM

Because several World War II criminals were laid to rest in the shrine that's why after World War II the Imperial Family would avoid visiting it. And when some prime ministers visiting the shrine they would be met with criticism in the press

Furienna 04-26-2019 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ephram (Post 2211019)
Because several World War II criminals were laid to rest in the shrine that's why after World War II the Imperial Family would avoid visiting it. And when some prime ministers visiting the shrine they would be met with criticism in the press

Ah, I see. Thank you.


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