rich source for the study of folk religion in Japan, and Shugendo€ in
particular. . . . This collection is most welcome.”
elite religion, and Miyake’s exposition of it, is rich and learned.”
volume of essays is the first comprehensive publication in English of the
work of Miyake Hitoshi, a distinguished scholar of Shugendo (mountain
asceticism) and one of the foremost researchers on Japanese folk religion.
Miyake defines folk religion as “religion that emerges from the
necessities of community life.” In Miyake’s systematic methodological
and theoretical approach, Shugendo is a classic example of Japanese folk
religion, for it blends many traditions (shamanism, Taoism, Buddhism, and
Shinto) into a distinctive Japanese religious worldview and is typical of
Japanese religion generally.
first part of this book is devoted to Shugendo and introduces the results
of Miyake’s research on Shugendo’s history, organization, ritual,
austerities, thought, and cosmology.
Related subjects include exorcism and the exclusion of women. The
second part of the book provides research and reflection on Japanese folk
religion, including essays on the idea of nature, worldly benefits, new
religions, death and rebirth, and the structure of folk religion.
Published by Center
for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan