book will take an honored place among the increasing number of works that
provide students and scholars with a more nuanced view of Japanese
presents a perspective on nineteenth-century religion in Japan that
differs from many received histories. For these insights alone, Religion
and Society will appeal to those interested in early modern religious and
and Society in Nineteenth-Century Japan offers extensive and concrete
detail for the complex institutional ways in which Buddhist temples and
Shinto shrines were interwoven and interpenetrated in the late Edo period,
and for the specific and equally complex ways in which this whole system
was transformed in the Meiji period. The book also details the economic
basis of institutional religions, the relative roles and strengths of
various Buddhist sects, and the ritualization of sericulture.
local geographies of the Kanto€ region as a basis for her study, Helen
Hardacre presents a statistical portrait of the religious institutions
existing in Ko€za County of Sagami Province and the Western Tama area of
Musashi Province in the years from roughly 1830 to 1840.
She then interprets this data to provide the social setting for
these religious institutions by supplementing the statistical portrait
derived from the geographies, first with an examination of the legal
framework governing religious institutions during the Edo period, and then
with case studies of four significant religious sites in the survey area..
The dynamics of the institutional organization of these four sites are
analyzed, with attention to the relations among temples and shrines and to
the development of the shrine priesthood. This analysis is further
supplemented with a discussion of popular religious life centering on the
temples and shrines of the survey area at the end of the Edo period.
Published by Center for
Japanese Studies, University of Michigan