16. Tenrikyo and Omotokyo in the Context of Kyoha Shinto
Avery Morrow [+]
In Japanese religious studies, the Ōmoto and Tenrikyō groups are considered to be archetypical minshū shūkyō, “mass religions.” While they were once thought to be the result of unmediated mystical experiences on the part of their founders that resisted state authority, it is now recognized that both Tenrikyō and Ōmoto developed their teachings and practices through cooperation and communication with Japanese social and legal institutions. Most notably, in prewar Japan, Tenrikyō worked hard to be accepted as a full-fledged Sect Shinto group, while Ōmoto eventually rejected Sect Shinto. However, in postwar Japan, Tenrikyō left the Sect Shinto organization, and Ōmoto voluntarily joined it. A close analysis of the history of these two groups reveals their tangled relationship with the concept of Shinto, which itself underwent major changes during the 20th century.