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State Shinto and Emperor Veneration

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Chapter Summary

Emperor veneration by the people is an important factor in understanding the ideology of National Polity, but this aspect is slighted in Murakami?s assessment. The system of State Shinto functioned strongly in modern Japanese society from around the time of the Meiji Restoration until the end of the Pacific War. From the perspective of religious history, the approach to the ideology of National Polity looks different. Religion provides significance and order to people?s lives. This chapter presents an overview of the development of the ideology of National Polity in the context of the history of religion and thought in Japan from the eighteenth century to the promulgation of the Constitution of the Great Empire of Japan in 1899. The chapter examines the ideology of kokutai before and after the Meiji Restoration, focusing on the concepts of kōdō and kōgaku.

Keywords: emperor veneration; Japan; kokutai; Meiji Restoration; National Polity; Pacific War; State Shinto



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