Encyclopedia of Shinto

詳細表示 (Complete Article)

カテゴリー1: 1. General Introduction
カテゴリー2: Religious and Intellectual Influences on Shinto
Shinto and Shugendō
Shugendō is one of Japan's folk religions, based on primitive mountain worship and formed under the influence of Buddhism, Daoism, Onmyōdō, and other religions. The name shugen is derived from the term genriki, which refers to special powers acquired as the result of religious practice (shugyō) performed within the mountains. In the past, such persons were frequently referred to by such terms as sanga (one who beds in the mountains) or the more common yamabushi (one who retreats to the mountains). While Shugendō provides abstract theories regarding the meaning of such terms, they are generally used to refer to those who acquire supranormal magico-religious capabilities by sheltering in the mountains—that is to say, by retreating to the mountains and engaging in concourse with mountain spirits. Shugen practitioners are also called yama no hijiri (holy-men of the mountains), genja (men of power), or gyōja (ascetic practitioners).

The History of Shugendō
The history of Shugendō can be roughly divided into four periods. The first period extends to the end of Heian period before the two schools of Honzanha and Tōzanha were formed. It can be called pre-Shugendō or primitive Shugendō. Based on early views of mountains as sacred space (seichikan) or gateways to the other world (takaikan), the number of ascetics using mountains and forests as sites of religious practice gradually increased. Groups of shugen gradually coalesced thanks to the rise of mountain-centered Buddhism and esoteric Buddhism in the Heian period. By the end of the period, sacred mountains throughout the country had become well known as sites of ascetic religious practice. Particularly prominent among those mountains were Mount Yoshino, as exemplified by Fujiwara Michinaga's "holy mountain pilgramage" (mitake mōde) there in 1007, and the "three mountains of Kumano" (Kumano sanzan), to which the retired Emperors Shirakawa, Go-Shirakawa, and Go-Toba all made pilgrimages (Kumano mōde). Pilgrimages to the three Kumano mountains in fact flourished to such a degree that the parade of visitors came to be known as "pilgrimage of ants to Kumano."
The second period extends from the formation of the two Shugendō branches Honzanha and Tōzanha to the forcible "separation of Shintō and Buddhism" (Shinbutsu bunri) in 1868 and the abolition of Shugendō itself in 1872. This can be called the period of sectarian Shugendō, and can be divided into early and late halves centering on the bakufu's issuance of the Shugendō hatto (Ordinance for Shugendō) in 1613. Shugendō flourished during the early half of the period. Mount Ōmine, including the peaks of Yoshino, Ōmine and Kumano, was considered the religion's central place of training and practice and En no Ozunu came to be seen as its patriarch. Periodic intensive mountain retreats (nyūbu shugyō, or buchū shugyō) were arranged, and the Honzanha and Tōzanha branches developed organizationally. Furthermore, various sacred mountains throughout the country—from the "three mountains of Dewa" (Dewa Sanzan) in the northeast to Hikosan in Kyūshū—displayed independent development as places of Shugendō practice. The Shugendō hatto of 1613 represented an official recognition of the dual existence of the Honzanha and Tōzanha branches. Both groups continued their organizational development through the early modern period. However, on the whole the practice of mountain retreats (nyūbu shugyō) became formalized, ritual spells and invocations (kaji kitō) performed for the common people became the primary religious activities, and yamabushi practitioners commonly began residing in villages (sato yamabushi) instead of mountains. From the mid Edo period, lay people commonly participated in mountain retreats as well, and Fuji gyōja (Mount Fuji ascetics) in the line of the founder known as Miroku and Ontake gyōja (Mount Ontake ascetics) in the tradition of Fukan and Kukumei were active.
The third period of Shugendō history extends from the Meiji-period separation of Shintō and Buddhism and abolition of Shugendō, to the end of World War II in 1945 and ensuing promulgation of the new Religious Corporations Ordinance (Shūkyō hōjinrei). With the abolition of Shugendō, practitioners went in three directions—they either grew their hair and became Shintō priests (shinshoku), joined the Tendai or Shingon sects of Buddhism, or returned to secular life—and Shugendō ceased to exist as an organized religion. However, Shugendō was essentially carried on within the Tendai and Shingon schools of Buddhism, and in such sectarian Shintō (kyōha Shintō) groups as Fusōkyō, Jikkōkyō, and Mitakekyō.
The fourth period of Shugendō history runs from the promulgation of the aforementioned postwar Religious Corporations Ordinance to the present. A wide variety of new Shugendō organizations exist with an equally wide variety of affiliations, from the old Honzanha and Tōzanha groups and independent practitioners who formerly were associated with particular mountains, to new religions of a Shugendō nature.

Similarities between Shintō and Shugendō
The process of Shugendō's historical development is similar to that found in the history of Shintō, which moved from primitive Shintō to Ryōbu Shintō, then Ise Shintō, Yoshida Shintō, and on to Jinja Shintō and Kokka Shintō (State Shintō). The resemblances between the two are reflected in the fact that widespread feuding and disputes occurred between adherents of Yoshida Shintō and Shugendō in the early modern period as a result of the expansion of Yoshida Shintō throughout the period, and in the fact that the Meiji-period separation of Shintō and Buddhism and subsequent abolition of Shugendō resulted in many practitioners converting from Shugendō to Shintō.
The factors that produced the conflict with Yoshida Shintō and the Meiji-period conversion from Shugendō to Shintō priesthood were as much as anything else the fact that during the early modern period shugen practitioners vastly outnumbered Shintō priests and Shintō-type elements were also included in Shugendō rituals, and the fact that many early modern yamabushi who resided in villages created parishes of believers for their thaumaturgic invocatory practices and performed Shintō rituals in the status of supervising intendent priests (bettō) over Shintō shrines.

Shugendō Religious Practice
Practice in Shugendō was originally based on a "transmission beyond words" (furiyūmonji) and aimed toward the acquisition of spiritual powers through ascetic training, but numerous works of doctrine were authored from the medieval into the early modern periods. However, these works were mainly explications and descriptions of mountain retreats, vestments and ritual procedures based on theories of esoteric Buddhism. Although four seasonal mountain retreats are postulated in Shugendō (one each in spring, summer, autumn and winter), only the Haguro sect continued to observe all four throughout the early modern period. And while Shugendō has evolved its own object of worship called Kongō Zaō Gongen, various other deities are also worshiped, including natural phenomena such as sun, moon and stars/planets, various Buddhist divinities, and the kami of Shintō. Overall, however, practice focuses on the cosmic buddha Dainichi Nyorai mainly in its "disciplinary manifestation" (kyōryō rinshin) as Fudō Myōō (demon-quelling form with scowling countenance), and ritual practices likewise focus on the adept's visualizing his unification with the deity Fudō Myōō. Frequent use of the Buddhist goma fire ritual is seen in Shugendō during the performance of various rites, including mountain retreats and rites for Buddhist deities and kami. While the goma rituals of esoteric Buddhism such as the sokusai goma (ritual for exorcizing disaster) have been adopted in many of these instances, use is also made during mountain retreats of Shugendō's own unique hashiramoto goma, and saitō goma is frequently performed both during mountain retreats and in various other rituals. Religious activities performed for the common people consist mainly of thaumaturgic spells and invocations (kaji kitō) and purificatory harai rituals that utilized a variety of sacred texts, amulets, and ritual implements. Such activities took a variety of forms, ranging from exorcisms of possessing spirits (tsukimono otoshi), to thaumaturgic healings, all-night vigils held on specific days of the lunar calendar to worship the moon or sun, and rituals dedicated to deities of home and grounds (ie no kami and yashikigami). Among the rites of Shugendō, many of those of Shintō lineage have been compiled in the Shugendō shoshin kanjō tsūyō edited by Gyōson and the Shugenshū Shintō jinja injin edited by Jinkan, while the Shugen shinpi gyōhō fujushū and Shugen shinpi gyōhō fuju zokushū reproduce numerous Shintō-derived kirigami, ritual transmissions originally written on small slips of paper.
— Miyamoto Kesao

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