Encyclopedia of Shinto

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カテゴリー1: 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities
カテゴリー2: Personalities
Sawatari Hiromori
Text (1811-1884)
Shinto priest and scholar of National Learning (kokugaku) in the late Edo and early Meiji periods. Son of Sawatari Moriaki, a Shinto priest (kannushi) at the shrine Rokusho no Miya (presently Ōkunitama Jinja) in Fuchū, Musashi Province (present-day Fuchū City, Tokyo). In 1835, he following his father's instructions by becaming a disciple of Oyamada Tomokiyo. Through Oyamada's academy, he interacted with many other scholars and writers, and in time his efforts earned him recognition, along with his father Moriaki, as one of the "ten great Shōmon philosophers" (students of the Matsushita Sonjuku, a private academy founded on the ideals of patriot Yoshida Shōin).
Research on the history of Rokusho no Miya and central "combined shrines (sōja) became his life's work. In 1858, the domainal lord (daimyō) Tokugawa Nariaki of Mito consulted Sawatari regarding the problem of foreign incursion, in response to which he submitted an official opinion paper. Following his father's retirement in 1862, Sawatari entered the Shinto priesthood at fifty years of age, inheriting the family post at the shrine. He served the new Meiji government in its second year (1869), becoming an Associate Professor of the University, Commissioner of Mausolea (shoryōjō), and Junior Professor of Instruction (senkyō shōhakushi; part of the government-sponsored Great Promulgation Campaign; see taikyō senpu), followed by posts in the Ministry of Religious Education (Kyōbushō), Ministry of Home Affairs (Naimushō) and the Imperial Household Ministry (Kunaishō). In these posts, he was principally responsible for the historical survey and investigation of imperial mausolea.
Sawatari retired from government service in 1879 and passed away at the age of seventy-three on August 8, 1884. He authored such works as Musashi sōjashi (Notes on the Combined Shrines of Musashi Province), Sōja wakumon (Questions on Regional Combined Shrines) and Shokoku sōja shiryō (Materials on the Combined Shrines of Various Provinces) among other works, as well as the Hogochō (Book of Detritus) a fifty-volume work documenting rumors, hearsay and opinion pieces recorded since the late Edo period.

—Takeda Hideaki

Pronunciation in Japanese/用語音声

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