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
Matsuoka Yūen
Text (171-83)
Proponent of Suika Shintō of the mid-Edo period. The characters of his given name are also read as Obuchi. His style was Chūryō, and his formal names were Fumio, Sadanao, and Yūen. He had the common names Ryōan and others, and went by numerous epistolary names, including Ryōzōya, Konseiō, and Gensai. Born in 1701 to the family of Shinto priests (shikan) of the shrine Atsuta Jingū in Owari Province (present-day Aichi Prefecture), Matsuoka entered into studies at the age of fifteen or sixteen under Yoshimi Yoshikazu, and at twenty years of age he traveled to Kyoto, where he received instruction from Asami Keisai's disciples Wakabayashi Kyōsai and Tamaki Masahide.
Nativist scholar Tada Yoshitoshi praised Yūen most highly as "a talent with absolute command of the field." However, Yūen came to express grave misgivings about the Kikke Shintō expounded by his teacher Masahide, particularly the strongly shamanistic character of the ex parte side of the school's traditional secret oral teachings. In 1733 he published a volume entitled Shintō gakusoku yamato damashii (The Theological Shinto Aspect of the Japanese Spirit), in which he stated that Masahide's ideas deviated from the original intentions of Suika Shintō founder Yamazaki Ansai, thus fomenting his split from Masahide's school.
Four years later, Yūen was prevailed upon by Yoshida Kaneo, then leader of the tradition of Yoshida Shintō, to succeed as head of the Yoshida Shintō academy. The teachings of the school thereafter retained many elements of Yūen's influence. He also served in the office of Yoshida jidoku, or instructor of Yoshida Shintō to the Emperor and Shōgun. Despite his Yoshida affiliation, he did not abandon Suika Shintō teachings. Rather, he continued his close affiliations with followers of the Suika school. He died on the third day of the eleventh month of 1783 at the age of eighty-three. He was the author of Nakatomi no harae kōgi (Lecture on the Purification Ritual of the Nakatomi) and Himorogi iwasaka gokuhi den (Extremely Secret Traditions of the Enclosures of Sacred Trees and Rocks), among other works.

- Yazaki Hiroyuki

Pronunciation in Japanese/用語音声

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