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
Konkō Daijin
Text (1814-83)
Founder of Konkō-kyō. His childhood name was Genshichi, and he is also known as Akazawa Bunji. Born in the village of Urami in Bicchū Province (in present-day Okayama Prefecture) as the second son of the Kandori farming family. At age twelve, he was adopted into the Kawate household of the neighboring village of Ōtani, at which time he took the name Bunjirō. He worked assiduously for the prosperity and welfare of his family, and though he gained the respect of those around him, his family suffered a series of accidental deaths during house construction, and he feared that the deaths were the work of an evil spirit called Konjin. Bunjirō himself suffered a severe illness at the age of forty-two (in 1855), but while receiving magico-religious healing rituals, he experienced the sensation of divine healing, a religious experience that deepened his faith.
Further, Bunjirō's younger brother by birth, Kandori Shige'emon, became a Konjin-cult medium and faith healer in 1857, and Bunjirō took that as his own impetus to devote himself to Konjin. While now understanding the reasons for the Konjin deity's violence, Bunjirō also experienced the deity's compassion and began expounding on that theme. In response to a revelation from Konjin, Bunjirō gave up farming and devoted himself to proselytizing on the twenty-first day of the tenth month of 1859. Before long, the number of his converts grew, centered on a group of disciples called the deyashiro.
After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, religious policies of the new government temporarily placed limits on the movement's proselytizing activities, but this provided an opportunity to develop the doctrinal aspects of Konkō faith in works such as the autobiographical Konkō Daijin oboegaki (Memoirs of Konkō Daijin). In his later years he compiled the Oshirasegoto oboechō (Record of Revelations). Konkō Daijin died October 10, 1883, at the age of seventy. See also Konkō-kyō .

- Fukushima Shinkichi

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