Encyclopedia of Shinto

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カテゴリー1: 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities
カテゴリー2: Modern Sectarian Groups
A Shinto-derived new religion founded by Tanaka Morihei (1884-1928). Tanaka is said to have acquired a kind of supranormal power akin to an "ectenic force" (reishiryoku) as the result of a four-months long ascetic seclusion in the mountains, together with fasting he performed during that time. In 1903 Tanaka tried to make a direct appeal to the Emperor regarding foreign policy towards Russia at that time, but he was judged to be suffering from delusions of grandeur and made to return home to his native village in Ena District, Gifu Prefecture, whereupon he embarked on another regimen of fasting. Shortly afterwards, he began to attract groups of followers due to his ability to heal illnesses. He then became active in politics, founding the Dai Nihon Teikoku Seinenkai (Great Japanese Empire Youth Association) in Nagoya, and making plans to travel to Mongolia. Before he could do so, however, he was arrested by the police and once again returned to his home village—where he again began to perform austerities in the mountains.
In 1910 Tanaka completed his work Taireidō Jiten (Dictionary of the Great Spirit Way) and in the following year set up the Tōkyō Reirigakkai (Tokyo Spiritualist Society). Thereafter, he established centers throughout the country for pursuing the spiritualist studies that were the theoretical basis of his religious group, and for the performance of the "ectenic techniques" (reishijutsu) that were their practical embodiment. The term reishi refers to the substantive "spirit quantum" of life-energy said to emanate from the great spirit (tairei) that is cosmic life; all phenomena, whether spiritual or physical, are said to be results of the workings of this reishi. Taireidō claimed that control of the reishi could be directed to all manner of ends, including healing of sickness, improving the intellect, reforming bad habits, and even military goals.
With such teachings Tanaka attracted numerous devotees and supporters, and in 1916 established the Taireidō Hon'in (main temple of Taireidō) in the Kōjimachi area of Tokyo, where he devoted himself to training spiritual practitioners. In 1934 he built a large Western-style shrine pavilion, six-stories high and pyramidal in shape, in Takenami village, Ena district (Gifu Prefecture), which led to the establishment of a post office, lodging facilities, and even a national rail line station for the convenience of the numerous visitors arriving there.
The movement initially flourished, but Tanaka began to attract criticism from the practitioners of other spiritualist schools, and then the shrine at Ena was razed to the ground in an accidental fire in the early Showa era. When Tanaka suddenly died in 1928, the movement ceased to exist.

—Yumiyama Tatsuya

Pronunciation in Japanese/用語音声

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