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 considered in the Shirakawa Shintō lineage. It began when Onikura Taruhiko, who had received direct transmission from the Shirakawa family of Shinto ritualists (called the Shirakawa Hakuō), experienced possession (kamigakari) by a deity around 1919. At the time, Onikura was in prison as an upshot of the plot to assassinate the politician Ōkuma Shigenobu. Onikura, who conducted research into Shirakawa Shinto and ardently advocated moral training based on so-called "ancient Shinto" (koshintō), promoted the construction of a shrine dedicated to the imperial deity Yamatohime no mikoto. As a result, in 1936 he expanded his activities by establishing the Kōdō Saishūkai ("Association for venerating the imperial way").
In 1938 Onikura proclaimed that his wife Shizuko, who had experienced spirit possession since childhood, was "the reincarnation of the deity Yamatohime." Thereafter, Shizuko joined her husband Taruhiko in acting as one of the driving forces behind the movement's expansion. In 1940 it was registered as a religious association under the Religious Organizations Law (Shūkyō Dantaihō) but its main center in Tokyo was destroyed as a result of wartime bombing. After the war it moved its organizational headquarters to Atami and in 1946 it became registered as a religious corporation with the name Sumerakyō under the Religious Corporations Ordinance ( Shūkyō Hōjinrei). In the following year it changed the way its name was written, from using the Sino-Japanese ideogram 皇 (sumera) to using the hiragana phonetic script すめら(sumera). In 1954 it became a registered religious corporation under the Religious Corporations Law (Shūkyō Hōjinhō).
The group aims at the study and promulgation of Shirakawa Shinto, and venerates the ancestral spirits of the family of Shirakawa Shinto specialists at the founders' shrine situated inside its headquarters. Onikura Taruhiko died in 1960; in his place, spiritual guidance for followers is provided by Shizuko (known within the movement as Yukihime), together with eldest son Teruhiko, who serves as the president of the board of Superintendents for the group.
Headquarters: Shizuoka Prefecture
Nominal membership: approximately 170,000 (M)

— Yumiyama Tatsuya

Pronunciation in Japanese/用語音声

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