62 , 2017-07-24 , International Research Center for Japanese Studies
This article seeks to add to our understanding of the boundary drawing between religious and secular spheres in nineteenth- and early twentiethcentury Japan in two ways. First, I argue that we must guard against overemphasizing discontinuity between pre-Meiji ways of dealing with “faith” and post-Meiji policies dealing with “religion.” Only by recognizing discursive continuities can we analyze the process of negotiating new conceptual models in the light of older values and worldviews. Second, institutional realities frustrated the implementation of new religious policies. The ways temples and shrines functioned in society set limits to the ambitions of ideologues, and created contradictions that impacted on the boundary-drawing process.