The Shugen Ichijitsu Reisō Shintō mikki is an origin account for a religious lineage constructed at Mount Togakushi (present-day Nagano Prefecture) in the early eighteenth century. In addition to providing a fascinating glimpse into thought, practice, and politics at this site at the time, the account offers a lucid example of four contingent features of religious culture in early modern Japan. The first, and well-known among scholars, is the hybrid nature of religious life before the Meiji era, evident in the text’s indulgent synthesis of Shinto, Shugendō, and Buddhism. At a time when nativist (kokugaku) doctrines were on the rise, this work reveals that combinatory discourse remained alive and well. Second is the rapid growth of Shinto and Shugendō into new regions during the Edo period—a geographical development that belies modern, nation-centered assumptions about either. Third, this spread was enabled through site-based narratives that wove imported trends into local histories, thereby legitimizing their presence at these new places. Finally, such narratives ref lect a growing appetite among the lay public to visit and mingle with the intoxicating mix of gods, mythological imprints, and legendary figures reported in them.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)