By Benjamin Dorman
Celebrity Gods explores the interplay of latest religions and the media in postwar Japan. It makes a speciality of the leaders and founders (kyōsō) of Jiu and Tenshō Kōtai Jingū Kyō, new religions of Japan’s speedy postwar interval that bought sizeable press awareness. Jiu was once associated with the preferred prewar staff Ōmotokyō, and its actions have been in accordance with the millennial visions of its chief, a girl known as Jikōson. whilst Jiu attracted the mythical sumo champion Futabayama to its reason, Jikōson and her actions turned a widely-covered reason célèbre within the press. Tenshō Kōtai Jingū Kyō (labeled odoru shūkyō, “the dancing religion,” by means of the clicking) was once led through a farmer’s spouse, Kitamura Sayo. Her uncompromising imaginative and prescient and activities towards making a new society―one that used to be a ways faraway from what she defined because the “maggot international” of postwar Japan―drew harsh and sometimes mocking feedback from the print media.
Looking again for precursors to the postwar courting of latest religions and media, Benjamin Dorman explores the numerous position that the japanese media routinely performed in defining applicable and appropriate social habit, performing at occasions as mouthpieces for presidency and spiritual specialists. utilizing the instances of Renmonkyō within the Meiji period and Ōmotokyō within the Taishō and Shōwa eras, Dorman exhibits how amassed photos of recent religions in pre-1945 Japan grew to become absorbed into these of the instant postwar interval. Given the inability of formal non secular schooling in Japan, the media performed a big function in transmitting notions of applicable habit to the general public. He is going directly to symbolize the leaders of those teams as “celebrity gods,” demonstrating that the media, that have been regularly untrained in non secular heritage or principles, selected to type them as “celebrities” whose antics deserved derision. whereas the prewar media had awarded different kyōsō as the antithesis of first rate, ethical voters who stood towards the goals of the kingdom, postwar media reviews provided them essentially as undeserving for democratic society.
Celebrity Gods delves into an under-studied period of spiritual background: the Allied profession and the postwar interval as much as the early Nineteen Fifties. it's a tremendous interdisciplinary paintings that considers family members among jap and profession bureaucracies and the teams in query, and makes use of basic resource files from career data and interviews with media employees and contributors of spiritual teams. For observers of postwar Japan, this study offers a roadmap to aid comprehend concerns with regards to the Aum Shinrikyō affair of the 1990s.