Nationale Selbstbehauptung in neuen religiösen Bewegungen in Japan - das Beispiel Kōfuku no Kagaku

The combination of national self-assertion with a critical attitude towards ‘modern’ values is not unusual among post-war Japanese New Religions. By taking up the example of Kōfuku no Kagaku I want to raise the question why and how New Religions construct a national identity. In particular, I ask ab...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Marburg Journal of Religion (Band 13)
Main Author: Schrimpf, Monika
Format: Journal Articles
Language:German
Published: Philipps-Universität Marburg 2008
Online Access:Online Access
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Summary:The combination of national self-assertion with a critical attitude towards ‘modern’ values is not unusual among post-war Japanese New Religions. By taking up the example of Kōfuku no Kagaku I want to raise the question why and how New Religions construct a national identity. In particular, I ask about the role of historiography in that process. The paper examines ‘historical’ comics and writings by the founder Ōkawa Ryūhō with regard to the strategies that are used to convey a Japanese identity and legitimise resulting moral claims. Interestingly, the national image created by this particular historiography is not essentialist, as are the various forms of the so-called Nihonjinron (i.e. discourses on the ‘essence’ of being Japanese). For Ōkawa, national identity is tied to the wider context of an Asian civilisation that rests on a specific set of values (in opposition to a western civilisation), and of a global identity as the basis of Japan’s universal mission.
DOI:https://doi.org/10.17192/mjr.2008.13.3599