Full Text


Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xxvi ] The significance that attaches to Honmichi, a Japanese new religion in the S hinto tradition, is closely connected with its founder, its view of revelation and its attitude towards the government and the emperor. Onishi Aijiro (1881–1958), originally a T enrikyo evangelist, came to believe that he had been divinely appointed the new embodiment of Tenrikyo teaching. He appealed to Tenrikyo to acknowledge his position, but was laid off instead. In 1925 he established the Tenri Kenkyukai (later Tenri Honmichi and now simply Honmichi). Two booklets prophesying the destruction of the nation if Japan engaged in war against other countries and denying the divinity of the emperor put Honmichi on a collision course with the government. A court finding of mental derangement saved Onishi from imprisonment for the 1928 booklet, but with the 1938 booklet he was sentenced to prison indefinitely. By government order Honmichi was prohibited and dissolved. Japan's defeat in the Second World War led to Onishi's release, and from that time until his death in 1958 he devoted himself to rebuilding Honmichi. Today it has over 300,000 members. Unlike Tenrikyo, which maintains that revelation is essentially complete, Honmichi holds that revelation changes from age to age and is communicated in each age through a ‘revealer’. Onishi himself was one such revealer. By implication, other revealers ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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