By Benjamin Dorman
Celebrity Gods explores the interplay of latest religions and the media in postwar Japan. It specializes in the leaders and founders (kyōsō) of Jiu and Tenshō Kōtai Jingū Kyō, new religions of Japan’s speedy postwar interval that got titanic press cognizance. Jiu was once associated with the preferred prewar staff Ōmotokyō, and its actions have been according to the millennial visions of its chief, a lady known as Jikōson. while 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,” through the clicking) was once led by means of a farmer’s spouse, Kitamura Sayo. Her uncompromising imaginative and prescient and activities towards making a new society―one that used to be a long way 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 often performed in defining applicable and applicable social habit, performing at occasions as mouthpieces for presidency and spiritual professionals. 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 quick postwar interval. Given the inability of formal non secular schooling in Japan, the media performed a huge function in transmitting notions of appropriate 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 in most cases untrained in spiritual heritage or rules, selected to model them as “celebrities” whose antics deserved derision. whereas the prewar media had provided different kyōsō as the antithesis of respectable, ethical voters who stood towards the goals of the country, postwar media reviews awarded them essentially as undeserving for democratic society.
Celebrity Gods delves into an under-studied period of non secular heritage: the Allied career and the postwar interval as much as the early Fifties. it really is a major interdisciplinary paintings that considers kin among eastern and career bureaucracies and the teams in query, and makes use of fundamental resource records from profession data and interviews with media staff and participants of non secular teams. For observers of postwar Japan, this study presents a roadmap to aid comprehend matters with regards to the Aum Shinrikyō affair of the 1990s.