This chapter focuses on a number of Daoist signs that Tenmu marshaled to articulate a supernatural aura for his rulership. A court ceremony, later known as the Festival for Appeasing the Spirits (Chinkon-sai), has undeniably Daoist origins. Also, the New Year receptions at the court were organized around symbols with “Daoisant” connotations. In early Heian, the emperor's ceremonial coat displayed astral symbolism pivoting around the Pole Star, the heavenly zenith of rulership in Daoist discourse. Nara-era names are also replete with Daoist significations. Meanwhile, revisionist interpretations by Japanese and Western scholars have lately repositioned Shinto, denying it a separate religious arena with an indigenous, specific culture and practice. They have reassigned much of its cultic heritage to Daoism.
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