In 1807 the Yamauchi clan of Tosa domain inaugurated three new deities, placing them in a new shrine in the castle and creating a major new festival for their realm. At the time, the Tokugawa government had laws prohibiting the creation of new deities, new shrines, and new festivals, but the Yamauchi wanted to develop a more populist form of religiosity to strengthen the position of their government in Tosa's changing society and economy. Domain officials learned in their preliminary research that many daimyo had done similar things before them, and they learned how to create illegal shrines and festivals with enough deference that they caused no offense to the Tokugawa omote. This chapter explores these deifications in terms of how they benefited from and strengthened the feudal spaces of political organization and behavior and how, by doing so, they participated in major changes in political and religious thought that strongly influenced the shape of the subsequent nationalist Meiji government.
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