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Secrecy's PowerCovert Shin Buddhists in Japan and Contradictions of Concealment$
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Clark Chilson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838393

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838393.001.0001

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Secrecy Preserves and Transforms

Secrecy Preserves and Transforms

The Creation of a Shinto-Shin Tradition

(p.62) 2. Secrecy Preserves and Transforms
Secrecy's Power

Clark Chilson

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines how secrecy can confer protection against persecution by focusing on the case of Kirishimakō, a covert Shin tradition that developed in southern Kyushu in the Edo period and incorporated Shinto elements of Mt. Kirishima that helped conceal its Shin beliefs and practices. The chapter first considers the wider historical context out of which Kirishimakō grew before discussing its genealogy, organization, texts, and practices to show how secrecy that was initially used for protection led to practices and narratives about Amida distinctive from overt Shin Buddhism. It explains how the new practices and narratives, which grew in a context of concealment, resulted in a new religious identity.

Keywords:   secrecy, persecution, Kirishimakō, Kyushu, Edo period, Shinto, Shin Buddhism, Amida, concealment, religious identity

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