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When Tengu TalkHirata Atsutane’s Ethnography of the Other World$
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Wilburn Hansen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832094

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832094.001.0001

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The Medium Is the Message

The Medium Is the Message

(p.195) Conclusion The Medium Is the Message
When Tengu Talk

Wilburn Hansen

University of Hawai'i Press

This concluding chapter argues that Atsutane, a would-be ethnographer of the imaginary, endeavored to craft a description of the supernatural inhabitants of the unseen Other World consistent with his pre-existing Ancient Way cosmology. Thus, the role of the Senkyō ibun was to establish that those beings truly did exist, and that they possessed wondrous abilities and performed special functions. Moreover, in Senkyō ibun, he sought to establish a religious hero whose primary reason for existence was to render comfort, assistance, and protection to the people of Japan until they reached that Other World. The chapter then addresses Atsutane’s contribution to the construction of Japanese identity in the modern period.

Keywords:   Other World, Ancient Way, Senkyō ibun, Japanese identity, religious hero

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