Shinmeiaishinkai

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Shinmei Aishinkai (神命愛心会?) is a Japanese new religious movement founded by Komatsu Kiyoko in 1976. Komatsu was born in Yokohama, Japan in 1928; her mother was the successor to a hereditary line of Shinto priests. In 1976, an acquaintance of Komatsu's made a prophecy that a Shinto kami was about to descend to Earth. Shortly thereafter, Komatsu was visited in turn by a dragon god, the bodhisattva Kannon, and finally Amaterasu Oomikami, the Shinto goddess of the sun. From that time forward, Komatsu dedicated herself to passing on knowledge from Amaterasu.

The Shinmei Aishinkai movement became an official religious organization in 1983. The focus of the movement's practices are a set of okiyome or osame, purification rituals that are meant to give ascension to the spirits, or jaki (See also: Amanojaku) of departed people which are still bound to the earth. By doing so, the group hopes to ensure peace and prosperity throughout the world. To that end, rituals have been held following such events as the destruction of the Berlin Wall and the September 11th bombings. The movement's main festival, known as kamiyou gyouretsu, is held in autumn at the main Tokyo shrine and includes a parade in which members dress in period clothing and proceed through the city.

The five main gods worshipped by followers are as follows: Amaterasu Oomikami, Takemikazuchi no mikoto, Ninigi, Kannou no kami, and Ama no Tajikarao no mikoto. However, others such as Ame no Uzume are also regularly worshipped.

The Shinmei movement, like many Shinto-derived new religious movements includes a strong emphasis on divination, particularly Chinese five-element theory known as kigaku. This includes the study of kasou, the floor plan of one's house and the influences of energy drawn from various compass directions. This shares some similarities with feng shui or fuusui but should not be conflated with that art. The group also has strong ties to Ise Shrine (Ise, Mie Prefecture), where the goddess Amaterasu is believed to reside.

As of 2008, the group has approximately 50,000 members nationwide. Branch shrines have been established in Hokkaidō, Kyūshū, Nasu (Tochigi Prefecture), and Hyōgo Prefecture. The main shrine is located in Tokyo, Japan.

References[edit]

  • "Religion in Japan: Arrows to Heaven and Earth" by Janet Goff. Japan Quarterly. Tokyo: Jul-Sep 1997.Vol.44, Iss. 3; pg. 105. (Reviewing Religion in Japan, Cambridge University Press, 1996.)
  • "Female Founders and Shamanesses," Encyclopedia of Shinto website.
  • "Shinmei Aishinkai," Encyclopedia of Shinto website.

External links[edit]