阪本研究所 SK laboratory



"The Crossroads of Shinto History: Origins from the Jomon Period and Encounters with Different Religions, including Ancient Shinto, Shinto and Christianity, and the Impact of Interactions with Other Faiths."







"Ancient Shinto"


Though commonly referred to as Shinto, there are various types of it. There is the 'Imperial Shinto' centered around the Imperial Palace and the Kyuchu Sanden, and the 'Shrine Shinto,' which revolves around shrines managed and distinguished by the state from other 'denominational Shinto.' Additionally, there is 'Ancient Shinto.'






"Denominational Shinto": In a narrow sense, this term refers to a total of 14 Shinto sects that were gradually officially recognized as missionary organizations of Shinto during the Meiji era. This includes not only the organizational structures of Ise Grand Shrine, Izumo Taisha, Mount Fuji, Mount Ontake, and others up until the Edo period but also new religions that emerged from the Edo to Meiji era. These denominations, sometimes also referred to as Sectarian Shinto or Sect Shinto, played a role in propagating Shinto from the Meiji era onward.






"General Shinto" has evolved over approximately 1,300 years, influenced by various religions such as Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Hinduism, and others. In contrast, "Ancient Shinto" remains uninfluenced by these external factors. It is a uniquely Japanese religion believed to have originated in the Jomon period. Devoid of specific doctrines or scriptures, Ancient Shinto has been passed down through oral tradition.













"Motoori Norinaga's 'Kodōsetsu' (Ancient Way Theory)"


During the Jomon culture that spanned over 10,000 years, the foundations of nature worship, ancestral veneration, and the belief in kotodama (the spirit of words) were nurtured, laying the groundwork for purification rituals and practices. Various clans established their own forms of Shinto, giving rise to distinct traditions like the Mononobe Shinto and Nakatomi Shinto. In the Edo period, the concept of "Koshinto" or "Ancient Shinto" emerged.


Scholars of kokugaku, such as Motoori Norinaga, advocated the "Kodōsetsu" or "Ancient Way Theory." This perspective sought to systematize the pure and simple spiritual essence inherent in Japan's ancient traditions. The scholars, including Hirata Atsutane, who crafted the Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto prayer, further developed these ideas, leading to the term "Fukko Shintō" or "Restoration Shinto" being used to describe this movement.


The "Kodōsetsu" emphasized a profound appreciation for the unadulterated spirit of Japan's indigenous beliefs, as asserted by Motoori Norinaga and Hirata Atsutane.










In terms of classification, "Koshintō" or "Ancient Shinto" can be divided into two categories: "Kojiki Shintō" and "Nihon Shoki Shintō." The former is grounded in classics such as the "Kojiki" and the "Nihon Shoki" and represents a form of Shinto that does not incorporate elements of magical charms or spells. On the other hand, "Zokushintō" or "Common Shinto" is not based on these classical texts but instead integrates philosophical elements into the Shinto worldview.


Within the context of Restoration Shinto, certain specific prayers are identified as associated with Ancient Shinto. These include the "Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto," "Tenshukushikito" (A Prayer to Heaven), "Hifumishikito" (A Prayer for Purity), and the "Sanshū-no-Ōharae" (Three Great Purification Rituals). These prayers are considered to have connections to Ancient Shinto and have been distinctly defined within the framework of Restoration Shinto.










"Nationalization of Shinto"


Approximately 150 years ago during the Meiji era, there was a significant political shift from the Tokugawa shogunate to the emperor, leading to a restructuring of the political system and a reorganization of religion. In order to establish Japan as a nation-state, the Meiji government worked to establish a unique Japanese religion centered around the emperor. With the aim of "nationalizing" Shinto, which was previously vague in terms of its doctrines, the government took steps to distinguish it from other belief systems, collected rituals and prayers, and formalized purification ceremonies such as misogi (purification by water).


This process aimed to solidify Shinto as a central element of the state, reflecting the broader efforts to create a unified national identity in Japan during the Meiji period. The term "State Shinto" is often used to describe this amalgamation of Shinto and government interests during this period.








"Shinbutsu Bunri no Rei" (Decree on the Separation of Shinto and Buddhism) and the "Haibutsu Kishaku Undo" (Anti-Buddhist Movement)


In 1868, with the aim of unifying the state and its people, the "Shinbutsu Bunri no Rei" (Decree on the Separation of Shinto and Buddhism) was implemented. This decree prohibited the syncretic rituals between Shinto and Buddhism that had persisted since the Nara period. It mandated the worship of the deities officially recognized by the state, establishing the Emperor as the symbolic figure of State Shinto.


This decree was part of a broader movement known as "Haibutsu Kishaku Undo" (Anti-Buddhist Movement), which sought to eliminate Buddhist influence in Japan. The objective was to promote the worship of Shinto deities recognized by the government as a means of fostering national unity and loyalty to the state. This period witnessed a significant restructuring of religious practices and beliefs in Japan.







In the midst of these changes, contrary to the intentions of the Meiji government, there emerged the "Haibutsu Kishaku Undo" (Anti-Buddhist Movement), in which fervent supporters of the movement to overthrow the shogunate zealously destroyed Buddhist temples that had supported the Tokugawa feudal system. This movement marked a stark contrast to the government's policies aimed at establishing State Shinto and separating Shinto from Buddhism.


As a result of the "Haibutsu Kishaku Undo," Buddhist temples were targeted and destroyed by enthusiastic crowds aligned with the anti-shogunate sentiment. This event served as a turning point for Buddhism in Japan, prompting it to undergo a process of redefinition and renewal as it transitioned into a more private and individualized religious practice.








Present-day Shinto has been systematized based on the efforts of the Meiji government, which established it as State Shinto. The government formalized the religious practices using documents such as the "Engishiki," a compilation from the mid-Heian period that is one of the three major compilations of ceremonial codes. This differed significantly from Shinto practices up until the Edo period. In this context, various sects, known as "Kyoha Shinto" or "Denominational Shinto," were established, each developing its unique interpretation and practices.


The "Engishiki" was compiled during the mid-Heian period and is one of the three major compilations of ceremonial codes. It later became a fundamental law for the Ritsuryo political system in Japan.










While I have provided a brief overview of the trajectory of "Koshintō" thus far, I would now like to delve into an examination of "Kodai Shintō" or Ancient Shinto.








The concept of "Ancient Shinto" refers to the indigenous and primordial religious practices that existed in Japan before the influence of foreign religions. Its origins are traced back to the Jomon period. In contrast to the shrine-centric structure of Shinto observed in contemporary times with torii gates and sanctuaries, "Ancient Shinto" takes on a form of nature worship without dedicated shrines. In the field of Japanese ethnology, it emphasizes an ongoing harmony with nature, with a focus on receiving and sharing "Mana" — a concept derived from the Pacific islands that refers to a mysterious source of power. In this context, "Mana" signifies a shared and mystic force emanating from the sun.









Nature worship involves revering natural entities and phenomena as "yorishiro" and elevating them to divine status. The rituals associated with nature worship encompass the belief that the myriad gods, or "yaoyorozu no kami," reside in everything in nature, including mountains and seas. This form of nature faith involves venerating the deities inherent in the entirety of the natural world. 



The concept of "yorishiro" refers to a tangible object or place where a divine spirit resides. By becoming a vessel for the divine spirit, it is sanctified and becomes the focus of worship during ceremonies, independent of any material attachment, embodying a sacred connection.







"Kamigoromo Shinko" (Shrine Enclosure Faith): When conducting rituals in locations other than shrines or household altars, there are instances where specific objects serve as temporary vessels to welcome the presence of the deity.







There is a belief known as "Iwakura Shinko" (Stone Seat Faith), where rocks serve as the focal point for worship. Well-known examples of this include sacred trees, spirit stones, the protective forests around shrines, and iconic rock formations like those found in the spiritual landscape of a shrine precinct.






Moreover, there is a diverse array of "Yorishin Shinko" (Localized Deity Faith) practices that emerged in different regions. For instance, thunder, seen as a bringer of abundant harvests, might be referred to as lightning, and gratitude might be expressed by associating a stranded or beached whale with Ebisu, a deity symbolizing bountiful food. This has led to the development of various regional beliefs. The concept of "Seirei Suihō" (Reverence for Sacred Spirits) has also gained prominence, asserting that all things, whether living beings or inanimate objects, house spirits or souls.




"Yorikami" (Arriving Deity): A deity believed to arrive or drift from the celestial realm through the sea or rivers, originating from the heavens and reaching the mortal realm. The concept is often associated with deities that are thought to approach or appear after crossing the horizon line where the sky meets the sea, emanating from the heavenly realm.










"Tsuukumogami" (Tool Spirit):


Similar to the concept of "Tsuukumo no Kami," it was believed that even inanimate objects or tools, especially those that have been in use for an extended period, can house divine spirits. This belief stems from the idea of "yorishiro," where gods reside within various entities, including natural phenomena. A form of shamanism emerged, designating priestesses (miko) as vessels for the gods. This involved practices such as prayers, divination, and the establishment of guidelines for festivals, all rooted in the notion that gods exist within the elements of nature and in objects that have been used or lived long.




"Tsuukumogami" or "Tsuukumo no Kami": In Japanese folklore, these are spirits or souls believed to inhabit tools and objects that have existed for an extended period, acquiring a kind of spiritual essence over time.








In ancient times, it is said that prayer leaders such as Himiko determined the fate of the nation through rituals, prayers, and divination. Priests in Shinto shrines have traditionally played a governing role in festivals. During the Heian period, they incorporated the "Inyo Gogyo Shiso" (Yin-Yang and Five Elements philosophy) and held positions as bureaucrats under the Ritsuryo system, serving roles such as onmyoji (yin-yang diviners) within the government's administrative structure.



The "Inyo Gogyo Shiso" is a synthesis of the Yin-Yang philosophy (Inyo Setsu) and the Five Elements theory (Gogyo Setsu).


The "Inyo Setsu" is a dualistic philosophy that explains the phenomena and things in the universe through the interplay of Yin and Yang forces.



五行説」: 世の中のすべての物は五種類の元素からなり、その元素は一定の法則で互いに影響を与えあいながら、変化し、また循環しているという思想。
The "Gogyo Setsu" is a philosophical concept that posits everything in the world is composed of five elements. These elements interact with each other according to specific principles, influencing one another, undergoing changes, and cyclically transforming.












The "Shinbutsu Bunri Rei" (Decree on the Separation of Shinto and Buddhism), initiated in 1868, marked a revival of precision reminiscent of ancient Ritsuryo system principles. This separation continued until the post-World War II occupation period by the General Headquarters of the Allied Forces (GHQ), during which State Shinto was prohibited. The original Ancient Shinto did not revolve around the unknowable entities such as gods, spirits, and divine souls associated with ancestral worship. Instead, it encompassed concepts like "Mana" as the essence of life, the realms of the afterlife such as heaven and hell, and the coexistence of the eternal and transient worlds—a worldview reflecting the essence of life and the mirror image of the tangible world.








During the Nara period, Shingu-ji (Shinto-Buddhist composite temples) were established within Shinto shrines. In the Heian period, the Honji Suijaku Setsu (theory of original reality and manifested traces) was proposed, aiming to correlate Japan's native kami with Buddhist deities. As a result, a syncretic practice called "Shinbutsu Shugo" (syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism) emerged, allowing for the placement of Buddhist statues in Shinto shrines and the erection of torii gates at Buddhist temples. This phenomenon is commonly known as "Shinbutsu Shugo."












The "Shinbutsu Bunri Rei" (Decree on the Separation of Shinto and Buddhism) was a decree initiated in 1868 during the Meiji Restoration in Japan. It aimed to separate Shinto and Buddhism, in accordance with the restoration of the pre-Meiji era Ritsuryo system principles. This decree led to the removal of Buddhist elements from Shinto shrines and played a role in shaping the religious landscape during the Meiji era. The separation continued until the post-World War II occupation period when the GHQ prohibited State Shinto.




・Syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism before the Edo Period
"Shinbutsu Shugo" (Syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism): This refers to the concept of harmonizing Shinto and Buddhism by considering kami (gods) and buddhas as identical entities.


「不可知」:人間のあらゆる認識手段を使用しても知り得ないこと。 たとえば、現象の背後に隠れた実体や神などを知ることができないとすること。


"Unknowable": Things that cannot be known even through the use of all human means of understanding. This concept posits that there are aspects, such as the hidden essence behind phenomena or the nature of deities, which cannot be comprehended by any available means of human cognition.









The Okinoshima of Munakata Taisha is a place where the natural features such as rocks and mountains serve as yorishiro, indicating not only a dwelling place for gods but also marking the boundary between the eternal (yokoyo) and the transient world (utsushyo). The term "himo-rogi" consists of "himo," meaning "fence," indicating a boundary, and "rogi," which can be associated with "iwa-kai" (岩境), suggesting the boundary of the divine realm.


Even today, the central path leading to the shrine, known as the approach, is considered a sacred passage for the gods, and certain areas, including the entire island and its forests, are designated as sacred precincts, where access is restricted, as seen in the case of Okinoshima at Munakata Taisha. Shinto elements such as torii gates and shimenawa ropes play a role in creating a barrier that separates the sacred realm from the ordinary world.





"Tokoyo" or "Kakuriyo" refers to the eternal and unchanging divine realm. It is also associated with the afterlife, including Yomi, the realm of the dead. The term conveys the idea of perpetuity and, in ancient times, was sometimes written as "Tokoyo" or "Tokoyo," which can be translated as "eternal night." This concept is a crucial aspect of Japanese mythology, Ancient Shinto, and Shinto's fundamental dualistic worldview. In contrast, the term "Utsushiyo" (the transient world) serves as its antonym, representing the present, tangible world.















To find solace in one's beliefs,


It is a peculiar and, at the same time, wondrous sensation that the beliefs, thoughts, and practices that have persisted for over ten thousand years continue to be observed in the present day. As a fellow Japanese, this allows one to feel a closeness to our ancestors.


Moreover, within these traditions lies a consistent philosophy of respecting all life, coupled with prayers to the divine. In the contemporary world, characterized by its global interconnectedness yet marked by moments of insularity, there seems to be an increasing need for individuals to anchor themselves in what they believe, be it through religion or other means, to learn, grow, and express gratitude.






In such a context,




The encounter between Shinto and Christianity, two distinct religions,










Japanese Shinto and Christianity, despite being distinct religious systems, share commonalities and have influenced each other. Shinto is Japan's indigenous religion with a focus on nature worship and ancestor veneration, while Christianity, originating in the Middle East, centers around faith rooted in the Bible. However, when these religions encountered each other, they mutually influenced one another, giving rise to historical exchanges.


The influences on Shinto from Buddhism, Confucianism, and Christianity significantly shaped the development of the religion. Particularly, State Shinto involved the management of shrines by the government, with certain shrines venerating the imperial family as divine. This example illustrates how Shinto, while incorporating external influences, also established its unique identity.


Moreover, Shinto and Christianity share thematic elements. Elements such as nature worship, pilgrimage to sacred places, and expressions of gratitude towards the divine are common to both religions. While the reverence for life and expressions of gratitude may take different forms in Shinto and Christianity, they reflect shared aspects of humanity and religious values.








Historically, Christianity arrived relatively late in Japan, and due to differences in religious foundations, Shinto and Christianity did not deeply intertwine. However, in the modern era, as cultural exchanges increased, some influence of Christianity became visible in certain aspects.


Ultimately, Shinto and Christianity, being distinct religions, have coexisted with mutual respect for each other's beliefs. The history of this coexistence, with its mutual influences and commonalities, highlights the profound meaning and values that religions bring to human life, shaping a rich diversity through the coexistence of different faiths.






なぜ日本人はキリスト教を信じないのか【仏教からみた視点】"Why do Japanese people not believe in Christianity: A perspective from Buddhism"


なぜ日本人はキリスト教を信じないのか【仏教からみた視点】"Why do Japanese people not believe in Christianity #キリスト文化 #仏教文化


なぜ日本人はキリスト教を信じないのか【仏教のからみた視点】"Why do Japanese people not believe in Christianity: A perspective from Buddhism"









Is Sensibility the Factor?


It is often said that "the sensibility and culture of the Japanese did not embrace Christianity." However, this is actually a one-sided perspective, and within history, there are intriguing interactions hidden. Various cultural elements such as Western music, art, literature, and films are actively embraced. Even the idea of weddings taking place in churches is considered delightful by many. Christian events such as Christmas and Valentine's Day are also welcomed.


However, it seems that these cultural elements and events are accepted as external aspects, and the actual faith itself is challenging for Japanese sensibilities to embrace. So, why is it difficult for Japanese people to accept the faith of Christianity? The answer lies in the interactions between the missionaries of that time and the Japanese.


When the Christian missionary Xavier first set foot in Japan and attempted to spread the teachings of Christianity through Angelo, it can be inferred that Buddhism had already taken root among the Japanese. The teachings of Buddhism seemed to have permeated widely, from ordinary farmers to intellectuals. The questions and reactions that the Japanese had towards Christianity at that time are particularly fascinating.













What becomes apparent from the interactions between missionaries and the Japanese is that the Japanese had a deep understanding of and connection to the teachings of Buddhism. Consequently, as concepts of Christianity were conveyed, the questions and contradictions that the Japanese held did not align with the explanations provided by Christianity, making the acceptance of faith challenging.


Furthermore, concepts introduced by Christian missionaries in Japan, such as "punishment in hell" and "eternal salvation," were difficult for the Japanese to comprehend and accept. The emphasis on ancestors, in particular, posed challenges, and the Christian explanations regarding the fate of ancestors were reportedly hard for the Japanese to accept.


These exchanges illustrate the challenges and questions that arise when different religions and cultures encounter each other. The questions and contradictions held by the Japanese suggest a cultural inclination to seek profound discussions and pose fundamental questions when faced with Christianity.


Effective dialogue between different cultures necessitates mutual understanding and respect. It highlights the importance of not only proselytizing but also engaging in two-way communication. This historical example underscores the need for humility and deep insight when cultures and religions meet, suggesting that a humble attitude and profound understanding are essential for mutual understanding and coexistence in situations where different cultures and religions intersect.












Now, let's delve into a more detailed explanation.


Rather than a mismatch of sensibilities with Christianity, it is believed that it is the concept of "faith" itself that was challenging for acceptance. However, this raises the question of which elements of Christianity were not accepted. Indeed, records sent to the home country by figures such as Xavier, Cabrál at the time, and missionaries from the Muromachi period shed light on this.


At that time, when attempting to convey the teachings of Christianity to common farmers, a particular reaction was received. Through these interactions, it becomes evident that the teachings of Buddhism were deeply ingrained in the Japanese society, reaching from the general populace to the common farmers. Let me introduce the exchanges from that time.






Xavier and Angelo


Francisco Xavier is a historically renowned figure as the first missionary to visit Japan. He utilized a person named Angelo (Yajirou) as an interpreter to convey the teachings of Christianity. Angelo, who had met Xavier in Goa, India, became a Christian and officially became the first Christian in Japan.






Yajirou, also written as Yajirou or phonetically as Anjirou (sometimes also called Angelo in a Westernized context, meaning "angel"), served as the interpreter for Francis Xavier. He played a key role as a translator for concepts such as the concept of God (Deus) and holy scriptures, actively participating in missionary activities in the western regions of Japan. There is varying information among researchers regarding his origin and actual name, with some suggesting a possible connection to the powerful Ne-no-shi Clan's Ikehata family. However, uncertainties remain about Yajirou's life and the details of his passing, even though there are testimonies from figures like Luis Frois after Xavier's departure from Japan.









Xavier held a high regard for Angelo, expressing, "If all Japanese people were as eager for knowledge as Angelo, I believe that among the newly discovered lands, the Japanese would be the most intellectually curious nation." He highly valued Angelo's intellect.


There are also reports of exchanges regarding the difference in writing direction between Portuguese or English (which are written horizontally) and Japanese (which is written vertically). Xavier questioned, "Why do you Japanese not write characters horizontally like us?" To this, Angelo responded, "Why don't you write characters vertically like us?" Such dialogues are reported to have taken place.


When Angelo first served as an interpreter in Japan, his Indian origin, short stature, and black hair gave the impression of being more Indian than Western. He was reportedly welcomed, as India was considered the birthplace of Buddhism and referred to as the celestial axis. Therefore, he was accepted as someone "respectable from India who came to convey Buddhism" during that time in Japan.





"大日如来" ("Dainichi Nyorai")


The God of Christianity, as described by Xavier, was understood by the Japanese to be referred to in Latin as "Deus." However, it's important to note that "Deus" and "Zeus" are distinct, with "Zeus" being a pagan god in Greek mythology and considered a pagan deity from the perspective of Christianity. When Angelo translated "Deus" into Japanese, it was rendered as "大日如来" ("Dainichi Nyorai"). This term corresponds to one of the Buddhas in Buddhism and represents a revered entity that encourages the act of praying. It is reported that such exchanges took place through the introduction of "Dainichi Nyorai" from India.










Xavier's Interaction with the Japanese


When Xavier spoke to the Japanese about "Deus," they asked, "Is the God who created everything good or evil?" Xavier responded, "He is good, without any mixture of evil." In other words, he explained that the creator, "Deus," is a loving God. It is reported that he stated, "God created only good things, but demons and evildoers became wicked on their own. God chastises them and imposes endless punishment on them."


However, the Japanese raised a question at this point, arguing, "If God created hell and those sent there must suffer eternally, then God cannot be considered compassionate. Rather, isn't he merciless?" From this discussion, the idea emerged that humans are prone to mistakes and sins, and there is a possibility of becoming evil as a result.




日本人は、「これを見落としてしまったなら、神の過失じゃないか? どうして神は人間が罪を犯すことを分かっていながら、それをそのまま見て見ぬふりをして許しておいたのか?」といった問いかけも行いました。彼らは、「人間は不完全な存在で、弱く、間違いを犯し、罪を犯す存在なのに、なぜ神は最初からそんな罪を犯さない完全な状態で作らなかったのか?」と、宣教師に対して疑問を投げかけました。


The Japanese questioned, "Isn't it merciless to send people to hell as punishment just because they have become something evil?" They expressed doubt, asking, "Can this really be called a God of love?" They questioned, "If God, who is supposed to be good, created humans, why does God allow humans to commit evil even though he knows it?" They further pursued, "If God is all-knowing and all-powerful, couldn't God have foreseen that humans would make mistakes?"


Moreover, they asked, "If humans are attempting to commit sins, in other words, trying to create evil, why did God turn a blind eye to it?" They presented the question, "If God overlooked this, isn't it a fault on God's part? Why did God, knowing that humans would commit sins, allow it to happen without intervening?"


They also questioned, "Humans are imperfect beings, weak, prone to mistakes, and capable of committing sins. So, why didn't God create humans in a perfect state from the beginning, free from such sins?" The Japanese raised these doubts and inquiries to the missionaries.








These kinds of inquiries have been discussed in the theme of "Christian Theology in the Year 2000" (see the bottom notes for reference) and continue to be important topics in ongoing debates. The theological questions surrounding the existence of God in Christian doctrine, such as why a fundamentally good God creates evil, forgives evil, and sends those who commit evil to hell, are significant points of discussion in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.


During the time when the Japanese first encountered Christianity, people from various walks of life, including ordinary villagers, immediately raised questions. Considering these questions, it's plausible that people of that era were familiar with the teachings of Buddhism and had an understanding of the differences between gods. It seems that these questions were posed to missionaries as straightforward inquiries stemming from their understanding of Buddhism.






Furthermore, there is another question that the Japanese posed to Xavier, which he reported to his home country. Xavier explained, "If you become a Christian and receive baptism, you can go to heaven. If you don't become a Christian, you will be burned in the flames of purgatory." In response to this, the Japanese asked, "What about our ancestors?" and inquired, "Before you came, there was no Christian doctrine in Japan. Does that mean our ancestors are falling into hell and suffering?"


Moreover, they questioned, "Is there no way to help those suffering in the flames of hell now?" It is reported that Xavier responded, "Those who have fallen into hell cannot be saved." This was based on the official Catholic doctrine of that time, asserting that there was no other way of salvation. The Japanese countered, saying, "In that case, God doesn't seem very loving or merciful." Despite their objections, Xavier had no choice but to reiterate that there was no way to help.












This exchange reflects the deep contemplation and questioning by the Japanese in the face of challenging aspects of Christian doctrine. It is believed to have taken place during the Sengoku and Muromachi periods, and similar questions were raised by those who converted to Christianity even in the Meiji era. Portuguese missionaries reported to their home country that addressing these questions required knowledgeable missionaries well-versed in philosophy.


Explaining why Christianity did not widely spread in Japan from a Buddhist perspective sheds light on the historical and cultural context. Different perspectives may emerge when historians, anthropologists, or Christians provide explanations from their viewpoints.






However, considering the historical context and the sentiments of the Japanese at that time, it becomes apparent that while concepts of Christianity were being conveyed, the influence of Buddhism was strong, and there existed different religious perspectives. Moreover, the difficulty in accepting Christian explanations for the questions and contradictions raised by the Japanese is considered a contributing factor that hindered the spread of Christianity.


Interestingly, Portuguese missionaries recognized the need for philosophical knowledge and argumentative skills when propagating Christianity. This reflects the Japanese people's inclination at that time to engage in deep discussions about religious matters and pose fundamental questions. It suggests that the Japanese were not merely passive receivers but actively thinking individuals, fostering a culture of questioning and challenging their own faith.










The exchange and dialogue of this era have become catalysts for individuals to deeply contemplate their own beliefs and philosophies, transcending cultural and religious differences. In the contemporary context, understanding different religions and cultures remains crucial, with the expectation that mutual dialogue will deepen, giving rise to a common understanding.


Historical backgrounds and the exchange of diverse cultures continue to teach us the importance of respecting different values in contemporary society, fostering empathy through dialogue. These historical events illustrate the challenges and questions that arise when different cultures meet and interact. The questions and misunderstandings faced by missionaries in spreading Christianity have prompted a deepening of communication difficulties and understanding in intercultural interactions.


As Japanese individuals raised questions rooted in Buddhism, the extent to which the teachings of Christianity are understood was put to the test. Particularly, themes such as the existence of God, the concept of sin, and eternal salvation demonstrate the difficulty of building profound understanding and harmony in dialogues with individuals holding different contexts and beliefs.









備 考



1. 自由意志と愛の可能性:


2. 神の計画と試練:


3. 神の秘密の意志:





**Note: Christian Theology in the Year 2000**


In Christian theology, the fundamental question of "Why did God not create humans as inherently sinless beings from the beginning?" is a profound inquiry concerning the creation of God and human free will. Various interpretations and responses exist, and the following presents some perspectives from a general theological standpoint.


1. **Freedom of Will and the Possibility of Love:**
From a theological perspective, it is believed that God bestowed free will upon humans, granting them the ability to choose love and loyalty freely. Some argue that if God had created humans as perfect beings, devoid of free will, they would be incapable of expressing true love or faith. The presence of the possibility of sin and error is considered meaningful, as it allows humans to choose genuine love in a distinctive way.


2. **God's Plan and Trials:**
Some theologians posit that the reason God did not create humans as sinless, perfect beings lies in the idea that it is part of God's plan and trials for humans to grow and deepen their faith toward God. There is a perspective that learning and growing through difficulties and errors are intended by God.


3. **God's Mysterious Will:**
Certain theologians believe that God's mysterious will is at work in the creation of humans. The imperfection and propensity for sin in humans are considered part of God's plan, with the ultimate purpose of achieving God's goals. From this standpoint, the entirety of God's plan is viewed as a mysterious aspect beyond human comprehension.


**Note:** These are general theological perspectives, and subtle differences exist depending on the denomination and theological positions.







第1章: シノワズリの誘惑











 第2章: 古九谷の息吹






第3章: 美の交わり、シノワズリと古九谷の融合












【日本神話に見る日本人の和の心】The Japanese “WA” Spirit of Harmony as Seen in Japanese Mythology.

【日本神話に見る日本人の和の心】The Japanese “WA” Spirit of Harmony as Seen in Japanese Mythology.




  1. 神社の役割と意義:

   - 神社は祈りや人生儀礼を通じて絆を深める場所であり、「鎮守の杜」として都会の中に自然を持っています。これらの神社は日本の伝統を次世代に伝える「生きたタイムカプセル」。


  1. 日本神話と和の心:

   - 日本は古くから「大和(やまと)の国」と呼ばれ、「和(わ)」を重んじる国民性があります。

   - 日本神話において、「国譲り」の物語が紹介され、争いではなく話し合いを通じて国の所有権が決定されたことが強調。これは日本人の「和」の精神を表しています。


  1. 神話と歴史の共通性:

   - 日本神話の物語は、明治維新時代の歴史的事実と共通点があります。朝廷と幕府が争いを避け、交渉と話し合いを通じて権力の移譲が行われたことが挙げられています。


  1. 「和」の精神の継承:

   - 日本人は神代から「和」を重んじる民族であり、その精神は世界に類を見ないものとされています。この「和」の心には、世界の平和を祈り、調和を重んじる意味が込められています。


  1. 歴史的な出来事との対比:

   - 日本神話の物語と明治維新時代の出来事との類似性及び、これを通じて日本人の思考や行動の一貫性が見受けられます。


































































【そうきチャンネル】『ネオコンとは何か? その1』・モンロー主義と干渉主義の抗争 日米近現代史研究家 渡辺 惣樹(わたなべ そうき)23.018 #渡辺惣樹 #わたなべそうき #そうきチャンネル



【そうきチャンネル】『ネオコンとは何か? その1』・モンロー主義と干渉主義の抗争 日米近現代史研究家 渡辺 惣樹(わたなべ そうき)23.018 #渡辺惣樹 #わたなべそうき #そうきチャンネル - YouTube





























1776 declaration of independence














james Monroe























































静岡県下田市 撮影出張 「伊豆と下田半島の魅力」その5 旭滝 大平神社(おおだいらじんじゃ)(2023年5月12~14日)

静岡県下田市 撮影出張 「伊豆と下田半島の魅力」その5 旭滝 大平神社(おおだいらじんじゃ)(2023年5月12~14日)

























日米近現代史研究家 渡辺 惣樹(わたなべ そうき)先生による解説



















日米近現代史研究家 渡辺 惣樹(わたなべ そうき)先生








阪本研究所として、息子さんの映像制作会社「Leo Studio Production」をサポートさせて頂いております。





阪本研究所 / SK laboratory






静岡県下田市 撮影出張 「伊豆と下田半島の魅力」軽野神社(かるのじんじゃ)その4 (2023年5月12~14日)

静岡県下田市 撮影出張 「伊豆と下田半島の魅力」軽野神社(かるのじんじゃ)その4 (2023年5月12~14日)













所在地 :静岡県伊豆市松ケ瀬79



日米近現代史研究家 渡辺 惣樹先生がこの神社をご説明されました。









「 狩野介(かののすけ)の棟札」
御地頭狩野介  御大工福井七郎左衛門尉秀顕
敬白 大旦那飯田中務尉泰長 鍛冶三郎左衛門正信  謹書之
奉修造豆州狩野庄松瀬村笠離大明神御宝殿 天文廿一年子壬霜月十五日


永禄 2年(1559)の北条役高帳松山衆の項に狩野氏の二名の名があり、松ヶ瀬と小立野、日向を領していたことが記録されている。
平成元年5月9日 指定  伊豆市教育委員会



















日米近現代史研究家 渡辺 惣樹(わたなべ そうき)先生





阪本研究所として、息子さんの映像制作会社「Leo Studio Production」をサポートさせて頂いております。

渡辺 惣樹 - YouTube




阪本研究所 / SK laboratory