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Title: L'être, l'illusion et le pouvoir
Subtitle: Le complexe kojin/misaki selon un rituel de l'École d'Izanagi, Tosa, Japon
Author(s): MAUCLAIRE, Simone
Journal: Journal Asiatique
Volume: 280    Issue: 3-4   Date: 1992   
Pages: 307-400
DOI: 10.2143/JA.280.3.2006139

Abstract :
With the exception of some pioneering works, it has been quite common to consider ancient Shintō as a State religion perpetuating reworked mythology and rudimentary animism common to widespread folk beliefs. This view of Shintō is undoubtedly due to several factors: the abusive generalization of the concept of popular religion by folklorists on the one hand, and the reaction of historians to recent history on the other hand; to which should be added social change due to the «cultural revolution» of the Meiji Era, the rarity of fieldwork associating history and ethnography, and the virtual lack of cognitive research devoted to the subject of Far-Eastern religions as an historical construction of representations available through ritual traditions. Here I present for the first time materials concerning the traditional and esoteric school of Izanagiryū. My fieldwork was carried out in Kōchiken, Kamigun, Monobe-mura during the winter of the years 1983 and 1984, but the data are related to a wider selection based on fieldwork in other areas in Japan. The Izanagiryū corpus is apparently a specialized knowledge inherited by various corps of ritualists in Japan in medieval society. In choosing to analyze the key concept of kōjin/misaki - the conceptualization of the unknown - this article presents two major developments: in the first part, we show through semantic analysis how this operational concept of Shintō ritual theory is related to traditions found in the first Shintō writings dating from the VIIIth century; in the second part, the construction of metaphor and the process of the objectivation of kōjin/misaki is studied in relation to an Izanagiryū's ritual, known as mikogami no toriage kagura. Since the analysis originally started from empirical investigation of an almost unknown subject to arrive at a formulation of the problem in terms of cognitive construction, this article aims in the first place to give data justifying further theoretical research.

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