近代日本における神智学思想の歴史(<特集>スピリチュアリティ) [in Japanese] The History of Theosophical Ideas in Japan in the Modern Age(<Special Issue>Spirituality) [in Japanese]
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In this paper I outline the history of Theosophical ideas in Japan from the Taisho era (1912-1026) to 1960. In part 1 the methodological problems about historical studies of the culture of spirituality are discussed in reference to Hanegraaf's study of Western esotericism, Albanese's research on metaphysical religion in America, and Shimazono's study on the Japanese new spirituality movement. As an example of a Japanese spirituality thinker, the life and career of Taniguchi Masaharu is summarized. Next the history and character of American metaphysical religions is surveyed with comparison to Japanese counterparts. In part 2, the history of Theosophy in Japan is discussed, including the failures of the lodge activities in Japan, and the spreading of ideas through publications. As the latter shows, selective use of Theosophical ideas in publications indicates a tendency of Japanese spirituality. Then, in order to trace the history of Theosophy, the life and character of the representative Theosophist, Miura Sekizo (1893-1960) is described. Miura was a famous writer and translator in the field of education, but he became a kind of psychic healer in the early years of Showa. While travelling in the USA from 1930 to 1931, he became friends with William Dudley Pelley, a fascist and occultist, and Miura became a metaphysical teacher of his own. He published books and magazines on yoga or metaphysical teachings, especially those of "Dr." Doreal, from 1953 to 1960. It is possible that his books had some influence on the following generations of "Seishin Sekai," a Japanese equivalent of New Age.
- Journal of religious studies
Journal of religious studies 84(2), 579-601, 2010
Japanese Association for Religious Studies