Engineering a National Cult: The Shōtoku Narratives and Tokugawa Ideology

Sayoko Sakakibara, Department of History,Stanford University

Narratives of an ancient prince Shōtoku have been constantly transforming in response to the political needs of each new era.  Because of the centrality of the Shōtoku cult and its imperial attributes, Tenkai, a seventeenth-century Tendai monk and key architect of Tokugawa Ieyasu’s religious policy, appropriated the Shōtoku narratives, in order to overcome the Imperial authority and legitimize Ieyasu as a supreme deity after his death.  My study uncovers how Tenkai read the Shōtoku narratives in the process of establishing the Ieyasu veneration, and as a result how the Shōtoku image served as a necessary agent of founding Tokugawa ideology.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 | 4:15 pm — 5:30 pm | RSVP
Okimoto Conference Room, Encina Hall East, 3rd Floor

Center for East Asian Studies
Department of History