Meiji prison religion benevolent punishments and the national creed

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

This article examines the origins of prison proselytization in Japan in the 1870s and 1880s by exploring the relationship between the Great Promulgation Campaign (daikyō senpu undō) and the development of a modern carceral system. It argues that prison chaplaincy (kyōkai) developed as the “spiritual successor” to the Great Promulgation Campaign's national instructor (kyōdōshoku) system. The article concludes that local activism on the part of Buddhists was the driving force behind the introduction of Buddhist teachings to prisons and that Buddhists mobilized in this way because they found it politically advantageous to position themselves as guardians of the public good.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-249
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Religion in Japan
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chaplaincy
  • Meiji Restoration
  • Prison religion
  • Religion and state
  • Shin Buddhism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies

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