Anti-Christianity and Funerary Buddhism in Tokugawa Japan

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Hur, Nam Lin
Issue Date
서울대학교 종교문제연구소
종교와 문화, 11호, 2005, pp.
anti Biddhist movementMeiji yearsTokugawa
Life free of Buddhism was almost impossible in Tokugawa Japan (1600-1868), where Buddhist temples covered every comer of the country. It is estimated that, by the late seventeenth century, there were at least more than 100,000 Buddhist temples, and this number remained undiminished until the early Meiji years when an anti-Buddhist movement, known as "abolish the Buddha and discard Śākyamuni" (haibutsu kishaku), swept the country.U Morethan 100,000 temples (probably about 200,000-250,000 when subtemples such as jiin, tacchil, anshitsu, and the like were all individually counted and included) in a country whose population was grown from around twelve million at the turn of the sixteenth century to around thirty million by 1700 and stabilized thereafter, or where there were about 73,000 administrative units (about 63,000 village [mural units and 10,000 ward [machi] units) meant that, on average, 300 people (or sixty households on the assumption that each family unit has five members), or each village or ward supported at least oneor two temples.U This is what the Tokugawa Japanese had to shoulder inaddition to regular tax obligations and corvee duties to the government and to the ruling class.
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College of Humanities (인문대학)Religious Studies (종교학과)종교와 문화(Religion and Culture)종교와 문화(Religion and Culture) 11호(2005)
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