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Prof. (em.) Kate Wildman Nakai (Sophia University): “Church, State, Shrine, School: The Catholic Church and Shinto in Prewar Japan”

25. Juni 2015

Different stages and dimensions of the interaction between the Catholic Church and Japanese state and society from 1858 to the 1940s, including the confrontation over the jinja sanpai issue that culminates in the 1932 Sophia-Yasukuni incident and the reversal of the church’s prohibition of sanpai, and the efforts from the end of the nineteenth century to situate Catholic institutions of higher education in Japanese society. Most research on Christianity in Japan from Meiji to early Shōwa has focused on the Protestant sects, which were largely associated with North American and British missionaries and linked with “progressive” Anglophone intellectual currents. The quite different background of the Catholic missionary enterprise draws attention to other dimensions of the place of Christianity in prewar Japan. Likewise, the evolving Catholic response to Shinto provides a different angle on the continuing question of the nature of State Shinto, which is usually seen in terms of government policy and promulgation from above rather than reception and response.


Zu ihrer Person:

Kate Wildman Nakai, Professor Emerita, Sophia University, earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. After teaching at Harvard and the University of Oregon, she served on the faculty of Sophia University from 1980 to 2010, and she was editor ofMonumenta Nipponica from 1997 to 2010. Her primary area of research has been Tokugawa intellectual history, with a focus on the late Mito school; in 2001, she was awarded the Watsuji Tetsurô Prize for Arai Hakuseki no seiji senryaku: Jugaku to shiron, the Japanese translation of her 1988 bookShogunal Politics: Arai Hakuseki and the Premises of Tokugawa Rule.Recently she has been investigating the Sophia University-Yasukuni Shrine incident of 1932 and the late Edo and Meiji history of Shinto.