shinbutsu bunri

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(Jap.). Term meaning ‘the separation of kami andBuddhas’. This was the name of a movement that was instituted as official policy after the accession of the Meiji emperor in 1868 (see Meiji Restoration), in which the government, in an effort to limit Buddhism's influence in the spheres of politics, religion, and culture, decreed that Buddhism and Shintō were to be separated both ideologically and institutionally. Thus, such syncretic creeds as honji-suijaku (the theory that Buddhas and kami were different manifestations of the same beings) and institutions such as the jingūji (combined shrine-temple) came to their end. See also Japan.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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