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Belief and Practice in Imperial Japan and Colonial Korea

Bringing together the work of leading scholars of religion in imperial Japan and colonial Korea, this collection addresses the complex ways in which religion served as a site of contestation and negotiation among different groups, including the Korean Choson court, the Japanese colonial government, representatives of different religions, and Korean and Japanese societies. It considers the complex religious landscape as well as the intersection of historical and political contexts that shaped the religious beliefs and practices of imperial and colonial subjects, offering a constructive contribution to contemporary conflicts that are rooted in a contested understanding of a complex and painful past and the unresolved history of Japan’s colonial and imperial presence in Asia. Religion is a critical aspect of the current controversies and their historical contexts. Examining the complex and diverse ways that the state, and Japanese and colonial subjects negotiated religious policies, practices, and ministries in an attempt to delineate these “imperial relationships”, this cutting edge text sheds considerable light on the precedents to current sources of tension.

source: publisher’s website


  1. Finding Religion in Japan’s Empire | Trent E. Maxey
  2. State Shinto Policy in Colonial Korea | Takaya Kawase
  3. Korean Buddhist Historiography and the Legacies of Japanese Colonialism (1910–1945) | Gregory N. Evon
  4. The Adventures of a Japanese Monk in Colonial Korea: Sōma Shōei’s Zen Training with Korean Masters | Hwansoo Kim
  5. Eastern Learning Divided: The Split in the Tonghak Religion and the Japanese Annexation of Korea, 1904–1910 | Carl Young
  6. Between God and Caesar: The Position of the Non-Church Movement in Korea and Japan from 1927 to 1945 | Kenneth Wells
  7. Developing an Imperial Theology: Transforming “Others” into “Brothers in Christ” for a Multiethnic Empire | Emily Anderson
  8. The Question of Quintessence: Buddhism in Wartime Japanese Academia | Orion Klautau
  9. Transnational Contexts of Tenrikyo Mission in Korea: Korea, Manchuria, and the United States | Akihiro Yamakura
  10. Poch’ŏn’gyo and the Imperial State: Negotiations Between the Spiritual and Secular Governments | John Jorgensen
  11. US Occupation Policy on Shinto in Postliberation Korea and Occupied Japan | Motokazu Matsutani
    Religion in Occupied Japan: The Impact of SCAP’s Policies on Shinto | Mark R. Mullins

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