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The Transition of Nenbutsu Dojos and Religious Rites in Gokayama

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  • 五箇山の念仏道場と仏教行事の変化に関する研究
  • ゴカサン ノ ネンブツ ドウジョウ ト ブッキョウ ギョウジ ノ ヘンカ ニ カンスル ケンキュウ

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<p>A Nenbutsu dojo is a primitive form of a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist shrine, which were built throughout Japan after the 15th century. Nenbutsu Dojos were centers for missionizing local residents in small villages. It is well known that the residents in the Gokayama area are deeply religious Buddhists. Today, most of these dojos have been formalized into temples; only the Gokayama district in Toyama prefecture has many Nenbutsu dojos. The objectives of this research are to clarify the current situation of the transition of Nenbutsu dojos thorough field survey and interviews of the local residents. Nenbutsu dojos function not only as religious branches of the head shrines but also as community centers. The Dojo-mori (the manager of the dojo) takes on the role of a Buddhist monk in everyday duties, and local residents help to prepare foods, clean, etc. According to a case study of the Toga district, several religious rites had been abandoned because of aging and depopulation. Both the maintenance of the building and the performance of religious rites are important for retaining cultural heritage.</p>



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