“Tracing Talisman: Power Politics and Religion in Modern Japan” by Tanya Brittain – an online presentation hosted by CSRS

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Tracing Talisman: Power Politics and Religion in Modern Japan
Tanya Brittain

Thursday, February 16
5:00-6:00 p.m.
DTB A110 and online
Join via Zoom at uvic.ca/csrs/events

I focus on the continued use of talismans (fu) in Japan and argue that while shinbutsu bunri (the forced separation of Buddhist and Shinto institutions imposed by the Meiji government) succeeded at an institutional level it failed in practice. The Meiji period (1868-1912) was a time of tremendous political change, one that had significant implica- tions for Japanese religiosity. During this time the Meiji government defrocked Buddhist monks, confiscated land and buildings, and de- stroyed religious paraphernalia, promoting haibutsu kishaku (“abolish Buddhism, destroy Shakamuni”). However, while political and institutional structures shifted dramatically, talismans have remained in use.

Tanya Brittain is an MA student in the Pacific and Asian Studies De- partment at UVic and a graduate fellow at the CSRS. Her research focuses on Japanese religion.

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