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The Invention of Religion in Japan
Throughout its long history, Japan had no concept of what we call “religion.” There was no corresponding Japanese word, nor anything close to its meaning. But when American warships appeared off the coast of Japan in 1853 and forced the Japanese government to sign treaties demanding, among other things, freedom of religion, the country had to contend with this Western idea ...more
Published November 1st 2012 by University of Chicago Press
(first published October 3rd 2012)
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Apr 06, 2013 Kristian Petersen rated it 5 of 5 stars · review of another edition
In 1853, the Japanese were required to consider what the word religion meant when western powers compelled the Tokugawa government to ensure freedom of religion to Christian missionaries. The challenge this request posed was based on the fact that prior to the nineteenth century Japanese language had no parallel terminology for the category of religion. In The Invention of Religion in Japan (University of Chicago Press, 2012), Jason Ānanda Josephson, Assistant Professor of Religion at Williams C ...more