• Tsushiro Hirofumi University of Tsukuba, Japan


In considering religio-political problems, the term public religion has been utilized by not a few scholars during the last decade. The Yasukuni Shrine, the largest memorial institution for the war dead in Japan, is a typical case in the discourse on public religion, which has been discussed from various viewpoints in many contexts. I propose to analyze the issue of the Yasukuni Shrine in a triangular scheme that relates three realms of the social: politics, religion, and culture. Manifestations of public religion in the broadest sense can be analyzed as forms of inter-mobilization between these three camps. Further, mobilization occurs within several spheres, i.e., the state, political society, civil society, folk society and global society. This wide scope allows analyzing the so-called Yasukuni problem as well as other religio-political problems multi-dimensionally. This approach, supposedly, leads to a better understanding of the issue and, ultimately, to a more stable situation.

Keywords: Public Religion, Japanese religion, Shinto, the Yasukuni Shrine, nationalism, the war dead, cultural nationalism, cultural religion


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