In his article, “Female Shamans in Eastern Japan during the Edo period,” Gerald Groemer argues that Japanese Shamanism studies tend to focus on the psychologistic, folkloristic and phenomenological aspects (28). The history aspect is rarely discussed, and when it is tackled, it is often thematized and framed in broad and vague terms. For instance, Ikegami (1994) work on shamans focuses primarily on the 20th century. Blacker (1975) discusses ancient shamanism but leaps into the twentieth century. This article offers some authentic examination and contextualization of female shamans in the Kanto range amid the Edo time frame (1600-1868). The paper concentrates on the control of Miko by the establishment headed by Tamura Hachidayu, Miko occupations, hostile to Miko talk, and the finish of Miko associations amid the early Meiji period. These issues mirror that the Miko foundations experienced noteworthy verifiable changes through the span of time. Miko, often regarded as the child of God, have been viewed as important in the indigenous Japanese culture and participated in the Shinto religion as shamans who performed a series of tasks ranging from sacred dance performances to cleansing rituals. Miko was involved in religious occupation through their marriage to Shinto priests or an akin religious practitioner. They performed a sacred dance that was controlled by an institution known as integrated Shinto. This institution of several combined Shinto was also headed by Tamura Hachidayu who took the name, “Leader of the masters of sacred move of incorporated Shinto” (Groemer, 29). Tamura Hadichayu was the head of several Miko and Shinto (dance-masters) in few of Shinano’s provinces as well as the eight Kanto provinces. However, Tamura was only authorised to rule over the Miko who performed rituals of conjuring the voices of the departed or deceased. Kagura Miko, who presented kagura at Kanto holy places such as Sanja Gongen was out of his jurisdiction. Before Tamura Hachidayu’s reign, Kowaka (Komatsu) Kandayu’s ancestor received a document that endowed Kandayu rule over the female ‘?catalpa-bow shamans’ and dance masters in the eight Kanto regions (Groemer, 30). Also, there was an attempt to organize spiritual experts functioning outside the recognized Buddhist religion and foster hierarchical relationships among Buddhist temples into official institutions with rules and laws. Female shamans roles in these new rules and laws were unclear and were subject to increasing restrictions and control. Kandayu faced tremendous challenges in establishing his rule on female shamans as their duties were not stipulated, and whichever shaman and shaman related individual could participate in several jobs such as religious dancers and traders of certain types of amulets. Tamura attempted to separate and clarify the ranges of prominence and rights over different expressions (Groemer, 34). He, however, managed to dominate Miko within the Kanto era that could practice business candidly.
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