Membership, Community, Diversity

What is sectarian Shinto?

Thirteen principal sects comprise what is generally referred to as “sectarian” or “sect” (kyoha) Shinto. Arising over the centuries and officially recognized in the early twentieth century, the thirteen cluster around five themes or emphases. First, two groups that emphasize purification are known as Misogi-kyo and Shinshu-kyo (-kyo means teaching or school). Fuso-kyo, Jikko-kyo, and Ontake-kyo are called “mountain sects” because they centered around cults of two sacred mountains, Fuji and Ontake. They restructured along distinctively Shinto lines the teachings of several earlier ascetically oriented groups called Shugendo. Three more recent sects have focused on faith healing. They are Kurozumi-kyo, Tenri-kyo, and Konko-kyo, and they all trace their origins to a founding figure. Two sects called Shinto Shusei-ha and Shinto Taisei-kyo have emphasized Confucian elements and have blended features of the purification and mountain sects as well. Finally among the “thirteen” are the most recent groups, whose mission has been to renew Shinto tradition. These are Izumo Oyashiro-kyo, Shinri-kyo, and Shinto Tai-kyo. The latter is an umbrella organization that was largely responsible for the official recognition of the thirteen. From these sects dozens of smaller movements have arisen in recent times.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Religion Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App