We are currently seeking submissions for future volumes of Culture and Cosmos.
Inside Tokugawa Religion: Stars, Planets and the Calendar-as-method
The study of religion in early modern (Tokugawa) Japan has failed to keep pace with the study of religion in the periods that preceded and followed it. What has been lacking particularly are explorations of religious praxis. The present study proposes a novel approach to this subject with its critical focus on the Tokugawa calendar and its almanac commentaries. Calendars, and their multiple prescriptions for particular types of action and non-action, informed as they are by the cosmic wisdom of yin yang (onmyō) and five-phases-of-matter thinking (gogyō shisō), offer unique insights into precisely the neglected field of religious practice. This study sets out to decode the calendar and explore the ways in which it determined religious practice in early modern Japan. It discloses the centrality of the worship of stellar kami.