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The Religious Activities of Hijiri (聖) and It's Educational Meaning
history of ancient education
This paper aims to discuss on educational meaning of religious activities of hijiri (聖) in Japanese ancient society. Hijiri first appeared in Nara (奈良) generation, and performed various religious activities targetting the grass-roots. They imparted people about knowledge and cultures on Buddhism by applying diverse medias, such as Nenbutsu (念仏), Shomyo (声明), Etoki (絵解き), folktale. Their religious activities contribute to setting Buddhism as living culture in Japan. The appearance of hijiri gave birth of ‘individual’ in Japanese history and taught people universal value of human dignity. This is very meaningful to Japanese ancient educational history. However, the religious activities of hijiri had its limit; that is, it could not completely breakaway from characteristics of shamanism. From now on, the study on hijiri has a necessity of being comparatively studied not only in Japan but also in East Asia. Through this, Japanese educational history will be root in East Asian educational history, further in World educational history.
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