WAR, PEACE AND RELIGION
Metamorphosis of Shintō Goddess Jingū
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the way Empress Jingū, the goddess of the Japanese national religion Shintō, was re-examined and used as an ideology of the Japanese Empire during the Japanese colonial era in both Korea and Japan. Jingū, enshrined in Hachiman Shrine, is famous for the legend of the conquest of the Korean Peninsula with the help of other gods. During the Japanese colonial era, the Japanese Empire justified its rule by using the myth of Jingū, whose lineage had been forgotten for a long time, arguing that the goddess was of Korean descent. This was an instance of the subversion of religion for imperial expansion. Japanese Empire, in particular, promoted Jingū as a symbol of the union of blood between Korea and Japan in colonized Korea and constructed State Shintō Shrine, which enshrines Jingū. The intensified apotheosization of Jingū was used for Japan’s war of aggression, subverting Shinto’s original purpose of promoting life and peace. By doing so, the Japanese Empire attempted to religiously integrate Korea and the Korean people into the State Shintō system, thereby enabling itself to exploit human and material resources for wars under the guise of development and peace in East Asia.
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