Kurozumikyo

Doctrines Kurozumi-kyo's teachings derive from the example of the founder Kurozumi Munetada whose aspiration to 'become a kami' was achieved. Believers are encouraged to make individual efforts to cultivate their hearts (kokoro) in sincerity, perseverance, gratitude, joy and optimism. This-worldly benefits are expected as a result of the followers' developing their kokoro, and healing is offered through prayer and ritual. Kurozumi-kyo's daily service features nippai or worship of the sun. The soul of each human being mirrors the soul of God (Amaterasu Omikami, the sun deity), and when the human soul is united with the divinity unlimited blessings flow.

History Kurozumi-kyo began with the Neo-Confucian aspiration of Kurozumi Munetada (1780-1850) to 'become a kami'. Kurozumi, the son of a shrine priest, experienced great misfortune in his early life, including illness and the death of both parents when he was 32. In 1814 during a critical illness he had a mystical experience in the course of which the sun as a divinity entered his body. He identified the sun-deity as Amaterasu (Tensho Kotai-jin) and revealed that she was the universal parent-God of which each living thing is a part-soul. Kurozumi's spiritual achievements were recognised when he cured a daimyo's illness. Kurozumi-kyo initially had a precarious existence as a new religion in the last years of the Tokugawa shogunate, though members of the movement succeeded in gaining official posthumous recognition of Kurozumi Munetada as a daimyojin (deity), enshrined at the Munetada Jinja. After the Meiji restoration followers supported the Taikyo (great teaching) campaign of 1870-1884 and the movement was quickly recognised as a Shinto sect in 1876 under the name Shinto Kurozumi-ha. Though an independent religion, Kurozumi-kyo has maintained a strong Shinto identity. Its branch churches share some of the features of Shinto shrines, often maintain close informal links with neighbouring shrines and draw on the support of local Shinto parishioners.

Symbols A symbol used to represent Kurozumikyo is a figure of the sun with the Chinese/Japanese character for 'heart' (kokoro) at its centre.

Adherents Kurozumi-kyo has about 300,000 adherents in approximately 350 churches throughout Japan. (Various sources)

Headquarters/
Main Centre
 unetada Jinja, Okayama city, Okayama ken