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Article

Applying Religious Studies Discourse during Wartime: On Katō Totsudō’s Discussion of Religious War

Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
Academic Editor: Todd Lewis
Religions 2022, 13(6), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13060533
Received: 14 April 2022 / Revised: 5 June 2022 / Accepted: 6 June 2022 / Published: 10 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religious Representations in and around War)
This paper argues how the study of religion in Japan influenced the nation’s conduct during the Asia-Pacific War (1931–1945). Specifically, the paper addresses the wartime national indoctrination texts of Katō Totsudō 加藤咄堂 (a.k.a. Katō Yūichirō 加藤熊一郎, 1870–1949). Although Katō was not strictly a religious scholar, analyzing Katō’s texts is significant in understanding the influence of religious theory and religious studies discourse on Japanese society during the war. To illustrate this point, this paper introduces previous studies that have discussed the movements of religious scholars during the war. It then clarifies the significance of discussing Katō’s texts, followed by an introduction to what has been revealed about Katō so far. The paper then examines Katō’s wartime texts that discuss the relationship between war, faith and the readiness to die. The East–West comparison of views of life and death used by Katō was characterized as a wartime application of comparative religion. It was intended to emphasize Japan’s superiority over other countries. Such features agitated Japanese readers to proactively enter the fight to the death through spiritual mobilization in a total war system. View Full-Text
Keywords: Katō Totsudō 加藤咄堂; religious studies; Japanese religion; Buddhism; Asia–Pacific War; view of life and death; preparing to die Katō Totsudō 加藤咄堂; religious studies; Japanese religion; Buddhism; Asia–Pacific War; view of life and death; preparing to die
MDPI and ACS Style

Nishimura, A. Applying Religious Studies Discourse during Wartime: On Katō Totsudō’s Discussion of Religious War. Religions 2022, 13, 533. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13060533

AMA Style

Nishimura A. Applying Religious Studies Discourse during Wartime: On Katō Totsudō’s Discussion of Religious War. Religions. 2022; 13(6):533. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13060533

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nishimura, Akira. 2022. "Applying Religious Studies Discourse during Wartime: On Katō Totsudō’s Discussion of Religious War" Religions 13, no. 6: 533. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13060533

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