The Construction of Shūkyōka

  • Mitsutoshi Horii
Chapter

Abstract

Buddhism is generally assumed to be a ‘religion’ in the popular discourse on Temple Buddhism. This is probably most obvious in the classification scheme of Japanese social statistics and surveys. Although it is not the dominant way of classifying ‘Buddhism’ in the popular discourse, as discussed in chapter “ ‘Religion’ in the Popular Discourse”, it is common to regard Buddhism as ‘religion’ as much as ‘culture’ and tradition.’ In the same context, Buddhist priests are usually categorised as ‘religious professionals,’ which is referred to as shūkyōka 宗教家 or shūkyōsha 宗教者 interchangeably. ‘Ka’ in shūkyōka represents ‘house’ or ‘family,’ and implies a member of a specialist group. Therefore, shūkyōka is a shūkyō specialist. This is a common denotation in Japanese social statistics referred to in the previous chapters. On the other hand ‘sha’ in shūkyōsha indicates the notion of ‘individuals.’ Thus, shūkyōsha denotes individuals who are devoted to shūkyō – men and women of shūkyō. Both of these terms are often interchangeably used by most of the literature referred to in this chapter.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitsutoshi Horii
    • 1
  1. 1.Shumei UniversityChibaJapan

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