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Charisma and Community Formation in Medieval Japan: The Case of the Yugyo-ha (1300-1700)

102 Charisma&Community
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This study demonstrates the value of the articulation in organizational studies of Weber's concept of charisma as a successful social relationship as well as that of a chosen career determined by culture and tradition. Indeed, the success of the Yugyo-ha was due to its ability to seize on the advantages of combining the principles and practices of two existing traditions, Pure Land mysticism and the fundraising hijiri movement.


  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1 Introduction
  • Chapter 2 The Yugyō-ha and Jishū: From Itinerancy to Monasticism
  • Chapter 3 Charisma as a Career: The "Holy Man" Tradition
  • Chapter 4 The Charisma of the Leader: Institutionalizing and Transforming Religious Authority
  • Chapter 5 The Charisma of the Religious Community
  • Chapter 6 Charisma of the Lay Community
  • Chapter 7 The Yugyō-ha and the Foundation Legends of the Tokugawa
  • Chapter 8 Epilogue
  • Appendix
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index


  • “By identifying key events and turning points in the development of the Yugyō-ha, Thornton describes a historical process. Rich in detail, nuanced in argument, and original in its approach ... a welcome addition to the study of premodern Japanese Buddhism.” — History of Religions

  •  S.A. THORNTON is Assistant Professor of History at Arizona State University. A specialist in popular rehearsals of history, she teaches courses on premodern Japanese and Asian history, comparative oral tradition, and film. 

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