Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies,
The University of Tokyo
Keywords: fall of Edo Castle, Ooku, Buddhist temples, the abolition of Buddhism,women’s belief, gender discourse
This thesis investigates the changing relationship between the high-ranking women in the Ooku (the organization of women in the Tokugawa Shogun’s household) and Buddhist temples in the late Edo and early Meiji period. This is important because previous studies overlooked the ‘changing’ relationship between women and religious institution in the new era, which followed the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate and the persecution of Buddhism.
This research analyses historical documents from Dai Nihon Komonjo (Shiryo Hensanjo, the University of Tokyo), and primary sources from Buddhist temples, especially the Honganji Shiryo. Using gender discourse methodology, these reveal how women coped with social change through changes in their beliefs. Future research will analyse women at different social levels, not just those in the Ooku.