w-born child, for instance, is taken by its parents to both Shinto and Buddhist temples, for the purpose of solemn dedication. Another of the changes brought about is that, instead of all funerals being conducted by Buddhist priests, as was the case until 1868, the dead are now buried by either Shinto or Buddhist clergy, as the relatives may prefer. Of the many signs which indicate that Shintoism has well nigh run its course, not the least remarkable was the announcement made last year (1892) by the Government itself, to the effect that its rites were to be regarded as simply traditional and commemorative, and devoid of any real religious significance. The relief thus afforded to the minds and consciences of Christians in Japan was, as might be supposed, very great.
Of the various sects the Zhikko,--founded 1541 A.D.,--is, perhaps, the most influential. This sect--as indeed do Shintoists generally--recognizes one eternal absolute Deity, a being of infinite benevolence; and here--as in other he
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