The Tokugawa Shogunate also co-opted all religious organization in Japan to serve its political purposes. Local temples became quasi-governmental entities with official record keeping and other administrative duties (which I believe even included tax collection). Chief priest positions at temples devolved into inherited positions with political status and largess. Everyone had to signup with a local temple and they were not allowed to change religions. This supported not only the administrative co-opting but removed religious organization as an alternative power center to the Shogun. A sure way to diminish the status of religion is to force people to belong, dis-allow propagation, and corrupt priests by providing a stable government-supported income they can take for granted. This Edo period calcification and corruption is basically why the Sokagakkai said "good riddance" to the Nichiren Shoshu "Nikken sect" priesthood when they tried to exert control over the lay organization. The antiquated priesthood "tail" tried to wag the modern progressive "dog" and were told they could keep their corrupt tail. The Sokagakkai hasn't missed them in the least and has become a much better international organization without them.

SGI Buddhist, Loves Irish and Latin American Literature, History buff, knows a great deal about Medicare

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