Neo-New Religions, Japanese Religions, Konohana Family Community, Spiritual Groups, Community
Griffin, Lilia Shahar
In Japanese society, some spiritual groups have been defined as NRM (New Religious Movements) or NNR (Neo-New religions) by scholars; however, there are also spiritual groups that are yet to be discussed comprehe--nsively and do not have a clear definition. This article discusses the spiritual group Konohana Family Community, which is referred to as an ecovillage, as a case study to examine how contemporary Japanese spiritual communities are categorized. Although the community shares many practices with ecovillages, some of their beliefs, such as faith in the divine’s will, communication with the world of the kami, mythologies regarding ancient Japanese ancestors and the structure of the universe and existence, together with various practices led by a charismatic spiritual leader, are in line with NRM and NNR. Accurate identification of the category the Konohana Family belongs to will help scholars to analyze other groups and communities operating in contemporary Japan, understand the processes happening within these groups, and better evaluate the structure of contemporary Japanese society.