A temple certificate. It refers to the Buddhist temple registration and recording system instituted in the Tokugawa period to help eradicate Roman Catholic Christianity (Kirishitan). All Japanese, including Shinto priests even of large shrines whose status relative to Buddhist priests was thereby diminished, were required to be parishioners of a Buddhist temple. The system was officially replaced soon after the Meiji restoration by a shrine-based system (see Ujiko-shirabe) which was supposed to apply to all citizens including Buddhist priests, but for purposes of funerals and memorial services most Japanese families still today remain affiliated to their Buddhist 'parish' temple.

A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. .

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