Yoshida Kanetomo (吉田兼倶)

Kanetomo YOSHIDA (1435 to March 28, 1511) was a Shintoist during the mid-Muromachi period to Sengoku period (Period of Warring States). He belonged to the Urabe clan. His family descended from the Urabe family and was founded as the Yoshida family in Kanetomo's generation. His father was Kanena URABE. His original name was Kanetoshi but he renamed himself Kanetomo in 1466. He was the founder of Yuiitsu Shinto, or Unitarian Shintoism.

Kanetomo served as Jingi taifu (Senior Assistant Head of the Department of Shinto) and inherited his family's business and scholastic tradition, but later organized the Shinto tradition of his family into a system and wrote 'Shinmei Sangen Godaiden Shinmyo Kyo' (Theory of Shintoism), laying the foundation of Unitarian Shintoism. He continued his study on the Age of Gods section of the 'Nihon Shoki' (Chronicle of Japan) and 'Nakatomi Harae' (Nakatomi Purification Ritual), giving lectures to Emperor Gotsuchimikado as well as high court nobles. In 1484, he had Daigengu (a Shinto chapel) built in his residence in order to worship gods of various places across Japan. He wrote 'Yuiitsu Shinto Myoho Yoshu' (Compendium of the Doctrines of Unitarian Shintoism) and 'Shinto Taii' (Gist of Shinto), introductory and fundamental textbooks on Unitarian Shintoism, and established close connections with the Imperial Court and the shogunate government to be given the authority to govern shrines across Japan and determine the ranks and positions of Shinto priests.

In 1511, Kanetomo died at the age of 77. He was buried in the precincts of Yoshida-sha Shrine (currently, Yoshida-jinja Shrine) and is worshiped as the Dragon God.