Politics and Religion on China’s Mongolian Frontier

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Japanese imperialists believed that religion was an effective way to control and influence the peoples they conquered. This article traces one example: the Japanese attempt to re-establish a Mongolian Jebtsundamba Khutukhtu, a religious and temporal sovereign who would appear in subsequent incarnations. After the Soviets forbid a search for a new Jebtsundamba in 1824, the Japanese suggested the search be renewed as they moved to take control of Mongolia. This move was ultimately unsuccessful but serves as a classic example of the role of religion in the struggle for power.

 

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