Tamijuro Kume and International Lodge, Tokyo
This paper is to examine the achievements made by the members of the International Lodge, Tokyo, in particular, a painter named Tamijuro Kume. In spite of the short endurance, this small cell of Theosophical Society, founded by James Cousins in 1920, is important in terms that it formed a knot to bind the movements Besant and Leadbeater then developed worldwide and the indigenous trend of spiritual healing extensively welcomed by interwar Japanese society, and Kume is believed to have been a central figure in the confluence. Kume advocated Reitheism, his own fashion of mediumistic painting, which formed a bizarre merger of modernized Japanese mindcure principle with Theosophical Thought Forms theory. However, Kume’s idea was sustained by his profound understanding of Japanese mediumistic art form Noh, the excessively simplified stage performance patronized samurai warrior classes for centuries. Kume’s knowledge both of the art and occultism functioned significantly in several cases not only in Japan but in Western world. Kume was acquainted with Irish poet W. B. Yeats in London in 1914 when Yeats sought his new form of mystic plays, and Kume’s advice is believed to have crucially assisted to Yeats’ creation of his Noh-inspired plays like At the Hawk’s Well.