This article concerns print media reporting in Japan surrounding the first NRMs——Jiu and Tenshôô Kôôtai Jingûû Kyôô——to be covered in the postwar period. First, I discuss the media from a historical perspective, arguing that images of NRMs formed pre-1945 were applied to these groups during the postwar period of religious freedom. Second, I examine their reactions to the media attention, and explore reasons why Jiu's growth was hampered substantially after its leaders were arrested in a highly publicized incident, while Tenshôô Kôôtai Jingûû Kyôô grew to become a prominent NRM despite facing strong press criticism. While Jiu attempted unsuccessfully to utilize its celebrity members to gain credence with the media and the public and displayed a lack of awareness of the social arrangements, Tenshôô Kôôtai Jingûû Kyôô used press criticism to its advantage and averted the commonly held perception about NRMs that it was involved in criminal activity.
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