There's a god for that
So rapid were the changes that few of the leaders took time to reflect on how to guide the newly reorganized country in harmony with the past. And not all of the changes were good: the shrines would suffer the consequences.
Ambition and pride swelled to produce a militaristic leadership, which subverted the new state-sponsored religion, using it to promote views of ethnocentric supremacy. With this, they waged pre-emptive campaigns in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. A new generation of leaders, in 1931, installed a puppet government in Manchuria. And ethnic zealotry culminated in the Sino-Japanese War of 1937 and the Pacific War (WWII) of 1941-45.
This dark period ended with the Japanese surrendering to the American Forces in 1945. The final capitulation though, was predicated on the emperor’s retaining his title. To allow for this, and yet to prevent a recurrence of fanaticism, a new constitution was promulgated, under which the state sponsorship of shrines was dismantled.
Fortunately, this forced separation of religious sponsorship was not as devastating as opponents first thought it might be. Local communities picked up some of the financial burden and worshipers returned to supporting shrine activities on a voluntary basis. Financially, the post-World War II picture began to look much like the pre-Meiji picture.