A History of Japanese Buddhism by Kenji Matsuo

By Kenji Matsuo

This primary significant research in English on jap Buddhism through one in all Japan's so much exotic students within the box of non secular reports is to be commonly welcomed. the main target of the paintings is at the culture of the monk (o-bo-san) because the major agent of Buddhism, including the ancient methods through which priests have built jap Buddhism because it seems at the moment.

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As official monks were a kind of civil servant, they had to observe the office service regulations, including the colours of their clothes. the violation of this regulation involved a punishment of ten days’ hard labour. Compared to the previously mentioned Shibunritsu, the range of options was expanded with the addition of yellow. according to ancient documents such as Nihon Ryo#iki (completed circa 822), white clothes suggested secular people. as the world of official monks was increasingly secularized, and as the laws and regulations existed only for the sake of formality as time passed, the colours of clothes that official monks wore also changed, even though the regulations in ‘So#-Ni Ryo#’ remained unchanged.

The most notable things about Ku#kai are his advocacy of sokushin jo#butsu (attaining Enlightenment in this Very Body), and esoteric Buddhism as being the most excellent of all Buddhist teachings. therefore, his teaching that a person could attain enlightenment as he is gained popularity among the public. Further, the mystic and incantatory qualities of esoteric Buddhism attracted people’s interest, and it exerted great influence on the tendai and other sects, such as the adaptation of esoteric rituals into their own rituals.

It can be said, however, that the myth of sho#toku taishi as the father of Japanese Buddhism was born as Buddhism began to spread during the period when the prince held political power. the embroidered woven curtain called ‘tenjukoku (the country in Heaven)’, shu#cho# treasured in Chu#gu#ji in Nara, should be taken into account when considering the relationship between the prince and Buddhism. Princess tachibana-noO>iratsume, the wife of Prince sho#toku, had two of them woven in order to know where the late prince was reborn.

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