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Buddhism in Japan. Japan: Overview . Buddhism from Korea/China by 6 th century Again, local spirit cults important: the kami - Buddhas and bodhisattvas the highest kami Prince Shotoku (7 th century) and the “all-embracing Lotus Sutra” – a need for unity

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japan overview
Japan: Overview
  • Buddhism from Korea/China by 6th century
  • Again, local spirit cults important: the kami - Buddhas and bodhisattvas the highest kami
  • Prince Shotoku (7th century) and the “all-embracing Lotus Sutra” – a need for unity
  • Unifying force and state religion for 6 centuries and dominated Confucianism up to Tokugawa Shogunate (17th century)
artistic style
Artistic Style
  • Aesthetics of the tea ceremony, rock gardens, bonsai “sculpture”
  • Shingon/Vajrayana (Ninja/Ninjitsu): “Sumptuous”
  • Tendai/Ti’en-tai and Zen/Ch’an (samurai/bushido): Sparse
  • Doctrine of “Original Awakening” of Hua-yen now applied to nature
  • Equation of Emperor with Maha Vairocana – a.k.a Dainichi
japan nara period 552 794 prince shotoku and the korean connection
Japan: Nara Period 552-794: Prince Shotoku and the Korean Connection
  • King Syongmyong of Paekche (552): sent statues and sturas to Japanese court
  • Soga clan: domination of Buddhist Korean clan and Prince Shotoku (572-622), “founder of Japanese Buddhism”
    • Studies with Korean Hye-cha, imports artisans etc. to Japan from Korea
    • Turns face to China: diminution of Korean connections
japan nara period 552 794 the china connection
Japan: Nara Period 552-794 the China connection
  • Kusha (Abhidharmakosha), Sanron (Sanlun/Madhyamaka), Jojitsu (satyasiddhi ) – curriculum studies mostly
  • Hosso (Fa-hsiang, Yogacara) – large sect
  • Emergence of the Fujiwara clan in Heian Period paves way for direct Chinese influence
  • Buddhism limited mostly to court
    • Sport hunting stopped, vegetarianism
japan heian period 804 1185
Japan: Heian Period (804-1185):
  • Capitol moved to Kyoto
  • Mt. Hiei: Saicho a.k.a Dengyo Daishi 767-822)
    • Sought true Vinaya
    • Sent to China – studied Chen-yen – stayed with ekayana and T’ien-t’ai school
    • Unifying force in Japan
    • Replace Buddha Dharma Sangha with Amitabha, Lotus Sutra, Kuan-yin -Jap. Kannon
japan heian period 804 11857
Japan: Heian Period (804-1185):
  • Kukai a.k.a Kobo Daishi 774-835:
    • Chen-yen – Shingon: Direct teaching of Dharmakaya Buddha – beyond words of sutras
    • Integration of micro-, macro- and mesocosm with Dainichi
    • Ten stages culminating in merger with Dharmakaya Dainichi – from Goat, child and fearless, to Hinayana on up
beginnings of tantra an etymological review
Beginnings of tantra:an etymological review
  • The union of the Sun and Moon, the Diamond and the Lotus, the Male and the Female = Wisdom and Compassion  - from the “Right-handed” Shingon Japanese side
mantra mandala mudra the three bodily actions
Mantra, Mandala, Mudra - the three bodily actions
  • 1. Mantra Ritual chants to motivate the mind to focus on awakening
  • 2. Mandala Ritual images to concentrate the mind
  • 3. Mudra Ritual hand gestures symbolizing aspects of Buddhist doctrine
speech mind body the corresponding three mysteries
Speech, Mind, Body the corresponding "three mysteries"
  • 1. Mantra: The mystery of speech This indicates the microcosmic, resonating aspect of reality
  • 2. Mandala: The mystery of mind This points to the mesocosmic level of reality, we experience the world in our minds
  • 3. Mudra: The mystery of body This reveals the macrocosm, the embodied aspect of the universe
japan heian period 804 118512
Japan: Heian Period (804-1185):
  • Kuya 903-972: Emergence of Jodo or “Happiness” (Pure Land) Buddhism
    • Degenerate age of Mappo
    • No one could be saved by themselves
    • By end of Heian (Shinran), separate sect
japan kamakura period 1185 1333 dogen
Japan: Kamakura Period (1185-1333) Dogen
  • Triumph of the warriors and the bakufu system (shogunate)
  • Capital moved to Kamakura
  • Eisai (1141-1215): Brought Ch’an from Lin-chi tradition to Japan
  • Dogen Kigen (1200-1253): travels to China lead to “dropping away of body and mind.”
    • “Think No-thinking” – founds Soto School
    • Shikantaza – questioning thought, not just seeking flow
    • Demolishes disputes about transmission inside or outside the scriptures; quotes from “Hinayana” texts
japan kamakura period 1185 1333 shinran
Japan: Kamakura Period (1185-1333): Shinran
  • Jodo Shin Shu – Sukhavati or “Happiness” Buddhism
  • Dark age of Mappo – no one can save self, unlike in Golden Age of Buddhist India
  • Shinran (1173-1262): left Tendai school for exile with Jodo sectarians
    • Marries Kannon – and lives a lay life
    • Jiriki and tariki
    • only one nembutsu necessary
    • Evil ones closer to Amida
    • Eerily echoes Martin Luther: no salvation through “works” or merit, only “grace”
    • Muenzer and Zenran: “going too far”
japan kamakura period 1185 1333 nichiren
Japan: Kamakura Period (1185-1333): Nichiren
  • Nichiren (1222-1282): Saicho was right
    • But: wrong to include other doctrines
    • The Evil Happiness Buddhists: no more nien-fo, now daimoku
japan muromachi period 1336 1603
Japan: Muromachi Period (1336-1603)
  • Rinzai Zen and the emergence of the Samurai: militias of other schools slaughtered
  • Tendai and Shingon wane
  • Zen influence pervades the culture: tea ceremony, No drama – nirvana in samsara
  • Peasants with pitchforks: suppression of Buddhist militia by Nobunaga
  • Hideyoshi: suppression of Christians
  • Tokugawa 1542-1616: capital at Tokyo
japan tokugawa period 1603 1868
Japan: Tokugawa Period (1603-1868)
  • Confucian-based ideology due to Buddhist disunity (viz. militias)
  • Nationalism: anti-Buddhist, pro-Shinto
  • Basho – haiku
  • Bushido – Confucian/Zen hybrid approach of the Samurai
meiji and modernization1868 1945
Meiji and Modernization1868-1945
  • Meiji Period: modernization and the “New Rinzai” – anti-Buddhist, pro-Shinto peak
    • Samurai system dismantled
      • Orientals not “effeminate”
    • Suzuki
    • Olcott-san
japan post war period 1945
Japan: Post-war period (1945- )
  • Sokagakkai
    • shakubuku
  • Samurai turn to business
    • Mitsubishi
    • Matsushita
  • Aum Shinri-kyo
  • Nishitani