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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

  • 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)

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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

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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

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Japan: Nara Period 552-794 the China connection 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

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Japan: Heian Period (804-1185): Connection

  • 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

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Japan: Heian Period (804-1185): Connection

  • 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

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Beginnings of Connectiontantra: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

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Mantra, Mandala, Mudra - the three bodily actions Connection

  • 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

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Speech, Mind, Body the corresponding "three mysteries" Connection

  • 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

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Japan: Heian Period (804-1185): Connection

  • 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

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Japan: Kamakura Period (1185-1333) Dogen Connection

  • 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

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Japan: Kamakura Period (1185-1333): Shinran Connection

  • 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”

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Japan: Kamakura Period (1185-1333): Nichiren Connection

  • Nichiren (1222-1282): Saicho was right

    • But: wrong to include other doctrines

    • The Evil Happiness Buddhists: no more nien-fo, now daimoku

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Japan: Muromachi Period (1336-1603) Connection

  • 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

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Japan: Tokugawa Period (1603-1868) Connection

  • Confucian-based ideology due to Buddhist disunity (viz. militias)

  • Nationalism: anti-Buddhist, pro-Shinto

  • Basho – haiku

  • Bushido – Confucian/Zen hybrid approach of the Samurai

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Meiji and Modernization1868-1945 Connection

  • Meiji Period: modernization and the “New Rinzai” – anti-Buddhist, pro-Shinto peak

    • Samurai system dismantled

      • Orientals not “effeminate”

    • Suzuki

    • Olcott-san

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Japan: Post-war period (1945- ) Connection

  • Sokagakkai

    • shakubuku

  • Samurai turn to business

    • Mitsubishi

    • Matsushita

  • Aum Shinri-kyo

  • Nishitani