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Prince and the Monk, The

Shotoku Worship in Shinran's Buddhism

Kenneth Doo Young Lee

Publication Year: 2007

The Prince and the Monk addresses the historical development of the political and religious myths surrounding Shoµtoku Taishi and their influence on Shinran, the founder of the Joµdo-Shinshuµ school of Pure Land Buddhism. Shoµtoku Taishi (574–622) was a prince who led the campaign to unify Japan, wrote the imperial constitution, and promoted Buddhism as a religion of peace and prosperity. Shinran’s Buddhism developed centuries later during the Kamakura period, which began in the late twelfth century. Kenneth Doo Young Lee discusses Shinran’s liturgical text, his dream of Shoµtoku’s manifestation as Kannon (the world-saving Bodhisattva of Compassion), and other relevant events during his life. In addition, this book shows that Shinran’s Buddhism was consistent with honji suijaku culture—the synthesis of the Shinto and Buddhist pantheons—prevalent during the Kamakura period.

Published by: State University of New York Press

The Prince and the Monk

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pp. iii


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pp. iv-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

"It's 3:00 A.M. on February 9, 2006. I didn't think this time would ever come, but I'm thankful that it finally did. Like tonight, I've spent many long hours like a creature from another planet, immersed in this monumental project of writing my first book. Like a sculptor, I've been chiseling away bits and pieces of words..."

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pp. 1-8

"Shotoku Taishi1 (574-622), or Prince Shotoku, was an imperial regent traditionally regarded as a cultural hero of Japan and the father of Japanese Buddhism. A member and representative of the Soga clan, the powerful Japanese court family that rose to prominence with the accession of the Emperor..."

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Chapter 1

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pp. 9-30

"Revered as the founder of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, Shinran is one of the most interesting and controversial figures in medieval Japan because his version of Buddhism appears to represent a qualitative departure from the traditional teachings of Buddhism. Buddhist teaching in general does not aspire to a..."

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Chapter 2

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pp. 31-50

"According to historical Japanese works, Shotoku Taishi, the second son of Emperor Yomei (585-587),1 was appointed prince regent at the age of nineteen and given administrative control over the government during the reign (592-628) of his aunt, Empress Suiko.2 During his regency (593-622), Prince..."

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Chapter 3

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pp. 51-70

"During a time when Japan was engaged in civil wars and political strife, Shotoku played a pivotal role in formulating a national identity and providing stability for the Japanese nation. The Nara period (709-795) witnessed the active promotion of state Buddhism by imperial and political authorities. After..."

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Chapter 4

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pp. 71-106

"During the medieval period, Prince Shotoku was portrayed and venerated as a Buddhist saint. Kamakura Buddhists believed that Shotoku was the first Japanese to fully experience the essence of Buddhism in Japan, so they tended to associate him with the glories of earlier Indian and Chinese Buddhism. Many..."

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Chapter 5

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pp. 107-130

"The transition from the Heian to the Kamakura period was a volatile time for Japan, both in the secular and religious realms. During his lifetime, Shinran witnessed the downfall of the glorious Heian period and the rise of the turbulent Kamakura period. This era included one of the bloodiest civil wars in..."

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pp. 131-140

"The objective of this study is to demonstrate the importance of Shotoku worship in Shinran's Buddhism. From his 190 wasans that were dedicated specifically to Shotoku Taishi, there is no question that Shinran profoundly worshiped Shotoku as a manifestation of the bodhisattva Kannon, who..."

Appendix A

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pp. 141-146

Appendix B

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pp. 147-158


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pp. 159-200

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 201-220


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pp. 221-233

E-ISBN-13: 9780791480465
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791470213
Print-ISBN-10: 0791470210

Page Count: 242
Publication Year: 2007