Bernard Faure's previous works are well known as guides to some of the more elusive aspects of the Chinese tradition of Chan Buddhism and its outgrowth, Japanese Zen. Continuing his efforts to look at Chan/Zen with a full array of postmodernist critical techniques, Faure now probes the imaginaire, or mental universe, of the Buddhist Soto Zen master Keizan Jokin (1268-1325). Although Faure's new book may be read at one level as an intellectual biography, Keizan is portrayed here less as an original thinker than as a representative of his culture and an example of the paradoxes of the Soto school. The Chan/Zen doctrine that he avowed was allegedly reasonable and demythologizing, but he lived in a psychological world that was just as imbued with the marvelous as was that of his contemporary Dante Alighieri. Drawing on his own dreams to demonstrate that he possessed the magical authority that he felt to reside also in icons and relics, Keizan strove to use these "visions of power" to buttress his influence as a patriarch. To reveal the historical, institutional, ritual, and visionary elements in Keizan's life and thought and to compare these to Soto doctrine, Faure draws on largely neglected texts, particularly the Record of Tokoku (a chronicle that begins with Keizan's account of the origins of the first of the monasteries that he established) and the kirigami, or secret initiation documents.
This book of real-life stories is a palliative for the pain of everyday life. The basic premise is that intentional acts of kindness can have unintended and far reaching consequences that can affect individuals in extraordinary ways. Here are over forty first-person stories (contributors range from Surya Dass to Thich Nat Hanh to John F. Kennedy, Jr) that concretely demonstrate the dynamic power of compassion. We hear the story of a monk who welcomed a dying, underprivileged child into his home, giving the boy nine months of peace and attention before his death. A civil right protestor tells how she learned compassion and love for the “opposition” from a cellmate. Engaging and inspiring, this is a book that will motivate readers to change their lives and the world through intentional acts of compassion. This is a re-package with a new introduction of a book that was originally published by Conari Press in 2000.
"Filled with insights, original conclusions, and alternate readings of historical evidence.... What Michele Marra has done is to illuminate the political intent in artistic creation and thus add new depth to our historical understanding." --Japan Times
Explores the transformation of Buddhism from the premodern to the contemporary era in Japan and the central role its visual culture has played in this transformation. Although Buddhism is generally regarded as peripheral to modern Japanese society, this book demonstrates otherwise.
Izumi Kyoka (1872-1939) wrote some 300 stories, plays, and essays. In the first book-length study in English of Kyoka, Charles Shiro Inouye argues that his writings were a refinement of a vision that came into focus around 1900. This narrative archetype formed the aesthetic and ethical bases of his work. Kyoka does not fit the conventional story of Japanese literary modernization. Unlike most of his contemporaries, he did not jettison the Japanese literary tradition in favor of modernist imports from the West. The highly visual mode of figuration that was Kyoka's compromise with the demands of literary modernism allows us to see the continuation of Edo culture in the Japanese modern and expand our understanding of literary reform in the early twentieth century.
Buddhists around the world celebrate the benefits of worshipping Kannon (Avalokiteśvara), a compassionate savior who is one of the most beloved in the Buddhist pantheon. When Kannon appears in multiple manifestations, the deity’s powers are believed to increase to even greater heights. This concept generated several cults throughout history: among the most significant is the cult of the Six Kannon, which began in Japan in the tenth century and remained prominent through the sixteenth century. In this ambitious work, Sherry Fowler examines the development of the Japanese Six Kannon cult, its sculptures and paintings, and its transition to the Thirty-three Kannon cult, which remains active to this day. An exemplar of Six Kannon imagery is the complete set of life-size wooden sculptures made in 1224 and housed at the Kyoto temple Daihōonji. This set, along with others, is analyzed to demonstrate how Six Kannon worship impacted Buddhist practice. Employing a diachronic approach, Fowler presents case studies beginning in the eleventh century to reinstate a context for sets of Six Kannon, the majority of which have been lost or scattered, and thus illuminates the vibrancy, magnitude, and distribution of the cult and enhances our knowledge of religious image-making in Japan. Kannon’s role in assisting beings trapped in the six paths of transmigration is a well-documented catalyst for the selection of the number six, but there are other significant themes at work. Six Kannon worship includes significant foci on worldly concerns such as childbirth and animal husbandry, ties between text and image, and numerous correlations with Shinto kami groups of six. While making groups of Kannon visible, Fowler explores the fluidity of numerical deity categorizations and the attempts to quantify the invisible. Moreover, her investigation reveals Kyushu as an especially active site in the history of the Six Kannon cult. Much as Kannon images once functioned to attract worshippers, their presentation in this book will entice contemporary readers to revisit their assumptions about East Asia’s most popular Buddhist deity.
The revealed truth Forget everything told Spaceship in Sakkara crashed 8000 year ago Called gods, men and women like humans came out of it The chief of gods, handsome man, dazzling, fabulous, marvelous On his right, beautiful black hair woman protected by two lions On his left, another man, strong body, white beard and hair but not old Spaceship was out so gods helped humans and taught them farming Music, dance, maths, astronomy, writing But higher forces disagreed this sharing of knowledge And sent strong enemies to kill gods on Earth Only the woman survived Her names were Isis, Maât, Athena, Parvati, Guanyin. She settled in Ethiopia as Queen of Sheba, Makeda Balkis In -1000, she visited the temple of Solomon Phoenician artist Hiram, chief of temple builders, she fell in love and miracle happened because pregnant was Makeda But jealousy of Solomon led to the murder of Hiram Makeda ran away Solomon by the Mediterranean Sea For a long boat trip to the Riviera coast She docked on a beach near Massalia Somewhere in Europe in a snowy forest Surrounded by animals her son was born Three surviving mages of her people gathered around the baby All calendars to change, 1000 years to add This amazing woman and her son in her arms France, Belgium, Germany, Poland they crossed Russia, Asia they continued and Japan her son she introduced In India, called Maya, she put her son for adoption To a maharaja for his education The boy called Siddhartha Gautama Would become the first Buddha This amazing man traveled all around Asia to help people Called Jesus, he would be crucified for teaching and healing people But his mother, Mary the Egyptian, Lin Moniang, remained on Earth The Templars of Jerusalem discovered the truth The mother of their god Jesus was a goddess, father a human So, Templars were murdered by pope to hid the truth Genius Sandro Botticelli with friends Perugino and Leonardo da Vinci Found out the truth and drew in their paintings the goddess Mary Disciples and friends Michelangelo hid Apollo in David Raphael camouflaged Hypatia of Alexandria as Simonetta Vespucci
This is the first book-length study in any language of Jō kei (1155-1213), a prominent Buddhist cleric of the Hossō (Yog=ac=ara) school, whose life bridged the momentous transition from Heian (794-1185) to Kamakura (1185-1333) Japan. "Kamakura Buddhism" has drawn notable scholarly attention, largely because it marks the emergence of new schools-Pure Land, Nichiren, and Zen-that came to dominate the Buddhist landscape of Japan. Although Jōkei is invariably cited as one of the leading representatives of established Buddhism during the Kamakura period, he has been seriously neglected by Western scholars. In this book, James L. Ford aims to shed light on this pivotal and long-overlooked figure. Ford argues convincingly that Jōkei is an ideal personage through which to peer anew into the socio-religious dynamics of early medieval Japan. Indeed, Jōkei is uniquely linked to a number of decisive trends and issues of dispute including: the conflict between the established schools and Hōnen's exclusive nenbutsu movement; the precept-revival movement; doctrinal reform efforts; the proliferation of prominent "reclusive monks" (tonseisō); the escalation of fundraising (kanjin) campaigns and popular propagation; and the conspicuous revival of devotion toward 'Sákyamuni and Maitreya. Jōkei represents a paradigm within established Buddhism that recognized the necessity of accessing other powers through esoteric practices, ritual performances, and objects of devotion. While Jōkei is best known as a leading critic of Hōnen's exclusive nenbutsu movement and a conservative defender of normative Buddhist principles, he was also a progressive reformer in his own right. Far from defending the status quo, Jōkei envisioned a more accessible, harmonious, and monastically upright form of Buddhism. Through a detailed examination of Jōkei's extensive writings and activities, Ford challenges many received interpretations of Jōkei's legacy and the transformation of Buddhism in early medieval Japan. This book fills a significant lacuna in Buddhist scholarship
Innumerable studies have appeared in recent decades about practically every aspect of women's lives in Western societies. The few such works on Buddhism have been quite limited in scope. In The Power of Denial, Bernard Faure takes an important step toward redressing this situation by boldly asking: does Buddhism offer women liberation or limitation? Continuing the innovative exploration of sexuality in Buddhism he began in The Red Thread, here he moves from his earlier focus on male monastic sexuality to Buddhist conceptions of women and constructions of gender. Faure argues that Buddhism is neither as sexist nor as egalitarian as is usually thought. Above all, he asserts, the study of Buddhism through the gender lens leads us to question what we uncritically call Buddhism, in the singular. Faure challenges the conventional view that the history of women in Buddhism is a linear narrative of progress from oppression to liberation. Examining Buddhist discourse on gender in traditions such as that of Japan, he shows that patriarchy--indeed, misogyny--has long been central to Buddhism. But women were not always silent, passive victims. Faure points to the central role not only of nuns and mothers (and wives) of monks but of female mediums and courtesans, whose colorful relations with Buddhist monks he considers in particular. Ultimately, Faure concludes that while Buddhism is, in practice, relentlessly misogynist, as far as misogynist discourses go it is one of the most flexible and open to contradiction. And, he suggests, unyielding in-depth examination can help revitalize Buddhism's deeper, more ancient egalitarianism and thus subvert its existing gender hierarchy. This groundbreaking book offers a fresh, comprehensive understanding of what Buddhism has to say about gender, and of what this really says about Buddhism, singular or plural.
The first three centuries of the Heian period (794-1086) saw some of its most fertile innovations and epochal achievements in Japanese literature and the arts. This work examines the early Heian from a variety of multidisciplinary perspectives.