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    Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 1995 22/12

    Medieval Tendai HongakuThoughtand the New Kamakura Buddhism

    A Reconsideration

    Jacqueline STONE

    Medieval Tendai original enlightenment thought (hongaku shis) hadits formative stage during roughly the twelfth through fourteenth centuries,a period that precedes and then coincides with the emergence and earlygrowth of the so-called new Kamakura Buddhism. Scholars have longassumed some connection between Tendai hongaku ideas and the doc-trines of the new Buddhist schools, though the nature of that connectionhas been disputed. This essay outlines the theories on this subject to dateand raises questions about how the problem has been formulated. It argues

    for a more contextualized understanding of hongaku discourse thatlocates it within both the specics of the medieval Tendai tradition and thebroader historical setting.

    NOTIONS OF ORIGINAL ENLIGHTENMENT (hongaku) informed themainstream of Japanese Tendai Buddhism from roughly the Inseiperiod (10861185) until about the Genroku through Kyh eras(16881735) of the Edo period. This is the period known in that tradi-

    tions intellectual history as medieval Tendai (chko Tendai_;HAZAMA1948, pp. 12). Medieval Tendai ideas about original enlight-enment are developed in a huge corpus, including records of oraltransmissions (kudenS)), debate texts, ritual manuals, and commen-taries. This literature presents a morass of bibliographical difculties.Only a fraction of the relevant texts are available in printed editions.Moreover, before the fourteenth century, documents related to hon-gaku thought were not signed by their compilers but retrospectivelyattributed to great Tendai masters of the past, such as Saich or

    Genshin. Even after about 1300, when works of reliable attributionbegin to appear, one still nds those whose authorship is uncertain(TAMURA 1973, p. 538). Thus dating and attribution are extremely

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    difcult matters. Nonetheless, the painstaking efforts of modernscholars have established a tentative chronology of important texts,and it is now generally agreed that hongaku thought underwent its

    most creative phase from roughly the twelfth through fourteenth cen-turies (for the most detailed chronology to date, see TAMURA1965, pp.40351; 1973, pp. 52141.) This time frame begins somewhat beforeand then coincides with the emergence of the so-called newKamakura Buddhism. The men regarded as the founders of the newKamakura schoolsEisai, Hnen, Shinran, Dgen and Nichirenbegan their careers as Tendai monks and studied on Mt. Hiei, wherehongakuthought was ourishing. Moreover, some of their ideas sharepoints of similarity with certain medieval Tendai hongakutexts, includ-

    ing the primacy of faith, the direct accessibility of Buddhahood, andoptimism about the possibility of salvation for ignorant and evil per-sons. The nature of the connection between Tendai hongakuthoughtand the new Kamakura Buddhism has been debated heatedly. Thepresent article will also address this theme with the aim, not of provid-ing a denitive answer, but of raising questions about how the prob-lem has been formulated to date, in the hope of thus contributing tofuture inquiry. First, however, it will be well to touch briey on thechief term in this discussion and the difculties it presents as a schol-

    arly category.

    What is Original Enlightenment Thought?

    The term original enlightenment (Chn. pen-cheh, Kor.pongak) hasits locus classicus in the Ta-sheng chi-hsin lun|= or Awakening of

    Faith in the Mahyna(T #1666, 32.57583), where it refers to truesuchness considered under the aspect of conventional deluded con-sciousness and thus denotes the potential for enlightenment in un-

    enlightened beings. It is used in the Chi-hsin lun in contrast toacquired enlightenment (Chn. shih-cheh, Jpn. shikakux), theprocess by which this innate potential for enlightenment is actualized.In China and Korea, notions of original enlightenment developed pri-marily within the Hua-yen tradition and also inuenced Chan.

    The rst Japanese Buddhist to engage the concept was Kkai W}(774835), founder of the Japanese Shingon school. Kkai quotedextensively from the Sk Mahayn-ron # (T #1668,32.591668), an eighth-century Korean commentary on the Awakening

    of Faith, appropriating its discourse of original enlightenment andnondual Mahyna to the esoteric teachings. Developments inTendai esotericism (taimitsuO) from the time of the Japanese

    18 Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 22/12

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    Tendai founder Saich (767822) were also crucial to the forma-tion of medieval Tendai hongakuthought. A distinct tradition groundedin the premise of original enlightenment emerged within Tendai in

    the latter part of the Heian period. Though it was strongly inuencedby esotericism, Tendai hongakudoctrine was developed under therubric of exoteric teachings (kengy) and associated specically

    with the Lotus Stra. The term original enlightenment in this medievalTendai context involves the claim, not merely that all beings have thepotential for enlightenment, but also that all beings are enlightenedinherently. Not only human beings, but even ants and crickets, moun-tains and rivers, grasses and trees, are all innately Buddhas. Indeed,the whole phenomenal world is the primordially enlightened Tathgata.

    Seen in their true light, all forms of daily conduct, even ones delusivethoughts, are, without transformation, the expressions of originalenlightenment. Not all medieval Tendai thinkers embraced this posi-tion. The exegete Hchib Shshin GO (. late 12th, early13th cent.), for example, criticized it as a denial of causality and a het-erodox teaching (see TANI 1991, pp. 22837). Still, it appears to haverepresented the medieval Tendai intellectual mainstream.

    Medieval Tendai texts use the terms original enlightenment,original enlightenment teaching (hongakumon) or originalenlightenment doctrine (hongaku hmon). Original enlight-enment thought, however, is a modern category. The term was rstpopularized through studies by Shimaji Dait (18751927) publishedin the 1920s. Introducing terminology that would echo throughdecades of later scholarship, Shimaji characterized nondual originalenlightenment thought as absolute afrmation of the phenomenal

    world and the climax of Buddhism as philosophy.The late Tamura Yoshir (19211989), who devoted much of his

    scholarly career to the study of this doctrine, expanded upon Shimajischaracterization and attempted to dene original enlightenment

    thought more precisely. It consists, says TAMURA, in two philosophicalmoves (1983, pp. 12326). First, the Mahyna idea of nonduality ispushed to its ultimate conclusion. All existents, being empty of indepen-dent self-nature, are seen as interpenetrating and mutually identied.This move negates any ontological difference between the ordinaryperson and the Buddha, the mundane world and the Pure Land, selfand other, and so forth. All conventional distinctions of the phenomenal

    world are thus collapsed in a breakthrough into an undifferentiated,nondual realm. Second, on the basis of this insight into absolute non-

    duality, one returns, as it were, to the phenomenal world, afrmingits relative distinctions, just as they are, as expressions of ultimate non-dual reality or original enlightenment. This second move is often

    STONE: Tendai HongakuThought and Kamakura Buddhism 19

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    expressed in such classic Mahyna terms as the worldly passions areprecisely enlightenment (bonn soku bodai) or birth anddeath are precisely nirva (shji soku nehan ). Tamuras

    denition is heuristically useful and helps illuminate conceptual struc-tures underlying a great number of texts.Nonetheless, certain caveats are in order about the term original

    enlightenment thought. Especially when supported by a very system-atized denition such as Tamuras, it may tend to suggest a uniedbody of material, thus obscuring the plurality of approaches, genres,and subject matter of the writings informed by hongakuperspectives.1

    Medieval Tendai notions of hongakuare developed primarily in adiverse body of texts known as orally transmitted doctrines (kuden


    ). Some of these texts explicitly treat the concept oforiginal enlightenment, while others present it only as a tacit premiseinforming a discussion of other subjects, such as the Sann cult of Mt.Hiei, initiation rituals, the perfect and sudden precepts, or topics ofreligious debate. Oral transmission texts account for an estimatedtwenty percent of the Tendai sects Eizan Library holdings (KOJIMA,KODERA, and TAKE 1975, p. 372), and Eizan is only one of severalarchives housing such documents. There are also works dealing withoriginal enlightenment that do not take the form of oral transmis-sions. Subsuming all this material under the single rubric originalenlightenment thought works to obscure its heterogeneity.

    A second problem lies in the notion of original enlightenment asthought, which gives the impression of a primarily or even purely philo-sophical enterprise, independent of practice, ritual, or institution.Until quite recently, the discipline of Buddhist studies in both Japanand the West tended to stress doctrine to the exclusion of other con-cerns. In the case of medieval Tendai, this tendency has been exacer-bated by the difculty of dating and attributing texts, which makestheir ideas particularly difcult to contextualize. There may also behistorical reasons why hongakuthought has so often been presented ina chiey philosophical light: SHIMAJI, who characterized it as the cli-max of Buddhist philosophy in Japan, saw it as the perfect counter toa criticism, evidently current in his day, that Japan has religion butno philosophy (1926, pp. 18991).

    Original enlightenment thought is a convenient designation forthe range of concepts, interpretations, and doctrinal formulationsinformed by hongakuideas. In using it, however, we must bear in mindthat it was a multivalent discourse, and one embedded in specic lin-

    eages, rituals, and institutional contexts.

    20 Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 22/12

    1 I am indebted to Paul Groner for rst calling this to my attention.

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    Theories about Hongaku Thought and the New Kamakura Buddhism

    What was the relationship between Tendai original enlightenment dis-

    course and the doctrines of the new Kamakura Buddhism? Ratherthan attempting to detail the views of every scholar who has takenpart in this discussion or to present a precise chronology of their argu-ments, we will summarize the major theories on this issue. At the riskof some oversimplication, these may be regarded as falling into threebasic positions, which for convenience sake we shall term Tendai asmatrix, the radical break, and dialectical emergence. In reality,there is considerable shading and overlap, rather than an absolute dif-ference, among the three.

    The Tendai as matrix position sees Tendai hongakuthought as thewomb or intellectual matrix of the new schools of KamakuraBuddhism. This idea was rst proposed by SHIMAJI Dait in a seminalessay entitled Nihon ko Tendai kenky no hitsuy o ronzu [On thenecessity of studying ancient Japanese Tendai thought](1926). Upuntil that time, the new Kamakura schools had been viewed chiey assectarian traditions developing independently out of the activities ofhijiri or holy men outside the formal monastic establishment, or asresponses to fears about the degenerate Final Dharma age (mapp=). Shimajis proposal enabled them to be considered within a com-

    mon, transsectarian intellectual framework. A pioneer in this eld,Shimaji was among the rst to recognize that many texts attributed toSaich and Genshin were apocryphal, but tended to accept as gen-uine texts attributed to Tendai masters of the Insei period such asChjin bc (10651138), attributions that later scholars have ques-tioned. Thus he saw Tendai original enlightenment thought as havingdeveloped much earlier than is now accepted. This chronology sup-ported his suggestion that the new schools had emerged from thematrix of mature hongakuthought.

    While stressing the intellectual indebtedness of the new KamakuraBuddhism to medieval Tendai hongaku thought, Shimaji nonethelessfound the new schools superior in terms of practice and ethics. Heperceived a certain moral danger in an idea that afrmed all activitiesof life, just as they are, as the acts of an originally inherent cosmicTathgata. Hongakudoctrine, SHIMAJI suggested, had proceeded in twodirections: One took form as the bright Kamakura Buddhism thatpuried original enlightenment thought, while the other sank to anaturalistic, corrupt thought and brought about the deterioration of

    Buddhism on Mt. Hiei (1933, p. 473).The second major theory, the radical break, arose largely inresponse to Shimaji and his successors, and maintains that the new

    STONE: Tendai HongakuThought and Kamakura Buddhism 21

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    Kamakura Buddhism should be understood as a thorough rejection oforiginal enlightenment thought. It has been advanced most vigorouslyon two sectarian fronts, having been initiated within the academic

    wing of Nichirensh based at Rissh University and later taken up bysome scholars of St Zen.Among the large corpus of writings traditionally attributed to

    Nichiren (12221282) are many that deal with original enlightenmentideas. When Shimaji Dait rst published his research, it was generallyheld both inside and outside Nichirensh that Nichiren had taughthongakudoctrine. For scholars outside the Nichiren tradition, thistended to reduce him to an offshoot of Tendai. For example, Shimaji,

    while acknowledging points unique to Nichiren in his approach to

    practice and application, nevertheless maintained that the content ofhis doctrine hardly differs from that of medieval Tendai thought(1986, p. 469). Nichirensh sectarian scholars, however, sought toclarify the difference between medieval Tendai hongaku thought andthe hongaku thought of Nichiren, making use of the distinctionbetween ri7, principle, andji, phenomena or concrete actual-ity. These categories held a time-honored place in the Nichiren tradi-tion, having been used by Nichiren himself to distinguish between theintrospective meditation taught by the Chinese Tien-tai founderChih-i J* (538597) and his own form of practice, the chanting ofthe daimoku or title of the Lotus Stra, said to embody the realityof the Buddhas enlightenment (Kanjin honzon sh?D , RISSHDAIGAKU NICHIREN KYGAKU KENKYJO [RDNKK] 1988, vol. 1, p. 719;Toki nyd-dono gohenji)*:, vol. 2, p. 1522). Applied tothe issue of distinguishing between medieval Tendai and Nichiren ver-sions of hongakuthought, however, the ri/jidistinction became, not acontrasting of two modes of religious discipline, but a distinction oftheory and practice. Tendai original enlightenment thought was char-acterized as a mere theoretical, abstract statement that beings are

    inherently enlightened by nature (honrai jikaku), while Nichi-rens teaching was presented as the actualization of inherent enlight-enment through faith and practice (shikaku soku hongakux;see, for example, TAKADA1913).

    This theory/practice distinction was eventually assimilated to pre-war critical studies of the Nichiren canon, which suggested that manyof the works attributed to Nichiren that emphasize hongakuideas areprobably apocryphal. ASAI Yrin (18831942), who pioneered suchstudies, was perhaps the rst scholar to present a new Kamakura

    Buddhist founderNichirenas having rejected Tendai hongakuthought (1945, especially chapter 6). Asai argued that medievalTendai emphasis on secret teachings and subjective interpretations

    22 Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 22/12

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    had undermined orthodox doctrinal study, while hongakuclaims thatthe worldly passions are enlightenment had encouraged the licen-tiousness of monks (pp. 80, 221). Nichiren, in contrast, had sought to

    restore normative emphasis on practice and doctrinal study. Asais dis-ciple, Shigy Kaish (19071968), extended Asais argument forNichirens rejection of medieval Tendai to the other new KamakuraBuddhist founders. SHIGY wrote that hongaku thought cuts off dis-crimination between good and evil, right and wrong and does notacknowledge concepts of value distinction; its claim that this body isitself Buddha (sokushin zebutsuX[), he said, had in reality donenothing to alleviate human suffering amid the upheavals of the latterHeian period. In contrast, the new Kamakura schools developed as a

    shift from the old theoretical Buddhism to a practical Buddhism,squarely facing reality and concentrating on the problem of how tochange it (1954, pp. 45, 4951). This position has by now become asort of orthodoxy in some Nichirensh academic circles. ASAI End,for example, writes that hongakuthought became an empty theorydivorced from the times, unable to effect positive results in an age ofturmoil accompanying the rise of the warrior class. Hnen, Shinran,Dgen and Nichiren shared a common resolve to overthrow [this]abstract theory (1974, pp. 145, 146).

    Disjunctures between hongaku ideas and the thought of the newKamakura Buddhist teachers, especially Dgen, have also concernedsectarian scholars within St Zen. Many of their discussions havetaken shape in response to Tamura, who saw Dgens teaching con-cerning the oneness of practice and enlightenment (shush [email protected]) as inuenced to some degree by original enlightenmentideas (1965, pp. 54875). One strand of St argument holds thatDgen drew, not on the hongaku-inuenced Tendai of his own time,but on the classic Chinese Tien-tai tradition (e.g., IKEDA 1992).

    Another acknowledges some inuence from Tendai hongakuthought

    but suggests that Dgen radically modied it. Kagamishima Genry,for example, writes that Dgen found himself stymied by JapaneseTendai original enlightenment thought, which had fallen into a natu-ralistic view of practice and enlightenment that held practice to beunnecessary, and turned instead to Chinese Chan. However, Chanhad by Dgens time developed an orientation of acquired enlighten-ment or shikaku, i.e., approaching enlightenment as a future goal tobe realized. While Dgens emphasis on practice derives from ChineseChan, his exposure to Tendai hongakuthought made it impossible for

    him to accept this shikakuapproach, and he maintained instead thatpractice and enlightenment are one (KAGAMISHIMA 1983). YamauchiShuny, who takes a strong radical break position, denies even this

    STONE: Tendai HongakuThought and Kamakura Buddhism 23

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    degree of inuence. Discussing the Kank ruij+M{ [Collection ofthe light of Han], a Tendai text of Dgens time or perhaps slightlylater, YAMAUCHIwrites that, by its identication of persons at the stage

    prior to practice with the original Buddha, practice is completelynullied. This was precisely the object of Dgen Zenjis criticismand bears no structural similarity to his thought (1985, pp. 547). Inhis estimation, the new Kamakura founders maintained throughout a

    vigorous emphasis on practice in order to overcome the nondual-ism of original enlightenment thought (1980, p. 21).

    Another argument, related to the radical break position butconned to the realm of Dgen studies, regards the medieval Tendaihongakudoctrine as a substantialist heterodoxy, against which Dgen

    is said to have reasserted the orthodox Buddhist position of imperma-nence and nonsubstantiality. This argument was rst advanced by theTendai scholar HAZAMAJik, who suggested that Dgens criticisms ofthe so-called Senika heresybelief in an immortal, inner spiritualintelligencewere in fact a veiled critique of Tendai hongaku ideasabout the constant abiding of the mind-nature (shinsh jj DW) found in some early kuden texts (1948, pp. 298318).2 Similarcriticism has also been leveled by Hakamaya Noriaki and others of theintellectual movement known as Critical Buddhism (hihan Bukky

    |[).3 Hakamaya employs the term original enlightenmentthought to mean, not only the mainstream of medieval Tendai, but

    virtually all immanentalist forms of Buddhist thought. Originalenlightenment, he argues, represents the archaic, fundamentallynon-Buddhist notion of toposa metaphysical substrate, pretempo-ral condition or locus from which all things arise and to which theyreturn. A thorough critique of this position is, he says, the denitiveperspective for understanding Dgen (HAKAMAYA 1989, p. 319). Theenemy he [Dgen] staked his life on attempting to negate was a

    thoroughly compromising original enlightenment thought that wascompletely unconcerned with the determination of right and wrongin a Buddhist sense. Dgen was unshakable in his blunt criticism thatthis was not Buddhism (p. 396). The question of whether or not hon-

    24 Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 22/12

    2 TAMURA sees this and similar criticisms by Dgen as directed against certain strands ofSouthern Sung sudden Chan, especially the doctrines of the Lin-chi master Ta-hui Tsung-kao ;F (10891163), which were upheld by followers of the Nihon Daruma-sh (1965,pp. 55664). Bernard FAURE argues convincingly that Dgens criticisms were aimed at theDaruma-sh (1987, pp. 4144). As both scholars point out, some connection may also have

    existed between Daruma-sh doctrine and Tendai hongakudiscourse.3 The key sources for an understanding of Critical Buddhism are HAKAMAYA1989 and

    1990, and MATSUMOTO 1989. For a discussion of these works and other articles by Hakamaya,and of responses to the Critical Buddhism movement, see SWANSON 1993.

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    gaku thought represents a substantialist position is an intriguing onebut exceeds the scope of this paper. Since hongakudiscourse is hetero-geneous, there may not be a univocal answer.

    Radical break arguments tend to serve sectarian interests byemphasizing the intellectual independence of the founderNichirenor Dgen, as the case may befrom the parent Tendai tradition. Sucharguments have made a substantial contribution in calling attentionto the distinguishing characteristics of individual Kamakura-periodBuddhist founders and countering the tendency of the matrix theoryto reduce them to unproblematic emanations of original enlighten-ment thought. Nonetheless, there are difculties with the attempt todene the new Kamakura Buddhism as a reaction against hongakudis-

    course. Dgens writings do indeed contain passages critical of theclaim that ordinary worldlings are Buddhas prior to practice. It is alsotrue that some elements in the teachings of the new Buddhistfounders do not square readily with hongakuideas, Hnens emphasison the transcendent Other-power (tarikij) of Amidas Original

    Vow being an obvious instance. Yet nowhere in the writings of thesemen do we nd the sort of explicit critique of Tendai hongaku doc-trine seen, for example, in Hchib Shshin. Thus it remains ques-tionable just how far the new Buddhist movements dened themselvesas deliberate reactions against Tendai hongakuthought.

    Before moving on to the third position, we may note one furtherstrand of scholarly argument that, while neither sectarian nor doctri-nal, has worked to reinforce the idea of the new Kamakura Buddhismbeing a reaction against original enlightenment thought. This is thescholarship of historians of the kenmitsu taiseiO, the system ofexoteric doctrine and esoteric ritual that permeated the establishedforms of Buddhism in the medieval period. The late historian KURODAToshio (19261993) was the rst to see Tendai hongakuthought as typ-ical of kenmitsuideology (1975a, pp. 44345, 48788). SAT Hiroo hasargued that nondual hongakuideas equating this world with the PureLand served to legitimize established systems of rule (1987, p. 57).TAIRA Masayuki sees hongaku thought as contributing to a climate in

    which strict observance of monastic precepts was devalued (1992, pp.47374; 1994, pp. 27071). In that these scholars have drawn atten-tion to hongaku thought as an ideology of the dominant kenmitsuBuddhism, and dened the new movementsthe itanhab2$ ormarginal heterodoxiesas resisting kenmitsuauthority, their work has

    STONE: Tendai HongakuThought and Kamakura Buddhism 25

    4 KURODA actually saw the new Kamakura Buddhist movements (the itanha) as engagedwith issues that overlapped original enlightenment thought and not in direct or completeopposition to it (1975a, p. 488). In contrast, TAIRAsees all the itanthinkers (except DainichiNnin) as grounded in a stance opposed to hongakudiscourse (1994, p. 289).

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    contributed to the picture of the two as standing in opposition.4

    A third theory, one reconciling the matrix and radical breakpositions, is found in the inuential work of Tamura Yoshir.5Although

    Tamura himself did not use these terms, he in effect saw the newKamakura schools as evolving out of medieval Tendai hongakuthoughtby a process of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis; and thus I call his theorydialectical emergence. Tamuras argument may be summarized asfollows: Tendai hongakuthought, as Shimaji recognized, represents anabsolute afrmation of the phenomenal world and the climax ofBuddhist philosophical achievement, having broken through everysort of dualistic construction to illuminate a realm of absolute non-duality. Yet this very nonduality gave rise to problems in the realm of

    practice and ethics (TAMURA1965, pp. 46768). Hnen, who lived andtaught during the troubled times of the late Heian, rejected this too-facile afrmation of the enlightenment inherent in deluded beings.Out of acute awareness of human limitations and as a matter of per-ceived soteriological necessity, Hnen reasserted the duality of thisdeled world and the Pure Land, and of deluded beings and theBuddha. Shinran, Dgen, and Nichiren, however, were active at a latertime, after the Jky Disturbance of 1222, when it became clear that a

    vigorous new order was emerging under bushi leadership. The political

    upheavals and uncertainties of Hnens time having to some extentbeen resolved, the philosophical attraction of nondual hongakuthoughtreasserted itself. Tamura sees Shinran, Dgen, and Nichiren asattempting to synthesize the philosophical subtlety of Tendai hongakuabsolute nonduality with the consciousness of human shortcomingsexpressed in Hnens relative duality. Tamuras work has provedespecially valuable in illuminating transformations and appropriationsof Tendai hongakuideas by the new Kamakura Buddhist teachers.

    Each of the arguments outlined above has advanced our under-

    standing of both continuities and disjunctures between Tendai hon-gakuideas and those of the new Kamakura Buddhism. After Shimaji,

    virtually all voices in the discussion have been raised in response toone another, sometimes disagreeing with considerable heat. Never-theless, it should by now be clear that these rival theories share severalinterrelated assumptions. First is that original enlightenment thought,by asserting the absolute nonduality of Buddhas and deluded beings,

    5 Tamuras theory of the relationship between the new Kamakura schools and Tendai

    hongakuthought is discussed in several of his writings. The most detailed treatment appearsin TAMURA 1965, especially chapter 5. A convenient summary of his argument, completewith diagrams, may be found in 1975, pp. 202209. For an introduction to Tamuras work inEnglish, see HABITO 1991.

    26 Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 22/12

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    in effect denies the need for Buddhist practice. Over and against soclearly problematic a stance, the teachers of the new Buddhismespecially Dgen and Nichirenare represented as reasserting the

    primacy of practice. Where hongakuthought is seen as an intellectualabstraction or uncritical world afrmation, the leaders of the newBuddhist movements are shown as actively grappling actively with thecontradictions and sufferings of real existence, avoiding the moral pit-falls inherent in the nondual hongakuposition. There is also the perva-sive assumption that hongakuthought was deeply implicated in monas-tic corruption, both as a contributing cause and as its expression.

    It is important to note how this characterization of hongakuthoughtworks to privilege the new Kamakura schools. It carries more than a

    trace of stereotypes about a vibrant, reformist new Buddhism arisingagainst an elitist, degenerate old Buddhism. It also suggests an evo-lutionary, even teleological view of Japanese religious history, in whichthe raison dtre of Tendai hongakuthoughtwhether as an intellectualmatrix, as the focus of a counterreaction, or as a combination of thetwowas to give rise to the new Kamakura Buddhism. But is this char-acterization in fact accurate? Or does it need to be qualied by a morecontextualized understanding of the realm in which hongakudiscourses

    were conducted? This is the question to which we will now turn.

    The World of Medieval Tendai

    As Kuroda Toshio has made clear, the dominant forms of medievalJapanese Buddhism were Tendai, Shingon, and the Nara schoolstheso-called kenmitsuBuddhismand not the new Kamakura movements,

    which remained fairly marginal until late in the medieval period.Certain features of the mainstream Buddhist institutions often dis-missed as corruptionsuch as their vast landholdings and mainte-

    nance of monastic armiesshould instead be seen in the context of amedieval sociopolitical structure in which temple-shrine complexesemerged as major powers (KURODA 1975b, pp. 24648). Kuroda andhis successors have focused largely on the ideological and politicalauthority of kenmitsu Buddhism, including Tendai. But medievalTendai also exhibited a burgeoning of new religious forms, a few of

    which will be outlined here.Medieval Tendai ideas about universal and originally inherent

    Buddhahood were elaborated within an institutional setting that val-

    ued lineage and master-disciple transmission. Doctrinal interpreta-tions reecting hongakuperspectives were handed down in Tendaiexoteric teaching lineages, rst orally, then on strips of paper called

    STONE: Tendai HongakuThought and Kamakura Buddhism 27

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    kirigami that were eventually collected in larger works. By thelate Kamakura period, detailed doctrinal systematizations were elabo-rated, such as the threefold seven great matters (sanj-shichi ka daiji

    XbO), which encapsulates the major works of Chih-i from thestandpoint of original enlightenment (UESUGI 1935, vol. 1, pp.599703; HAZAMA 1948, pp. 12430). In the Muromachi period, a

    voluminous commentarial literature was produced. The two main lin-eages involved in these transmissions were the Eshin-ry DH andthe Danna-ry AH, both of which had many subbranches. Theseschools claimed descent respectively from Eshin Szu [email protected](Genshin =; 9421017), and Danna Szu [email protected] (Kakuun ;9531007), the leading disciples of the eighteenth zasuor abbot of

    Mt. Hiei, Rygen d (912985). This was, however, a retrospectiveconstruction; the Eshin and Danna lineages did not appear until wellafter Genshin and Kakuuns time.6

    Conventions of secrecy surrounded the transmission of theirteachings. Many kuden texts warn against divulging their contents tooutsiders, or say that they are to be transmitted only to one carefullychosen disciple (yuiju ichinin4s^). While in reality monks oftenreceived transmissions from both the Eshin and Danna schools(KUBO 1991a), the rhetoric of secrecy was vital in legitimizing the

    authority of lineage. It derived in part from Tendai esotericism, whoserituals were passed down secretly from master to disciple. Rival taimitsulineages, like the Eshin and Danna schools and their subbranches,tended to be based in geographically differentiated areas of Mt. Hiei(the so-called three pagodas and sixteen valleys), and it is possiblethat divisions within taimitsu may underly those of the Eshin andDanna lineages (HAZAMA 1948, pp. 4647). Divisions within medievalTendai lineages, both esoteric and exoteric, were in turn oftengrounded in factions among aristocratic families. As the nobility

    increasingly monopolized high clerical ofces from the time ofRygen on, these factions were transplanted to Mt. Hiei. Many noblemonks established private temples, supported by estates donated bythe patron families whom they served as ritual specialists. Within boththe Eshin and Danna schools, occasional instances occurred of father-to-son Dharma transmission (jisshi szoku{o; HAZAMA 1948, pp.7880), a practice that has often been criticized as reecting themonastic corruption encouraged by world-afrming hongakuthought.

    6When exactly the Eshin and Danna lineages emerged is not altogether clear. H


    maintains that they appeared around the Insei period (1948, p. 24), while KUBO has sug-gested they did not take denitive form as rival schools until later in the Kamakura period(1963).

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    However, it probably owes far more to a social context that placedextreme value on lineage, including that of family.

    In ways not yet fully understood, the formation of the Eshin and

    Danna lineages was also related to the Tendai system of debate-styleexamination begun by Saich and systematized by Rygen. Monkswere trained and tested in doctrinal learning through a series ofdebates (rongi), which formed a major feature of the religiousassemblies (k) held regularly in the various valleys and pagodaprecincts of Mt. Hiei (IKEYAMA 1986, pp. 93104). A number of Eshinand Danna transmissions deal with standard debate topics (sandaid), on which they purport to deliver a secret interpretation, oftenin terms of hongakunotions. It is possible that the various Eshin and

    Danna lineages had roots in divergent interpretations of debate topicsthat developed among monks living in different precincts of Mt. Hiei(OZAKI 1971, pp. 17586; KUBO 1991b, pp. 18893).

    All Eshin and Danna lineages claimed to transmit teachingsreceived by Saich in China. These, it was asserted, had in turn beenpassed down from the Tien-tai patriarchs Hui-ssu and Chih-i,

    who had allegedly heard them from kyamuni Buddha when hepreached the Lotus Straon Sacred Vulture Peak. Medieval Tendaikuden in fact represent a creative reinvention of Saichs heritage,grounded explicitly in two passages from his writings. Saich wrotethat his Chinese teacher Tao-sui ] had taught him the threefoldcontemplation in a single thought, transmitted in one phrase (isshinsangan denn ichigonsDX?)s; Kenkaironw, HIEIZANSENSH-IN 1989, vol. 1, p. 35). He also stressed the importance of ateachers verbal explanations in making clear the analogy of the per-fect interfusion of the mirror and its images (kyz eny;HIEIZAN SENSH-IN 1989, Shugo kokkai sh!D, vol. 2, p. 266).The threefold contemplation in a single thought (isshin sangansDX?) taught in Chih-is Mo-ho chih-kuan#? (Great calming and

    contemplation) is to perceive, through contemplation of the mind,that all phenomena are empty of substance, provisionally existing, andthe middle, or both empty and provisionally existing simultaneously.The mirror and its images is Chih-is analogy for the inseparabilityof these three truths: the reective surface of a mirror representsemptiness; the images that appear in it, provisional existence; and themirror itself, the middle (T # 1911, 46.9a). These two passages fromSaich inspired a vast body of kudentexts purporting to represent thecontent of Tao-suis transmission to him concerning the threefold

    contemplation. The threefold contemplation in a single thought liesat the core of both the Eshin and the Danna doctrinal systems(HAZAMA1948, pp. 11222). Both schools developed transmission rituals

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    in which actual mirrors were used as visible metaphors of nondualityand the interpenetration of the dharmas (KUBO 1980).

    There were also other sorts of medieval Tendai lineages, over-

    lapping and drawing on Eshin/Danna transmissions and employinghongakuideas. Lineages of chroniclers (kikezB) studied, transmitted,and interpreted the documents (kirokuz) of Mt. Hiei, focusingon the traditions of the mountain, including its sacred precincts,Buddha images, numinous manifestations of kami, powers of nation-protection, rituals, and regulations (HAZAMA 1948, pp. 24562;KURODA 1989, pp. 14654). Transmissions of the kikeoften conveysecret meanings of these traditions interpreted from the standpoint oforiginal enlightenment. Kikealso played a signicant role in the devel-

    opment of the system of Sann Shint[P

    , which took formaround the cult of the Hie shrines located at the eastern foot of Mt.Hiei. The kami of these shrines, understood as local manifestations ofspecic Buddhas and bodhisattvas, were often interpreted in terms ofthe threefold contemplation and other essentials of Tendai doctrine(HAZAMA1948, pp. 26365; see also GRAPARD 1987). There was in addi-tion a precept lineage (kaikewB), based at Kurodani in the precinctof the Western Pagoda, that transmitted the perfect and sudden pre-cepts (endonkaiw), interpreted from a hongakuperspective.These various, often interconnected, lineages all developed their owndistinctive transmissions, texts, and initiation rituals, and drew onideas of original enlightenment.

    One striking feature of medieval Tendai was its expansion into theKant region, as monks sought opportunities for patronage by thebakufu and other powerful military families. Along with Tendai tem-ples, a number of Tendai seminaries, or dangishoD, were estab-lished. Eventually there were at least thirty-eight Tendai dangisho inthe Eastern provinces (OGAMI 1970, part 2, p. 10). Here, monks weretrained rigorously through a system of debate-style examinations par-

    alleling that of Mt. Hiei. These dangishoproduced vast numbers ofdebate manuals and hongaku-related doctrinal commentaries. AfterOda Nobunaga razed Mt. Hiei in 1571, its archives were restored bydrawing on those of the Kant Tendai dangisho(OGAMI 1970, part 1,p. 3). Kant Tendai represents an important but little-known aspect ofmedieval Japanese religion. Its continuities and discontinuities withthe religion of Mt. Hiei remain to be investigated.

    Whatever corruption may have meant in the context of Kamakura-period Tendai, it entailed neither institutional vitiation nor lack of

    intellectual creativity. Medieval Tendai may not, in many respects,have conformed to normative monastic ideals, but it was nonethelessa rich, varied, and thriving tradition that deserves to be considered on

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    its own terms. Further investigation of its particulars promises to yielda more contextualized understanding of medieval hongakudiscourse.

    The Alleged Denial of Practice in Tendai Hongaku ThoughtAs noted above, the new schools of Kamakura Buddhism have oftenbeen characterized as a revitalization of practice, over and against anoriginal-enlightenment thought whose extreme emphasis on nondual-ism in effect denied its necessity. Is it in fact the case that Tendai hon-gaku thought denied Buddhist practice? In addressing this question,let us consider two Tendai documents written during the late Heianand/or Kamakura periods, shortly before or during the time whenthe new Kamakura Buddhism was taking form.

    The ShinnyokanO? (Contemplation of true suchness), a twelfth-century text retrospectively attributed to Genshin, is written in amixed style of Chinese characters and Japanese phonetic syllabary.It is not a kudentext and appears to have been addressed to a sophisti-cated lay reader. Its central argument is that all phenomena have astheir nature true suchness (shinnyo), which is equated in this text withthe Dharma body, the Buddha nature, and original enlightenment.Turning ones back on original enlightenment is the error that pro-duces delusive thoughts, attachments, and the round of rebirth. But

    when one discerns oneself and all others as being identical to truesuchness, that is returning to original enlightenment; it is the guar-antee of birth in the Pure Land and the realization of Buddhahood inthis very body. The text acknowledges, however, that such insight ishard to sustain:

    Beings of the sharpest faculties, like the dragon girl, discernthat they themselves are precisely true suchness, and in aninstant become Buddhas. Beings of dull faculties may discern

    at one moment that they are precisely true suchness, but at thenext moment, because it has been their way since time withoutbeginning, on seeing forms or hearing voices, their mindmoves in accordance with external objects. Meeting withobjects that are pleasing, it arouses the delement of greed;meeting with objects that are not pleasing, it arouses thedelement of anger. In accordance with the distinction ofsuperior and inferior faculties, there exists the inequality ofsooner or later in the perfection of contemplative practice.Thus there are those who can manifest enlightenment in a

    day, two days, a month, two months, or a year, or those whorequire a lifetime.

    (TADAet al. 1973, p. 144)

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    Thus, although all are Buddhas inherently, some may take a while toachieve and sustain that realization. Toward that end, the Shinnyokanacknowledges the need for, and even encourages, continued practice:

    Since we have just now begun the contemplation of true such-ness, we are pulled by conditions, and in the face of circum-stances, it is easy to retreat and hard to continue. By what use-ful expedient may one put a stop to the delusive thoughts towhich we have been accustomed since the outset and manifestthe true principle of suchness? First, one should cultivate thecontemplation of emptiness [of the dharmas], loosening onesattachment to samsra so as to manifest in oneself the princi-ple of true suchness. (p. 143)

    In addition to the contemplation of emptiness (kkanW?), the invo-cational nenbutsu is recommended, although it must be based onknowing the nonduality of oneself with Amida and all other Buddhas(p. 142). The practitioner is also urged to contemplate oneself as truesuchness day and night, walking, standing, sitting and lying down,

    without forgetting and, with this understanding, to say the nenbutsuand recite the sutra, transferring the merit [from such acts] to all liv-ing beings (p. 148). Here is one text, at least, in which the premisethat all beings are originally Buddhas does not lead to a denial of the

    need for practice.Now let us turn to the [email protected] (Decisions of Hsiu-

    chan-ssu), which stands within the kudentradition. It presents itself asSaichs record of the transmissions he received from his Chineseteachers, Tao-sui and Hsing-man F. Estimates of its dating rangefrom the latter Heian through mid-Kamakura period.7 Here we willfocus on the rst fascicle of this text, which deals with the threefoldcontemplation in a single thought, considered under the threefoldperspective of teaching (ky), practice (gy) and realization (sh

    ). This threefold categorization later became a standard feature ofEshin-school transmissions.In the section on teaching, the threefold contemplation is dis-

    cussed from a variety of doctrinal perspectives, which will not detainus here. In the section on practice, it is considered under four sub-

    7Attempts at dating have been complicated by several references in the text to chantingthe daimoku, or title of the Lotus Stra, a practice usually associated with Nichiren. For exam-ple, it has been argued that the Shuzenji-ketsurepresents a Tendai appropriation of NichirenBuddhist practice, or conversely, a forgery on the part of Nichirens disciples attempting to

    legitimate their teachers form of practice by connecting it with Saich (for a summary ofthe discussion see HANANO 1976). However, as TAKAGI Yutaka has established, the daimokuwas being chanted well before Nichirens time (1973, pp. 43065); thus there is no reasonto assume that the Shuzenji-ketsumust postdate him.

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    categories. First is that of fundamental understanding (hongem):

    Each dharma, down to the smallest particle of dust, is simultane-ously empty, provisionally existing, and the middle, completelyseparated from deluded thoughts. When the subtle principleof the threefold contemplation is [thus] illuminated, there isnothing to practice and nothing to realize. At the time of prac-tice and realization, how can one dispute over now [attainingenlightenment] versus [being enlightened] originally?

    (TADAet al. 1973, p. 44)

    It soon becomes clear, however, that the fundamental understand-ing of nothing to practice and nothing to realize is not intended to

    deny the need for practice, but to inform its concrete methods. Theseare divided into three categories: practice for specic times, for ordi-nary times, and for the moment of death. These categories are drawnfrom Genshins jyshT [Essentials of birth in the PureLand], but their content differs from Genshins text. Practice forspecic times involves formal secluded meditation for periods ofseven, twenty-one, or a hundred days. A square hut is to be erected ina secluded place. Inside, icons are to be enshrined in each of the fourdirections: Shaka (kyamuni) to the north, Amida (Amitbha) to the

    west, Kanzeon (Avalokitevara) to the south, and Monjushiri (Man-jur) to the east. The practitioner sits in a half-lotus posture facingAmida. By each icon, a mirror is to be placed so that it reects simul-taneously both the icon and the practitioner.

    On the rst day, one should practice the contemplation ofBuddhas and living beings being a single suchness. Since themind is the essence of all dharmas, living beings and theBuddha are all encompassed in the one mind. How could theybe separate entities? The object of worship and the practitioner

    both appear in the same mirror because the beings and theBuddha are nondual. If the beings and the Buddha were trulyseparate, how could they appear in the same mirror? Thepractitioners three categories of action [i.e., body, speech andmind] are in no way separate from those of the object of wor-ship. The person of the practitioner who contemplates this isthe subtle body of the sea of [wondrous] effects, foreverreleased from the form of a deluded person. (p. 45)

    Chih-is analogy of the mirror, by which he illustrated the threefold

    truth, is here employed as an aid to meditation through the use ofactual mirrors. Also evident is the inuence of esoteric notions of thethree mysteries: the union of the body, speech, and mind of the prac-

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    titioner with those of the cosmic Buddha in the act of esoteric ritual.This meditation can, the Shuzenji-ketsusays, be undertaken to achieveliberation from transmigration, to prolong life, or to transfer merit to

    specic persons or to all beings generally.The next category, practice for ordinary times, is a formless medita-tion in which one performs the threefold contemplation in the midstof daily activities, and appears to correspond to the neither walkingnor sitting samdhi (higy hiza zanmaiX*), the last of thefour kinds of samdhi taught in Chih-is Mo-ho chih-kuan. The last cate-gory is practice for the moment of death (rinjrF). Since the painof the bodys impending dissolution blunts ones spiritual faculties asdeath approaches, ordinary forms of contemplation may become

    impossible. Thus,At this stage, one should practice the threefold contemplationin a single thought as encompassed in the Dharma container(hguS). The threefold contemplation in a single thoughtas encompassed in the Dharma container is precisely My-h-renge-ky. At the time of death, one should chant Namu-myh-renge-ky [UT. Through the workings of thethree powers of the Wondrous Dharma [i.e., the powers of theDharma, the Buddha, and faith], one shall at once attain

    enlightened wisdom and not receive a body bound by birthand death. (p. 46)

    The Shuzenji-ketsuthen poses the following question:

    Question: If we go by the original intent of the Chih-kuan, theBuddha and the beings are from the outset nondual; there isno aspect of delusion or enlightenment. Why do you now sep-arately confer such contemplative practices that are of inferiorform [i.e., in presuming a duality of delusion and enlighten-ment that is to be bridged]?

    Answer: The intent of the Mo-ho chih-kuan is that concretephenomena are precisely the realm of truth and that existenceand nonexistence are nondual. Thus the three contemplationsclaried above, for specic times, ordinary times, etc., are pre-cisely the forms of [practice established on the basis of] thenonduality of Buddhas and beings. If you postulate apart fromthese a practice of the nonduality of Buddhas and beingstheoriginal intent of the Chih-kuanit is not to be found.Dwelling in the original mind that is without form, one

    returns and becomes identical with that which has form. Thisis the actual practice for realizing the Buddhas enlighten-ment. (pp. 4849)

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    The compilers(s) of the text here seem to have considered the possi-bility that notions of nondual original enlightenment would cancelthe need for concrete practices, and rejected it.

    Lastly, the threefold contemplation in a single thought is discussedin terms of realization. This section reads in part:

    As for the threefold contemplation from the perspective ofrealization: since [this contemplation] is originally inherent,there is no need to practice anything. One need not fear evilthoughts nor rejoice in good ones, because both are originallyendowed with the threefold contemplation. (p. 50)

    It is only here, from the standpoint of realizationthe Buddha-eye view, so to speak, of one who has already realized original enlight-enmentthat ordinary thoughts can be termed equivalent to medita-tion. From the perspective of practice, specic forms of disciplineare still required.

    Like the Shinnyokan, the Shuzenji-ketsuaddresses the issue of individ-ual faculties. This discussion is placed in the mouth of Hsing-man, inresponse to a question from Saich as to why people who chant thename of the Lotus Stra, even with earnest faith, do not at oncebecome Buddhas. Hsing-man responds that persons of keen facultiescan, with a single utterance of the stras name, transform their accu-mulated delusions into the three virtues of the Dharma body, praj,and liberation. However, in the case of persons of dull faculties, theirphysical and mental constituents have been produced by evil deeds inprior lives, so this transformation does not occur at once.Nevertheless, at the time of death, such people invariably attain thesubtle body of the Dharma nature and can travel freely among theBuddha lands (pp. 7576). However, the need for continued practiceis not always associated in this text with inferior capacity. Although thetheme is not developed, the Shuzenji-ketsutwice refers to a form of the

    threefold contemplation in a single thought in which a person ofsuperior faculties, having realized enlightenment, continues always topractice for the pleasure of contemplation (yukan?; pp. 51, 96).

    Two texts do not make an exhaustive case. Nevertheless, the pas-sages discussed above from the Shinnyokanand the Shuzenji-ketsuarguefor a more contextualized understanding of those strands of hongakurhetoric that seemingly deny the need for practice. Claims aboutnothing to practice and nothing to realize may represent an out-

    ward rhetorical stance, grounded in a philosophical commitment to

    undercutting the distance between deluded beings and the Buddha.At the same time, however, they seem to have been accompanied by arecognition that some form of continuing effort was necessary. If so,

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    this calls into question a major distincton that has been drawnbetween medieval Tendai hongaku thought and the new KamakuraBuddhism. The Shinnyokan and the Shuzenji-ketsu also suggest that

    rhetoric of absolute nonduality existed in combination with and wasmodied by other ideas that did not necessarily conform to its logicalstructure, such as birth in the Pure Land, merit transference, and theneed to ritually mediate the moment of death.

    Hongaku Thought and the Question of Evil

    Let us now turn to the charge that Tendai hongakuthought, in itsextreme emphasis on nonduality, represented an uncritical world

    afrmation that in effect legitimized evil conduct. As an avenue ofapproach, we will consider the notion that karma is precisely libera-tion (g soku gedatsu%m) discussed in a number of medievalTendai texts. It is treated at length in the Sanj-shi ka no kotogakiXYvOu (Notes on thirty-four transmissions), probably datingfrom the twelfth century (SUEKI 1993, pp. 29294).

    Question: Does karma is precisely liberation mean thatdeluded action, without transformation of its essence, is itselfliberation? Or that liberation follows upon the transformationof deluded action?

    Answer: According to the interpretation of our school,being originally nondual in essence is called identity (soku). When one knows the doctrine of perfect interpenetra-tion that is the true aspect, deluded action in its essence isendowed with all dharmas; thus it is not merely deluded actionbut the perfect interpenetration of the dharma realm in itsentirety. A hawk seizing a bird is, without transformation of itsessence, precisely the true aspect of liberation. A erce dog

    pursuing a beast is, without transformation, precisely the trueaspect of liberation. And all other sorts of actions should beunderstood in light of these examples. The point is to under-stand the constant abiding of the dharmas. Constant abidingmeans that the dharmas perfectly interpenetrate and none islacking. One should simply sweep aside all partial views anddwell in the undifferentiated true aspect. One who does notdwell in understanding of the undifferentiated dharma realmhas not yet grasped the meaning of karma being precisely lib-

    eration. One who has understood it should not further publi-cize this oral transmission. (TADAet al. 1973, p. 179)

    It is not hard to understand why critics of hongakuthought have seen

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    so extreme an emphasis on nonduality as morally problematic. Thepassage makes clear that karma is liberation only for someone whohas achieved insight into the nondual nature of reality. However, the

    text seems to reect an awareness of the potential dangers of such adoctrine, in its warning against making it public. The moral implica-tions of this doctrine are more explicitly addressed in a passage fromthe Kank ruij:

    Question: To press you again, this is still difcult to conceive.Even if it should be the true purport of the perfect and sud-den [teaching], how am I to understand that the essence ofevil karma is the same as the wondrous essence of liberation?If so, is the practitioner of calming and contemplation (shikan

    ?) able to commit evil deeds such as killing or theft withoutfear, according to whim?

    Answer: Karma has as its essence the three thousandrealms [i.e., all dharmas] and three truths, and is lacking innone of them. Therefore it is said that karma is precisely liber-ation. But as for whether the practitioner of calming and con-templation can commit evil deeds at whim: Absolutely not.There are several arguments to be made here. First, karmaand liberation are [in terms of their essence] both the ungrasp-able, inconceivable naturalness of the Dharma. This is calledkarma being precisely liberation. How could such a person[who has realized this] fall into a one-sided emotion and com-mit evil deeds? (This is the rst point.) Moreover, evil karma isendowed with the three thousand realms, and liberation isalso endowed with the three thousand realms. Therefore,karma being precisely liberation means that self and otherare nondual, and that all dharmas are of a single nature,which is without self. At this time [of so realizing], how couldone entertain separate discriminations of this and that, and so

    commit evil deeds? (This is the second point.) However, if,returning [to the realm of daily affairs] from the innerenlightenment of calming and contemplation, one were tocommit evil deeds unintentionally (musa[6) in accordancewith ones destiny (ninun), there could still be no differ-ence [between karma and liberation]. This is what is meant byKannon appearing as a sherman and killing many sh.

    (maki2, BUSSHO KANKKAI 191222, vol. 17, pp. 4041)

    Here, a person with insight into the nonduality of self and other is

    said to be incapable of arousing the discriminative passions that leadto deliberate commission of evil. Nevertheless, the text acknowledgesthat such a person might still do evil without intent, as the result of

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    destiny, and that such unavoidable misdeeds would not obstruct thatpersons liberation. This is remarkably similar to Shinrans argumentthat those who have placed their faith in Amida will not commit evil

    deliberately but might do so as a result of past karma, and that suchdeeds would not obstruct their birth in the Pure Land (Tannish +b,sections 1314; DOBBINS 1989, pp. 5356). The references in these pas-sages to a hawk seizing a bird and the bodhisattva Kannon appear-ing as a sherman link this strand of hongakuthought to the periodslarger concerns about the Buddhahood of evil persons (akunin jbutsu1^[), those whose hereditary professions involved them in killing.

    On the basis of these examples, we can say that notions of originalenlightenment do not carry nonduality to the point of uncritically

    legitimizing evil. Karma is liberation is a statement about the non-dual nature of reality and is meaningful only in the case of someonewho has realized that nonduality; it is not an endorsement of mis-conduct. On the other hand, such notions provide little basis for makingmoral judgments or for resisting evil, and the message of nonduality iseasily misunderstood as an excuse for wrongdoinga point that thecompilers of the texts seem to have recognized.

    Since the idea of original enlightenment could potentially serve torationalize misconduct, we may assume that it probably was so used, at

    least on occasion. However, nding historically veriable instancesproves unexpectedly difcult.8 The rise of hongakuideas may have con-tributed to an atmosphere in which strict observance of the preceptsand rules of conduct was not valuedalthough at least one Tendaikudenlineage, the Kurodani lineage of Ejin c (d. 1289) and Ken (1262/12631317), sought to revive the precepts (ISHIDA 1986,pp. 398406). However, the suggestion that original enlightenmentthought causedmonastic corruption accords doctrine an exaggerat-ed degree of historical agency and overlooks the role of political,social, and other factors.

    Complaints from the Kamakura period about misuse of nondualMahyna doctrine abound. Muj Ichien [Ws (12261312), forexample, complains about monks justifying impure acts on the basisof tantric ideas (ShasekishT, WATANABE 1966, p. 497). The NihonDaruma-sh, founded by Dainichi Nnin (twelfth century),

    38 Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 22/12

    8According to several early (thirteenth century) versions of Heike monogatari, when thewarrior monks from the Enryaku-ji torched the Kannon Hall of the Kiyomizu-dera, theirleader recited a verse about sinful deeds being without substance and ordinary persons

    being originally Buddhas. On this basis, AKAMATSU Toshihide has suggested that prevalenthongakuideas provided intellectual support for the activities of warrior monks (akus1R)(1976, pp. 46065). However, without additional evidence, this may be too much to con-clude from one passage in a work of literature.

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    was repeatedly criticized for the antinomian character of its teachings,though these criticisms may have been prompted by the Daruma-shsattempt to establish itself independently of existing religious institu-

    tions, and not by immoral behavior on the part of its adherents(FAURE 1987, pp. 2735, 3945). However, one also nds accusationsof misdeeds being rationalized in the name of a doctrine oftendescribed as dualisticnamely, the exclusive nenbutsu of Hnen andhis followers, which was sometimes misunderstood as a form of licensedevil (zaku muge1[; see DOBBINS 1989, pp. 4762). As is wellknown, Hnen, Shinran, and others taught that the evil the believerdoes unavoidably, for example, because of past karma, cannotobstruct the workings of Amidas vow. Morally problematic though

    such a claim may be, the intent was not to rationalize or encourageevil, but to alleviate anxieties about retribution for the evil one cannotavoid committing. Behind it lay the fears of hell and the consequentattraction to karma-transcending theories of salvation that appearedduring this period (LAFLEUR1983, pp. 4859).

    It is in this same light that we should understand some of the moreethically disturbing passages in the hongaku literature. The compari-son with the exclusive nenbutsu is instructive here, in that it suggeststhat the moral ambiguity of medieval Tendai texts should be seen, not

    as a problem unique to nondual hongakudoctrine but as embedded inlarger intellectual concerns of the age. Pure Land claims that humansins cannot obstruct the workings of Amidas compassion were, atleast in part, responses to fears of what were seen as inexorable,degenerative historical processes, such as the coming of mappandthe shift of power from court aristocrats to warriors. Although doc-trines do not have xed, singular meanings, it seems likely that hon-gakuthought in the late Heian and early Kamakura periods may have

    worked in a similar way. The idea of original enlightenment would

    have given assurance of salvation in an age seen as soteriologicallyunfavorable, offering an enlightenment that was unobstructablebecause it was innate from the outset.

    We know that the Pure Land teachers Hnen and Shinran oftencautioned their followers that the absolute compassion of AmidasOriginal Vow did not constitute license to sin. We also know that doc-trines about Amida saving even (or especially) the wicked, or faith inthe Lotus Straprotecting the believer from the consequences of

    worldly misdeeds, were complemented in early Pure Land and

    Nichiren confraternities by Confucian and other forms of socialmorality, and in no way constituted the whole of followers ethicalframeworks (see for example DOBBINS, n.d.). In the case of Tendai

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    hongakuwritings of the same period, however, we have much lesssense of context, knowing very little about who wrote them or under

    what circumstances, or about what role they played in the lives of

    those who produced and transmitted them. Thus it has perhaps beentoo easy to read them in the abstract as uncritical afrmations ofevil.

    Tendai Hongaku Thought and the New Kamakura Buddhism:Another Perspective

    The models by which medieval Tendai hongakuthought and the newKamakura Buddhism have been contrasted tend, as we have seen, to

    privilege the new movements. While they have made signicant con-tributions to our understanding, ample grounds exist on which toreassess their assumptions that Tendai hongakuthought reected insti-tutional decline, effectually denied the need for Buddhist practice,and uncritically legitimized evil. Is there then another perspective from

    which the two can fruitfully be considered? Since the new schoolsdrew in part on older Tendai elements of doctrine and practice, conti-nuities are to be found. On the other hand, as Kuroda and his succes-sors have demonstrated, the new movements stood in ideological and

    political tension vis--vis the parent tradition: Tendai represented thekenmitsuBuddhism that constituted establishment religion, while thenew schools represented the itan, or marginal heterodoxies. Thus it isno surprise to nd both continuities and disjunctures between the two.

    It is striking, however, that within the same time frametheKamakura periodthey were both engaged in elaborating a similarconstellation of ideas about enlightenment and salvation. Within their

    vastly differing institutional contexts, they may be seen as workingtogetherTendai in the center and the new schools on the periph-

    eryto create a new model or paradigm for thinking about Buddhistliberation. Tracing the outline of this paradigm or constellation ofideas thus throws into relief some of the major religious concerns ofthe period. While subject to countless local variations, it may bebroadly sketched in terms of the following characteristics:(1) Emphasis on the soteric potential of a single moment. On a rhetoricallevel, achieving Buddhahood as a linear process of cultivation andattainment is dismissed as an inferior view; liberation is said to occurin a single moment. This claim appears repeatedly in medieval Tendai

    texts. For example:According to the provisional teachings expounded in confor-mity with their hearers capacity, cultivation culminating in

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    enlightenment requires immeasurable kalpas. But from thestandpoint of the Lotus Stra, the treasury of profound secrets,manifesting the Dharma-body Buddha who is [ones own] mind

    occurs in the space of a moment. One who awakens to theBuddha essence of the mind-nature achieves realization instan-taneously.

    (Tendai Hokkesh gozu hmon ysanT;we,in TADAet al., 1973, p. 39)

    The notion of salvation or liberation in a single moment also occursin the doctrines of some of the new movements. Shinran stressed themoment when faith rst arises in ones heart. At that moment, havingcast off all reliance on self-effort, one is seized by the compassionate

    workings of Amidas Vow, never to be let go, and dwells in the companyof the truly settled (shjju ). Dgen emphasized, not onespecic moment in the course of a lifetime, but the absolute now(nikon) in which practice and enlightenment are inseparable.The rhetoric of the soteric potential of a single moment works to sug-gest the direct accessibility of salvation or liberation by undercutting aperceived distance between ordinary consciousness and the Buddhasenlightened state. It does not negate the importance of continuedeffort, but that continuation is characterized, in Dgens words, as

    practice on the basis of realization (Bendwa , KAWAMURA19881993, vol. 2, p. 546); or, in one Tendai text, as skillful meanssubsequent to enlightenment (Sanj-shi ka no kotogaki, TADA et al.1973, p. 180); or, in Shinrans thought, as the nenbutsu recited ingratitude for a salvation that is already assured. Ongoing devotion isconceptualized, not as progress toward a future goal, but as the deep-ening or conrmation of a liberation that in some sense is alreadypresent.

    (2) Sufciency of the rst step. What had traditionally been regarded as

    merely an initial step toward enlightenmentfaith, the stage of verbalidentity, or a simple act of practiceis now said to contain the entirepath. In the classic Tien-tai/Tendai mrgascheme, the path consistsof six stages, the so-called six identities (roku-soku). The rststage, identity in principle (ri-soku7), denotes the stage prior topractice, in which one is in principle endowed with Buddhahood, buthas not yet learned the Buddha Dharma. At the second stage, that of

    verbal identity (myji-sokue), one hears and understands thisnondual principle. In the subsequent stages, wisdom is gradually culti-

    vated and delusions extirpated. Tendai hongaku thought, however,stresses only the stage of verbal identity, in which Buddhahood is saidto be fully contained (see SUEKIS discussion of this idea as treated in

    STONE: Tendai HongakuThought and Kamakura Buddhism 41

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    the Sanj-shi ka no kotogaki, 1993, pp. 33238; see also Suekis article inthis issue). Nichiren, too, emphasized only the the stage of verbalidentity, which he equated with faith in the Lotus Stra(Shishin gohon

    shv=2, RDNKK 1988, vol. 2, pp. 12941300), and held thatBuddhahood is inherent in the act of chanting the daimoku(Kanjinhonzon sh, vol. 1, pp. 70221). Shinran similarly wrote that faith wasequivalent to the Dharma nature and rendered one equal to Tath-gathas (e.g., Mattsh=b, SHINRAN SHNIN ZENSH HENSH DNIN19571961, vol. 6, pp. 6970, 71).

    (3) Single condition. Liberation is said to depend, not on a variety ofgood acts, but on one factor alone. In the case of hongakudiscourse,the determining factor is held to be whether or not one discerns the

    truth of nonduality: One who knows this is called a sage; one deludedwith regard to this principle is called an unenlightened person(Tendai Hokkesh gozu hmon ysan, TADA et al. 1973, p. 35). Or some-times faith, rather than discernment, is held to be the determiningcondition:

    Whether we fall into the Avci Hell or are born in the Land ofUtmost Bliss depends solely on our [attitude of] mind in thislifetime. We ourselves are precisely true suchness. One whodoes not believe this will surely fall into hell. But one whobelieves it deeply without doubting will be born in [the PureLand of] Utmost Bliss. (Shinnyokan, TADAet al. 1973, p. 123)

    This emphasis on a single condition provides an example of how simi-lar conceptual structures were appropriated in ideologically different

    ways. In the new Kamakura movements, the single condition on whichenlightenment depends is usually associated with a single form ofpractice or single object of devotion, as seen in Hnens exclusivepractice of the nenbutsu and Nichirens exclusive devotion to the

    Lotus Stra. As the kenmitsuhistorians have pointed out, this notion ofsingle practice was a potentially subversive one (KURODA1967, p. 203;TAIRA 1992, pp. 24055; 1994, pp. 29297). It in effect denied the

    validity of the rites and observances of the leading cultic centers thatprovided thaumaturgical support for the ruling elites, and it estab-lished a single, transcendent source of moral authority. In contrast, inTendai hongakudiscourse, liberation depends on a particular insightor attitude, rather than a specic practice; thus it did not challengedevotion to the cults of particular Buddhas, bodhisattvas, or kami that

    supported the authority of local rule. Both Tendai hongaku thoughtand the new Kamakura schools are structurally similar, however, inseeing salvation as dependent on one, rather than a plurality, of factors.

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    (4) Denial of the obstructive power of evil karma. The causal connectionbetween morality and salvation is relaxed, in that liberation is nolonger directly tied to the eradication of sin or the production of

    merit. This idea nds expression in hongaku-related claims thatenlightenment does not depend on the eradication of delements,claims found in the discourse of akunin jbutsu, and in Pure Landteachings that evil karma cannot obstruct the workings of Amidas

    Vow. Nichiren, too, taught that one who has faith in the Lotus Straand chants the daimoku will not be dragged down into the lowerrealms of transmigration by ordinary worldly misdeeds (Sh Hokkedaimoku shT, RDNKK 1988, vol. 1, p. 184; Hokeky daimokushT, pp. 391, 393). Such ideas are always open to anti-

    nomian readings. In historical context, however, they would haveserved to give assurance of salvation in an age widely seen as a degen-erate one when enlightenment was difcult to attain. They may alsorepresent a reaction against the fears of rebirth in the hells and near-obsessive emphasis on merit accumulation that characterized much oflate Heian religion.

    This paradigm, found in both medieval Tendai and the new Kama-kura Buddhist thought, by no means exhausts the whole of KamakuraBuddhism; competing models were available. Nor did it exist in any

    actual Buddhist community as neatly as presented here, but was com-bined with and modied by other, not necessarily logically consistent,elements, such as rules of conduct, miscellaneous forms of merit accu-mulation, and apotropaic rituals. Its component concepts each hadorigins long predating the Kamakura period. Nonetheless, it repre-sents an extremely inuential complex of ideas that seems to havecrystallized in the latter part of the Heian, and, by the late Kamakuraperiod, had achieved in its varied contexts the status of an orthodoxy.

    The suggestion that Tendai original enlightenment thought and

    the new Kamakura Buddhism both reected and contributed to anemergent model of directly accessible Buddhahood or salvation is inno way intended to collapse important distinctions in their doctrines,nor to deny signicant differences in their organizational structureand forms of practice or the very real political and socioeconomic ten-sions between them. Nevertheless, the formative period of hongakuthought and the emergence of the new Kamakura schools signicant-ly overlapped, and the two reect certain shared concerns. From thisperspective, the hongaku-dominated Tendai that took shape in the late

    Heian and Kamakura periods is also a new Buddhism and, togetherwith the new Kamakura movements, represents a powerful responseto changing times.

    STONE: Tendai HongakuThought and Kamakura Buddhism 43

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