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Fazang'S Basic Biographical Data: Names, Native Land, Familial And Dharma Backgrounds.

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Chapter Summary

This chapter clarifies major ambiguities, or misunderstandings, centering on some of Fazang's fundamental biographical data. In the first part of his biography of Fazang, subtitled “Zuxing yinyuan”, Chʾoe Chʾiwŏn supplies valuable information on Fazang’s names, native land, and family. Chʾoe Chʾiwŏn makes four points. First, Fazang’s surname was Kang, which was derived from the name of his place of origin—Kangjuguo. Second, his dharma-name was Fazang. Third, his style-name was Xianshou, which might have been given by his parents or adopted by himself. Finally, he had a “special title”, which was given to him by an unnamed emperor, who was either Zhongzong or Ruizong, but could not have been Empress Wu, considering the way in which Chʾoe Chʾiwŏn refers to her throughout the biography.

Keywords: biography; Chʾoe Chʾiwŏn; dharma; Fazang



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