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Onmyōdō and Esoteric Buddhism

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Chapter Summary

Sukuyōdō can be divided into three parts: calendar, divination, and related rituals; this tripartite division is also common to traditional Onmyōdō. During the Nara period, onmyōji started to perform rituals in order to pacify the spirits of the earth. These kinds of rituals were also common to Buddhism; in fact, such ritual activity can be considered the first practical combination of Buddhism with Onmyōdō in Japan. Esoteric Buddhist rituals can be divided into rituals for becoming Buddha and rituals for worldly benefits. Other rituals common to both Onmyodo and esoteric Buddhism include protective rituals against evil spirits and New Year rituals. Sukuyōdō is a significant case of interaction between Onmyōdō and the Buddhist temples. The present-day Onmyōdō resurgence in Japan is largely centered in the interest surrounding the figure of Abe no Seimei.

Keywords: esoteric Buddhism; Onmyodo; Sukuyōdō



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