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Looking Back And Leaping Forward: Constructing Lineage In The Shingi-Shingon Tradition Of Japan

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Chapter Summary

Until recently the Shingi-Shingon lineages have been another neglected tradition of Japanese esoteric Buddhism. These Shingi lineages trace their emergence to Kōgyō Daishi Kakuban (1095-1143 C.E.), a major figure in the development of Shingon doctrine and practice in the first half of the twelfth century. Japanese scholarship has noted that following the esoteric textual and ritual transmissions of Kūkai and Dengyō Daishi Saichō (765-822), there was a marked difference in emphasis between the Shingon inheritors of Kūkai and Saichō's Tendai successors. The esoteric transmissions were divided into two main lineage streams: the Hirosawa-ryū and the Ono-ryū, both taken from place names in the region of the Heian capital. Kakuban's success as the builder of an expanding sub-temple-shrine complex, the teacher and guide to a growing number of disciples, and the recipient of continuing support from the imperial family became a source of tension with Mt. Kōya's main temple, Kongōbuji.

Keywords: Hirosawa-ryū; Japanese esoteric Buddhism; Kōgyō Daishi Kakuban; Ono-ryū; Shingi-Shingon lineages



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