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Shingon Buddhism In The Early Modern Period

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Chapter Summary

Scholars of Japanese religions tend to assume Buddhist sectarian boundaries were very clear from the early Edo period, when headbranch temple hierarchies supplanted earlier lineage-based affiliations. The relationships between the various schools of Shingon Buddhism-officially divided into Kogi Shingon, Shingi Shingon, and Shingon Ritsu at the time - and the relationship between Tō zanha Shugendō and the Shingon temple Sanbō in at Daigoji suggest otherwise. The upheavals of the Meiji Restoration had a profound impact on the Shingon schools. Furthermore, as a result of the Meiji Restoration, temples lost much of their land and stipends. Meiji Restoration policies not only invented Shintō and Buddhism as independent traditions by forcing institutions and clerics to identify with one or the other, they also redefined what it meant to be a Buddhist cleric.

Keywords: Meiji Restoration; Shingon Buddhism



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