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The Role Of Esoteric Buddhism In Contemporary Japan: Whether Esotericism Appears Or Remains Concealed In The World Depends On The Trend Of The Times

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offers a brief reflection on the notion of "contemporary", which is in Japan. It describes how the different esoteric traditions in Japan find themselves involved in the weaving of contemporary Japan. The chapter shows how contemporary scholarship plays an important role in the deconstruction of mainstream discourse and representations of Japanese esoteric Buddhism. Since the time of Kūkai, Saichō, and their early disciples, the Buddhist esoteric traditions have found themselves involved in the constant weaving of positions and their legitimacy. The esoteric traditions of Japanese Buddhism have renewed their interest in contemporary Japan, trying to adapt their teachings and practices to the needs of a rapidly changing society. The word "mikkyō" has begun to be used in a new way, one that reveals in the minds of many Japanese a coherent conceptual landscape that renews the reflection on identity and offers a sense of belonging.

Keywords: contemporary Japan; esoteric Buddhism; mikkyō



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