Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

"Zen Is Not Buddhism" Recent Japanese Critiques of Buddha-Nature

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Numen

Hongaku shisō, the idea that all beings are "inherently" enlightened, is an almost universal assumption in the Japanese Buddhist tradition. This idea also played an important role in the indigenization of Buddhism in Japan and in the development of the syncretistic religious ethos that underlies Japanese society. Through most of Japanese history, the idea of the inherent enlightenment (including non-sentient beings suchs as plants and rocks-which expanded to include assumptions such as the non-differentiation between "indigenous" kami and the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, and the transcendence of all dualities (including good and evil) as an ideal-was pervasive and unquestioned in much of Japanese religious activity and thought. Recently some Japanese Buddhist scholars, notably Hakamaya Noriaki and Matsumoto Shiro of the Sōtō Zen sect Komazawa University, have questioned the legitimacy of this ethos, claiming that it is antithetical to basic Buddhist ideas such as anātman ("no-self"), and that it is the source of many social problems in Japan. They call for a conscious recognition and rejection of this ethos, and a return to "true Buddhism." After presenting a brief outline of the history and significance of these ideas in Japan, Hakamaya and Matsumoto's critique is explained and examined. Some of the academic and social reactions to this critique are also explored.

Affiliations: 1: Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture Nanzan University 18 Yamazato-chō, Shōwa-ku Nagoya 466, Japan


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Numen — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation