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TitleLiving Buddhist Statues in Early Medieval and Modern Japan
File Size1.4 MB
Total Pages245
Table of Contents
One: Introduction: Living Buddhist Statues
	Biographies of Statues
	Symbolism, Veiled Presences, and Open Display
	Eye-Opening Ceremonies
	Buddhist Statues in Modern Japan
	Textual Sources: Tales, Temple Histories, and Illustrated Scrolls
		Collections of Tales
		Temple Histories (engi)
		Illustrated Narrative Scrolls (emaki)
	Types of Deities
	Topical Outline
Two: Śākyamuni: Still Alive in This World
	Śākyamuni in Modern Japan
		The Buddha's Birthday
		The Seiryōji Temple Śākyamuni: A Statue with Guts
	Textual Bases for Devotion to Śākyamuni
	Śākyamuni in Early Medieval Japan: Creating a Pure Land
		The Daianji Temple Śākyamuni
		The Śākyamuni of Vulture Peak Hall
		The Śākyamuni of Seiryōji Temple, Revisited
		The Buddha's Birthday, Revisited
Three: Connected to Amida Buddha
	Amida Buddha in Modern Japan
		Welcoming Ceremonies
		The Glancing-Back Amida
	Textual Bases for Devotion to Amida
	Amida in Early Medieval Japan
		Essentials for Pure Land Birth
		The Meditation Society of Twenty-Five
		Welcoming Ceremonies, Masks, and Images of Amida
		Connection to the Buddha with Threads
		The Glancing-Back Amida, Revisited
		The Burned-Cheek Amida
Four: Kannon: Whatever It Takes
	Kannon in Modern Japan
		Pilgrimages and Seal Books
		Kiyomizu Kannon
		The Kannons of Hasedera and Ishiyamadera Temples
		Rokuharamitsuji Kannon
	Textual Bases for Devotion to Kannon
		Miracle Tales
	Kannon in Early Medieval Japan
		The Evidence of Diaries, Novels, and Tales
		The Kannon of Kiyomizudera Temple, Revisited: Bestower of Wealth
		The Kannon of Hasedera Temple, Revisited: Affairs of the Heart
		The Kannon of Ishiyamadera Temple, Revisited: More Affairs of the Heart
		The Kannon of Rokuharamitsuji Temple, Revisited: Missing in Action?
		The Miraculous Kannon of Kokawadera Temple
Five: Jizō to the Rescue
	Jizō in Modern Japan
		Jizō and the Afterlife
		Jizō and Deceased Children
		Jizō and the Bon Festival
		Other Facets of Jizō
		Naked Jizōs
	Textual Bases for Devotion to Jizō
	Jizō in Early Medieval Japan
		Jizō Fellowships
		The Sutra on Jizō and the Ten Kings and the Longevity Jizō Sutra
		Accounts of the Miracles of Jizō Bodhisattva and Tales of Times Now Past
		Yatadera Temple Jizō, Revisited
		The Wig-Holding Jizō, Revisited
		The Rice-Planting Jizō (Taue Jizō)
		The Jizō Who Needed His Eyes Opened
		Naked Jizōs, Revisited
Six: Secret Buddhas, the Veiled Presence
	Varieties of Secret Buddhas
		The Case of the Savior Kannon of Hōryūji
		Attitudes toward Secret Buddhas
	Zushi: Home of the Deity
	Why Secret Buddhas?
		The Influence of Esoteric Buddhism
		The Influence of Shintō
		Practical Concerns
		Concealment in Japanese Culture
		A Doctrinal Explanation
	Curtain Openings and Stand-Ins
		A Modern-Day Curtain-Opening Celebration
	Three Absolute Secret Buddhas
		The Kannon of Sensōji Temple
		Zenkōji Temple: The Amida Triad
		The Two Kannons of Tōdaiji Temple's Second-Month Hall (Nigatsudō)
Document Text Contents
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Sarashina Diary. The scroll, however, put a more positive spin on the
visit of the author of Gossamer Diary to Ishiyamadera temple. In her
diary, she recounted a dream, mentioned above, of a monk pouring
water on her knee, and glumly concluded that this must be an ill omen.
The scroll depicts this scene, but frames it as a positive sign, after which
she is united with her repentant husband.78 The portion drawn from
Sarashina Diary shows Lady Sarashina visiting the temple in the eleventh
month, when the hills are covered with snow. After she arrives, a monk
appears in a dream and offers her incense. This scene is taken from the
diary without adaptation.

The Kannon of Rokuharamitsuji Temple,
Revisited: Missing in Action?

In contrast to Kiyomizudera, Hasedera, and Ishiyamadera temples,
Rokuharamitsuji temple, originally called Saikoji temple, does not
appear in most early medieval diaries and novels. This is in part because
the area in which the temple is located was an enormous charnel field,
where bodies of the indigent were simply abandoned to decay. To the
south, in what is now the area of Ima Kumanodera temple, was the
graveyard for aristocrats and royalty. For Kuya, this was an ideal site for
spreading Pure Land teachings, but for the aristocratic pilgrim, it would
have been a place of impurity.

In the twelfth century, leaders of the Taira clan built their mansions in
the area around Rokuharamitsuji temple. When they lost the Genpei
Wars (1180–1183) to the Minamoto clan, they burned their own homes
to the ground, and most of the temple complex was destroyed as well,
although the main hall survived. The temple is thus associated with
many stories concerning the Taira family, but Kannon does not usually
play a role in these narratives. Rokuharamitsuji temple does appear reg-
ularly in Tales of Times Now Past as a site popular with commoners, but
in that text it is famous for its Jizo statues, discussed in the following
chapter, rather than its Kannon.

The Miraculous Kannon of Kokawadera Temple

Located in Wakayama prefecture on the Kii peninsula, hundreds of kilo-
meters from Kyoto, Kokawadera temple is no longer a major pilgrimage
site, except for those determined to visit all thirty-three sites of the
Western Pilgrimage, on which it is number three. But it was famous in

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early medieval Japan, although its distance meant the aristocratic women
of Kyoto did not visit it. Sei Shonagon mentioned Kokawadera temple
in a list of prominent temples.79 The retired emperor Kazan (r. 984–986)
is thought to have made pilgrimages to this temple, and several twelfth-
century aristocrats belonging to the Fujiwara family did as well.80 The
temple name also appears in a verse contained in Songs to Make the Dust

Today, Kokawadera temple is best known for its twelfth-century
illustrated narrative scroll (Kokawadera engi) that relates the birth story of
its central image.82 A hunter named Kujiko saw in the mountains a mys-
terious light and built a small worship hall there, in the belief that it must
be a sacred site. He had no Buddhist statue to enshrine, however. One
day a young boy appeared, requesting lodging, in return for which he
promised to carve a statue for the worship hall, stipulating that Kujiko
should not look inside for seven days. Kujiko agreed, and the boy
secluded himself in the hall for seven days. On the seventh day, Kujiko
opened the door, only to discover that the boy was gone, and a bright
gilt statue of the Thousand-Armed Kannon stood in the center of the
room. Realizing that the boy had been a transformed manifestation of
Kannon, Kujiko vowed never to take a life again. This is a body-
substitution story of a complex nature. In many such stories, as discussed
in the previous chapter, a statue takes the place of someone who is
suffering, and the marks of the affliction appear on the image. In this
case, however, the statue takes the form of a young boy and essentially
carves itself.

The illustrated scroll also relates what happened next. When the
daughter of a wealthy man became deathly ill, the same young boy
appeared and, by reading sutras at her sickbed, healed her. In apprecia-
tion, she presented him with a small sword and a red scarf. Later, she
visited the small worship hall, hoping to thank the boy again. There she
discovered the Kannon image holding the sword and the scarf and
realized that the boy was a manifestation of this Kannon image. The
daughter became a nun and devoted her life to worship of Kannon.

This same statue, an absolute secret buddha that is never displayed, is
said to live in the main hall at Kokawadera temple, and it is the object of
devotion for the pilgrims who visit the temple. An auxiliary hall dedi-
cated to the young boy enshrines a statue of him. Nowadays, every year
on December 18, the last of Kannon’s holy days in the year, a ceremony
is held in which the statue of the boy is revealed, the only time it can be
seen. This presents some logical problems. The Kannon in the main hall
is the boy, as indicated by the statue’s birth story. Why, then, would a

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Tachibana fujin zushi, 165
Taima, and Taimadera temple

Welcoming Ceremony, 53
Taimadera engi, 70, 72
Taimadera temple, 49–53, 56, 68–70
Taimatsu, 30
Taira family, 109, 137–8
Takamura, see Ono no Takamura
Tale of Flowering Fortunes, 72, 95
Tale of Genji

on baby Buddhas, 47
and Kiyomizu Kannon, 99
temple visits, 90, 96–7, 101, 103

Tale of Heike, 137, 182–3
Tales of Times Now Past, 15–16

Jizo Bodhisattva, 143–4, 148–9
Kannon, 89–90, 99–101, 105, 107–8
masks, 67–8
origin of Jizo Bon Festivals, 127
pilgrimages by commoners, 98–9
Pure Land miracle, 67–8
Rokuharamitsuji temple, 109, 146
secret buddhas, 157–8
statues, 69
Straw Rich Man, 89–90
Wig-Holding Jizo, 151–2

tales, value as sources, see also under names
of individual collections, 15–16

Tamamushi zushi, 165
Tanaka Takako, 59
Tanizaki Jun’ichiro, on concealment, 171–2
Taue Jizo, 152–3
Teishi, and »akyamuni Fellowship, 38
temple histories as sources, 17
temples, see under names of individual temples
temple seals, see seal books
Tendai school, 37–8, 144
“ten moments of thought”, 60
Ten Nights of Dreams, 86
Ten Wheels Sutra, 139
Testicle Jizo, 137, 154–5
textual sources, 14–17
Theravada Buddhism and images, 7–8
thread holding, 70–3

Three Jewels, 36, 46–7, 100–1
Todaiji temple, 12, 33, 42, 165, 185–9
Toji temple, Kannon Bodhisattva, 4–5, 14
Tokudo, 83
Tokurin’an temple, 153
traveling curtain openings, 175, 184
True Dharma, 60–1

Udayana, 27
Uji shui monogatari, 15, 153
Ullambana sutra, 121
Uninterrupted Hell, 140
Unkei, 74, 86
Urabon kyo, 121

veiled presences, see secret buddhas
Vimalakirti sutra, 33, 41
Virgin Mary and Kannon Bodhisattva,

Vulture Peak, 32–40
Vulture Peak Hall, 37–42

Warashibe choja, 88–90
Water Merit-Transfer ritual, 124
water stupas, 123–4
Watsuji Tetsuro, 13, 79
Welcoming Bell, Chinnoji temple, 123,

Welcoming Ceremonies, 50–8, 57fig1,

64–70, 191–2
Western Pilgrimage of Thirty-Three

Sites, 82–4, 156, 167
Wig-Holding Jizo, 133, 151–2
wisdom kings, 19
Wish-Granting Jewel Kannon, 90, 95
wish-granting jewels, 114, 158
wood, and Kannon Bodhisattva, 85–6, 88
wood, sacred, 85–6, 100

Xuanzang, 7, 27
Xukongzang jiuwenchi fajing, 167

Yakushi Buddha, 8–9, 56, 124, 137,
157–8, 170, 187

Index 231

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Yakushiji temple, 36–7, 157–8
Yamashina Jizo, 153
Yatadera temple, 5, 129–32, 131fig4,

Yata Kongozenji temple, 130–1
Yulanpen jing, 121
Yumedono, 78, 158, 161
Yuxiu shiwang shengqi jing, 141
yuyaku nenbutsu, 91

Zaodo Hall, 191
Zao Gongen, 191
Zen Buddhism, 5–6, 24, 26, 50, 83, 147,

Zenkoji temple, 163fig6, 180–5
Zenrinji temple, 58–9, 73–4
Zhunti tuoluoni jing, 167
Zoho, 61
zushi, see cabinet shrines


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