Pearl in the Shrine: A Genealogy of the Buddhist Jewel of the Japanese Sovereign

This study attempts to re-imagine early Japanese sovereignty through an examination of the relationship between the so-called "three regalia" of the ruler and Buddhism. Based on an analysis of relevant primary sources in printed and archival collections as well as drawing on the recent res...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Japanese journal of religious studies
Main Author: Ruppert, Brian D. 1962-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Check availability: HBZ Gateway
Published: [2002]
In:Japanese journal of religious studies
Year: 2002, Volume: 29, Issue: 1/2, Pages: 1-33
Further subjects:B Veneration
B Buddhism
B Deities
B Holy relics
B Monks
B Gem stones
B Regalia
B Religious rituals
B Jewelry
B Shintoism
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Summary:This study attempts to re-imagine early Japanese sovereignty through an examination of the relationship between the so-called "three regalia" of the ruler and Buddhism. Based on an analysis of relevant primary sources in printed and archival collections as well as drawing on the recent research of Japanese scholars such as Abe Yasurō, Shirayama Yoshitarō and Satō Hiroo, this paper focuses especially on the connection between the jewel among the regalia and the wish-fulfilling jewel of esoteric Buddhism to argue that Shinto as we know it is inexorably linked with Buddhism. Clerics of Kenmitsu Buddhist traditions, together with the sovereigns who patronized them, constituted by the fourteenth century a milieu that assumed possession of the regalia guaranteed royal sovereignty-a view that was produced primarily within and through the theories and practices of esoteric Buddhism. This conclusion enables us not only to reenvision the Buddhist character of Japanese sovereignty, but also to embark on a renewed examination of the Buddhist roots of royal Shinto discourse and ideology.
Contains:Enthalten in: Japanese journal of religious studies