Kazuhiko Yoshida, "Re-reading Ancient Buddhism" - A recommended reference book for learning about the introduction of Buddhism, Prince Shotoku, the Emperor and the State!

ancient Buddhism Japanese Buddhism and its History

Kazuhiko Yoshida, "Re-reading Ancient Buddhism" Summary and Comments - A recommended reference book for learning about the introduction of Buddhism, Prince Shotoku, the Emperor and the State!

Introduced here is "Re-reading Ancient Buddhism" by Kazuhiko Yoshida, published by Yoshikawa Kobunkan in 2006.

Let's take a quick look at the book.

What impact did the introduction of Buddhism have on the formation of the Japanese nation and its culture? This introductory book attempts to reconstruct the image of ancient Buddhist history based on important themes such as the Emperor and the birth of Japan, the real image of Prince Shotoku, the activities of Gyoki, and the reality of women's Buddhist beliefs.

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Prince Shotoku (*some say he was a different person)Wikipedia.

This book is an easy-to-understand introduction to the introduction of Buddhism and the process of its reception. In particular, the explanation about Prince Shotoku is very interesting. I think you will be shocked to learn that the history we took for granted is now no longer applicable. This is exciting.

The author states the following about this book in the preface. The book is a bit long, but I will read it carefully because it makes some important recommendations.

The history of Buddhism is an indispensable and important area of Japanese history and culture. Even when considering ancient history, how to understand and evaluate Buddhist issues is a major challenge. It is not an easy task, but it is also a fascinating world of splendor and density that attracts the hearts and minds of people today.

In the middle of the sixth century, Buddhism was introduced to our country. Buddhism was a sophisticated and civilized religion that had never been known before. It was a religion of written doctrine and abstract thought, with systematic rituals and a well-organized system of clergy. It also had Buddhist statues, paintings, and temple architecture based on a refined aesthetic sense and state-of-the-art technology. From this time on, the people of Japan received continental culture through the circuit of Buddhism, and absorbed a variety of non-Buddhist cultural relics through this circuit as well. The historical significance of the introduction of Buddhism is significant. In the late 7th century, Buddhism began to circulate throughout a wide area of the Japanese archipelago and rapidly penetrated into local communities. Buddhism also played a major role in the formation of a state based on the emperor system at the end of the 7th century. Therefore, the history of ancient Buddhism is not only a key to cultural history, but is also indispensable to social and national history.

I first learned about ancient Buddhist history when I was in elementary school. In 538, Buddhism was introduced to Japan. That is what I learned. Then there was the story of the struggle between the Soga and Mononobe clans over whether or not to accept Buddhism. Then there was the story of Prince Shotoku and Horyuji Temple. In the Nara period, we learned about the Great Buddha and Kokubunji Temple in Nara. In junior high and high school history and Japanese history courses, students learned that the Buddhism of the Nara period was that of a "state of tranquility. I am sure that elementary, junior high and high school students are still learning and studying such history.

This book, however, seeks a new image of history by questioning, criticizing, and sometimes denying such common-sense history. Of course, this is not to say that it rejects all previous understandings of history. We believe that a significant portion of it conveys historical facts. However, there are some crucial aspects of history that are not recognized as historical facts. There are also several new findings that have become newly known in recent years. If we remove one by one what cannot be accepted as historical fact and add one by one what is newly known, a new image of history will emerge that is very different from what we have seen before. In recent years, individual studies of ancient Buddhist history have made steady progress. In this book, we hope to construct a new history of ancient Buddhism by boldly incorporating these studies.

Buddhism is still the central religion in Japan today, and I believe that Japan can be counted as one of the Buddhist countries. However, Japanese Buddhism today is quite different from the Buddhism of other Buddhist countries, and is unique. This individuality was formed gradually over a long period of time, and Japanese Buddhism as we know it today did not exist from the beginning. Throughout history, "Japanese-style" Buddhism gradually took shape as time went by. Ancient Buddhism was strongly influenced by the direct importation of Korean and Chinese Buddhism, and was rather cosmopolitan in character. How did this change and how did it become individualized? In order to answer this question, we must examine Japanese Buddhism from a historical perspective.

Yoshikawa Kobunkan, Yoshida Kazuhiko, "Re-reading Ancient Buddhism," p. iiii-ⅴ.

In this book, interesting points that are truly eye-opening are made more and more. The commentary on Prince Shotoku and the formation of the state and the syncretism of Shintoism and Buddhism are especially interesting. It is extremely interesting.

I am a monk of the Jodo Shinshu sect. Shinran, the founder of Jodo Shinshu, was a monk who lived from the late Heian to Kamakura periods. I often have the opportunity to listen to lectures and Dharma talks about the period in which Shinran lived, but I do not have such opportunities to learn about the historical background and Buddhism in the Nara and Heian periods, which goes back even further than that. For such a person like me, it was very gratifying to learn about Buddhism and the historical background of this period, which is also the foundation of Japanese Buddhism.

The author's narrative is clear and easy to understand. I highly recommend this book as an introduction to the study of Japanese Buddhism. This is a book that you should definitely pick up.

This is "Kazuhiko Yoshida's "Re-reading Ancient Buddhism" - A recommended reference book to learn about the introduction of Buddhism, Prince Shotoku, the Emperor and the State! The above is "Kazuhiko Yoshida's "Re-reading Ancient Buddhism" - A recommended reference book to learn about the introduction of Buddhism, Prince Shotoku, Emperor and State!

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