THE TEETH AND CLAWS OF THE BUDDHA MONASTIC WARRIORS AND SOHEI IN JAPANESE HISTORY

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The Teeth And Claws Of The Buddha

Author : Mikael S. Adolphson
ISBN : 9780824831233
Genre : History
File Size : 39.16 MB
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Japan's monastic warriors have fared poorly in comparison to the samurai, both in terms of historical reputation and representations in popular culture. Often maligned and criticized for their involvement in politics and other secular matters, they have been seen as figures separate from the larger military class. However, as Mikael Adolphson reveals in his comprehensive and authoritative examination of the social origins of the monastic forces, political conditions, and warfare practices of the Heian (794-1185) and Kamakura (1185-1333) eras, these monk-warriors(s hei) were in reality inseparable from the warrior class. Their negative image, Adolphson argues, is a construct that grew out of artistic sources critical of the established temples from the fourteenth century on. In deconstructing the s hei image and looking for clues as to the characteristics, role, and meaning of the monastic forces, The Teeth and Claws of the Buddha highlights the importance of historical circumstances; it also points to the fallacies of allowing later, especially modern, notions of religion to exert undue influence on interpretations of the past. It further suggests that, rather than constituting a separate category of violence, religious violence needs to be understood in its political, social, military, and ideological contexts.
Category: History

Japanese Warrior Monks Ad 949 1603

Author : Stephen Turnbull
ISBN : 9781782000105
Genre : History
File Size : 28.37 MB
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From the 10th to the mid-17th century, religious organisations played an important part in the social, political and military life in Japan. Known as sohei ('monk warriors') or yamabushi ('mountain warriors'), the warrior monks were anything but peaceful and meditative, and were a formidable enemy, armed with their distinctive, long-bladed naginata. The fortified cathedrals of the Ikko-ikki rivalled Samurai castles, and withstood long sieges. This title follows the daily life, training, motivation and combat experiences of the warrior monks from their first mention in AD 949 through to their suppression by the Shogunate in the years following the Sengoku-jidai period.
Category: History

The Gates Of Power

Author : Mikael S. Adolphson
ISBN : 0824823346
Genre : History
File Size : 59.25 MB
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The political influence of temples in premodern Japan, most clearly manifested in divine demonstrations where rowdy monks and shrine servants brought holy symbols to the capital to exert pressure on courtiers has traditionally been condemned and is poorly understood. In an impressive examination of this intriguing aspect of medieval Japan, the author employs a wide range of previously neglected sources to argue that religious protest was a symptom of political factionalism in the capital rather than its cause. It is his contention that religious violence can be traced primarily to attempts by secular leaders to rearrange religious and political hierarchies to their own advantage, thereby leaving disfavored religious institutions to fend for their accustomed rights and status. In this context, divine demonstrations became the preferred negotiating tool for monastic complexes. For almost three centuries, such strategies allowed a handful of elite temples to maintain enough of an equilibrium to sustain and defend the old style of rulership even against the efforts of the Ashikaga Shogunate in the mid-fourteenth century. By acknowledging temples and monks as legitimate co-rulers, The Gates of Power provides a new synthesis of Japanese rulership from the late Heian (794 1185) to the early Muromachi (1336 1573) eras, offering a unique and comprehensive analysis that brings together the spheres of art, religion, ideas, and politics in medieval Japan.
Category: History

Heavenly Warriors

Author : William Wayne Farris
ISBN : 067438704X
Genre : History
File Size : 89.42 MB
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"In a government, military matters are the essential thing," said Japan's "Heavenly Warrior," the Emperor Temmu, in 684. Heavenly Warriors traces in detail the evolutionary development of weaponry, horsemanship, military organization, and tactics from Japan's early conflicts with Korea up to the full-blown system of the samurai. Enhanced by illustrations and maps, and with a new preface by the author, this book will be indispensable for students of military history and Japanese political history.
Category: History

Warriors Of Japan

Author : H. Paul Varley
ISBN : 0824816013
Genre : History
File Size : 67.8 MB
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A leading cultural historian of premodern Japan draws a rich portrait of the emerging samurai culture as it is portrayed in gunki-mono, or war tales, examining eight major works spanning the mid-tenth to late fourteenth centuries. Although many of the major war tales have been translated into English, Warriors of Japan is the first book-length study of the tales and their place in Japanese history. The war tales are one of the most important sources of knowledge about Japan's premodern warriors, revealing much about the medieval psyche and the evolving perceptions of warriors, warfare, and warrior customs.
Category: History

Japan Emerging

Author : Karl F. Friday
ISBN : 9780429979163
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 37.59 MB
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Japan Emerging provides a comprehensive survey of Japan from prehistory to the nineteenth century. Incorporating the latest scholarship and methodology, leading authorities writing specifically for this volume outline and explore the main developments in Japanese life through ancient, classical, medieval, and early modern periods. Instead of relying solely on lists of dates and prominent names, the authors focus on why and how Japanese political, social, economic, and intellectual life evolved. Each part begins with a timeline and a set of guiding questions and issues to help orient readers and enhance continuity. Engaging, thorough, and accessible, this is an essential text for all students and scholars of Japanese history.
Category: Political Science

Visions Of Mahayana Buddhism

Author : Nagapriya
ISBN : 9781909314399
Genre : Religion
File Size : 29.75 MB
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In a unique overview of this inspiring tradition, Nagapriya introduces its themes and spectrum of practices, literature and movements. Charting the evolution and expression of the Mahayana as a whole, he tracks its movement across South and East Asia, uncovering its history, culture and doctrines and blending this extensive knowledge with a strong element of lived practice. Ideal for both teaching and personal use, this far-reaching guide provides a solid foundation for any study in Buddhism and a valuable voice on Asian history.
Category: Religion

Public Zen Personal Zen

Author : Peter D. Hershock
ISBN : 9781442216143
Genre : Religion
File Size : 39.87 MB
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This deeply informed book introduces the basic teachings and practices of Buddhism and their spread across Asia. Peter D. Hershock explores the history of the enduring Japanese tradition of Zen—from its beginnings as a form of Buddhist thought and practice imported from China to its reinvention in medieval Japan as a force for religious, political, and cultural change to its role in Japan’s embrace of modernity. He deftly blends historical detail with the felt experiences of Zen practitioners grappling with the meanings of human suffering, personal freedom, and the integration of social and spiritual progress.
Category: Religion

Martial Arts Of The World An Encyclopedia Of History And Innovation 2 Volumes

Author : Thomas A. Green
ISBN : 9781598842449
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 90.29 MB
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This book is the most comprehensive and authoritative reference ever published on the wide range of martial arts disciplines practiced in cultures around the world. • Includes the scholarship of 67 expert, international contributors • Presents 30 images of martial arts in practice • Offers bibliographic lists at the end of each section pointing to further reading in print and online • Includes a comprehensive index in each volume
Category: Social Science

Hired Swords

Author : Karl F. Friday
ISBN : 9780804726962
Genre : History
File Size : 50.97 MB
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Tracing the evolution of state military institutions from the seventh through the twelfth centuries, this book challenges much of the received wisdom of Western scholarship on the origins and early development of warriors in Japan. This prelude to the rise of the samurai, who were to become the masters of Japan's medieval and early modern eras, was initiated when the imperial court turned for its police and military protection to hired swords--professional mercenaries largely drawn from the elites of provincial society. By the middle of the tenth century, this provincial military order had been handed a virtual monopoly of Japan's martial resources. Yet it was not until near the end of the twelfth century that these warriors took the first significant steps toward asserting their independence from imperial court control. Why did they not do so earlier? Why did they remain obedient to a court without any other military sources for nearly 300 years? Why did the court put itself in the potentially (and indeed, ultimately) precarious situation of contracting for its military needs with private warriors? These and related questions are the focus of the author's study. Most of the few Western treatments see the origins of the samurai in the incompetence and inactivity of the imperial court that forced residents in the provinces to take up arms themselves. According to this view, a warrior class was spontaneously generated just as one had been in Europe a few centuries earlier, and the Japanese court was doomed to eventually perish by the sword because of its failure to live by it. Instead, the author argues that it was largely court activism that put swords in the hands of rural elites, thatcourt military policy, from the very beginning of the imperial state era, followed a long-term pattern of increasing reliance on the martial skills of the gentry. This policy reflected the court's desire for maximum efficiency in its military institutions, and the policy's succes
Category: History