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Author Abe, Ryūichi, 1954-

Title The weaving of mantra : Kūkai and the construction of esoteric Buddhist discourse / Ryūichi Abé.

Published New York : Columbia University Press, 1999.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bund  294.392 ABE {Bund28 20111209}    AVAILABLE
Physical description xviii, 593 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages [541]-577) and index.
Contents Chronology of Kukai's Interaction with the Nara Clergy. 1. Kukai and (Very) Early Heian Society: A Prolegomenon -- Pt. I. Origin, Traces, Nonorigin. 2. Kukai's Dissent: Of Mendicancy and Fiction. 3. Journey to China: Outside Ritsuryo Discourse. 4. (No) Traces of Esoteric Buddhism: Dharani and the Nara Buddhist Literature -- Pt. II. Cartography. 5. Category and History: Constructing the Esoteric, I. 6. The Discourse of Complementarity: Constructing the Esoteric, II -- Pt. III. Writing and Polity. 7. Semiology of the Dharma; or, The Somaticity of the Text. 8. Of Mantra and Palace: Textualizing the Emperor, Calamity, and the Cosmos. 9. A Genealogy of Mantra: Kukai's Legacy.
Summary The Buddhist priest Kukai (774-835) is credited with the introduction and formal establishment of tantric - or esoteric - Buddhism in early ninth-century Japan and the founding of the Shingon school. In The Weaving of Mantra, author Ryuichi Abe examines this important religious figure and his profound influence on Japanese culture. Abe contends that the importance of Kukai's establishment of esoteric Buddhism lay not in the foundation of the Shingon sect but in his creation of a general theory of language grounded in the ritual speech of mantra.
The Weaving of Mantra embeds Kukai within the fabric of political and social life in ninth-century Japan and explains how esoteric Buddhism played a critical role in many societal changes in Japan - from the growth of monasteries into major feudal powers to the formation of the native phonetic alphabet, kana. As Abe illustrates, Kukai's writings and the new type of discourse they spawned also marked Japan's transition from the ancient order to the medieval world, replacing Confucianism as the ideology of the state.
Subject Kūkai, 774-835.
Shingon (Sect) -- Doctrines.
ISBN 0231112866