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Shōtoku Taishi 聖徳太子 (Prince Shōtoku, 573–621) has stimulated the longstanding interest of modern scholars. The cult of Shōtoku Taishi was a far-reaching movement across Japan throughout several centuries, and the belief that he was Huisi’s慧思 (515–577) reincarnation is an important element in his extensive cult in the Buddhist world. This paper focuses on the connection between the Japanese prince and the legend cycles of the Chinese patriarch Huisi from the eighth century onwards. In particular, this paper discusses the networks of authors of this reincarnation story, namely Du Fei 杜朏 (c. 710–720), Jianzhen 鑑真 (688–763), Situo 思託 (722–809), Saichō 最澄 (767–822) and Kōjō 光定 (779–858). The self-definition of these authors involves how Buddhist monks located themselves in a broader context of East Asian Buddhism. It is concluded that the reincarnation legend reveals the authors’ motives with respect to rearranging the association between China and Japan. Their self-definition matured as the reincarnation story developed into a mature form.

In: Buddhist Encounters and Identities Across East Asia
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Abstract

Shōtoku Taishi 聖徳太子 (Prince Shōtoku, 573–621) has stimulated the longstanding interest of modern scholars. The cult of Shōtoku Taishi was a far-reaching movement across Japan throughout several centuries, and the belief that he was Huisi’s慧思 (515–577) reincarnation is an important element in his extensive cult in the Buddhist world. This paper focuses on the connection between the Japanese prince and the legend cycles of the Chinese patriarch Huisi from the eighth century onwards. In particular, this paper discusses the networks of authors of this reincarnation story, namely Du Fei 杜朏 (c. 710–720), Jianzhen 鑑真 (688–763), Situo 思託 (722–809), Saichō 最澄 (767–822) and Kōjō 光定 (779–858). The self-definition of these authors involves how Buddhist monks located themselves in a broader context of East Asian Buddhism. It is concluded that the reincarnation legend reveals the authors’ motives with respect to rearranging the association between China and Japan. Their self-definition matured as the reincarnation story developed into a mature form.

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In: Buddhist Encounters and Identities Across East Asia
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This volume contains the English translation of articles selected from Religious Studies in Contemporary China Collection: Buddhism (Dangdai Zhongguo zongjiao yanjiu jingxuan: Fojiao juan) edited by Lou Yulie. All the articles in this volume were originally published in Chinese during the last two decades and thus represent trends of recent scholarship on Buddhist studies in China. Although these articles represent a small portion of the scholarly output, we will notice some common interests shared by the Chinese scholars of Buddhist studies and their counterparts in the west. Buddhist scholars on both sides of the Pacific are paying attention to the relationship between Buddhism and Daoism, the question of indigenous scriptures, the social and ritualistic dimension of Buddhism revealed in artistic creations and the interaction and mutual influences between Chinese and the larger Buddhist world.
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This paper aims to bring out an alternative perspective on the life and work of the alleged founder of the Sanjiejiao 三階教 school, Xinxing. The current study discusses a different aspect of Xinxing’s influence, namely, his impact as a chan master. As the prominent Chan School went through different phases of development, the influence of Xinxing’s meditational teaching waxed and waned in the Chan cycle. Focusing on the texts titled Duigen qixingfa 對根起行法 and Zhizhongshi zhufa 制眾事諸法, I will explore the connotation of sanmei 三昧 (samādhi) in his teaching. In particular, I will explore the term “formless samādhi” (wuxiang sanmei 無相三昧) in Xinxing’s work and in other contemporary texts on meditation by meditation masters, such as Huisi 慧思 (515–577). In this way, this study situates Xinxing in the larger context of meditation teachings which emerged during the sixth century.

In: Journal of Chan Buddhism