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Japanese Buddhism
A Cultural History

By Yoshiro Tamura

Buddhism reached Japan in 538 C.E. Assimilated into Japnese culture and refashioned as Japanese Buddhism, it became one of the most enduring and far-reaching cultural and intellectual forces in Japan's history.

The stamp of Japanese Buddhism is unmistakable in the nation's poetry, literature, and art; and the imprint of Japan's indigenous culture is clear in such unique faces of Japanese Buddhism as the amalgamation of pre-Buddhist worship and esoteric Buddhism in the practice of the Shugend? ascetics.

Japan's Buddhism and the nation's cultural matrix are so inextricably linked that it is impossible to explicate the one without understanding the other. Thus the present book is both a history of Japanese Buddhism and an introduction to Japan's political, social, and cultural history. It examines Japanese Buddhism in the context of literary and intellectual trends and of other religions, exploring social and intellectual questions that an ordinary history of religion would not address.




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