Dating of japan buddhist
Indeed, it would seem that most in the court saw the buddhas and bodhisattvas as similar to the native kami in their perceived capacity to offer a variety of benefits (riyaku ).Discourses concerning karma, rebirth, and enlightenment seem to have been virtually absent during this early era.Moreover, Chinese Buddhist works depicting the lives of eminent monks commonly featured tensions between buddhas/bodhisattvas and native divinities, which may suggest a general parallel if not knowledge of earlier patterns of assimilation of native religiosity.Given such awareness, there were efforts, evident first through ritual practice and construction, to explain or resolve such ambiguity.
Second, such sponsorship, associated with efforts throughout continental Asia to collect Buddhist scriptures, constituted a forerunner of later efforts of Japanese sovereigns and temples to acquire newly copied or printed versions of the Buddhist canon (daiz, also illustrates the close relationship leading families of the court had with Buddhist clerics from the Nara period onwards.
Recent scholarship has made it clear that much of the vibrancy of Buddhism in the era was constituted in the employ of monks (or, sometimes, nuns) as family ritual practitioners or teachers.
That is, monks were often invited, often for lengthy periods, to take up residence in the homes of leading aristocratic families; it is believed that such clerics spent most of their time engaged in rituals for the purpose of healing, bodily protection, and sometimes the more general avoidance of calamity (sokusai), and that such activities foreshadowed those of the guardian palace monks (gojis) of the Heian period.
Moreover, the fact that all of the temples constructed prior to the mid-seventh century were erected in connection with efforts to protect specific clansillustrates the extent to which the reception varied depending on the group, that there was no consensus in the larger court concerning its relevance, and that the thaumaturgical capacities of Buddhist ritual were central to their concerns more than enlightenment.
Recent excavations have indicated that the government began to establish large temples in the seventh century.