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Book Review: "The Prince and the Monk: Shōtoku Worship in Shinran's Buddhism," by Kenneth Doo Young Lee
Author O'Leary, Joseph S.
Source Japanese Journal of Religious Studies
Volumev.37 n.1
Pages170 - 172
PublisherNanzan Institute for Religion and Culture=南山宗教文化研究所
Publisher Url
Location名古屋, 日本 [Nagoya, Japan]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article; 書評=Book Review
NoteSpecial issue: Religion and the Japanese Empire

Albany, ny: suny Press, 2007. x + 231 pp. Hardcover, $74.50. isbn
10: 0-7914-7021-0; isbn 13: 978-0-7914-7021-3; Paper, $25.95. isbn
10: 0-7914-7022-9; isbn 13: 978-0-7914-7022-0.
KeywordMonk; Shinran’s Buddhism
AbstractThis extremely well-nourished work of scholarship (drawing on eighty-five primary texts in Japanese and one hundred and sixty-eight secondary ones) offers a flood of information on Prince Shōtoku (574–622) and the vast growth of his legend and cult in medieval Japan. Lee claims that Westerners implicitly regard this tradition as “a long web of exaggerated lies,” thus failing to appreciate “the mystery and mystique that surround not only the emperor … but also the Japanese people as a whole” (35). Yet Lee himself goes on to puncture this mystique by embracing ?yama Seiichi’s theory that Shōtoku never existed, and is even ready to entertain the idea that this “fictitious character” was “the focal point of a mass conspiracy that has captured and paralyzed the Japanese people” (135). Or rather he seems to say that history is irrelevant and that a legend of this order takes on a life and momentum of its own which does credit to the creativity of its inventors...
ISSN03041042 (P)
Created date2010.08.12
Modified date2019.10.04

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