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Ethnicity, Sagehood, and the Politics of Literacy in Asuka Japan
Author Como, Michael
Source Japanese Journal of Religious Studies
Volumev.30 n.1-2
Pages61 - 84
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
Keywordsagehood; sage king; Shōtoku Taishi; Asuka period
AbstractThis article explores the relationship between the importation of Chinese historical and divinatory texts during Japan,s Asuka period (552-645) and the contemporaneous development of notions of sagehood and sage kingship. The article argues that the rapid diffusion of these texts led to the emergence of a body of literate individuals from mainly immigrant kinship groups with unrivalled levels of control over and access to the Chinese textual tradition. As Chinese divinatory and political tropes came to pervade political discourse of the period, the court’s hermeneutic dependence upon these figures for the interpretation of portents had far-reaching consequences for the conception and representation of kingship during the period. By focusing upon a cluster of immigrant kinship groups associated with the early cult of Prince Shotoku, this article demonstrates how these groups utilized their own ancestral legends to initiate a radical redefinition of imperial authority and lineage.
Table of contentsWhose Shotoku Cult? 64
Governance and the Diffusion ofTextuality 66
Sages and the Sun 66
Promises and Pitfalls for the Sage King 67
Divination and the Hermeneutics of Power 68
Divination and Chinese Rulership 69
The Hakuji and the Early Shotoku Cult 70
The Interpretation of the Omen 71
Sage Kings and the Chinese Canon 72
The Classification of Sages 73
Sage King and Sage Counselor in the Seventeen Article Constitution 75
Counselors of the Yamato Sage 76
Of Kings and King Makers 78
Use of the Term uSage King” by Yamato Rulers 80
Uses of the Term “Sage King” by Non-Imperial Speakers 80
Conclusion 81
References 82
ISSN03041042 (P)
Created date2019.10.01

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