By Henk Blezer

At any place Buddhism spreads, it additionally sparks neighborhood id discourses that body the neighborhood in Buddhist discourse. Buddhism and Nativism deals a comparative learn of localising responses to Buddhism in numerous Buddhist environments in Japan, Korea, Tibet, India and Bali.

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Extra info for Challenging Paradigms: Buddhism and Nativism: Framing Identity Discourse in Buddhist Environments

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By creating a contrast between ‘Buddhism = foreign, universal’ and ‘Shinto = native, particular’ in this manner, the rise of shinkoku thought was an important step for Shinto in ‘overcoming’ Buddhism. This also meant a shift from the Buddhist worldview that understood Japan in a negative way, to a Shinto worldview in which Japan was elevated to the status of a divine realm (Furukawa 1976). This common opinion regarding shinkoku thought needs to be reexamined in all its aspects. Let us do this based on specific historical materials.

24 MARK TEEUWEN & HENK BLEZER To explain nativism’s stance, Breuker uses the term monism. Myoch’ŏng broke with the pluralist principle of Koryŏ society, which accepted the co-existence of contradictory worldviews and navigated between them, from one situation to the next; instead, he gave absolute value to one, strongly localist view. In contrast to insular Japan, Korean nativism suffered an early defeat when confronted with the realities of international politics. Perhaps for that reason, Korea did not see the development of a nativist response to Buddhism comparable to that of Japan or Tibet.

This common opinion regarding shinkoku thought needs to be reexamined in all its aspects. Let us do this based on specific historical materials. When the first Mongol invasion was imminent, the Zen monk Tōgan Ean (1225–77) prayed for victory, actively preaching the idea that Japan is the land of the gods. In a ganmon (a statement of intention read before a ritual) that emphasises Japan’s status as a shinkoku, Ean asserted the following: From the time Japan came to be governed in accord with the true laws of Buddhism, kami flocked to Japan, and the whole country became a land of suijaku.

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