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The Weaving of Mantra Kukai and the Construction of Esoteric Buddhist Discourse

by Ryichi Ab

  • ISBN: 9780231112871
  • ISBN10: 0231112874

The Weaving of Mantra Kukai and the Construction of Esoteric Buddhist Discourse

by Ryichi Ab

  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 10/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780231112871
  • ISBN10: 0231112874
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Description: The great Buddhist priest Kukai (774-835) introduced and established tantric -- or esoteric -- Buddhism in early ninth-century Japan. Ryuichi Abe examines this momentous religious figure and his profound influence on Japanese culture. Offering a radically new approach to the study of early religious history that combines historical research, discourse analysis, literary criticism, and semiology, Abe contends that the importance of Kukai's transmission of esoteric Buddhism to Japan lay less in the foundation of a new sect than in his creation of a general theory of language grounded in the ritual speech of mantra. Exploring the rich rhetorical strategies Kukai employed in his works, The Weaving of Mantra illuminates both what his texts meant to his readers and what goals guided the creation of a powerful discourse that ultimately transformed Japanese culture.
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