The Gates of Power: Monks, Courtiers, and Warriors in Premodern Japan
University of Hawaii Press, 2000 - 456 ページ
The political influence of temples in premodern Japan, most clearly manifested in divine demonstrations where rowdy monks and shrine servants brought holy symbols to the capital to exert pressure on courtiers has traditionally been condemned and is poorly understood. In an impressive examination of this intriguing aspect of medieval Japan, the author employs a wide range of previously neglected sources to argue that religious protest was a symptom of political factionalism in the capital rather than its cause. It is his contention that religious violence can be traced primarily to attempts by secular leaders to rearrange religious and political hierarchies to their own advantage, thereby leaving disfavored religious institutions to fend for their accustomed rights and status. In this context, divine demonstrations became the preferred negotiating tool for monastic complexes. For almost three centuries, such strategies allowed a handful of elite temples to maintain enough of an equilibrium to sustain and defend the old style of rulership even against the efforts of the Ashikaga Shogunate in the mid-fourteenth century.
By acknowledging temples and monks as legitimate co-rulers, The Gates of Power provides a new synthesis of Japanese rulership from the late Heian (794 1185) to the early Muromachi (1336 1573) eras, offering a unique and comprehensive analysis that brings together the spheres of art, religion, ideas, and politics in medieval Japan.
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Monastic Developments in the Heian Age
Capital Politics and Religious Disturbances in
Temples as Allies or Divine Enemies during
Religious Conflicts and Shared Rulership in the Late
Protesting and Fighting in the Name of the Kami