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The Seven Tengu ScrollsEvil and the Rhetoric of Legitimacy in Medieval Japanese Buddhism$
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Haruko Wakabayashi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834166

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834166.001.0001

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Critique of Kamakura Buddhism

Critique of Kamakura Buddhism

(p.91) 4 Critique of Kamakura Buddhism
The Seven Tengu Scrolls

Haruko Wakabayashi

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses the use of tengu images to critique Buddhism during the Kamakura. A careful look at the scrolls reveals that the author makes distinctions between anti-Buddhist and tengudo images to express the difference in the nature and degree of criticism leveled against established and new Buddhist schools. Because much of the text focuses on the histories of the temples and the superiority of their teachings, scholarship on the Tengu zoshi tends to overlook the critical attitude of its author. At first glance, the paintings that accompany the texts appear to be “polite” illustrations of the temple precincts and religious services, but the monks are portrayed as tengu. The author clearly states throughout the narrative that he wishes to use the tengu motif to show how monks became attached to the wrong views.

Keywords:   tengu images, Kamakura Buddhism, anti-Buddhism, tengudo images, Buddhist schools, monks

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