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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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The Definition of Ma

The Definition of Ma

(p.141) 6 The Definition of Ma
The Seven Tengu Scrolls

Haruko Wakabayashi

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter considers the meaning of ma as presented in the scrolls through an analysis of visual and textual representations of tengu. The thirteenth century saw the rise of “original enlightenment thought” (hongaku shiso), a teaching known for its extreme nondualism between opposites such as man and woman, buddha and layperson, and good and evil. According to the original enlightenment thought, monks belonging to the realm of tengu are entitled to buddhahood because ma and the Buddha are one and the same. Understanding the discourse of original enlightenment and its presentation in the concluding scroll reveals that the author's intention in producing the Tengu zoshi was above all to urge reform within orthodox Buddhism.

Keywords:   Ma, tengu, hongaku shiso, nondualism, buddhahood, original enlightenment, orthodox Buddhism

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