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Pure Land, Real WorldModern Buddhism, Japanese Leftists, and the Utopian Imagination$
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Melissa Anne-Marie Curley

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824857752

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824857752.001.0001

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The Modern Tradition

The Modern Tradition

(p.47) Chapter Two The Modern Tradition
Pure Land, Real World

Melissa Anne-Marie Curley

University of Hawai'i Press

Abbot Kōnyo’s pastoral letter of 1871 codifies an understanding of the Pure Land as a transcendent realm, attainable only after death, and of faith as a private matter of the heart. This understanding is valuable as a way of negotiating a place for Shinshū in the regime of the modern nation-state. Early Meiji thinkers like Shimaji Mokurai rely on this understanding of religion as internal in arguing for the separation of church and state. Shinshū reformer Kiyozawa Manshi pushes this focus on interiority to its limit, destabilizing the complementary relationship between the Buddhist law and the imperial law that his predecessors sought to secure. During the Taishō, Kiyozawa’s disciple Kaneko Daiei attempts to rearticulate the connection between the ideal Pure Land and the real world, while the Honganji-ha thinker Nonomura Naotarō argues that it is time for the Pure Land tradition to set aside the myth of the Western Paradise.

Keywords:   Shinshū, Pure Land, modern, Kōnyo, Shimaji Mokurai, Kiyozawa Manshi, Kaneko Daiei, Nonomura Naotarō, interiority

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