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Hokkeji and the Reemergence of Female Monastic Orders in Premodern Japan$
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Lori R. Meeks

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833947

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833947.001.0001

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(p.301) Epilogue
Hokkeji and the Reemergence of Female Monastic Orders in Premodern Japan

Lori Meeks

University of Hawai'i Press

This epilogue reflects upon the place of Hokkeji and its medieval restoration in the wider history of women's religiosity in premodern Japan. The story of Hokkeji's medieval restoration offers clear evidence of the ways in which religious women in premodern Japan were able to create meaningful religious lives and rich spiritual communities within a tradition whose canonical texts viewed women in a negative light. Much of this success is attributable to the fact that Hokkeji nuns did not view doctrine as the centerpiece of their practice; instead, they focused their daily lives on a host of other practices and beliefs, including devotional practices centered on Queen-Consort Kōmyō, the veneration of Buddhist relics, and the performance of pragmatic rituals. In building the reputation of their institution around these practices, Hokkeji nuns succeeded in promoting themselves as the performers of efficacious priestly rites.

Keywords:   Hokkeji, women's religiosity, premodern Japan, Hokkeji nuns, devotional practices, Kōmyō, pragmatic rituals

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