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The Halo of Golden Light – Imperial Authority and Buddhist Ritual in Heian Japan - Hawaii Scholarship Online
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The Halo of Golden Light: Imperial Authority and Buddhist Ritual in Heian Japan

Asuka Sango


The Halo of Golden Light examines the complex ways in which the emperor and other elite ruling groups employed Buddhist rituals to legitimate their authority. Although considered a descendant of the sun goddess, Amaterasu, the emperor used Buddhist idiom, particularly the ideal king as depicted in the Golden Light Sutra, to express his right to rule. In the Heian period, these ideals presented in the sutra became the basis of a number of court-sponsored rituals, the most important of which was the emperor’s Misai-e Assembly. By tracing the changes in the assembly’s format and status throughout ... More

Keywords: Emperor, Heian, Japan, Buddhism, ritual, Golden Light Sutra, state Buddhism, Misai-e

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780824839864
Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016 DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824839864.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Asuka Sango, author
Carleton College