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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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Pure Land for the People

Pure Land for the People

Miki Kiyoshi

(p.121) Chapter Four Pure Land for the People
Pure Land, Real World

Melissa Anne-Marie Curley

University of Hawai'i Press

Following the untimely death in prison of Kyoto School philosopher Miki Kiyoshi, his unfinished essay on Shinran was assembled for publication, serving as a kind of final testament. Early in his career, Miki had come into conflict with other Japanese Marxists over his contention that religion could play a positive role in the proletarian revolution. The Shinran essay picks up on this possibility, framing the Pure Land Buddhist view of the Dharma ages in terms of the historical dialectic. According to Miki, Shinran (like Marx) discerned that the trajectory of history points toward the establishment of a truly human society, or a buddha land built upon the earth, in which the full exercise of individual human capacity will be possible for the first time. Miki’s utopianism is complicated by his role in articulating a vision of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, relying on some of the same logic we see in the Shinran essay.

Keywords:   Miki Kiyoshi, Marx, Kyoto School, Shinran, historical dialectic, Dharma ages, buddha land, Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

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