In Her Likeness: Female Divinity and Leadership at Medieval Chūgūji

This study takes as its focus the medieval deification of Prince Shōtoku's mother, Anahobe no Hashihito. Long associated with the Nara nunnery Chūgūji, Empress Hashihito was resurrected as patron goddess of the nunnery in the medieval period, when Chūgūji was restored and expanded by the nun Sh...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Japanese journal of religious studies
Main Author: Meeks, Lori Rachelle 1976-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Check availability: HBZ Gateway
Published: [2007]
In:Japanese journal of religious studies
Year: 2007, Volume: 34, Issue: 2, Pages: 351-392
Further subjects:B Empresses
B Women
B Ordinations
B Buddhism
B Narratives
B Priests
B Convents
B Nuns
B Divinity
B Mandalas
Online Access: Free Access
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Summary:This study takes as its focus the medieval deification of Prince Shōtoku's mother, Anahobe no Hashihito. Long associated with the Nara nunnery Chūgūji, Empress Hashihito was resurrected as patron goddess of the nunnery in the medieval period, when Chūgūji was restored and expanded by the nun Shinnyo (1211-?). Images of Empress Hashihito and the Nun Shinnyo take center stage in the literature and art associated with Chūgūji. This article argues that medieval Chūgūji narratives effectively ignore androcentric Buddhist teachings in favor of popular legends that present Empress Hashihito as a female deity and Shinnyo as a female Buddhist exemplar. That Chūgūji materials offer these seemingly positive images of Buddhist women challenges the commonly held scholarly assumption that medieval Japanese women fully internalized the disparaging views of the female body disseminated in Buddhist doctrinal texts.
Contains:Enthalten in: Japanese journal of religious studies