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Tokuitsu (徳一) (781?-842?) was a scholar-monk of the Hossō sect of Buddhism in Japan. He is best known for his debates with other leading Buddhists of the time, Kūkai and Saichō, and for asserting a more orthodox view of Mahayana Buddhism based on the state-sanctioned schools of Nara, Japan.
Little is known about Tokuitsu's early life, but records state that he studied Hossō doctrine at an early age at Kōfuku-ji, then later Tōdai-ji. His teacher is believed to be the eminent scholar Shūen (769-834). Saichō writes that Tokuitsu left the capital at age 20, and resided in the outer provinces in eastern Japan, apparently at the temples of Chūzen-ji in Tsukuba and Enichi-ji in Aizu. The bulk of his writings were concerned with challenging the Ekayana, Tiantai doctrines espoused by Saichō. Where Saichō advocated the notion of universal buddhahood in all beings, Tokuitsu countered with the orthodox Hossō view that buddhahood is not inherent in all beings, but can be awakened through the Dharma. In time the debate grew heated, and insults were exchanged with Saichō criticizing Tokuitsu as "one who eats only coarse, meager food [allusion to the Pratimoksha monastics precepts], while Tokuitsu criticized the patriarch of Tendai Buddhism, Zhiyi of being a "country rustic".
By contrast, Tokuitsu's correspondences with Kūkai were more cordial, but letters by Tokuitsu expressed great interest, but persistent confusion and doubt over Kūkai's teachings surrounding the Dharmakaya. Kūkai, respecting Tokuitsu's authority, maintained a more humble, conciliatory tone, and sought to assert the validity of his esoteric-only teachings. Tokuitsu conceded some points to Kūkai's argument, but remained unconvinced otherwise.
Buddhist philosophy refers to the philosophical investigations and systems of inquiry that developed among various Buddhist schools in India following the parinirvana of the Buddha and later spread throughout Asia. The Buddhist path combines both philosophical reasoning and meditation. The Buddhist traditions present a multitude of Buddhist paths to liberation, and Buddhist thinkers in India and subsequently in East Asia have covered topics as varied as phenomenology, ethics, ontology, epistemology, logic and philosophy of time in their analysis of these paths.
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Kūkai, also known posthumously as Kōbō Daishi, was a Japanese Buddhist monk, calligrapher, and poet who founded the esoteric Shingon school of Buddhism. He travelled to China, where he studied Tangmi under the monk Huiguo. Upon returning to Japan, he founded Shingon—the Japanese branch of Vajrayana Buddhism. With the blessing of several Emperors, Kūkai was able to preach Shingon teachings and found Shingon temples. Like other influential monks, Kūkai oversaw public works and constructions. Mount Kōya was chosen by him as a holy site, and he spent his later years there until his death in 835 AD.
Shingon Buddhism is one of the major schools of Buddhism in Japan and one of the few surviving Vajrayana lineages in East Asia, originally spread from India to China through traveling monks such as Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra.
Tiantai or T'ien-t'ai is an East Asian Buddhist school of Mahayana that developed in sixth century China. The school emphasizes the Lotus Sutra's doctrine of the "one vehicle" (ekayana) as well as Madhyamaka philosophy, particularly as articulated in the works of the fourth patriarch Zhiyi.
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East Asian Yogācāra refers to the traditions in East Asia which represent the Yogachara system of thought. The 4th-century Gandharan brothers, Asaṅga and Vasubandhu, are considered the classic philosophers and systematizers of this school, along with its other founder, Maitreya.
Buddhism has been practiced in Japan since about the sixth century CE. Japanese Buddhism(Nihon Bukkyō) has given birth to numerous new Buddhist schools, many of which trace themselves to Chinese Buddhist traditions. Japanese Buddhism has had a major influence on Japanese society and culture and remains an influential aspect to this day.
Ryūichi Abe is the Reischauer Institute Professor of Japanese Religions at Harvard University. Until May 2004, he was professor of Japanese religions in the departments of religion and East Asian languages and culture at Columbia University.
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Mikkyō is a Japanese term for the Vajrayana practices of Shingon Buddhism and the related practices that make up part of the Tendai and Kegon schools. There are also Shingon and Tendai influenced practices of Shugendō.
The schools of Buddhism are the various institutional and doctrinal divisions of Buddhism that have existed from ancient times up to the present. The classification and nature of various doctrinal, philosophical or cultural facets of the schools of Buddhism is vague and has been interpreted in many different ways, often due to the sheer number of different sects, subsects, movements, etc. that have made up or currently make up the whole of Buddhist traditions. The sectarian and conceptual divisions of Buddhist thought are part of the modern framework of Buddhist studies, as well as comparative religion in Asia.
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Gyōki was a Japanese Buddhist priest of the Nara period, born in Ōtori county, Kawachi Province, the son of Koshi no Saichi. According to one theory, he was of Korean descent.
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Kakuban, known posthumously as Kōgyō-Daishi (興教大師) was a priest of the Shingon sect of Buddhism in Japan and credited as a reformer, though his efforts also led to a schism between Kogi Shingon-shū and Shingi Shingon-shū. Kakuban is also famous for his introduction of the "esoteric nembutsu".
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The Six Schools of Nara Buddhism, also known as the Rokushū 六宗, were academic Buddhist sects. These schools came to Japan from Korea and China during the late 6th and early 7th centuries. All of these schools were controlled by the newly formed Japanese government of Nara. These schools were installed to mimic and expand upon already existing mainland Asian Buddhist thought.