Self-Mummified Buddhas in Japan.

An Aspect of the Shugen-Dô ("Mountain Asceticism") Sect Author(s): Ichiro Hori Source: History of Religions, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Winter, 1962), pp. 222-242 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1062053 . Accessed: 03/10/2013 11:37
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IchiroHori

SELF-MUMMIFIED BUDDHAS
AN ASPECT SHUGEN-DO ("MOUNTAIN ASCETICISM") SECT

IN
OF

JAPAN1
THE

INTRODUCTION

I should like in this paper to report on the recent discovery of selfmummified Buddhas in the Shugen-d6 sect of the Shingon school and to discuss in more general terms the characteristics of Japanese Shugen-do mysticism together with its theoretical, institutional, and religious background. This paper is based upon field researchundertakenby the writer on a rather unusual religiousphenomenonin Japan. It is our hope to pursue researchon this subject to find relations with other similar phenomena, as, e.g., in Tibet. Nevertheless, it seemed appropriateat this time to present the essence of the writer's researchas it has developed thus far. Research and the writing of this paper were facilitated by the Investigating Committee for Mummies in Japan sponsoredby the Mainichi Press. We wish to thank Professor Joseph M. Kitagawa, Professor Mircea Eliade, and other colleagues at the University of Chicago for their encouragement.We are grateful to Professor Kitagawa and Mr. Charles S. J. White for reading the final draft and for making a number of helpful suggestions. We should also like to recommenda recent book, Nippon no Miira ("Mummies in Japan"), written by ProfessorKosei Ando, of Waseda University, head of our investigating committee. This book, published by the Mainichi Press in 1961, will be helpful in understandingmore clearly and generallythe curious custom of religious mummificationin the Far East, including Japan, China, and Tibet. 222

This content downloaded from 200.156.96.72 on Thu, 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

a guide or conductor.Last year. holy of holies for the Yudono sect. and there practiced a severely ascetic regimen for several years. such as the shugen-sha. and in particular those of the Yudono. Honmyo-kai Shonin (enshrined at Honmyo-ji in Higashi-Iwamoto of Asahi-mura). The six newly discovered mummified Buddhas. the ruling family of northeast Honshf in the twelfth century. After this he led a secluded life in a special place named Sennin-zawa (literally. or the sendatsu. As a result of the field studies which have been made on these newly found mummies. This was a miraculous discovery. Important among these are the characteristics of the gy6nin. "Swamp of Wizards") between Churen-ji and the Shrine of Mount Yudono. a member of one of the four main groups of seminaries in the Yudono sect. he entered the Churen-ji Seminary. however. Having left his wife and children behind. a retainer of the feudal lord Sakai at Tsuruoka. BRIEF HISTORY OF THE SIX MUMMIFIED BUDDHAS Before entering upon a discussion of the specific characteristic of the Shugen-do sect. it was not known whether these legends contained a kernel of historical truth. I would like to describe briefly the history of the six newly discovered Buddhas. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the head of a seminary on or around the sacred mountain.72 on Thu. 1. self-mummified Buddhas were discovered by chance at five Shugen-do temples in Yamagata Prefecture.96. although it was known by many historians of religion and folklorists that legends surrounding the gy6nin-zuka mounds in Japan tell that at such places a certain gyonin had been buried alive.156. for the only other known example of mummification in Japan was that of four members of the Fujiwara family. It is said that after 1673 he began abstention from 223 This content downloaded from 200. a certain type of ascetic in the Yudono sect (a subdivision of the Shugen-do) who was quite different from ascetics in the other sects of the Shugend6 as well as from those in the same sect. Honmyo-kai became a gy6nin in the Yudono sect in order to pray for his lord's recovery from a serious illness. Thus. Because of Japan's exceedingly humid climate. Born of the Togashi family. furthermore. mummification is an extremely inappropriate way of disposing of the dead. several important and hitherto unknown facts concerning the history of the Shugen-do sect have been made clear. prayers. and gained a knowledge of some of their primary doctrines. I. These Buddhas have since become the scene of research by our special investigating committee. and rules of discipline. The status and functions of each of these types will be explained in detail in the following sections of this paper. were found in their own special hall at an altar within a temple and were worshiped by a small group of believers.

made to assume a sitting posture with crossed legs like a Buddha. Honmy6-kai had determined "to become a Buddha in his very own body as his body was" (sokushin-jobutsu). He adopted a severe asceticism at Churen-ji Seminary as well as at Sennin-zawa on Mount Yudono. a member of another important seminary group of the Yudono sect on the west side of Mount Yudono. Honmyo-kai's lifelong desire was to free his people from suffering and illness. Chu-kai Shonin (enshrined at Kaiko-ji in Sakata City). When it was again recovered.Self-mummified Buddhas in Japan cereals (mokujiki-gy6) for about eight years. and a farmer in Higashi-mura near Tsuruoka City. sustaining his life by the consumption of only the bark of pine trees. was dried through the use of candle fires and incense fumes at the main temple of Churen-ji. Determined to become a mummified Buddha as his uncle had. The body of Chu-kai was dug up three years later. 3. and following the same method previously outlined. and dried up with a charcoal fire and incense fumes. He escaped to Dainichi-bo Seminary. It was enshrined by the followers and disciples of Honmyo-kai as an object of worship in a special hall in Honmyo-ji called soku-butsu-d6 (hall dedicated to the person who became a Buddha in his very own body). 2. His mummy was enshrined at the soku-butsu-dohall at Kaiko-ji. He deeply admired his uncle's virtues and superhuman power. Meanwhile. His lord. Chu-kai Shonin entered into a wooden coffin in 1755 at the age of fifty-eight and was buried alive. instituted a drive to raise a temple for him. one feature of which was the practice of eating only chestnuts or torreya nuts for a period of a thousand days. Shinnyo-kai killed a samurai (warrior) accidentally following a false accusation. Born of the Togashi family. The chief abbot of Dainichi-bo succeeded in sheltering him from the 224 This content downloaded from 200.72 on Thu. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .96. Shinnyo-kai Shonin (enshrined at Dainichi-bo in Oami-mura). Even today he is worshiped as a Buddha and supplicated by the peasants near a temple for the relief of eye diseases.and in 1683 he entered into a stone chamber under the ground and died a peaceful death while chanting a prayer to Amitabha Buddha (Amida-butsu). ChA-kai was a nephew of Honmyo-kai ShBnin. and he wished to model himself upon his deeds. the corpse had become completely mummified. A member of the Shindo family. formerly the feudal capital of Sakai Fief. After that the corpse was buried again in the underground chamber for about three years. Through his own efforts he then built a temple named Kaiko-ji in Sakata City in which his mummy is now contained. Sakai.156. having become his supporter because of the virtue and superhuman powers of Honmy6-kai. His corpse was exhumed from the chamber immediately after his death.

1.72 on Thu.-Mummified Buddha of Chukai Shonin dressed in the isse-gyonin's official costume at Kaiko-ji Temple in Sakata City.FIG. Yamagata Prefecture. This content downloaded from 200.156.96. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .

96. is falling into a trance in order to announce the divination.-Isse-gyonin in a uniform for the religious austerities in the cold season with the special symbol named bonden and offertory box.FIG. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . This content downloaded from 200. 2. with a symbol and wearing a white robe and a special ascetic hood. 3. The one at left.156.-Isse-gyonin performing the agricultural rite called O-saku-matsuri on February 18 at Kaik6-ji Temple in Sakata City.72 on Thu. FIG.

Shinnyo-kai became an ascetic gyonin of the Yudono sect and practiced a severe discipline. a rival of the Yudono sect centering around the sacred mountains of Gassan. and Tetsumon-kai killed them with a fire hook. Afterward. 774-835 A. 5. chanting the name of Amitabha Buddha and ringing a bell. Enmyo-kai succeeded the chief abbot of Kaiko225 This content downloaded from 200. and he charged them with negligence. and was enshrined at a special sanctuary in Churen-ji Temple. Yudono.D. the Tetsumon-kai Buddha is worshiped and prayed to as a guardian of the eyes.96.pursuing officials of the fief's government. Tetsumon-kai entered nirvana after having performed a fast at the main hall of Churen-ji. Enmyo-kai Shonin (enshrined at Kaiko-ji in Sakata City). Born in a suburb of Tsuruoka City as a farmer's son. Both for the salvation of the deceased samurai's soul and in order to become a mummified Buddha. Finally in 1783 he dug a pit on the hilltop near Dainichi-bo. Enmyo-kai was converted in his youth to the Haguro sect of Shugen-do. In 1829 when he was sixty-one years old. and stepping into a wooden coffin with a breathing hole made of bamboo. He became an ascetic within this group. One day when the banks of the river were about to break because of the long. He then escaped to Churen-ji. Born in 1768 of a farmer's family named Sunada in a suburb of Tsuruoka City. but was afterward strongly influenced by Tetsumon-kai's virtuous deeds and became his disciple. ordered that he be lowered into it. heavy rains. He left his mark not only in northeast Honshf but also in the Kanto area centering around Yedo (Tokyo). It is said that Tetsumon-kai dedicated his eyes to the deity of Mount Yudono in order to save the people from the sufferings of eye disease. that is. a Buddha in his very own body.156.72 on Thu. even in Niigata and Chiba prefectures. Consequently. his corpse became a mummy. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Tetsumon-kai saw that two samurai in charge of the flood control were drunk. according to the precedent of Kobo Daishi (Kukai. Tetsumon-kai Shonin carried timber and gravel on the riverside. and Haguro.). a convert to the Yudono sect. As the heir of his master Tetsumon-kai. He also engaged in public works and in medical care with the use of herbs. 4. he took up the exercise of abstaining from cereals for about three thousand days. Tetsumon-kai Shonin (enshrined at Churen-ji). They struck angrily at him. where he was sheltered by the chief abbot and became a disciple at the seminary. Leading a secluded life at Sennin-zawa. the founder of the Shingon school in Japan. performing the austerities of the Shugen-do. He died at the age of ninety-six on the fourteenth day of the eighth month. Monuments of his virtuous deeds are to be found in many places. for even at that time some Buddhist temples were protected by the principle of extraterritoriality.

chestnuts. while the subsidiary foods were pine bark. Abstention lasted from one thousand to several thousand days. The food staple was buckwheat flour. and he died around 1630 at Gyokusen-ji. thereafter. In 1868 (according to another report.96. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .72 on Thu. who was enshrined at Gyokusen-ji in Tsugawa-mura. and the other is Jun-kai Shonin. and so forth. Born in Akita Prefecture. was trained in the Shingon school at Mount Koya. They all practiced abstention from cereals (mokujiki-gy6). His disciples extracted the viscera from the corpse and carried the corpse to Churenji. 2. Tetsuryu-kai became an ascetic of the Yudono sect. both in Niigata Prefecture. It is said that he was from Chiba Prefecture. but as far as we know. COMMONCHARACTERISTICS OF THE MUMMIFIED BUDDHAS The relationship between the two mummies previously discovered and the six new mummified Buddhas cannot be traced historically. 1881) he was voluntarily buried alive in the precincts of Nangaku-ji. grass roots. his corpse had not yet mummified naturally when it was dug up. II. looking over the brief biographies of the eight mummified Buddhas. 6.156. following Tetsumon-kai. torreya nuts. He then practiced abstaining from cereals for several years. he became a chief abbot of Nangaku-ji. He was fifty-three years old at the time. Tetsuryu-kai Shonin (enshrined at Nangaku-ji in Tsuruoka City). we might point out certain common characteristics. Unfortunately. and it was under226 This content downloaded from 200. 1. His corpse became a mummy. where he died in 1363. I would like to suggest that all eight of these mummified persons were during their lifetime very rigorous ascetics of the type peculiar to the Yudono sect and known as isse-gy6nin. One is K6chi Hoin.Self-mummifiedBuddhas in Japan ji in Sakata. who was enshrined at Saisho-ji in Teradomarimachi. However. although the place and manner of his death are not yet clear. The details of this biography are now obscure. and he entered nirvana alive in 1822 preceding his master. Two more examples should be added here from the Tokugawa period. It has been observed that the body cavity of this mummy has been filled with lime powder up to its neck. Jun-kai was also a mountain ascetic belonging to the Yudono sect. Until 1862 he engaged in abstaining from cereals. where it was dried. and he settled down finally at a small hermitage near Saisho-ji. This is the newest mummified Buddha and is the only instance in which mummification was due to an operation. Later in his life he made a preaching tour. First of all. Kochi Hoin's mummy remains in its original resting place and was investigated by our committee members. he is the oldest mummified Buddha. and then came back to his native land to reside in a temple.

000 years after the death of Sakyamuni. It was thought that he spent his time in meditation. changed Daishi's robe. for it was believed that he became a Buddha in his very own body in a stone cave on top of Mount Koya and that he is still awaiting there the advent of Maitreya Buddha. and in other books. especially in the matter of self-mummification. who is supposed to appear 5. and that he disliked taking cereals as his food from the twelfth day of the eleventh month of the ninth year of Tench6 (832 A. compiled supposedly in about the thirteenth or fourteenth century. although periodically he would wander all over Japan to save people from suffering and misfortune. tonsured his hair. The latter is one of the fundamental points of difference between the Shingon and the other Buddhist schools such as the Tendai (T'ien-t'ai).symbolically represented as a hot spring emerging from a huge.D. the Yudono Shrine. Once a year the ceremony for changing K6b6 Daishi's robe took place in accordance with this legend. looking back upon his past. The pioneer Great Master of the isse-gydnin ascetics. Nearby was the holy of holies on Mount Yudono. the Nichiren. 3.gone while in seclusion at Sennin-zawa. 227 This content downloaded from 200. The deity of the Yudono Shrine is believed to have been an incarnation of the Dainichi-nyorai (Mahdvairocanasatathdgata). a spot reserved exclusively for the ascetic practices of the isse-gyonin. Here we are told that Kangen Sojo (d. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The legend which inspired the isse-gyonin to abstain from cereals in order to become a mummified Buddha is that of the Kfikai's "Last Injunction" (Yui-gq). From this we may surmise that the legend was generally believed to be factual in substance. the Jodo (Pure Land). in which Kfkai. The same legend is found in the Heike-monogatari("Historic Romance of the Taira Family"). who had entered his stone cave to worship the still-living Great Master (K6b6 Daishi). the Zen (dydna).72 on Thu. it seems at least to testify that abstention from cereals was an important training exercise for Shingon ascetics both during and after the Heian Period. Though this "Last Injunction" is of dubious authenticity.000.). round rock. and here the isse-gyonin came to worship three times a day after cold-water ablutions.156.670. writes that his chief pleasure was in the practice of meditation. The beginning of the legend of Kuikai's deeds is to be found in a book supposedly compiled in about the twelfth century. the Konjakumonogatari ("Stories.96. and repaired his rosary which had been scattered about. KAkai (Kob6 Daishi). Ancient and Modern"). 925). All of them resolved to become mummified Buddhas because they believed in the doctrine peculiar to the Shingon school of the sokushin-jobutsu(becoming a Buddha in his very own body). was the model of their religious faith and practice. and others.

we must first clarify the history of the Shugen-do sect and. I believe that the reason why seven of the eight mummified Buddhas (i. III. that is. the heterogeneous formulas of ancient shamanism were revived. and involved with. while the Shingon Mikky6 was called T6-mitsu (an esoteric doctrine based upon the training program at To-ji in Kyoto. that of its subdivision. as well as by Kuikai (K6bo Daishi) of the Shingon school.72 on Thu. This deity was well known as an oracle. The Mantrayana element within the Tendai was called the Tai-mitsu (Tendai Mikkyo). the founder of the Tendai school. together with the structure of the latter during the Tokugawa Period. During the Heian Period (784-1185).156. 228 This content downloaded from 200.e. in particular. SHORT HISTORY OF THE SHUGEN-D6 IN JAPAN As I have already pointed out in my paper in Numen (Vol. and that the Shugen-do in its origin had a close relation with shamanism. who is supposed to have lived as an updsaka (Jap. The legendary founder of the Shugen-do was the famous magician and ascetic saint named En-no-Sh6kaku (or E-no-Ozunu). why was the special Buddhist name with the kai suffix conferred only upon the isse-gy6nin group in the Yudono sect? In order to understand this. "Lord of One Word"). the Yudono sect. Yet. The sacred mountain was recognized as the residence of a deity or deities. 767-822).96. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Fasc. and became strongly influenced by. therefore. because his name as was derived from the declaration at his first advent. Thus. a center of the Shingon school). ubasoku) on Mount Katsuragi and to have been the chief of a priestly family which from generation to generation served the deity of the mountain.Self-mummified Buddhas in Japan 4. and Taoistic thought enjoyed a great vogue. Mantray&na Buddhism was widely favored among the people. V. Chinese Yinyang magic and divination (Onmy6-d6). that the En or E family had a special hereditary gift for speaking oracles. Mantrayana and Yin-yang theory and practice. particularly among the upper classes. It had been introduced by Saicho (Dengyo Daishi. and of spirits of the dead who bestowed rain and fertility upon the peasants of the plain at the foot of the mountain. the Ruler of the Word. the Shugen-do seems to have originated in an ancient mountain worship and in the belief in magicians and shamans in sacred mountains.. with the exception of Kochi Hoin) had the suffix kai appended to their Buddhist names is that their Great Master was named in this way: Ki-kai. In addition to Mantrayana Buddhism. Hitokotonushi (literally. 2-3 [1958]). This legend should be understood to mean.

that is. To protect themselves against the gory6. Mount Haku-san in Middle Honshu. such as a violent political change. following the 229 This content downloaded from 200. known as a miko. or death-all these were believed to be the revenge and punishment of the gory6. or yori-mashi. there emerged many shugen-sha who took up permanent residence on the local sacred mountain. fell into a trance in which they were possessed by unseen spirits who employed them as a mouthpiece for their grievances and prophecies. Mount Gassan. nori-wara. people employed the services of Buddhist ascetics. As the belief in the gory6 and the demand for the mountain shugensha or kenza increased all over Japan. earthquake. The present form of Shugen-do is said to have been instituted by Shobo (832-909). Three Sacred Mountains in Dewa Province (present Yamagata Prefecture). The earliest and most famous of such settlements were at Mount Yoshino (Kinpu). The gory6 (whom I have described in my paper mentioned above) was a malevolent or angry spirit of a dead nobleman who had perished in a political tragedy or intrigue. kaji-dai. and Yin-yang priests. civil war.72 on Thu. Mantrayana magicians. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . drought. a belief which rapidly swept over all of Japan and was prevalent especially among the royalty and the upper classes. Unusual events. Mount Haguro. were believed to possess superhuman magical powers and were called either yama-bushi ("an ascetic who lies down in the mountain") or shugen-sha (a person who practices religious austerities and attains superhuman powers through his penances). and spent their time building temples. epidemic. paid great respect especially to the ascetics trained in the mountains (yama-no-kenza). The last three mountains are called Dewa-sanzan. Mount Kojima in West Honshu. disease. thunderbolt. and events involving pain. and Shinto shrines dedicated to their own mountain deity. as well as priests' lodges and habitations for pilgrims. a higher priest of the Shingon school who practiced religious austerities on Mounts Yoshino and Ohmine. by virtue of their religious austerities. These female shamans. or any other extraordinary phenomenon in heaven or earth. famine. Mount Ishizuchi in Shikoku. Mount Ontake. The latter.156. seminaries.96. These were the main centers of Shugen-do from medieval to modern times. through the use of magical spells and the chanting of a sutra or dhdrani. Mount Tateyama. Mount Tai-sen. A significant role in the exorcism of the goryo was played by the substitute or female shaman.A most significant phenomenon in this process of syncretization was the belief in the gory6. and Mount Yudono in Northeast Honshu. Mount Hiko in Kyushu. typhoon. Mount Ohmine and Mount Kumano in Middle Honshtf (Kinki area).

while that of Mount Kinpu and Mount Ohmine was guided by the Shingon school (Tozan-ha). This is not to 230 This content downloaded from 200. as well as by the Buddhist schools themselves. It should be observed that the headquarters of the Shugen-do is Sanbo-in Seminary within the precincts of Daigo-ji.96. it lies in a triangular position with T6-ji in Kyoto and Kongo-bu-ji on Mount Koya. He built a Shingon temple named Daigo-ji in Kyoto which became very powerful. The shugen-sha on Mount Kumano subsequently came under the control of the Tendai and Shingon schools as the result of the efforts of the sendatsu who served on the emperors' pilgrimages as conductors and guides. pilgrimages to such sacred mountains were flourishing. They built their own seminary and lodge around the main temple to shelter their adherents and pilgrims. who made thirty-four. Mount Kumano was at the peak of its prosperity. prayed for. Roughly speaking. who made nine pilgrimages to Mount Kumano. The popularity of this mountain is indicated by the old and well-known proverb speaking of "the pilgrimage of ants to Mount Kumano" (Ari-no-Kumano-mdde). and guided the temporary lay-ascetics and pilgrims on the sacred mountain. Before the Tokugawa Shogunate established its feudal hegemony over Japan. The custom gave rise in the first place to the prosperity of the mountains' inhabitants. The Mitake-m6de(Pilgrimage to Mount Kinpu) and the Kumano-mode (Pilgrimage to Mount Kumano) began to be very popular among both upper and lower classes.Self-mummified Buddhas in Japan model of the legendary En-no-Shokaku. or oshi who taught. the Shugen-do centers in several local areas (except those at Mounts Ohmine and Kumano) had escaped direct control by the Kamakura or Ashikaga shogunates.72 on Thu. and Goshirakawa. there came into being many permanent leader-priests called shugen-sha. At the end of the Heian Period. Shirakawa. the Shugen-do of Mount Kumano was ruled thereafter by the Tendai school (Honzan-ha). and the appearance of professional conductors named sendatsu who guided the pilgrims to their mountain from Kyoto and other places while teaching them the rules of religious purification and abstinence. shuto. These pilgrimages were performed in order to receive divine favors and to attain to spiritual enlightenment and peace. This was due mainly to two retired emperors. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .156. in addition. The institutionalized Shugen-do was gradually established around Mounts Kumano and Kinpu (Yoshino) under the doctrinal influence and management of both the Tendai and Shingon schools. and the feudal and manor lords. As the practice of austerities in the mountains was held in high repute by both priests and laymen.

their succession was hereditary. Indeed the political. as substitutes for Shinto priests. although the Kirishitan mission was subject to severe pressure in Hideyoshi's last years (159698). Negoro-dera and Kongobu-ji of the Shingon school. Coelho (d. religious teachings. they maintained their own uniforms. Oda Nobunaga (1534-82) and Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1535-98). and mode of life. and A. and Hongan-ji at Ishiyama (now Osaka City) of the Shin sect (in 1576-80). and his successors completed the destruction of the power of Buddhist temples and incorporated them into the framework of the Bakufu system. and by heterogenous Shintoism and the way of Yin-yang (Onmy6-do). 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .156. however.96. 1605).deny. who preceded the establishment of the Tokugawa feudal system. and they did not shave their heads or marry. especially Buddhist prayers and magic according to the Mantrayana satras and dhdrani. economic. In the meantime he formed a counterorganization against it from the ranks of the newly arriving Christian missionaries (Kirishitan). that they were strongly influenced by Mantrayana Buddhism as found in the Tendai and Shingon esotericism and ritualism. Nevertheless. as well as by the Ikk6-ikki (agrarian disturbances against manor lords which had been instigated in several areas mainly by followers of the Shin sect). 231 This content downloaded from 200. founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Accordingly. An idea of the religious policy of the Bakufu may be gathered from the Jiin-hatto (ordinances for Buddhist temples issued by the Bakufu). G. and military strength held by the powerful temples was the largest hindrance to the establishments of the feudal system. 1597). as I have explained above. Frois (d. From these various sources they accepted and combined elements of various doctrines and practices. Valignani (d. 1590). They disregarded the disciplinary rules (Vinaya) of the Buddhist priesthood (bhiksu). The Buddhist community was especially the victim of high-handed procedures. The religious policy of the Tokugawa government (Bakufu) demanded a strong control over religious institutions. Sometimes. utilizing such men as L. made a mighty attack against Enryaku-ji (in 1571). because they were not bhiksu but only updsaka. because the many daimy6 (feudal lords) in the age of the Civil War (about the fifteenth to sixteenth centuries) had been harassed by the monk-soldiers (so-hei) from such powerful Buddhist temples as Enryaku-ji and Onj6-ji of the Tendai school.72 on Thu. Tokugawa Iyeyasu (1542-1616). along with various other laws and ordinances concerning the regulation of Buddhist temples and monks. Negorodera (in 1585). they celebrated Shinto services for their mountain deities. Kofuku-ji and T6dai-ji in Nara. as well as agricultural festivals.

however.72 on Thu. the representatives of the leading temples of each sect. that is. that is. As a result of these restrictive procedures. at the beginning of the Tokugawa Period. the shugen-sha or shuto at the Dewa-san-zan retained some measure of independence. had to register at a specific Buddhist temple. Mounts Haguro and Yudono. commonly known as the "Premier in the Black Robe. although employed for worship by both groups. had not yet been permanently settled. composed of five daimy6 in hereditary vassalage to the Tokugawa after 1635. Nevertheless. that he and his semi232 This content downloaded from 200. Subsequently. while the temple (danna-dera) had to keep a record of its parishioners. which had been built and occupied by Tenkai. as well as the regulation of the religious practices and discipline of each Buddhist school and sect. (4) the direction of the temple estate that had been authorized by the Shogunate (go-shuin-chi) or by each daimy6 (yoke-chi) in order to guard against the possible enlargement of the economic and military power of Buddhist temples. the Shugen-do temples and the shugen-sha or yamabushi became subordinate to either the Tendai or the Shingon school. every temple had to become subordinate to a central temple and obey the laws and orders of that temple." Accordingly. Mount Moon).156. Here the shugen-shahad occupied only two of the three mountains in the range.96. while the last and highest of the three. every Japanese person and family. Mount Gassan (literally. Tenyi soon declared openly to the subordinates of Kan'ei-ji in Yedo. regardless of social status and occupation. it became the center of two Shugen-do groups. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . (2) the establishment of a system of main and subordinate temples (Hon-matsu system).Self-mummified Buddhas in Japan Among such measures I should like in particular to note the following: (1) the enforcement of the parishioner system (danka-system) after 1638 for the purpose of a strict prohibition of the Kirishitan mission. there appeared a politically astute priest named Tenyu who had been appointed a superintendent (bett6) to the Haguro sect in 1630. (3) the fixing of the status of each Buddhist monk and temple. one called the Haguro sect and the other the Yudono sect. Tenyu had been deeply attached to the famous Tenkai Sojo of the Tendai school. The latter were obliged to deliver the commands of the Bakufu to the subordinate temples and to report petitions from the temples to the office of the Jisha-bugyo. under which were the Fure-gashira (chief officials for proclamation). However. an aide-de-camp to Tokugawa Iyeyasu. The headquarters of each Buddhist school and sect was placed under the strict control of the Jisha-bugy6 (commissioner of Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples). The history of the Shugen-do at Dewa-san-zan prior to the Tokugawa Period is not yet clear.

the adversary of the Tendai. however. as well as the policy and economy. Originally. and the whole shugen-sha. Each of these proceeded from a group of seminaries and sendatsu's dwellings centering around a main temple. The chief abbots of these four centers declared that since. IV. the Haguro sect and the Yudono sect operated independently of each other in such matters as doctrine. the deity of Mount Gassan was an incarnation of Amitabha Buddha and the peak of the mountain one of his terrestrial pure lands. of the seminaries on the Three Sacred Mountains. the judgment of the Jisha-bugyo was at last given in favor of the defendants. and even today there is a discrepancy between them. that the whole shugen-sha and sendatsu be converted to the Shingon school. After three long series (1639-1791) of legal proceedings initiated by Tenyl against the four centers of the Yudono sect in order to convert them to the Tendai school.96. and economy. Tenyu's ambition seems to have been to use the political influence of Tenkai to consolidate under his own leadership the doctrines and practices. in ancient times Mount Yudono had been discovered and developed by Kukai (Kobo Daishi). for they had long been at odds with the Haguro sect.naries at Mount Haguro had been converted to the Tendai school. 233 This content downloaded from 200. they should be restored to the Shingon school and be subject to the authority of Kongobu-ji on Mount K6ya. a supreme iconographic symbol of the Shingon school. These four had traditionally been closely united. not only in institutional and doctrinal aspects but in emotional ones as well. therefore. As a result.156. an incarnation of Dainichiand a supreme Buddha of the Shinny6rai (Mahdvairocanasatathdgata) gon school.72 on Thu. and Dainichi-ji and Hondo-ji on its eastern foot-set themselves to oppose it. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . It was their desire. Two of these settlements acceded to the wish of Tenyu. while the deity of Mount Yudono was an incarnation of Mahavairocana Buddha and ruled over the Garbhakosadhatu (Taizokai). DOCTRINAL AND INSTITUTIONAL NO SECT DURING THE TOKUGAWA PECULIARITIES PERIOD OF THE YUDO- According to the theories of the Yudono sect concerning the "Honjisuijaku" (the reality behind the phenomenal appearance) of the Three Sacred Mountains. there were seven pilgrimage routes to the shrine on the top of Mount Gassan. policy. but four of the rest-Dainichi-bo and Churen-ji on the western foot of Mount Gassan. and all shared allegiance to the deity of Mount Yudono. Quarrels and conflicts continued to break out between the two. a counterpart to Mahavairocana's rule over the Vajra-dhatu (Kongo-kai) in the Great Mandala.

and practice abstention from cereals (mokujiki-gyd). were not permitted to remain permanently in any one locality. for they controlled the services for pilgrims and believers. the economy.who was native to Mount Haguro and supposed to give divine favors in this world. and it is said that this rock symbolizes a female body. I believe that the above historical background may explain in part why the six mummified Buddhas have come only from among the ascetics of the Yudono sect. At the same time. in which 234 This content downloaded from 200. Though the last two ideas might be thought to be inconsistent. and presided over the lower ranks of hereditary sendatsu (or shz2to.Self-mummifiedBuddhas in Japan Some very complicated and mysterious developments have taken place in the religious thought of the Shingon school. one of which seems to have been the evolution of the Mah&vairocana. are permitted to bear the kai-suffix on their religious name. They traveled here and there from the centers on Mount Ohmine in order to propagate their religious faith. This is a striking point of contrast between the Tozan-ha line and the Honzanha (Kumano shugen-sha). 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . They formed the very heart of the Shugen-d6.shugen-sha) and their dwellings (b6). Unlike the shugen-sha of the Kumano who had scattered and settled down in various places all over Japan. following the principle of the T6zan-ha line.96. The Shugen-d6 priests and ascetics consisted in general of three ranks: the first was composed of the seis6 shugen (authorized Buddhist monks) who were appointed as chief abbot or priest at the main temple or in their own seminary (in). as well as to take care of pilgrims regardless of their school and temple affiliation. the shugen-sha of the Yudono. The shugen-shaof the Yudono sect chose to bypass the deity named Haguro-gongen. those specifically who are called issegy6nin.72 on Thu. this shrine was believed to be a place for the practice of austerities. I must now give a detailed explanation of the structure of the Yudono sect of the Shugen-d6 to clarify the characteristics of self-mummified Buddhas. who rules over the GarbhakosadhAtu from a primitive goddess of the Great Mother variety. as well as for becoming a Buddha in one's own body. and the management in general of the whole institution. while praying Amitabha Buddha to complete their invocation. a huge rock from which hot mineral waters flow is worshiped at the Yudono Shrine. the ascetics of the Yudono sect practiced their austerities in order to become Buddha or enter nirvdna as in their own bodies.156. systematizing the pilgrims and believers in each area. based upon the kasumi system. preferring instead the Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha and the promise of Mahavairocana that each believer can become a Buddha in his own body. As I have pointed out above.

expenditures. as well as to gather the ashes of unknown people and carry them back to Mount Koya where memorial services were held for them. the isse-gyonin grew his hair long. while the lowest was the hitokuchi-gy6nin. the second was the gyonin-gata. contrary to the example of the sendatsu or shugen-sha. devoted their lives to the practice of asceticism and the salvation of the people. these were not shugen-shaor shuto but true ascetic devotees.156. The Yudono sect. beard. and began a secluded life at Sennin-zawa ("Swamp of Wizards"). had the third rank called the gyonin. Abandoning wife and children. adopted a white robe. The most significant characteristic of ascetic training at Sennin-zawa was the so-called mokujiki-gy6 mentioned above which lasted for one to four thousand days and permitted only the consumption of buckwheat flour and some kinds of nuts and grass roots. and accounts in the Mount Koya headquarters. The highest class of gy6nin in the Yudono sect was the isse-gy6nin. however. At first the isse-gy6nin was initiated as a disciple into a seminary in one of the four centers of the Yudono. they fled to the mountain and. as well as the performance of rituals and the mystery of the sacred fire. After two or three years training at the seminary.the priest of a leading temple controlled each local shugen-sha or yamabushi. in charge of revenue. those individuals who traveled all over Japan under the name of Koya-hijiri to propagate Nenbutsu beliefs. the temporal pilgrims from various places. followed the Buddhist precepts with all strictness. the name was the same. Under the guidance of a teacher ranked in the seis6 (gakuryo. He was given the issekaigo which is the religious name with the kai-suffix peculiar to the isse-gyonin. he was now without a teacher and free to discipline himself.96. with faith in the deity of Mount Yudono and Kobo-Daishi. While the function of the gyonin of the Yudono sect was unlike that of the gy6nin on Mount Koya. unlike members of the other two ranks. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .72 on Thu. The isse-gy6nin were the ascetics who. After cold-water ablutions the isse-gy6nin worshiped three times a day at the Yudono Shrine. while the third was the hijiri-gata. During this period the isse-gy6nin lived as a Buddhist priest in the Yudono sect of the Shingon school under the control of Kongo-bu-ji on Mount Koya. he was taught simple doctrines and the recitation of sutras. His head was shaved and he wore a black sacerdotal robe. learned priest). 235 This content downloaded from 200. The name gyonin was originally that of one of the three divisions in the monastic system of Mount Koya: the first and top rank was the gakuryo-gata (learned monks' side). and mustache.

1856 (The ThirdYear of Ansei) an asceticwho practiced Zen-kai"(Zen-kai.96. Many monuments to the memory of prominent isse-gy6nin can be found which were erected from 1700 to 1900 by their disciples and followers in and around Sennin-zawa hermitage and Tamugimata. we note the wording on some of them: 1. Because the village had originally developed as a transit station for pilgrimage. 1862 (The SecondYear of Bunkyu) confinementsat the Yudono "Issen-nichiSanro" (one-thousand-day Shrine) Buddha) (a mummified "Tetsuryu-kai" "Un-kai"(Tetsuryu-kai's disciple) "Sewa-nin" (caretakers) (namesof two persons) "Tamugimata-mura" "Oami-mura" (namesof three persons) "Shimekake-mura" (namesof three persons) (nameof one person) "Higashi-araya-mura" "Iwamoto-mura" (nameof one person) 4.who had practiced Yama-gomori "Kyu-sen-nichi at Mount Yudono) nine thousanddays of confinement After training for more than a thousand days at Sennin-zawa. 3. To clarify the characteristics of the isse-gyonin. The isse-gy6nin 236 This content downloaded from 200. while some gyonin succeeded their master as the chief abbot or supervisor of such a temple. the only community on that road. the isse-gy6nin left the mountain and traveled from place to place as itinerant missionaries.156. which is three kilometers distance from the Yudono Shrine and lies along the pilgrims' road from Dainichi-bo and Churen-ji to Mount Yudono. 1900 (The Thirty-thirdYear of Meiji) Ito Un-kai" (Un-kai. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The gyonin-dera system played an important role in the missionary work to various local areas of the Yudono sect. Occasionally temples called gyonin-dera were built and dedicated to a particular gyonin by his followers. and helped to provide a substitute for the kasumi system as found in the Kumano Shugen-do. the people there felt an obligation to support the isse-gy6nin during his daily life at Senninzawa.Self-mummified Buddhas in Japan The isse-gy6nin at Sennin-zawa. 1836 (The SeventhYear of Tenpo) (asceticwho practicedabstentionfrom cereals) "Mokujiki-gy6ja" "Tetsu-un-kai Shonin" "Sewa-nin" (caretaker) of Churen-ji) "Shunko-in" (a hereditaryshugen-sha 2.72 on Thu. stood in a close relation to the people of Tamugimata Village on the western foot of Mount Yudono. Some of them acquired disciples because of the merits of their magical powers and their social work. "Shimekake Mokujiki-gy6ja the home of Churen-ji) abstentionfrom cerealsin Shimekake-mura.

18. Zen-kaiSh6nin (d. Isse-gyonin. Isse-gyonin. Yfchi Dai-Osho (date of death unknown). 1894). 1771). guiding them to the main seminary (hon-ji) of either Churen-ji. about 1843).Isse-gyonin. 1822). Zen-kaiShonin (d. 5. and the prosperity of Mount Yudono depended upon their activities. 14. Dainichi-bo. 6. Keiryu Hoin (date of death unknown). 1782). Hondo-ji.of various gyonin-dera gathered and systematized their followers. 1937). 1805). 1917). From the Tokugawa Period onward. it now belongs to both Churen-ji and Chishaku-in in Kyoto. 1871). Sei-kaiShonin (d.May have been a seis6 who had been appointedby the chief abbot at Churen-ji. 1892). 2. 1. 1829). 8. Thus.72 on Thu. Kaiko-ji belonged to Churen-ji on Mount Yudono.156. Isse-gy6nin. Tetsumon-kaiSh6nin (d. Enmyo-kaiShonin (d. 1916). The supposed lineage of the supervisors of this temple found in the necrology and memorial tablets is as follows: A self-mummified Buddha. Reiun-kaiShonin (d. Isse-gy6nin. YA-kaiShonin (d.96. Isse-gyonin. 15. 20. Isse-gy6nin. 1829). 237 This content downloaded from 200. Tenryu-kaiShonin (d. Isse-gyonin. 1897).A self-mummified Buddha. Furthermore. Koki Hoin (d. SeihanHbin (d. 12. 7. Ch6ei Gon-Risshi(d. 1928). Isse-gyonin.A self-mummified 9. Isse-gyonin. 10. 21. We may illustrate this by giving as an example the succession of supervisors at a typical gy6nin-dera. 17. Koun-kaiShonin (d. 11. Kaiko-ji in Sakata City. 3. The succession of the chief abbot of the gy6nin-dera was not hereditary as was that of the mountain shugen-sha or sendatsu.Isse-gy6nin. Isse-gy6nin. Buddha. Isse-gy6nin. Rin-kaiShonin (d. the isse-gyonin supplied the central seminaries and conductors (sendatsu) with a huge sum of money.Isse-gy6nin. Chu-kaiShonin (d. Tokuryf-kaiSh6nin (d. Appointedby the chief abbot at Churen-ji.May have been same as above.Isse-gy6nin. Sei-kaiSh6nin (d. Nan-kai Shonin (d. Kaiko-ji was presumably built by Chu-kai Shonin (a mummified Buddha). However. headquarters of the New Shingon School (Shingi Shingon-shu). where two mummified Buddhas are enshrined. 4. 16. Kyoun-kaiSh6nin (d. although its legendary founder was Kuikai (Kobo Daishi). 13. Another characteristic of the gy6nin-dera was that it included only voluntary adherents not true parishioners (danka). or Dainichi-ji to encourage a pilgrimage to Mount Yudono. May have been a discipleof Churen-ji. Isse-gyonin. K6-kai Shonin (d. 1902). 1853). 1920). 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . May have been a discipleof Churen-ji. 1755). 19. it was an exceptional case in the temple system of the Tokugawa Shogunate and resembled rather the system of seis6's seminaries (in).

3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . others are within the temple estate. born of the shugen-sha family named Seizo-in at Churen-ji. and they are exempted from all public services assigned by the han government. and others. succession through heredity. Appointed by the chief abbot at Churen-ji. I would like to give a resume of the structure and functions of the Yudono sect of the Shugen-d6. they are controlled by the fure-gashira in their particular area. although in courtesy he was treated as such and pressed into public service. centering around the Northeast and the Kanto areas. they scatter and settle down at gy6nin-dera in various places. ten shugensha each and their seminary under Churen-ji and Dainichi-b6. Seiso-tatcha: There are six seminaries peculiar to the learned monks of the Shingon school. isse-gy6nin. B. Succession was by heredity. The shugen-shahas the right to conduct all pilgrims to Mount Yudono except those from the Northeast. while the latter is longhaired.156. they have the right to conduct pilgrims from all over Japan. Appointed by the chief abbot at Churen-ji.96. for instance. sendatsu. 23. While the shugensha was not a peasant directly ruled by a lord. in courtesy they are treated as peasants and take part in public services. sendatsu. some of them are peasants under the control of the governing temple. Annai-sendatsu: Beneath the shugen-sha. they were as follows: A. According to a manuscript dated 1804. Isse-gy6nin: The scope of the activities of the isse-gy6nin extends to Niigata and Yamanashi prefectures in the west. The former is tonsured in principle. presiding over seminaries.Self-mummifiedBuddhas in Japan 22. Eiho H6in (d. Eastern Provinces: Governing Temples: Hondo-ji (in Hodouchi-mura) Dainichi-ji (in Oizawa-mura) Seis6-betto: Superintendent of each temple. studied at Churen-ji and Chishaku-in. the monks who reside in these seminaries are not permitted to conduct pilgrims. Present abbot.72 on Thu. the annai-sendatsu was a peasant directly ruled by the fief (han) both nominally and virtually. In closing this section. though not directly under the control of the han government. 1952). Isse gyonin: Same as those in the western provinces. the fure-gashira in 238 This content downloaded from 200. disciples. and isse-gy6nin). Shugen-sha or Shato: Residents at their particular in or b6 in the vicinity of the superintendent temple. located within the precincts of their governing temple. Western Provinces: Governing Temples: Churen-ji (in Shimekake-mura) Dainichi-b6 (in Oami-mura) Seiso-betto: Superintendent of each temple who presides over disciples (shugen-sha or shAto. some are tonsured but many are long-haired and wear the so-called kake-goromo(informal robe) during the pilgrimage season. Sendatsu: There are seventy conductors or guides in each.there are fifteen professional conductors or guides who have the right to escort only those pilgrims coming from the Northeast.

and he there became the object of worship by the citizens of Kyoto.to Mount Yudono: the pilgrimage C. part of whichgoes to shugen-sha the governingtemple. After this they are conductedby their parback to the tatchawherethey remainfor the night. though it should not be a Buddhist doctrine proper.72 on Thu. Yin-yang magic.The income collectedfrom the prayersand exorcismsin the mountainsis kept by the shugen-sha and annai-sendatsu. and Taoism. 2. First.The pilgrimsthen have their themselvesfor meal and remainfor the night at the temple.while the income resultsfromthe chargesmadefor prayersand exorcisms of the sendatsu in the sacredmountains. PERSPECTIVE V. As I have already pointed out. The pilgrimswho have reportedto Hond6-jior Dainichi-jimust go to Therethey are met by the particular any of the six tatchaseminaries.96. the practice of all isse-gyonin at Senninzawa. a chargefor one night's lodging is collectedby the tatchaseminary. I would like to touch briefly upon the subject of abstinence from cereals (mokujiki-gyo). in chargeof their regions(danna-ba). who asked 239 This content downloaded from 200. The ticularsendatsu next morningthey are led to Mount Yudonoand Mount Gassan. It should be remembered that Japanese Shugen-do (mountain asceticism) is a compound of ancient shamanistic magic and Mantrayana Buddhism. Mokujiki-gy6 seems to have been influenced either by Hindu asceticism (Yoga) or by the training of wizards in Taoism. HISTORICAL BUDDHAS FOR THE EMERGENCE OF MUMMIFIED Yedo are H6j6-in for the subsect of Hondo-ji. Of course. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . there is the case reported by the Montoku Jitsuroku (Official Record during the Reign of Emperor Montoku. in which they are treatedto a meal. We may now note further instances of the practice of mokujiki-gy6 in the history of Japanese religion. the remainingportion being consideredas a chargefor conduct into the mountains. the tradition of mokujiki-gy6 presumably originated in the Last Injunction of Kukai.156. An imperial edict provided him with a lodging in the Imperial Garden named Shinsen-en. preparing their journeythe next morningto Mounts Yudono and Gassan. Japanese mountain ascetics usually adopted it in order to master the mysteries of religion. sendatsu Having receiveda fixed fee. in which he relates that for three years before his death he despised the consumption of cereals.The fee mentionedabove belongsto the governingtemple. Regulationsconcerning 1. The pilgrims who report to Churen-jior Dainichi-bo are met by or shito. and Fukumoto-in for the Dainichi-ji. as well as to acquire superhuman powers. The latter receivea fixedfee. 850-58) in which an updsaka who came to Kyoto in 854 announced that he abstained from cereals. the sendatsu guidesthe pilgrimsto the governingtemple. AND CONCLUSION Finally.

He was succeeded as chief abbot by 240 This content downloaded from 200. but when he was converted to the teaching of Kuikai. Tamashibe. on the fifth day of the ninth month: "Gy6sh6 Sh6nin is now eighty-one years old.96. and he was therefore called mokujiki-Ch6gu. After about a month. He had been chief abbot at Byodo-ji in Miwa-mura in Nara Prefecture." This saint is also mentioned in another diary. We may point out. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . He practiced mokujiki-gyoat his seminary. on the third day of the last month. a temple affiliated with the deity of the Miwa Jinja Shrine. however. 1149-1207) that in the first year of Genryaku (1184). He had heard that those who do so do not suffer from the lack of cereals and that upon completion of the practice they become wizards and are able to fly freely through the air. As a result. Others then spied upon his doings and discovered high piles of rice excrement. practices abstinence from six kinds of cereal. residing at Renjo-in Seminary in Isshin'in Valley. Second. in the fourth year of Shogen (1210). he entered Mount Koya. Is he a real incarnation of the Buddha in his own body?" The Jikkin-sho (legendary literature compiled in the Kamakura Period. The Kii-no-Kuni Meishozuye (A Pictorial Description of Noted Places in Present Wakayama Prefecture). Many women especially were dazzled by the brilliance of his reputation.Self-mummified Buddhas in Japan him to pray for them and the welfare of their private affairs. compiled in the Tokugawa Period. Kanezane wrote: "This saint has practiced abstinence from cereals at Mount Koya and is said to have done so with great efficacy. however. says that the center of mokujiki-gyo practices was built by Chogu Shonin. a chief adviser to the emperor. mokujiki-gyo on Mount Koya is supposed to have been practiced continuously from generation to generation from the medieval to the Tokugawa Period. Several other examples could be added from the documents of the Middle Ages. and then transferred to Torin-in Seminary near the holy of holies where the corpse of Kukai was enshrined. His moral energy seems to be very vigorous. someone claimed that he was eating rice at midnight and going to the toilet early every morning.156. public estimation for him rapidly declined.72 on Thu. and he was dubbed a bei-fun-hijiri (saint of rice excrements). that the Gyosh6 Shonin cited above transmitted the tradition of mokujiki-gyo on Mount Koya at the end of the Heian and at the beginning of the Kamakura Period. we find in the Gyokuyo (diary of Kujo Kanezane. 1185-1337) mention that a Buddhist priest who lived in the mountain temple named Kongo-ji in Kawachi (Osaka Prefecture) usually took only pine needles as his daily food. a saint named Gyosho-bo came to Kanezane's house and talked with him for several hours. As a matter of fact.

just as were the isse-gyonin on Mount Yudono. "You must not think of Ohgo as a Mokujiki at Koya.96. as 241 This content downloaded from 200. Ohgo desired to mediate between the two sides to restore peace. He had been a warrior (samurai) who was converted to Shingon Buddhism at the age of thirty-seven. Ohgo later built a Great Buddha at Hoko-ji. As a result. Meanwhile the strong Tokugawa Shogunate was established. Ohgo resigned his position as superintendent-general on Mount Koya.Kaiho Sh6nin. the crisis at Mount Koya had passed. After the battle. but in the course of time they had gradually increased and seized the right to perform services at the guardian deity's shrine. and he was succeeded by his disciple Seiyo who belonged to the gyonin group. and he secured an agreement from Hideyoshi to protect Mount Koya against the ravages of war. As a result. Hideyoshi's proclamation bears witness to his reliance on mokujiki-Shonin. but as the 'Mount Koya of Mokujiki. and thereafter mokujiki-gy6 practices became a mainstay of the training program there. When the conflict at Sekigahara burst out in 1600 between the Toyotomi and the Tokugawa. the gakuryobrought suit against Seiyo's rule over Mount Koya with the intention of recovering their lost rights. but his offer was refused by Tokugawa Iyeyasu. When Toyotomi Hideyoshi wished to attack Mount Koya in 1585.72 on Thu. He was not a genuine Shingon priest but only a guest-priest on Mount Koya. To understand the great importance of mokujiki-gy6 among the isse-gyonin of the Yudono sect. one must also appreciate the role played on Mount KBya by the politically astute gyonin named Ohgo (1536-1608).'" Thus. Hideyoshi intrusted him with the management of Mount Koya and all its seminaries. However. the decisive moment was reached for the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate and its feudal system.156. Mokujiki-Shonin converted Hideyoshi and enjoyed his confidence. the gakuryo (learned priests) group initiated measures against Seiyo and the gyonin group. an accident made him a man of distinction. (When the name of gyonin had first appeared on Mount Koya in 1130. However. He took only fruits and nuts as his daily food at Mount Koya and was called mokujiki-Shonin. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . In accordance with the order of Hideyoshi. although they were forced to submit to the leadership of Ohgo in the crucial years around 1585. saying to the priests of Mount Koya. since throughout the long history of Mount Koya they had been superior to the gy6nin element there. for Ohgo had been too intimately associated with Hideyoshi. Accordingly. Ohgo mediated between Hideyoshi and the authorities of Mount Koya. they had been a minority group whose function was to serve at the holy of holies.

Because of the lack of documentary evidence. However.156. while the latter prepared all their forces for a struggle with the gakuryo. Nor is it clear precisely what influence the personality and activities of Ohgo and his mokujiki-gyo had upon the isse-gy6nin of the Yudono sect.72 on Thu. 3 Oct 2013 11:37:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . we cannot deny the indirect influence of the Shingon school at Mount Koya if we remember (1) the sudden rise of the isse-gyonin group at Mount Yudono after 1700.96.) The suit initiated in 1602 continued for almost a hundred years. (4) the strong desire of the isse-gyonin to become a Buddha in his own body (soku-shin-jobutsu) as the perfection of the self.Self-mummified Buddhas in Japan well as the management of the secular affairs of all the seminaries on Mount Koya. (2) the custom of assigning the kai-suffix of the priest name only to the isse-gyonin. The gakuryo therefore eyed the gy6nin with contempt. and (5) that the pattern for the worship of the self-mummified Buddhas was the legend of Kobo Daishi at Mount Koya. (3) the practice of abstinence from cereals (mokujiki-gy6) which was peculiar to the issegy6nin group. we cannot ascertain where the exiled gy6nin may have settled down. 242 This content downloaded from 200. and concluded with more than six hundred of the gyonin at Mount Koya being sent into exile.

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