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Curing with Kaji: Healing and Esoteric Empowerment in Japan

Pamela D. Winfield
Japanese Journal of Religious Studies
Vol. 32, No. 1 (2005), pp. 107-130
Published by: Nanzan University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30233779
Page Count: 24
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Curing with Kaji: Healing and Esoteric Empowerment in Japan
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Abstract

The Shingon practice of kaji is generally understood to be a mutual empowerment of self and Buddha that occurs in esoteric interpenetration visualizations. This doctrinal definition however, neglects the important role that kaji has historically played as a hands-on healing technique. This paper examines some of the theoretical, practical, and historical dimensions of kaji, while also considering some of the modern-day claims of kaji practitioners and patients in contemporary Japan. Such an investigation not only expands our understanding of Japan's religio-medical history, but also prompts our re-evaluation of the dominant discourses related to Chinese kanpō, Neo-Confucian, and Western European medicine.

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