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The Invention and Reception of the Mino'odera engi

Kawasaki Tsuyoshi, 川崎剛志 and Carina Roth
Japanese Journal of Religious Studies
Vol. 42, No. 1, Engi: Forging Accounts of Sacred Origins (2015), pp. 133-155
Published by: Nanzan University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43551914
Page Count: 23
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The Invention and Reception of the Mino'odera engi
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Abstract

In this article, I attend to the creative processes involved both in the writing and the reception of jisha engi, through the example of a twelfth century Shugendo engi called Mino'odera engi. First, I examine how the Mino'odera engi contributed decisively to the hagiographic evolution of En no Gyōja, the seventh-century figure whom Shugendo practitioners chose as their founder. Then I focus on the way in which this text was used and received, both at Mino'odera and in a broader, regional context. Through comparison with historical, literary, and religious sources, I argue that documents like the Mino'odera engi played an instrumental role in restructuring the spatial and temporal imaginaire of their surroundings and of Japanese Buddhism. Overall, my aim is to draw attention not only to the composition and the contents of engi-type documents, but also to their use and circulation in the early medieval period.

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