Shinran as "other": Revisiting kurata hyakuzō‘s the priest and his disciples

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Abstract

Kurata Hyakuzō‘s The Priest and His Disciples (Shukke to sono deshi, 1916) contributed to the unprecedented rise of religious literature during the Taishō period. The development of the Japanese religious world and the growing interests in religion by Japanese intellectuals during this period encouraged Kurata to humanize Shinran and paved the way for The Priest and His Disciples to become a bestseller. Although The Priest and His Disciples is much studied, the role of fiction played in the work based on the life of a medieval Buddhist priest remains unexplored. This study first provides a background to The Priest and His Disciples and explains why it aroused such interest at the time. It then treats the image of Shinran at the intersection of history and fiction by referring to the study of Michel de Certeau and investigates how Kurata constructed an image of Shinran as the "other" in The Priest and His Disciples and placed it in history and in legends about Shinran.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-274
Number of pages22
JournalJapanese Journal of Religious Studies
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • History and fiction
  • Honganji
  • Kurata hyakuzō
  • Shinran
  • The priest and his disciples

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