“Rules of Purity” in Japanese Zen

T. Griffith Foulk

Edited by Dale S. Wright

in Zen Classics

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780195175257
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784608 | DOI:
 “Rules of Purity” in Japanese Zen

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This chapter outlines the history of the Japanese Zen appropriation and adaptation of Chinese rules of purity attributed to master Baizhang, from the Kamakura period down to the present. The so-called transmission of Zen from China to Japan in the Kamakura period (1185-1333) was a complex event with many facets, but it is convenient to analyze it as having two distinct dimensions: (1) the communication to Japan of Chan mythology, ideology, and teaching styles, accomplished largely through the media of texts such as Chanyuan qinggui (Rules of Purity for Chan Monasteries), in which the distinctive rhetorical and pedagogical forms of Chan were re-enacted; and (2) the establishment in Japan of monastic institutions modeled after the great public monasteries of Southern Song China. This was facilitated by the travels of mainly Myōan Eisai, Enni Ben’en, and Dōgen to China, who brought various “rules of purity”.

Keywords: rules of purity; Chanyuan qinggui; Baizhang; Myōan Eisai; Enni Ben’en; Dōgen

Chapter.  16022 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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