Kitabatake Chikafusa and Unveiling of Court Secrets

Thomas Donald Conlan

in From Sovereign to Symbol

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199778102
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919079 | DOI:
Kitabatake Chikafusa and Unveiling of Court Secrets

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Chapter 2 explores changing conceptions of political legitimacy and reveals how supporters of the Southern Court tried to legitimate their regime by controlling as many cultic sites as possible, which constituted key points of a mandala-based projection of power in Japan. The administrative noble Kitabatake Chikafusa in particular gained awareness of Shingon knowledge and disseminated it among his supporters. He also linked with the Watarai family, established a strong presence at the Ise shrine, and had initial success in controlling many of these cultic sites. Nevertheless, as Southern Court control of central and eastern Japan withered, Chikafusa relied on prophetic texts and espoused the notion whereby possession of the regalia of the throne determined succession.

Keywords: Shingon knowledge; Southern Court; political legitimacy; Watarai; Kitabatake Chikafusa

Chapter.  11784 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Buddhism

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