Fuke school

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An independent zen school in Japan that traces its lineage to the T'ang dynasty Chinese monk P'u-hua (whose name in Japanese pronunciation, Fuke, gives the school its name). However, the connection with this Chinese master is unclear. The founder of the school in Japan is Shinchi Kakushin (1207–98), who trained in Rinzai andSōtō Zen as well as Shingon.and later went to China where he attained enlightenment (bodhi) under the master Wu-men Hui-k'ai (1183–1260). He returned to Japan, bringing the famous kōan collection the Mumonkan, or Gateless Gate, with him, thus introducing Japanese Zen to this important text. Later, the Fuke school came to be composed primarily of wandering, non-ordained ascetics who specialized in playing the shakuhachi flute. Their informal status and lack of official residence made them attractive to social outcastes and the rōnin, or masterless samurai of the late Tokugawa. The same factors also made them highly suspect in the eyes of the government, and some attempts were made to regulate them. In 1677 the government arbitrarily assigned three temples to serve as the school's ‘headquarters’, and 1847 it was placed under the jurisdiction of the Rinzai school. Finally, in 1871 it was banned as part of the Meiji government's proscription of Buddhism (see Meiji Restoration).

Subjects: Buddhism.

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