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Gyōgi

(668—749)


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(668–749).

An influential Japanese monk of the Nara period. Unlike other more conventional Nara monks, Gyōgi did not remain in residence at an official temple in the capital, but took to the road preaching to the people and pursuing public works. The court and aristocracy, wishing to keep Buddhism under control and strictly in the service of the state, held him in suspicion for a while on account of his influence among the masses, but eventually brought him into government service as the head of the Bureau of Monks in 745. Emperor Shōmu Tennō (r. 724–49) held him in high regard, and when he erected the Great Buddha.a massive image of Vairocana to be housed at the Tōdaiji in Nara, he dispatched Gyōgi to the Ise shrine to obtain the consent of the deity (kami) Amaterasu.

Subjects: Buddhism.


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