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(Jap.). Term meaning ‘original nature and provisional manifestation’, and denoting a way of relating the Buddhas andBodhisattvas of Buddhism to the kami.or divinities, of the native Shintō religion. This theory, which held sway from the earliest period of Buddhism in Japan until the Meiji Restoration of 1868, maintained that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas were the ‘true’ image or nature of the spiritual beings to whom the people prayed, while the kami were localized, provisional manifestations of these same beings. The intent may have been to valorize the kami within a Buddhist framework, but this theory ultimately derogated the kami as mere expedients, and thus caused dissatisfaction among Shintō priestly families and intellectuals.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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