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Zen and Material Culture$
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Pamela Winfield and Steven Heine

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190469290

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190469290.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2021

Prayer Beads in Japanese Sōtō Zen

Prayer Beads in Japanese Sōtō Zen

(p.102) 4 Prayer Beads in Japanese Sōtō Zen
Zen and Material Culture

Michaela Mross

Oxford University Press

This chapter illuminates some of the functions and interpretations of the rosary in Japanese Sōtō Zen. It analyzes how its uses and meanings changed throughout history and were adapted to fit the agenda of the Sōtō school at certain times. Before examining rosaries in Zen Buddhism, it provides a general overview of Buddhist prayer beads in India, China, and Japan. It also examines Chinese Chan monastic codes before turning to Japanese Sōtō Zen and analyzing the history of the rosary starting with Dōgen (1200–1253) and extending to kirigami (esoteric transmission documents) from the early Tokugawa period (1603–1868). A final section on the functions of prayer beads since the Meiji era (1868–1912) concludes the study.

Keywords:   Sōto, prayer beads, kirigami, mandala, Tokugawa era

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