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Women Living Zen – Japanese Soto Buddhist Nuns - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Women Living Zen: Japanese Soto Buddhist Nuns

Paula Kane Robinson Arai


This book, based on both historical evidence and ethnographic data, shows that nuns were central agents in the foundation of Buddhism in Japan in the sixth century. They were active participants in the Sōtō Zen sect, and have continued to contribute to the advancement of the sect to the present day. Drawing on fieldwork among the Sōtō nuns, the book demonstrates that the lives of many of these women embody classical Buddhist ideals. They have chosen to lead a strictly disciplined monastic life over successful careers and the unconstrained contemporary secular lifestyle. In this, and other resp ... More

Keywords: Sōtō nuns, Buddhism, Japan, sixth century, Sōtō Zen sect, monastic life

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199928682
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199928682.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paula Kane Robinson Arai, author
Louisiana State University, Associate Professor of Asian Religions