The Formation of Shugendo Sacred Text and Tendai Buddhist Tradition
38 , 2015-03-31 , 東京大学文学部宗教学研究室
The Shugendo sacred texts initially were formed as the combination of oral traditions and written instruction known as kirigami (literally “paper strips”) taken from Tendai and Shingon (esoteric) Buddhist traditions along with Shinto sources. Within the Tendai sect in particular, both the Sanmon school (centered on Mt. Hiei) and the Jimon school (centered on Onjo Temple) made their three central pillars exoteric teachings, esoteric teachings, and shugen (mountain ascesis). A forerunner in this regard was Omine-engi, compiled in the early thirteenth century. This text, passed down for generations, consists of the history (engi) of Kumano and Zao gongen (avatar), the legend of Ennnogyoja, and sacred places of Omine. In its description, we find the influence of the Lotus Sutra. This was followed by a work from the early fourteenth century sectarian scribe Koshu (1276-1350) titled Keiran shuyo shu that took up sacred mountains such as Omine in the chapter “Sanno no koto”, placing particular emphasis on the deity Benzaiten at Tenkawa, Mt. Omine. These explanations were grounded in the principle of esoteric Buddhism and hongaku (“original enlightenment”) theory in Tendai thought. In the mid-14th century, a wandering ascetic named Sokuden (dates unknown) produced a work titled Shugen Shuyo Hiketsu Shu, compiling 50 kirigami connected to Mt. Kinbu and Mt. Hiko that commented on clothing, the meaning of terms, rituals to be followed when entering sacred mountains and so forth. The influences of Tendai hongaku thought and esoteric Buddhism are evident in this work as well. In the late 17th century, the Onjo Temple monk Shiko (1662-1720) produced a work titled Jimon denki horoku in which he used the aforementioned works to argue for the primal orthodoxy of shugen as practiced at Onjo and originated by the 9th century Jimon school founder Enchin. This genealogy demonstrates that the Tendai sect was deeply involved in the formation and development of the sacred texts associated with Shugendo.