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Usually, at this time, when ppl turned their backs on this world, they would join monasteriesHowever chomei was unique in that he did not join another establishment (moved from one system to another) truly left much of the world behindKannonBodhisattva of compassionReached Japan by way of Korea after Buddhism was first introduced into the country in the mid-7th centuryLegend: Amitabha granted her a thousand arms in which she could aid many who were sufferingSei ShonagonHeian period (965-1010)Japanese author court lady – served Empress TeishiAuthor of Pillow Book – her name was combined name of her clan and some court office belonging to her relative – book about gossip, poetry, observations, complaintsRivalry with contemporary writer and court lady Murasaki Shikibu, who wrote Tale of GenjiKanaFeminine – women learned this languageTraditionally said to have been invented by Buddhist priest Kukai in 9th cent.(cursive, elegant, temporary letter) Writing: Used for vernacular writing in Heian courtJapanese poetryDiaries and other vernacular writings: privateTales (monogatori)Genres have a ranking – novels and tales were not serious writings (ie. Tale of Genji was more serious)Female Writing – women could read ChineseLess serious writingCloistered EmperorsJapanese emperors who acted as Daijo Tenno (retired emperors), therefore maintaining effective powerEmperor abdicated by kept exerting power and influence. Choosing to enter a Buddhist monastic community, a retired emperor would become Daijo Hoo (cloistered emperor)Daijo Tenno/Hoo – Heian periodFamous emperors who adopted cloistered rule: Emperor Shirakwa, Toba, Go-ShirakawaOne common feature of each reign was that the retired sovereign became a Buddhist priest and governed in a way thatrespected the teachings of Buddhism. oIn practice, however, retired emperors seemed more concerned with the construction of ostentatious temples; temples also were endowed with shoen from imperial family - possessed large numbers of estates for grand lifestyle.Kanbun
Han/Chinese writing - Originally means Classical Chinese writings/texts/literatureAll official governmental documentsWrite in Chinese (educated language, up until 19th cent.), read in Japanese – cannot really understand each other in speech, only in writingChinese poetryDiaries – the more important the person, the more important the diaryMale WritingByodoinBuddhist temple in Kyoto – 998 Heian Period