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Emptiness and TemporalityBuddhism and Medieval Japanese Poetics$
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Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804748889

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804748889.001.0001

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Medieval Symbolic Poetry and Buddhist Discourse

Medieval Symbolic Poetry and Buddhist Discourse

(p.85) Nine Medieval Symbolic Poetry and Buddhist Discourse
Emptiness and Temporality
Stanford University Press

In the treatise, Korai fūteishō, Shunzei views poetry as the mediating link between man and external reality. In modern Japanese scholarship, moto no kokoro has been equated with the concept of hon'i, or “essential nature,” of phenomena. If this is the case, then hon'i in the present context would refer to the essential nature of phenomena as seen in Buddhist philosophy, rather than to the accepted handling of particular phenomena in the poetic tradition. The issue can be traced to Shunzei's reading of the term kokoro, which he situates within the larger question of poetic value. This chapter explores the link between symbolic poetry in medieval Japan and Buddhist discourse. It looks at the concept of “three truths” (sandai) about poetry as mentioned in the work called Tendai shikan, along with the doctrines of emptiness and the Middle Way that underlie these “three truths.” The chapter also discusses the concept of nonduality in the Makashikan and how it is interpreted by Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Keywords:   Korai fūteishō, Shunzei, symbolic poetry, Buddhist discourse, three truths, Tendai shikan, emptiness, nonduality, Middle Way, Makashikan

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