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Tracing the Itinerant Path: Jishū Nuns of Medieval Japan
 0824859391, 9780824859398

Table of contents :
Series Editor’s Preface
Maps and Charts
Chapter One. Female Leaders and Gendered Spaces
Chapter Two. Itinerant Path: Women on the Road
Chapter Three. Fourteenth- Century Mixed-Gender Practice Halls
Chapter Four. Practice Halls of Kyoto: Urban Jishū Nuns
Chapter Five. The Yugyō School: Fifteenth Century and Beyond
Appendix: Translations of Selected Texts

Citation preview

Tracing the Itinerant Path

Pure Land Buddhist Studies

a publication of the Institute of Buddhist Studies at the Gradu­ate Theological Union

EDITORIAL BOARD Richard K. Payne Chair, Institute of Buddhist Studies at the Gradu­ate Theological Union Carl Bielefeldt Stanford University Harry Gyokyo Bridge Buddhist Church of Oakland James Dobbins Oberlin College Jérôme Ducor Université de Lausanne, Switzerland Paul Harrison Stanford University Anne Klein Rice University David Matsumoto Institute of Buddhist Studies at the Gradu­ate Theological Union Scott Mitchell Institute of Buddhist Studies at the Gradu­ate Theological Union Eisho Nasu Ryukoku University, Japan Jonathan A. Silk Universiteit Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands Kenneth K. Tanaka Musashino University, Tokyo, Japan

Tracing the Itinerant Path Jishū Nuns of Medieval Japan

Caitilin J. Griffiths

University of Hawai‘i Press / Honolulu

© 2016 Institute of Buddhist Studies All rights reserved Printed in the United States of Amer­ic­ a 21 ​20 ​19 ​18 ​17 ​16   6 ​5 ​4 ​3 ​2 ​1 Library of Congress Cataloging-­in-­Publication Data Names: Griffiths, Caitilin J., author. Title: Tracing the itinerant path : Jishū nuns of medieval Japan / Caitilin   J. Griffiths. Other titles: Pure Land Buddhist studies. Description: Honolulu : University of Hawai‘i Press, [2016] | Series: Pure   Land Buddhist studies | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2016012944 | ISBN 9780824859367 (hard cover ; alk. paper) Subjects: LCSH: Ji (Sect)—­History. | Buddhist nuns—­Japan—­History. |   Buddhism—­Japan—­History—1185-1600. Classification: LCC BQ8552 .G75 2016 | DDC 294.3/657—­dc23 LC rec­ord available at http://­lccn​.­loc​.­gov​/­2016012944 The Pure Land Buddhist Studies series publishes scholarly works on all aspects of the Pure Land Buddhist tradition. Historically, this includes studies of the origins of the tradition in India, its transmission into a variety of religious cultures, and its continuity into the pres­ent. Methodologically, the series is committed to providing a venue for a diversity of approaches, including, but not limited to, anthropological, so­cio­log­i­cal, historical, textual, biographical, philosophical, and interpretive, as well as translations of primary and secondary works. The series ­will also seek to reprint impor­tant works so that they may continue to be available to the scholarly and lay communities. The series is made pos­si­ble through the generosity of the Buddhist Churches of Amer­i­ca’s Fraternal Benefit Association. We wish to express our deep appreciation for its support to the Institute of Buddhist Studies. University of Hawai‘i Press books are printed on acid-­free paper and meet the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Council on Library Resources.

Contents Series Editor’s Preface




Maps and Charts


Introduction 1 Chapter One: Female Leaders and Gendered Spaces


Chapter Two: Itinerant Path: W ­ omen on the Road


Chapter Three: F­ ourteenth-­Century Mixed-­Gender Practice Halls


Chapter Four: Practice Halls of Kyoto: Urban Jishū Nuns


Chapter Five: The Yugyō School: Fifteenth C ­ entury and Beyond


Conclusion 120 Appendix: Translations of Selected Texts


Notes 149 Bibliography 191 Index



Series Editor’s Preface Caitilin Griffiths’ study of the nuns of the Jishū provides us entrée into an impor­tant part of the history of Pure Land Buddhism in Japan. In one sense it is quite natu­ral that the majority of modern scholarly attention has been paid to the Pure Land sects that are most prominent in Japan ­today: Jōdo shū and Jōdo Shin shū. Scholars have long recognized, however, that the history of Pure Land Buddhism in Japan is much more complex. ­There ­were forms of Pure Land Buddhism that ­were significant in Japan prior to the rise of the specifically self-­identified Pure Land sects, and ­there have been a variety of alternative forms of Pure Land devotion since then. Pure Land imagery, teachings, texts, and practices entered Japan centuries before the Kamakura (1192–1333), when the autonomous sects ­were established. Pure Land thought and practice ­were already impor­ tant for the two major Heian era (794–1185) lineages. Although found, for example, in the Shingon tradition, the presence of Pure Land praxis in Tendai proved to be instrumental in laying the groundwork for the rapid rise of Pure Land devotionalism. One characteristic of Pure Land Buddhism in the early medieval era was experimentation with a variety of institutional forms other than traditional monastic organ­izations. Noteworthy in this regard are the several associations that assembled monastics and lay devotees for Pure Land practices of vari­ous kinds. The White Lotus Society, founded by Huiyuan (334–416) at Mount Lu on the mainland, served as a model for ­these ­later associations. In Japan ­there ­were several groups that sought to spread recitation practice among lay adherents. In the Heian, for example, the Association for the Encouragement of Learning (Kangakue 勸學會) brought together Pure Land monks and lay adherents. Outside both monastic institutions and formal associations, popu­lar forms of Pure Land w ­ ere propagated to the general populace in the marketplace by wandering prac­t i­t ion­ers, such as Gyōgi (668–749), Kūya (903–972), and Ippen (1239–1289). Griffiths tells us that the name “ji-­shū” (時衆), though pronounced the same as “Ji-sect” ( Jishū 時宗), identifies provisional groups—­people who gathered for a par­tic­u­lar event. In this case the event was recitative vii

Series Editor’s Preface

chanting. Such temporary affiliation stands in opposition to the ­great monasteries and other established institutions. By the f­ ourteenth ­century ­these had become so popu­lar that halls for practice ­were set up, thus creating regular locations where prac­ti­tion­ers could assem­ble and from which they could travel. One was led by the nun Chin’ichibō, who provides a focus for Griffiths’ study. It is perhaps surprising how autonomous the Jishū nuns ­were in their activities; also startling is Chin’ichibō’s leadership of a group of mendicants that included members of both sexes. In other words, contrary to the common modern feminist critique that associates Buddhism with institutionalized paternalism, ­there have been instances when ­women held positions of authority over not only other ­women, but also groups that included both w ­ omen and men. Griffiths’ study, with its attention to nuns and itinerancy in the early period of Pure Land Buddhism in Japan, is a welcome addition to the Pure Land Buddhist Studies Series and to scholarship more generally.


Preface My encounter and interest in the jishū group sprang from a passage I came across during my undergraduate years when researching a term paper (a paper long lost and forgotten). The passage read: “During times of upheaval, jishū and their patrons hide their traces in the mountains and fields. When they do so, accompanying nuns come to their aid. Both monks and nuns have the same value. Even now, ­there are many who request [the assistance of] our monks and nuns.”1 This sentence gave me pause; what was this jishū? Who ­were ­these accompanying nuns? What kind of aid did they provide? At the time, a mixed-­gender Buddhist group was an anomaly, not fitting what I had read and understood in the history courses I had taken. The search began, and as an undergraduate, I expected the answers to be readily available. I soon discovered that the jishū ­were ­today known as the Ji-­sect, a Pure Land Buddhist sect still active in Japan. However, my questions about the mixed-­gender history remained unanswered. Ultimately, I embarked on a journey to comprehend this jishū, which led me to enroll in gradu­ate school and take an opportunity to live and conduct research in Japan.2 ­There, I visited numerous libraries, dusty second­hand bookstores, vari­ous museums of folklore, and Ji-­sect ­temples across the country. Interviews with the ­women at ­these Ji-­sect ­temples ­were both informative and surprisingly discouraging. Rarely ­were ­these ­women aware of the mixed-­gender history of the school, and no memories or stories of the female members had been passed down. The paucity of sources hinders the study of ­women of the past, and our historical vantage point often predisposes us to research what is available or expected. I could only find stories of the lives of the female jishū through the rec­ords of the male leaders; nonetheless, ­those rec­ords have confirmed that from the late thirteenth ­century to the fifteenth ­century, ­there was active participation of ­women within groups known as jishū. They traveled, trained, and preached the religious path beside their male associates, not as their wives, ­daughters, or ­mothers but as full-­fledged members of a Pure Land religious order. While in Japan I also made my own pilgrimages to historically impor­ tant locations where medieval ­women had sought spiritual guidance. ix


Two significant sites stand out: Zenkōji in current Nagano city and the Kumano shrines located in Wakayama prefecture. Their importance lies not only in their locations as sacred sites, which accepted ­people of any class or gender, but also in their trans-­sectarian and polytheistic identities. Zenkōji, as a cultic and religious site, had for centuries been a popu­ lar pilgrimage destination for both men and ­women and continues to attract visitors t­oday. It is a ­temple in­de­pen­dent of sectarian designations, although ­today ser­vices are conducted ­every morning by both the Tendai sect priest and the Pure Land sect priestess. The hidden Buddha statue of the Amida Triad enshrined in the main hall is believed to be the oldest one brought to Japan.3 From early in the recorded history of Japan, this ­temple was believed to be on auspicious ground, and a visit to Zenkōji was considered sufficient for birth to be achieved in the Pure Land. In the medieval period, ­there ­were tsumado jishū at Zenkōji, and it was one of the earliest locations for which nuns conducted large-­scale permanent fund-­raising missions.4 Kumano has its own special tie to w ­ omen in medieval Buddhism. Kumano Gongen is the collective of the three main shrines of Kumano: Hongū, Shingū, and Nachi. It was one of the few sacred mountains ­women ­were allowed to climb. Its myth goes back to the beginning of the creation of Japan and has close connections to the imperial institutions. It was a land of divinity whose gods accepted all ­people—­rich or poor, pure or sinful, man or ­woman—­without conditions. Strongly connected with the afterlife, it was believed that a visit to Kumano would purify one of all the evil and sins committed in this world. A pilgrimage to Kumano was thus believed to bring health, longevity, and a reassurance of a purified state for entering the afterlife.5 The fame of Kumano was spread and maintained throughout Japan with the help of Kumano guides and the Kumano bikuni (nuns of Kumano). Kumano bikuni ­were female itinerants, who w ­ ere especially impor­tant as emissaries of the Kumano faith.6 Scholars such as Akai Tatsurō have linked the activities of the Kumano bikuni with the jishū. He suggests that the Kumano bikuni, who distributed nagi leaves as part of their proselytization, would replenish their supply of them at jishū dōjō (practice halls).7 The term “Kumano bikuni,” however, as Barbara Ruch explains, was used as a “vague descriptive label to a considerable array of ­women.”8 The specific Kumano bikuni I refer to are ­those that, as Barbara Ruch states, “should be called the etoki bikuni, or ‘painting-­recitation nuns.’ ”9 ­These w ­ omen traveled throughout the provinces and collected funds for the maintenance of the Kumano shrines. They attracted wide and dix


verse audiences using a form of solicitation-­performance called etoki, which involves telling a story using pictures. Mandalas connected to Kumano, painted on a colorful scroll, ­were shown by the bikuni to illustrate the teachings of the Kumano faith. While t­ here are no recorded words or scripts remaining from that time, some ­people have recently attempted to reconstruct the per­for­mance and message that ­these proselytizers spread. I was fortunate to witness such a live etoki pre­sen­ta­tion at the Setagaya Art Museum in Tokyo in November 2004, when two Kumano bikuni introduced the divine world of Kumano to a modern audience.10 Standing in front of a large colorful screen, the older bikuni explained and described the hanging scroll. With vigor, humor, and wit, she captivated the audience as she conveyed the wonderful powers of the Kumano deities through the pictorial image. The painting in front of us, we ­were told, was the sublime Kumano kanshin jikkai mandara.11 In this complex picture, the viewer’s gaze is drawn to the central Chinese character, “heart.” It is ­here, the bikuni stated, that the core of Kumano deities’ compassion lies. Symbolically, the rainbow-­like arch over the character is crossed by a series of ­people, from an infant at the start of the rainbow, on the right, to an old figure at the end of the rainbow, on the left. This arch is the bridge of life, and one is lucky to reach the goal of old age, for along the way ­there are numerous challenges and temptations, as well as deprivations and illnesses. At the bottom half of the scroll is the underworld, a terrifying form of the vari­ous hells, where ­those not purified are condemned. Kumano, the land of divinity, was also connected to the afterlife, where the Kumano gods accepted all without conditions. But to enter the underworld without being purified led to one of the hells. The bikuni guided us through the complexities of this symbolic hell world, selecting scenes that added drama and dread to what awaits the fallen in the underworld. The bikuni inspired trust with her confident voice, authoritative knowledge, and engaging theatrics, while carefully and skillfully demonstrating the need for us to consider our pres­ent spiritual state in life as well as the inevitable dark path that lies in store for us. However, the message also included the essential belief that salvation for all was to be found in the faith of the divine Kumano deities, for their powers could never be undermined. To receive the benefit of this divine power, ­people ­were required to visit Kumano or to make an offering to Kumano. The bikuni assured us that a pilgrimage to Kumano would bring health, longevity, and a reassurance of a purified state for entering the afterlife. But, she continued, for ­those unable to make the pilgrimage, xi


viewing the mandalas of Kumano had the same merit as visiting Kumano in person.12 At the end of the pre­sen­ta­tion, the younger bikuni walked around the audience with a cup in hand, for donations. Moved by the per­for­mance and the appeal for donations, we eagerly dropped money into the cup. To our delight, for each donation a leaf was given—­not any leaf but a leaf from the nagi tree growing on the grounds of Kumano. A true karmic connection was thus made between the donor and Kumano. The older Kumano bikuni was in fact a man, Yamamoto Shigeo, from the Kumano (Shingū) educational committee. A ­ fter the pre­sen­ta­tion, he removed his veil and apologized for not being a true Kumano bikuni, lamenting that t­ here are no longer Kumano bikuni able to perform etoki. With no scripts from the days when the original Kumano bikuni traveled around, Yamamoto had re-­created his narration based on his understanding of the history of Kumano, the mandalas, and the known history of the bikuni. Taking the tonsure and setting out on a journey was a v­ iable option in medieval Japan. It is not surprising to find numerous ­people from a variety of backgrounds joining itinerant groups for a pilgrimage journey. Despite the lack of official documents and the scarcity of rec­ords, ­there is evidence that many ­women chose to live as itinerants, to preach, and to make pilgrimages. ­These ­women traveled the vast pilgrimage network around Japan, interspersed with resting and dispatch points such as jishū dōjō. Unconfined by the walls of a convent, pairs and groups of ­women in religious robes traveled and preached to wide and diverse audiences. The rare documents concerning female jishū presented in this volume provide enough details for us to glimpse the rich, vibrant lives of ­those who chose the religious life as their vocation. I had no idea my quest to make sense of the history of a mixed-­gender group known as the jishū would take me this far. Without a doubt, I could never have completed this journey without the unconditional support and love of my ­family. Words cannot begin to express my gratitude, so I ­will just use the ­simple formula: thank you.


Maps and Charts Jishū Practice Halls

Approximate locations of ­fourteenth-­century jishū practice halls and other landmarks mentioned in this book. Information based on the locations provided in Kanai Kiyomitsu, Jishū kyōdan no chihō tenkai; Ōhashi Shunnō, Jishū niso Ta’a shōnin hōgo; Negita Shūran, Jishū no teradera.


Jishū Practice Halls in Kyoto

Approximate locations of ­fourteenth-­century jishū practice halls in Kyoto. Bukkōji and Kiyomizu-­dera have been added for geo­g raph­i­cal reference. This chart is intended to provide a general sense of the locations; therefore, many ave­nues and roads have been omitted, and names have been simplified. For example: Ichijō ōji is h ­ ere First Ave­nue; Higashi kyōgoku ōji is h ­ ere Kyōgoku. Information based on maps in Bukkyō daigaku, ed., Kyoto no Rekishi (Kyoto: Kyoto Shinbunsha, 1994) and locations mentioned in Onozawa Makoto, Chūsei jishū shi no kenkyū, especially chap. 2, and the Kyoto section in Negita Shūran, Jishū no teradera, 339–361.

List of Leadership Succession

The names and tenure for the successive leaders of the Yugyō school and the Taima Dōjō. The order of succession was not fixed, but it was common for the leader of the 7th Ave­nue Dōjō to take the position of Yugyō hijiri and then to lead the Fujisawa Dōjō. The position as leader of the Fujisawa Dōjō was maintained u ­ ntil death; dates provided in brackets represent the years they served in that position. Chart composed from dates gathered in Jishū no bijutsu to bungeiten jikkōinkai, Jishū no bijutsu to bungei, 47; Murai Yasuhiko, Chōrakuji zō Shichijō dōjō Konkōji monjo no kenkyū, 541–542.

Spatial layout of Masuda Dōjō, Manpukuji. A = nai-­jin (inner section); B = ge-­jin (outer section); C = waki-­jin (side section). Photo by author.

Introduction The year 1344 was another year of travel for the itinerant holy man. He and his fellowship of monks and nuns w ­ ere on their customary spiritual mission. Traveling from province to province, they distributed talismans, chanted the name Amida Buddha, and performed their ritualized dance for audiences far and wide. This itinerant holy man was considered to be the Buddha incarnate, and his fellowship, the jishū 時衆, ­were the bodhisattvas. This year, their visit and encounter with another jishū group in Shikoku w ­ ere especially memorable. A karmic bond formed between the leaders of the two groups, a bond created by their spiritual interaction and mutual re­spect. This led to a promise that the itinerant holy man would provide guidance to the Shikoku jishū group upon the passing of its leader. Their leader, Chin’ichibō 珎一房 (?–1344), was a nun.1 She passed away shortly ­after, and as arranged, her disciples—­both the monks and the nuns training at Okunotani Dōjō 奥谷道場—­became part of the itinerant holy man’s jishū group.2 A female leader of a mixed-­gender religious group offers a fascinating perspective on the dynamics of medieval Japa­nese religiosity. 3 Chin’ichibō was the disciple of the monk Sen’a 仙阿 (dates unknown)—­ the founder of Okunotani Dōjō—­and she was his chosen successor. Jishū groups in the medieval period, including ­those of the itinerant holy man and Chin’ichibō’s, ­were generally mixed-­gender. Written history has often neglected, if not forgotten, the presence and role of ­women. For that reason, this study, by recovering ­actual accounts of the female jishū’s role in medieval Japan, helps to fill in the lacunae of Japa­nese religious history. This book is an investigation of ­these mixed-­gender religious groups and the lives of the jishū, especially the role of the female prac­ti­tion­ers from medieval Japan.4 The term jishū 時衆, literally “­people of the time,” designated a religious or lay group that was or­ga­nized for ­either special or provisional occasions to chant the name of Amida Buddha (Amitābha Buddha) without interruption during six periods of day and night.5 Both the group as 1


a ­whole and the individuals within the group, regardless of gender, ­were called jishū. The common thread between the vari­ous jishū groups was the incantation and vocalization of the name Amida Buddha. History has shown that the voice can be a persuasive and power­f ul tool, especially if well trained, dynamic, and at pitch. The joy of watching and participating in a per­for­mance involving song and dance is an age-­old entertainment that continues to this day. ­Music has the potential to stir vari­ous emotions in both chanter and listener, and many per­for­mances still evoke and reflect spiritual devotion. The power of an incantation, ­either as a curse or as a positive experience, has been recorded in Japa­ nese history since ancient times. Skilled performers ­were venerated and believed to have a direct connection to the other world. Fear and re­spect placed t­hese chanters in an esteemed position. Some songstresses ­became the partners of imperial nobles, and their ­children would be properly acknowledged, regardless of the m ­ other’s original social class.6 Many official state rites incorporated chanting and singing. In addition to the ­human voice, musical instruments ­were impor­tant in government official ceremonies as well as in the personal lives of the elites. ­Those skilled in the art of playing a musical instrument w ­ ere considered blessed by a god/spirit, kami 神; some musicians ­were so skilled they ­were thought to be possessed by the kami itself. Many of ­these performers and chanters ­were ­women, and their singing voices ­were recognized as spiritually impor­tant. Appreciation of spiritual ­music was impor­tant at ­every level of Japan’s medieval world, not just to the upper echelons of society. Songs, chants, and incantations ­were expressed and heard throughout one’s life cycle, from the welcoming of a new life at birth, to the prospect of entering Pure Land during one’s lifetime, to the departing of the soul at the end of one’s life. Dance and ­music held an impor­tant function for ­those who spent their days cultivating the land. Songs filled the agrarian life cycle: to ensure the blessing of the gods for a good harvest, to ward off pests and assure favorable weather conditions, and to encourage the harvesters in their work. Local shamans often held significant roles in ­these activities, and many shamans, miko 巫女, ­were ­women.7 ­Those who ­were not bound to an agrarian life w ­ ere also affected by the power of storytelling, ­music, and dance. It has been theorized that men and w ­ omen who sought an itinerant lifestyle helped spread the chanting of the name Amida Buddha.8 The practice of chanting the benevolent name continuously for the purpose of entry to Pure Land was propagated primarily by itinerant ascetics, exemplified by Kūya (or Kōya 2

Introduction 空也, 903–972) and Ryōnin 良忍 (1072–1132). The Amida Buddha’s name was promoted as a means of personal and communal benefit, and it was also believed to be a magical chant for healing. The itinerant ascetics also incorporated the kami, the gods/spirits of that community, as part of the world of the compassionate Amida Pure Land. The itinerants traveling to vari­ous villages throughout the country absorbed the par­ tic­u­lar customs and beliefs of each area and included them in their chanting and teaching of Amida Buddha. It is unknown when the term jishū began to be used to describe individuals or groups gathered to chant without interruption the name of Amida Buddha for a specified duration. Their popularity appears to have been sparked and spread by the creation of jishū practice halls in the ­fourteenth ­century. As this study ­will demonstrate, ­women ­were active participants, sponsors, members, and even leaders of this early jishū movement. The current understanding of jishū has been muddled by sect-­centric scholarship, leading many to associate jishū with the current Ji-­sect and the head ­temple Shōjōkōji 清浄光寺 (or Yugyōji 遊行寺) in Fujisawa, Kanagawa prefecture. The Ji-­sect holds the itinerant mendicant holy man Ippen Chishin 一遍 智真 (1239–1289) as their founder. Much of what we know of Ippen comes from the brilliant and gorgeous silk-­lined scroll depicting his travels with his fellowship of jishū, titled Ippen Hijiri-­e ­ 遍聖絵 (Painting of the Holy Man Ippen), hereafter referred to as Hijiri一 ­e.9 Many have focused on this scroll, preserved from the late thirteenth ­century, and consequently associated all jishū activities with Ippen. It is impor­tant, however, to note that Ippen was only one of the many itinerant chanters who invoked the name and led a fellowship called jishū. Ippen’s centrality in jishū study is also due to one of the most prominent jishū groups, the Yugyō school, placing him as their founder. It was this Yugyō school that succeeded in becoming the Ji-­shū 時宗, Ji-­sect, in the seventeenth ­century. At that point, it claimed authority over all other jishū groups; consequently, the preservation of jishū documents has been primarily through the Yugyō school. To regard jishū from the perspective of the Ji-­sect is to miss the dynamic and fluid meaning “jishū” entailed during the medieval period. Some jishū ­were members of the Yugyō school, whereas o ­ thers ­were only loosely affiliated with a religious school. The tsumado jishū 妻戸時衆 of Zenkōji, for example, welcomed pilgrims to this sacred site with their beautiful voices as they chanted along the veranda of the main hall. Some individual jishū ­were married, whereas ­others ­were celibate; some 3


held occupations and participated in a number of religious rituals, whereas ­others devoted all their energy ­toward chanting the name. Some may have been fully ordained, but it appears that most ­were self-­ordained or took an oath through their spiritual master. As the center of po­liti­cal and commercial activities and as the most populated urban center of Japan, Kyoto was host to numerous jishū practice halls in the ­fourteenth c­ entury. Some jishū received enough alms from their dancing and chanting rituals, but ­others, such as the jishū nuns from the Mieidō 御影堂, became known for the fans they crafted to supplement their income. ­These fans ­were believed to be blessed and ­were offered as a charm against illness. Jishū nuns from Ichijō Dōjō 一条道場 (better known t­ oday as Ichirenji一蓮寺) in Kōfu, current Yamanashi prefecture, ­were known for their production of white clothes. Chin’ichibō’s practice hall of Okunotani was situated in one of the oldest hot spring districts of Japan, and while the evidence does not directly trace back to Chin’ichibō’s time, the practice hall was known for offering bath ser­vice for any visitor. By tracing the involvement of female jishū in ­these diverse environments, this study hopes to shed more light into ­women’s daily lives. Their reception and practice in this Pure Land Buddhist group as teachers, prac­ti­tion­ers, and sponsors reveal ­women who ­were faithful, challenged, and respected in their role as jishū. With the momentous publication of Engendering Faith: ­Women and Buddhism in Premodern Japan in 2002, editor Barbara Ruch stressed the importance of recovering unused sources and how crucial it is that one reads from the “exclusively androcentric religious texts and reconstruct from [them] the experience, practices, religious views, and indeed the very history of ­women in religion.”10 With this study’s research on female jishū, I hope to contribute to the uncovering of this underrepresented history of ­women in Japan’s medieval society. Female participation in Ippen’s school of Pure Land Buddhism has been noted by historians and jishū scholars. Imai Masaharu, for example, has written an article titled “Ippen and ­Women,” but he limits his scope to addressing the question of why Ippen included w ­ omen in his jishū fellowship.11 Female jishū remain a footnote, acknowledged yet not investigated. Even Chin’ichibō has been glanced over. This study begins with an examination of Chin’ichibō and the possibility of female leadership in a mixed-­gender Buddhist school. Jishū became a popu­lar movement from the late thirteenth ­century, and as  exemplified by Ippen and his itinerant journey, many jishū groups practiced itinerancy. ­These spiritually inspired journeys ­were shared 4


by monks and nuns alike, and in chapter 2 we use the snippets of information to explore female jishū on the road and their commitment to their religious faith. Paradoxically, for an itinerant group to survive, it must have some sort of stationary stability. Chapter 3 demonstrates the multifaceted roles ­women held in creating stationary practice halls for the promotion and preservation of jishū schools in the early ­fourteenth ­century. Female participation, as members and as sponsors, continued throughout the ­fourteenth ­century. The jishū movement gained popularity throughout the archipelago, including in the urban center of Kyoto.12 Chapter 4 examines how the jishū residing in the capital of Kyoto functioned and ser­viced this dynamic urban center during the chaotic civil war period of the f­ ourteenth ­century. Chapter 5 follows the transformation of the group from the jishū into the Ji-­sect. Jishū is a gender-­neutral term representing ­either the individual or the group participating in the chanting of the name. The Chinese characters ama 尼 and nisō 尼僧 (nun[s]) and sō 僧 (monk[s]) ­were used to specify gender when necessary.13 Following the general trend of scholarship, ­these terms ­w ill be translated as “nun” and “monk.” The use of ama in medieval Japan carried numerous connotations and repre­sen­ta­tions, from fully ordained to self-­proclaimed, from cloistered to fully active in society. The designation of a religious name allowed the individual to separate societal obligations from ­those expected of a lay individual. For example, most ­women involved in business carried the title ama. Scholars such as Wakita Haruko have shown that even if a female member of a ­house­hold was a partner in a business, only the male name would be used on the official ledgers or documents ­unless the female was designated an ama (which often suggested she was widowed).14 To be known as a religious devotee was one ave­nue for a ­woman to detach herself from expectations based largely on patriarchal and filial duty. Continued investigation into the activities of ­women has clarified that female names rarely appearing on official documents does not equate to non-­importance. Similarly, careful reading of the activities within the medieval convents has demonstrated that nuns often sidestepped androcentric rhe­toric.15 The largest hurdle of jishū studies is the paucity of sources, especially materials that shed light on the daily activities of jishū members, ­whether men or ­women. Sources survive from the Yugyō school, thanks to Ji-­sect leaders who compiled, collected, and preserved documents from their own provincial practice halls. They made copies of their leaders’ letters, poems, and writings; they did not, however, keep the correspondences of regular jishū. Thus, in addition to their theology and doctrinal ­matters, 5


the accessible collection of jishū materials contains early ­fourteenth-​ century letters written by the leaders and addressed to members and to leaders of other provincial practice halls. This is a one-­way ave­nue, as none of the letters by the regular nuns (or monks) from ­those provincial practice halls have survived. Regardless of such drawbacks, the sources provide insights into the day-­to-­day experiences of the jishū and offer us clues to the practical concerns they faced. The era in which the jishū groups flourished in popularity was an environment in which many spiritual methods w ­ ere observed without strict sectarian bound­a ries. It was a time when itinerant preachers disseminated stories and images of merciful Buddha and bodhisattvas intertwined with kami, and also frightened their audiences with the prospect of hell. While the medieval populace sought comfort in seeking rebirth in Pure Land, they also prayed for security and success within the world. Studies focused on hagiographies of sect found­ers and doctrines are formulated from a Buddhist canon based around androcentric and patriarchal languages. Yet according to Bernard Faure, “to the extent that Buddhism becomes polytheistic, however, room is made for more egalitarian practices, sponsored by increasingly power­f ul deities. Buddhism has thus been able to offer countermodels for subcultures, and contributed at times to the subversion of dominant ideologies.”16 The Yugyō school jishū and its celibate, mixed-­gender order is one example of ­these subcultures. Ippen’s fellowship can be viewed as such a subculture when we consider the judgmental words expressed by some of his contemporaries. A poetry critique titled Nomori no kagami 野守鏡 (Mirror of the watchman of the fields) from 1295 refers to Ippen’s practices as heterodox and claims he is leading ­others astray. Shortly ­after this manuscript, in 1296, a satiric picture scroll titled Tengu-­z ōshi emaki 天狗草紙絵巻 (Picture scroll of the Tengu story) was completed. Within this scroll are painted repre­sen­ta­tions of Ippen and the jishū, including a scene in which nuns gather around Ippen to collect his urine. The criticisms aimed at the jishū group are similar: they w ­ ere indecent and rowdy.17 Dressed in the simplest of robes, shaven-­headed monks and nuns chanted the name of Amida Buddha in unison in hopes of creating a community of the saved. They filled the streets with their chanting; this incantation was to encompass the degenerate world and assure all sentient beings of a path to Pure Land. The united chanting of their voices, loud and clear—­heard on the streets, in urban centers, in villages and homes, and within their own practice halls—­represents and reflects the tenets of their time. It was a trans-­sectarian world, a time when bod6


hisattvas ­were manifestations of deities, and deities ­were worshipped within the grounds of ­temples. In this landscape, one would find male ascetics and female shamans catering to t­ hose in need within the same pilgrimage sites, marketplaces, or monastic centers. Religious ­women, including female entertainers, have historically been portrayed ­either as socially and po­liti­cally marginal or as objects of sexuality. The examples presented in this book of female jishū during the ­fourteenth ­century suggest an alternative perspective; at least by their male peers and leaders, ­these female members ­were not socially marginalized for reason of gender. Contrary to the common assumption that Ippen was the founder of all jishū groups, he was but just one of the numerous charismatic holy men who traveled the roads with a fellowship of jishū. While the current Ji-­ sect holds Ippen as its founder, the jishū movement in the medieval period was not an immediate result of Ippen. Rather, as noted earlier, jishū was a noun applied e­ ither to a group as a ­whole or to an individual who performed the incantation of the name of Amida Buddha, the nembutsu 念佛, without interruption during the six hours of the day. Keys to understanding the environment in which this movement flourished may be glimpsed through Ippen’s identity as a hijiri 聖 (holy person) and his religious teachings, which focused on the chanting of the nembutsu.18 Ippen’s itinerant journey was not into the unknown and uncharted. He traveled into a prepared world ripe with pre­ce­dent. Itinerant men and ­women offering per­for­mances and ritual ser­vices in exchange for donations, often in the form of kanjin 勧進 (fund-­raising) campaigns, had already been paving the path for centuries before Ippen embarked on his religious journey.19 Although Ippen did not engage in kanjin campaigns, he still followed a tradition set by ­those who traveled before him.

Situating the Jishū within Medieval Japan Ippen is remembered ­today through the magnificent and detailed Hijiri-­e scroll depicting him and his fellowship of jishū as they traveled throughout the archipelago visiting vari­ous sacred sites. It is from the texts of ­these scrolls that a compelling image of a wayfaring holy man emerges. The scroll beautifully captures the pilgrimage sites and the scenery passed through and, by the poems and letters recorded, informs us of the charismatic figure. We see Ippen as one who followed Pure Land teachings fused with a wide range of religious practices, such as holding true to dream oracles, mountain asceticism, ecstatic dancing, distributing 7


talismans, verses as religious offerings, and rites to appease the spirits of the dead. Sacred sites generated a strong sense of belief and power in the manifestations and mysterious forces found within them. Pilgrimage sites ­were impor­tant for the deities, Buddha or bodhisattva. The Hijiri-­e renders ­these popu­lar medieval pilgrim sites with care and detail, elaborating on the history, legends, and miraculous virtues of each of ­these holy places. On the topic of the scroll, James H. Foard comments, “We can see that Ippen’s life is presented as a retreat from society of delusion and desire into enlightenment and at the same time an affirmation that this enlightenment embraced universally every­one in the deluded society.”20 The scroll provided con­temporary viewers an opportunity to experience Ippen’s journey and, by proxy, allowed them to join the same spiritual path as Ippen and to share in the mystical experience. The pictures and text of the Hijiri-­e have often been used by ­today’s scholars as a tool for studying societal dynamics of medieval Japan. The scroll portrays a fluid society with many wanderers, both men and ­women, traveling as religious proselytizers, tradesmen, beggars, and entertainers on the road, at pilgrim sites, or in marketplaces. Invigorated by agricultural surplus, product specialization, and a growing coin-­based economy, marketplaces ­were expanding in number, frequency, and stability. The scroll captures the liveliness of such marketplaces as well as the pilgrim sites, where ­people from vari­ous social backgrounds came together. From the eleventh ­century, ­temple-­shrine complexes became especially conscious of attracting private pilgrimages and donors and began catering to the needs and interests of the laypeople. They held festivals or Buddhist ceremonies open to the public, which included dance, song, lectures, liturgies, and displays of special or sacred images and statues. Seen as entertainment, ­these ceremonies became the focus of attractions, bringing together ­people from a wide spectrum of social classes and backgrounds. T ­ hose attending ­were ­either charged admission or expected to make offerings, which became an impor­tant part of the income of ­these religious complexes.21 Visual sources and rec­ords show that priests and miko performed together at ­these festivals; for example, in the mid-­thirteenth ­century, the rites held at Kiyotaki shrine included priests performing Buddhist hymns and the male and female shrine performers dancing and playing m ­ usic.22 In a ceremony to move the shrine’s tutelary deity to a temporary location, the Takajin shrine miko and the village miko gathered with 8


priests and monks to perform the purification and dance rituals for seven days.23 Other sources regarding events held at ­temples or shrines reveal a strong entertainment value through the participation of vari­ ous performing groups—­Buddhist priests, miko, sumo wrestlers, acrobats, and musical performers—as well as h ­ orse racing.24 Many ­people, including Ippen and his fellowship of jishū, took advantage of the gathering crowds to proselytize their faith and to solicit alms. Ippen’s own life as a mendicant monk had the goal of reaching out to all sentient beings, regardless of class or gender. For Ippen, the utterance of the name Amida Buddha, even just once, held mystical transcendence over time, space, sex, life, and death. As a tangible form of assurance of rebirth in Pure Land, Ippen distributed a talisman with the inscription of the six characters Na-­mu-­a-­mi-­da-­butsu (南無阿彌陀佛), representing Amida Buddha’s name, to all he encountered.

Chanting the Nembutsu Nembutsu practice was promoted by most schools of Buddhism in Japan. Deriving from contemplative practices originating in India, it is best known as the core practice for the Pure Land School 浄土宗 (Jōdo Shū). The most common formula for the nembutsu was Namu-­amida-­butsu, meaning “I take refuge in Buddha Amida” or “Praise be to Amida Buddha.” From early in the tenth ­century, ascetic priests, such as the previously mentioned Kūya and Ryōnin, performed and taught the importance of nembutsu chanting to wide and diverse audiences and explained how to worship and place trust in Amida Buddha. They traveled and propagated on the streets and, as part of their per­for­mances, incorporated songs to praise Amida Buddha. Ryōnin is attributed with popularizing the form of yūzū nembutsu 融通念佛 (“circulating nembutsu” or “nembutsu in communion”).25 Kōya hijiri—­traveling holy men connected to the mountain region of Kōya, which was the location of Shingon school—­had also been active from the tenth ­century. ­These holy men preached popu­lar sermons, solicited funds for ­temple restoration proj­ects, and propagated the legends of Kōbō Daishi, whose mausoleum stood at Mount Kōya.26 Part of their preaching included chanting the nembutsu. The chanting was not limited to the streets or commoners; it was heard within monastic grounds and chanted by elite scholar-­monks as well. From the ninth ­century, Tendai schools performed the practice of a ninety-­day walking meditation, whereby monks circumambulated an image of the Amida Buddha while chanting the nembutsu. The scholar-­ 9


monk Genshin 源信 (942–1017) in his Ōjō yōshū 往生要集 (Essentials of salvation) from 985, a compendium of sutra passages and commentaries on impor­tant themes relating to Amida’s Pure Land, promoted the practice of nembutsu as an appropriate means to gain rebirth in Pure Land. He also emphasized and encouraged deathbed nembutsu practice. The Shingon school also underlined the recitation of the nembutsu as a complementary aid t­ oward the focus of the mind. Kakuban 覚鑁 (1095–1143), in par­tic­u­lar, developed an esoteric interpretation of the Pure Land teaching in what is termed himitsu nembutsu 秘密念仏 (“secret nembutsu” or “esoteric nembutsu”). He detailed the importance of nembutsu practice with esoteric breath meditation and visualization techniques, especially at the moment or approach of death.27 Within the power­f ul monastic walls, nembutsu practices ­were seen as meditative, a means of purifying the mind and removing sins, which ­were hindrances to achieving enlightenment. The vocal invocation was perceived to be the most accessible, or the easiest, form of nembutsu.28 The constant recitation of the nembutsu became increasingly popu­lar beginning in the tenth ­century. Halls specifically built for ­these meditations ­were constructed within monastic grounds. Elite monks performed devotional practices for their own training, but ser­vices ­were also performed as part of memorial and funeral ser­vices for their patrons, including w ­ omen. The meditation practices, especially reflecting on an image of a Buddha, continued to be impor­tant in training and ritual. Visual repre­sen­ ta­tions of Amida Buddha—­often with two bodhisattva attendants, Seishi 勢至 (representing wisdom) and Kannon 観音 (representing compassion)—­ were portrayed to welcome the ­dying soul into Pure Land. T ­ hese numerous rituals for the dead and ­dying w ­ ere conjoined: both the recitation of the name Amida Buddha and the other ceremonies, including recitations of the Lotus Sutra, ­were viewed as necessary steps in attaining rebirth in Pure Land, the Western Paradise. One form of ritual involved looking at a painting of the Amida Buddha’s image; the ­dying person would face west and gaze at an image showing the Amida Buddha welcoming that individual (male or female, lay or secular) into paradise. ­These paintings, raigō 来迎, became popu­lar among wealthy laypersons, and several of the surviving paintings depict the sponsors as well, usually a husband and wife, within the painting.29 Another frequent practice performed was for the ­dying person to hold a cord attached to a statue of Amida Buddha, the cord representing the path to Amida’s paradise. ­There was also a popu­lar custom of having a religious friend (chishiki 10

Introduction 知識 or zenchishiki 善知識)—be it a layperson, nun, or priest—­chant the

name of Amida ­until the person’s final breath. Monastic doctrines as well as literary tales recorded from the medieval period provide examples of the widespread belief in, and importance placed on, this notion of envisioning or invoking Amida Buddha’s name at the last moments of one’s life.30 Devout ­women ­were included among ­those who had successfully performed the chanting of the nembutsu and gained rebirth in Pure Land. Many of ­these tales ­were formulaic, with the ­women often depicted as being devoted to Buddhism from an early age and described as gentle, compassionate, and detached from the mundane affairs of life.31 William Deal describes the gendered distinction attested in ­these didactic tales; “men apparently held the attitude that w ­ omen w ­ ere only capable of the ‘easy’ practice of the nembutsu, whereas men, able to read and understand the profundity of the Lotus Sutra, could engage in both kinds of rituals.”32 By the twelfth ­century, the term nembutsu, meaning to meditate and to be mindful of the meritorious virtues of the Buddha, was primarily understood to imply the verbal chanting of the name Amida Buddha. For ascetics like Ippen, the key to rebirth lay solely in the utterance of the name: namu-­amida-­butsu. This practice was valid and efficacious for both men and w ­ omen. At the end of the twelfth ­century, Hōnen 法然 (1133–1212), a Tendai priest, had gained popularity by promoting the exclusive chanting of the nembutsu as efficacious and superior to all other methods of practice during the latter days.33 He authored the treatise Senchaku hongan nembutsu shū 選澤本願念佛集 (Choosing the original vow for the recitation of the Buddha’s name), which became the doctrinal and scriptural basis for an exclusive Pure Land faith and an in­de­pen­dent Pure Land school of Buddhism. Hōnen’s disciples took his teachings and spread them through the provinces, creating groups of exclusive nembutsu prac­ti­tion­ers. This wave of disciples invigorated the existing nembutsu prac­ti­tion­ers, who had already been promoting the simplified teaching at marketplaces and villages.

Religious Wanderers: Hijiri and Miko The term hijiri is often used to refer to unorthodox religious figures who practiced outside monastic institutions.34 The term may also apply to ordained monks who ­were especially devoted to ascetic practice or even to ­those with special charisma, as well as to ­those who had abandoned their official ecclesiastical order and taken up a life as a wanderer or 11


hermit. Religious ascetic prac­ti­tion­ers who had never taken the precepts or formal training ­were also perceived as hijiri. Overall, it was given to an individual who, through their austere practices, appeared beyond the ordinary and had the potential to acquire—or had already achieved—­ superhuman power. The hijiri’s contribution to the dissemination of Buddhism to the general public through their offering of simplified practices and teachings has been well noted.35 In addition to spreading the word of the Buddha to a broader audience, they have been recognized as storytellers, as bridge builders, as providers of new information and technological skills. The activities of ­these hijiri, and of other traveling proselytizers, had a tangible impact on the ­actual religious practices of ­those outside the elite circles and monastic centers. Still overlooked is the influence and importance that traveling female proselytizers and fund-­raisers had within their society. Not surprisingly, the path and activities of itinerants are difficult to trace; even so, ­there are a few explicit examples of nuns who or­ga­nized and ventured on kanjin campaigns. Jō’amidabutsu, for example, began a kanjin campaign to collect money for the copying of the ­Great Wisdom Sutra (Daihannya haramitta kyō 大般若波羅蜜多經), as well as organ­izing an annual religious ser­vice, the Daihannya-­kai, at the Hachiman shrine during the early thirteenth ­century. Shinbō is noted for transmitting the Hachiman faith throughout Kyushū.36 ­Women have always had a strong spiritual position in Japan. The roles most impor­tant to this study are of the miko. Miko, defined as shamans or mediums, represent ­women engaged in vari­ous forms of sacred rites, rituals, and per­for­mances. Some of their expected talent was to be able to make direct contact with vari­ous spirits—­f rom animal spirits, deities, and Buddhist pantheons to the dead—­and relate back to this world the words and intentions of ­those spirits. Able to foretell the ­f uture and heal certain illnesses, they answered vari­ous kinds of requests brought by their clients, including Buddhist monks.37 The diversity of their engagement, practices, and social recognition is striking; ranging from landowners and wealthy individuals enjoying high social standing to t­ hose who ­were considered no more than beggars or prostitutes.38 Within this wide spectrum are t­hose termed arukimiko 歩き巫女—­ literally, “walking miko.” Contrasted to miko by their status as wanderers, they appear to have visited villages and pilgrimage sites offering their ser ­v ices.39 They are sometimes identified as wives of mountain ascetics (shugen-­ja 修験者 or yamabushi 山伏) and to have traveled and



performed rituals together as a pair. Kuroda Hideo, using visual sources, formulated characteristics of t­ hese arukimiko by looking at their physical features, such as hair, clothing, and accessories, and where and how they ­were depicted in scrolls.40 He summarizes that arukimiko situated themselves near or outside gates of shrines or ­temple-­shrine complexes. ­There they provided ser­vices through the use of handheld drums (鼓 tsuzumi) to make m ­ usic and prayer beads to pray to the deities and for nembutsu recitation. They also traveled from pilgrim sites or marketplaces and solicited alms from their audience by offering oracles through divine trances, conjuring spirits, or playing m ­ usic and telling stories.41 Arukimiko represent the itinerant class of miko, but the spectrum includes many other types of religious prac­ti­tion­ers. Regarding the societal roles of miko, Lori Meeks notes, “As religious proselytizers, diviners, and healers, their services—­and their clientele—­were very similar to ­those of holy men, especially hijiri and shugendō prac­ti­tion­ers, who ­were also active among the populace during this time.”42 A significant part of ­people’s faith lay in the ever presence of spirits and supernatural forces, for which the divination and shamanistic communication provided by hijiri and miko played a significant role.43 Furthermore, in her discussion of miko, Lori Meeks proposes that unlike men, who could choose between a formal monastic c­ areer and the nonconformist position of hijiri, ­women’s choice of role was limited, since, for most ­women, ­there ­were no official positions available. She thus suggests that miko “served as the primary vehicles through which ­women could pursue religious vocations.”44 Meeks is interested in the officially structured Buddhist practices—in par­tic­u­ lar, the ordination platform, which was erected on the grounds of Hokkeji 法華寺 in Nara. Her study of ­these nuns, who coordinated to have the precepts properly conducted, demonstrates existence of a community of intelligent and motivated ­women who chose a formal monastic ­career. Her study also shows, however, that this ordination platform and official position w ­ ere limited to the elite, and perhaps also to w ­ omen with financial means, even though the Hokkeji network itself was supported by a wide range of w ­ omen from dif­fer­ent backgrounds.45 Jishū remained outside the formal structures of Buddhist institutions. Even when the Yugyō school gained government sanctions in the fifteenth ­century, to be a jishū (in the Yugyō school, for example) was to take an oath of obedience to their religious leader, a vow that did not distinguish or discriminate by gender.46 One may speculate that as the miko served as a vehicle for ­women to pursue a religious vocation, so did



the jishū. It is instructive to recall that the terms miko and hijiri encompassed a wide and diverse spectrum of performers and prac­ti­tion­ers. Similarly, jishū entailed a broad gamut of possibilities, roles, and practice; only the nembutsu united them.

The Nembutsu Communities: Establishing the Yugyō School The one unifying practice of the jishū was their unceasing invocation of the nembutsu—­the verbal chanting of the name Amida Buddha for the purpose of obtaining rebirth in Pure Land. Ippen is a good example of a leader of one of ­these nembutsu communities, particularly ­because he has been very well documented. Ippen’s death led to the dispersion of his fellowship, with some members choosing to die in order to join him. ­Others continued their role as jishū by following Ta’amidabutsu Shinkyō 他阿弥陀佛 真教 (1237–1319). Shinkyō, one of Ippen’s jishū, became the self-­proclaimed leader and led his group of jishū on the mendicant journey for another sixteen years. Shinkyō’s legacy, in contrast to that of the wanderer Ippen, is that he established roots with a network of followers and patrons. According to the Hijiri-­e, Ippen did not wish for his teaching to formalize into an order; Shinkyō, on the other hand, envisioned the founding of a religious school. It was from his groundwork that the Yugyō school of Ippen Pure Land Buddhism was formed. Shinkyō understood that for any practice to be deemed a legitimate religious order, it needed to be recognized and supported by po­liti­cal authorities and patrons. To accomplish that, Shinkyō encouraged the establishment of permanent religious spaces, and in 1304, he set up a practice hall for himself in Taima, current Kanagawa prefecture. From this Taima Dōjō 当麻道場 he continued propagating, traveling, and cultivating relations with patrons, including well-­k nown poets, warriors, and courtiers. He also extended his religious authority to jishū members at other provincial practice halls. Within a few de­cades of Taima Dōjō being built, ­there ­were a hundred practice halls throughout Japan. The stationary practice halls provided the school with the stability it needed to grow as an organ­ization. Both nuns and monks ­were sent to lead ­these new practice halls and to assist with patrons’ wishes and the needs of the community surrounding them. Shinkyō explained: Monks and nuns who take care of the dōjō (道場 practice hall) are ­those who foster the jishū way. The rites and practices of the jishū and the maintenance of the practice hall are not to be undermined.47 14


An impor­tant task conducted by Shinkyō during his years at Taima Dōjō was to validate his succession to Ippen’s mission by producing the illustrative scroll known as Yugyō shōnin engi-­e 遊行上人縁起絵 (Illustrated biography of the traveling saint), hereafter referred to as Engi-­e.48 Unlike the Hijiri-­e, this scroll does not end with Ippen’s death but continues on and invites us to see the development of the Yugyō school jishū u ­ nder the direction of Shinkyō. The first four chapters rec­ord the life of Ippen, roughly matching that seen in the Hijiri-­e; the remaining six chapters focus on Shinkyō as the leader and his years of itinerant journey with his jishū. The scroll ends with the establishment of Taima Dōjō in 1304. ­Today, in contrast to the historical importance placed on the Hijiri-­e scroll, the Engi-­e has received very ­little attention. Yet it was the Engi-­e scroll, which propagated Shinkyō’s legitimacy as Ippen’s true and rightful successor, that was widely viewed, copied, and placed in most Yugyō school dōjō throughout the centuries.49 Shinkyō, careful to maintain an identity with the hijiri tradition, established the succession of the Yugyō hijiri and the continuation of the Ta’amidabutsu 他阿弥陀佛 name.50 The importance of the term yugyō 遊行 was established when Shinkyō designated it as the official term for his jishū’s itinerancy: “Take the name Ta’amidabutsu. This name is not for one generation, but is to be passed from generation to generation to the Yugyō [hijiri].”51 Pre­ce­dent was set that ­every leader undertaking the itinerant mission (yugyō) would be handed down the name Ta’amidabutsu. As Sybil Thornton indicates, the emphasis on the term yugyō was a way to differentiate Shinkyō’s order from that of other nembutsu kanjin hijiri groups—­including Ippen’s.52 Very ­little documentation is available to assess the life, difficulties, or reception of the jishū during the period when Ippen and Shinkyō traveled. However, ­there is no doubt that it was ­because of Shinkyō’s decision to establish fixed spaces for patrons and members to practice and teach that a rudimentary path is still available for us to trace ­these itinerants who devoted their lives to serving the name. Even practice halls founded and encouraged by Shinkyō looked at Ippen as their forefather. ­There ­were also other practice halls—­for example, the Okunotani Dōjō, which regarded Ippen as its spiritual founder but had no relation with Shinkyō. Okunotani Dōjō and Shinkyō’s practice halls ­were mixed-­gender. From Shinkyō’s correspondence with jishū members establishing nembutsu practice halls, we know that both monks and nuns w ­ ere dispatched to run ­these halls. ­These jishū ­were also expected to lead congregations, and to oversee new jishū and the well-­being 15


of their patrons. While the scant sources make it a challenge to explic­itly state that the dōjō run by nuns ­were mixed-­gender, the opposite is actually even more difficult; that is, to state that a ­fourteenth-­century jishū dōjō was a nunnery would be deliberately misreading the history of the jishū. Many of ­these practice halls w ­ ere situated along busy roadways and near marketplaces, spaces where ­people from vari­ous backgrounds interacted. The late thirteenth to the fifteenth c­ entury saw the expansion of urbanization with the creation of at least fifty new towns, especially around central and western Japan, shifting demographics and transforming the economic system.53 The straightforward practice of chanting the name of Amida Buddha, the rhythmic entertainment aspect of it combined with spiritual assurance, appealed to a wide segment of society. In the evolving and growing markets, as well as in the networks of information and product transportation, ­women ­were a valuable and strong presence. Many of ­those ­women sought spiritual comfort and another spiritual way of life through the jishū group. Often they became supporters, as non-­ordained members or nuns, as well as patrons and sponsors. The jishū practice halls are particularly in­ter­est­ing, as they are arranged for the inclusion of both men and ­women. The spatial organ­ization of the early jishū practice halls, as ­will be discussed in chapter 1, was or­ga­nized with the assumption of a mixed-­gender congregation. From Shinkyō’s correspondence and from the physical layout of surviving ­fourteenth-­century practice halls, it is clear that both men and ­women participated. ­These nembutsu practice halls, which varied in size, in location, and even by dif­ fer­ent forms of patronage, all welcomed ­women, men, and lay members from the community. Jishū members from Shinkyō’s order ­were expected to remain celibate, to practice and perform together, and to reside within the same grounds of their practice hall. Often the monks and nuns had to sleep ­under the same roof. With this image in mind, let us turn to the case of Chin’ichibō, a female leader of a jishū hall.


Chapter One

Female Leaders and Gendered Spaces Chin’ichibō was the leader of a jishū congregation of Amida Buddha Pure Land prac­ti­tion­ers. She was the chosen successor to Okunotani Dōjō, an impor­tant practice hall that claimed connection to Ippen, and she had as her disciples both monks and nuns.1 ­These jishū chanted the name Amida Buddha without interruption for the six periods of the day.2 For the jishū, the continuous recitation of the Amida Buddha name was the path to rebirth for all—­male and female—in the Western Paradise, or Pure Land. Practice halls w ­ ere built for the purpose of performing this chanting ritual, and they spread throughout Japan during the late thirteenth and early f­ourteenth ­centuries. They ­were especially popu­lar among the emerging warrior h ­ ouse­holds and the growing mercantile population, whose members sponsored the building of ­these halls. The study in the jishū schools of Pure Land Buddhism, to which Chin’ichibō is associated, pres­ents a key to understanding the participation and importance of ­women within ­those communities. The prevalent opinion that the role of ­women in Buddhism was inferior to that of men has led scholars to assume that a female teacher of Buddhism would have only been in charge of a female congregation. According to vari­ous Buddhist canonical texts, the position of females is restricted due to their spiritual inferiority and sinfulness. The case of Chin’ichibō, however, challenges this supposition and supports recent scholarship, which has revealed that ­women ­were often in­de­pen­dent, learned, and noetic. The study of the leader Chin’ichibō further points to a disjunction between the elite monastic Buddhist practices and the practiced religion as expressed and experienced by ­those outside the central core of power. The summary dismissal of w ­ omen from Buddhist religious history has inadvertently covered ­these female teachers of Buddhism with a dust of neglect. The rising interest in ­women’s history has generated new interpretations, and drawing on evidence outside the doctrinal texts has resulted in challenging the predisposed blanket assumption of female subservience. A more involved picture of ­women and 17

Chapter One

their roles has been revealed, providing us with a new understanding of their participation in medieval Japa­nese life. Unfortunately, as a result of certain restrictions and a dearth of documentation, most accounts have centered on w ­ omen of elite status. The activities and lives of ordinary men and w ­ omen who made up the regional jishū congregations, such as Chin’ichibō’s practice hall, have, if any, only sparse documentation. Even though many jishū halls ­were sponsored by prominent members of a certain area, such as warlords or provincial elites, members of jishū groups posed minimal interest to the central authorities and therefore rarely appear within official documents, including monastic rec­ords. The few accounts remaining of the jishū come from letters and journals, usually written by jishū leaders or the sponsoring elites. The mention of Chin’ichibō and her leadership is found in a set of regulations written by a male leader, and aside from that reference and her name in the death registry, t­ here is no further information about her or her disciples.

Encounter with Chin’ichibō The prominence of male superiority in all aspects of Buddhist religion was primarily a view created by monastic institutions and male found­ ers. ­There are very few rec­ords of female Buddhist leaders, and the only accounts of female jishū come from the writings of the male leaders. Nothing survives from the ­women themselves. However, by looking at ­those documents written by the ­women’s contemporaries, it is pos­si­ble to gain some insight into the lives of ­these active jishū members. ­These writings are valuable in that they do not follow the formulaic repre­sen­ ta­tions of w ­ omen often found in didactic tales but are concerned with real lives in vari­ous situations. Providing fragments of daily experiences, it offers clues to the impor­tant roles t­ hese ­women held in the spread and assimilation of their faith in the name Amida Buddha in the jishū schools. The story of Chin’ichibō, the leader of Okunotani Practice Hall, comes to us through the writing of the seventh itinerant leader of the Yugyō school, Takuga 託何 (1284–1354). In this account, Takuga explains the circumstances of the meeting and Chin’ichibō’s conversion. This document reveals that ­women ­were indeed impor­tant figures in the history of Buddhism, a fact that has all too often been forgotten or neglected in the rewritings of history. The document opens with Takuga’s account of meeting with the leader and members of the jishū at Hōgonji 宝厳寺, also known as Okunotani Dōjō.3 While Takuga and his jishū w ­ ere on an itinerant mission in 18

Female Leaders and Gendered Spaces

Shikoku in 1344, the nun Chin’ichibō visited them. This nun, Takuga stated, was the chosen successor of Sen’a, the founder of the Okunotani jishū dōjō. She invited Takuga and his Yugyō school jishū to her practice hall, where they stayed for three days. At Okunotani Dōjō, a spiritual bond was formed between Takuga and Chin’ichibō, and they resolved to maintain a karmic connection. Takuga and his jishū continued on their itinerant mission and headed east ­toward Yakura, near the current Iyo city. ­A fter a few days, they returned to the dōjō where they had initially met Chin’ichibō. On the twenty-­first day of the sixth month, Chin’ichibō made another visit to Takuga at this location. He reported her words: “I have come on a ­matter of ­great importance. I have noticed a change in my body, [especially] on the road h ­ ere. The reason for my coming is to request that the dōjō be ­under your guidance ­after I achieve my real intention [of rebirth].”4 Takuga continues: “This agreement was made on the morning of the twenty-­first, and while [she] was making her leave with tears in her eyes, [I] gave her an Ami-­robe and told her to wear this [when she] achieves rebirth.” She achieved rebirth on the twenty-­sixth at the hour of tatsu, between seven and nine in the morning. In accordance with her wish, Takuga sent a Yugyō school jishū to Okunotani Dōjō to become the new leader. He stated that “the monks and nuns both valued their former leader’s order and ­w ill now follow my words to enter the [Yugyō school] jishū with the same vow and same heart, and continue to live at the [dōjō].”5 Takuga lists nine articles of protocol that would need to be followed now that the Okunotani members had become Yugyō school jishū: (1) regarding the true and associate jishū; (2) regarding jishū of the time; (3) regarding the twelve belongings; (4) regarding the end of year ritual; (5) regarding the nembutsu dance; (6) regarding the end of day Hyakuman-­ben nembutsu 百万遍念佛; (7) regarding the accolade of nembutsu; (8) regarding the night ritual for mourning the deceased; and (9) regarding the color of the robes.6 Although not stated as an in­de­pen­ dent entry, the message that the Chishiki, the leader, is both a manifestation of Amida Buddha and the ultimate authority is emphasized throughout the document. ­These articles pres­ent us with points that Takuga felt w ­ ere impor­tant to complete the transference of the Okunotani jishū to members of the Yugyō school. Among ­these articles, the only gender distinction noted is in article 4, in which the entry of nuns to the dōjō during the seven day, seven night religious practice (betsuji nembutsu 別時念佛) is addressed. Apparently, 19

Chapter One

the nuns w ­ ere to enter the dōjō before the monks. Takuga explained that this was b ­ ecause the original vow of Amida Buddha was to save the most evil of living ­things (gokuaku 極悪), and since the most evil of living ­things ­were ­women, ­women ­were to enter the dōjō first.7 This detail of ­women as “evil” is part of the common rhe­toric found in Buddhist doctrine; the practice of nuns entering the dōjō first, before the monks, may have been introduced by Takuga, or it may have been common before then. However, it should be noted that nowhere in Takuga’s document is ­there any indication that he found it unusual that a nun would be leading a dōjō; rather, Takuga was full of praise and re­spect for Chin’ichibō and admired her disciples, both male and female, who understood her teachings. Although recently destroyed by fire, Okunotani Dōjō, better known ­today as Hōgonji, held one of the oldest statues of Ippen. The location of Okunotani Dōjō is considered to be close to Ippen’s birthplace, and perhaps Chin’ichibō was a distant relation to the Kanō ­family, relatives of Ippen. If so, Takuga makes no mention of any connection to Ippen beyond the comment that Sen’a was Ippen’s disciple. Okunotani Dōjō is situated close to a low mountain and is a short walking distance from the famous Dōgo Onsen 道後温泉, one of the oldest recorded hot springs in Japan. 8 Also nearby is the forgotten fort estate of the Kanō clan. The grounds of Okunotani ­were large, with a marketplace, a steam bath, and a site for funeral rituals (with a burial ground). How Chin’ichibō interacted and helped the community surrounding her dōjō is unknown, but she was significant enough for Takuga to dedicate and rec­ord her followers’ conversion to the Yugyō school. Chin’ichibō is an example of a female teacher of Buddhism who was also a leader of a mixed-­gender congregation. With her history as a respected leader and the chosen successor to this dōjō, it is not difficult to imagine her as a charismatic, active, and educated individual. As noted, Takuga indicated no surprise that Chin’ichibō was the leader of a mixed-­ gender dōjō. He confers on her an Ami-­robe, indicating his strong regard and re­spect for her, and his belief that she was guaranteed to achieve rebirth in Pure Land.9 Takuga was the seventh itinerant leader of the Yugyō school, and when not traveling, he resided in the Shichijō Dōjō 七条道場, or Seventh Ave­nue Practice Hall in Kyoto, where he wrote numerous tenets and religious doctrines for the Yugyō school.10 He had personal communications with the shogun Ashikaga Takauji 足利尊氏 (1305–1358) and appears to have been well connected with the elite circle of Kyoto. Takuga was 20

Female Leaders and Gendered Spaces

aware of the Buddhist postulation of the inferior nature and sinful bodies of ­women. In fact, he emphasized the sins of ­women to demonstrate the miraculous power of Amida in a letter to a laywoman who had inquired about the benefit of the nembutsu for ­women: ­ omen are weighed down by their sins and obstructions. ­Because of this, W they are not pardoned by the mercy of the Buddhas. For now and ­u ntil eternity, ­women ­will receive the suffering of transmigration in the six realms. . . . ​Indeed ­women are heavi­ly weighed down sinners. From the dark road to the even darker [road], accumulating suffering upon suffering. ­There is no peace for [­women] while in the six realms of four modes of birth and the twenty-­five states of existence.11

Although he detailed the sinfulness of the female nature, the overall message of his letter was to confirm the wonderful benefits provided by the nembutsu, that “to chant is to erase sin,” that “the Buddha protects ­those who chant.” He suggested that ­women, despite being born innately sinful, could achieve rebirth through the chanting of the Amida Buddha’s name.12 Theoretically, a jishū was someone who was completely devout and therefore beyond gender. Takuga explained in another letter that the monks and the nuns shared the same value (toku 徳).13 However, although a jishū, ­whether male or female, shared the same toku, it did not mean they ­were equal or beyond gender. Thus, it was still necessary for monks and nuns to have a deliberate separation in religious names. Takuga was one of the first to explicate the meaning ­behind the jishū religious names, specifically in his dōjō codes for the newly converted Okunotani Dōjō. He explained that for the Yugyō jishū, monks held the -­a ~阿 or -­amidabutsu ~阿弥陀佛 suffix, which was derived from the concept that p ­ eople’s devotion and Amida Buddha’s salvation are one. The suffix for nuns, -­ichibō ~一房 or -­butsubō ~佛房, Takuga described: “Although it is said their means to enter the vow of Amida may be slow or fast, taken that all are ‘returned’ by ichibutsu-­jō, [一佛乗 (‘the one Buddha’ or ‘the one vehicle’)] their titles are -­ichi, -­butsu.”14 The tenets, texts, and doctrines written by Takuga inform us of his profound understanding and knowledge of the vari­ous Buddhist scriptures, including the gendered dialogue, yet his female members continued to be active and impor­tant members of his group and of the Yugyō school practice halls throughout Japan. With the conversion of the Okunotani Dōjō to a Yugyō school jishū, Takuga did not expel the nuns or enforce a gender division; instead, he offered an explanation for the naming convention and informed them that nuns ­were to enter the dōjō 21

Chapter One

first for the rituals. Clearly, he expected jishū nuns to be part of the religious school.

Gendered Spaces Studying the Yugyō jishū dōjō reveals a unique space where celibate male and female adherents lived and practiced together. While patrons and observers expressed confusion and dismay over the jishū style of residency, the continued presence of mixed-­gender halls well into the fifteenth ­century attests to the demand or necessity for both monks and nuns. The organ­ization and arrangement of the space of ­these dōjō, especially regarding the division based on gender, offer insights about the roles, position, and reception of the female Yugyō jishū. Additionally, an examination of issues specific to the layout of the Yugyō school dōjō demonstrates the impor­tant role that the gender division of space played and helps in understanding the changes that occurred in the jishū social order. ­There are two surviving Yugyō school dōjō from the ­fourteenth ­century: Onomichi Dōjō 尾道道場 in Hiroshima prefecture and Masuda Dōjō 益田道場 in Shimane prefecture. Both ­these dōjō and other Ji-­sect dōjō maintain a similar layout to this day. The organ­ization of space can help define the relationship among ­people, ­things, or concepts in the context of a set of specific practices.15 Studies on or­ga­n ized space have demonstrated that space is po­l iti­cal, ideological, and filled with social meanings.16 In her work Gendered Spaces, Daphne Spain proposes that architecture reflects the ideas and realities in the relationship between ­women and men.17 Her analy­sis of gender through a spatial perspective offers a valuable tool for understanding the relationships of the Yugyō jishū group. Spain demonstrates that architectural and geographic spatial arrangements reinforce status difference between men and ­women. When ­these gendered spaces are reinforced through time, they become institutionalized and continue to maintain that spatial segregation.18 To Spain, access to the knowledge valued by society is key to status enhancement.19 ­Those in control of knowledge are t­ hose in power, and this power relationship w ­ ill often be inscribed into the building’s space. Where one is positioned within a certain space makes the status of that person evident, even when he or she is absent. This positioning is the most impor­tant consideration when analyzing gender stratification of spatial arrangements. Let us first examine the spatial layout of one of the oldest surviving Yugyō school dōjō, Onomichi Dōjō, or Saigōji 西郷寺. A journey to Onomichi 22

Female Leaders and Gendered Spaces

Dōjō w ­ ill give us a picture of how the space within a Yugyō jishū dōjō was or­ga­nized. We begin this journey at the Seto inland sea, where we disembark at Onomichi bay and stroll ­toward the western mountains. At the end of a seemingly random narrow road, an old gate appears. The engraving on the tall stone beside the gate informs the visitor of the name of this structure: Saigōji, ­temple of the West inland. The ­simple, yet elegant gate has welcomed visitors for over six hundred years. The area beyond the gate, once a religious (po­liti­cal) space with ­music (chanting) and dancing (ritualized), is now one of the many local ­temple destinations for tourists visiting Onomichi in Hiroshima prefecture. The place is no longer an active jishū dōjō; even the head monk holds an office job in another city and returns only on the weekends. The religious significance of this property is no longer what it was in the years of medieval and premodern Japan. During that time, ­there was a significant space within the walls that surrounded the main structure. It included at least twelve residences for the monks and nuns along the road to the main building and five branch ­temples within Onomichi. When standing before the entrance gate ­today, it would be next to impossible for the casual visitor to imagine such a large community. Visitors who brave the steps and cross over the gate may at first be surprised at the ­simple structure and environment in front of them. It does not inspire awe, but it is inviting. One feels welcomed and has an impression of tranquility in the structure and the space. The single-­ story, oblong, dark-­wood building has an elegant kawara roof that slopes upward at the edges, directing the eyes ­toward the sky. The short distance from the entrance gate to the building is covered by gravel except for a central stone path, which leads the visitor straight to the center of the building.20 Should the visitor be lucky, the shutter gates to the main building ­will be open, inviting one to step within. Inside, ­there is a vast, open area; only columns obstruct the view, and a knee-­high divider indicates where the interior bound­aries are. ­There is a feeling of serenity and simplicity, accentuated by the large space and the flooding of natu­ral light, which contrasts with the dark wood. A peaceful gold Amida Buddha statue stands as the focal point. Should the visitor wish to make an offering, the alms collection box is placed within the center of the open space, in front of the Amida statue ­under a carved wooden frame.21 ­After throwing a few coins into the box and clapping hands to make a prayer, the visitor ­will be surprised to hear a rhythmic high-­pitched echo, a sound that represents the call of a dragon. This sound trick, a product of the 23

Chapter One

entrance’s ceiling, was part of the original structure, but centuries of patchwork to the ceiling had silenced the “dragon.” It was only during the restoration in 1965 that this construction method and musical trick was (re)discovered. The entrance section, along with the special ceiling, received the medieval community in the same way it welcomes tourists ­today. In front of this area, partitioned off by a low gate, are the inner sections. The center of the three sections is ceremoniously distinguished from the surrounding area by short hanging sudare 簾 (bamboo blinds), which are attached to the pillars enshrining the central Amida Buddha statue. This space, which was reserved for the Amida Buddha and the leader of the dōjō, is called the nai-­jin 内陣 (inner section). Larger than most typical ­temple nai-­jin, this space was allocated for the per­for­mance of the ritualized dance.22 A typical per­for­mance would involve the jishū group circling the inner section while chanting and shuffling their feet in unison. The spaces to the right and to the left of the nai-­jin, called waki-­jin 脇陣 (side section), are divided equally. They are slightly smaller than the inner section and are covered with tatami mats. ­Today, the waki-­jin are used by patrons of the ­temple when they attend a ser­vice (most likely a funeral ser­vice), and ­there are Western-­style chairs available for ­those not comfortable sitting on the floor for a long duration. During the medieval period, ­these sides would have been reserved for the jishū. The space for the monks was to the left of the inner section, while to the right was the space for the nuns. The outer areas, ge-­jin 外陣, ­were for the adherents.23 The importance of a spatial gender division arose a­ fter the establishment of dōjō in the early f­ ourteenth ­century. The increase in the number of jishū groups inevitably produced male–­female interactions that, innocent or not, appeared inappropriate. It was Shinkyō, the self-­claimed successor of Ippen, who suggested creating a spatial division in the dōjō between the monks and nuns. Shinkyō, as the leader, assumed ultimate authority and defined the standards of religious life for the order.24 Shinkyō addressed the concerns regarding sexual misbehavior voiced by the patrons and the jishū members themselves in his letters and in the production of the scroll, Engi-­e.25 Eventually he wrote down rules in a document called Dōjō seimon 道場誓文 (Regulations for the dōjō). In addition to expounding the importance of dedicating one’s practice to the nembutsu and the vital role of the leader in guiding followers on the path to Pure Land, he dictated a set of rules that dealt with the prob­lems of sexual attraction.26 Shinkyō wrote that any sexual activity by a jishū would render that jishū a false Buddhist practitioner. Furthermore, sex24

Female Leaders and Gendered Spaces

ual acts would make it impossible for the guilty jishū to achieve birth in the Pure Land.27 A jishū who succumbed to temptation “should not be permitted to be in the same room or to share seats and must be expelled from the assembly.”28 The space between the monks and nuns was to be wide enough to keep them out of reaching distance and, to create a sense of boundary, the boxes containing the belongings of the jishū ( jūnikōbako 十二光箱, box of twelve lights) ­were placed between them.29 Letters by Shinkyō also inform us of his instructions to patrons and practice hall leaders and of his logic ­behind separating the sexes.30 First, Shinkyō explained the commitment ­behind taking the tonsure. One must abandon all ­family relations and home life, and one must rely completely on the leader, the Chishiki. Next, he explained that the path to deception and delusion is taken when the monks approach the nuns and when the nuns do not dismiss or reject the monks. In order to reach the Pure Land, nuns should not go near the monks, and monks, in turn, should sever ties with nuns. He further stated that creating separate sections for the monks and nuns is in accordance with the path for rebirth in the Pure Land. Shinkyō suggested that should the dōjō be large enough, the monks and nuns should be separated into dif­fer­ent sections.31 In another letter he recommends “establish[ing] three distinct sections[;] although they face each other, they ­will not be within reaching distance to exchange objects.”32 The divide was to prevent physical contact and any private conversation between monks and nuns. The inner section of the jishū dōjō was its focal point; jishū might have entered this realm on occasion, but it would have only been to provide services—­ritual dancing or cleaning—­for the figure represented in the space. This central section was where the “knowledge” tran­ spired. The area surrounding the inner section was for the jishū. No physical bound­aries separated the side sections or obstructed the communication between ­those in the side sections and the inner section. This arrangement can be seen from the surviving scrolls, which show that both sides had identical access to the leader. Therefore, one can assume that teaching, information, and knowledge ­were addressed to all without distinction. Considering the reciprocal relationship between the social construction of space and the spatial construction of social relations, this jishū dōjō layout leads one to assume that the nuns’ position was comparable to that of the monks. Daphne Spain has argued that if all resources and knowledge are divided equally between the ­women-­space and the men-­ space, then spatial arrangements make no difference.33 Therefore, in the 25

Chapter One

case of the jishū, although ­there was a right–­left division between the sexes, it is likely that all resources and knowledge ­were transmitted uniformly. Following Spain’s logic, it is not surprising that within this mixed-­gender community, ­women held impor­tant positions and took on leadership roles. The fourth leader of Onomichi Dōjō, for example, was the nun Dai’ichibō 大一房. We do not know the story of Dai’ichibō, and we only know of her leadership role by chance. Very few structures have survived from the ­fourteenth ­century; thus, when Onomichi Dōjō was designated a national trea­sure in 1961, it underwent refurbishment. During this restoration, a construction plaque was discovered that revealed the names of ­those involved in the building of its main gate in 1395. The plaque rec­ ords that nun Dai’ichibō, leader of the ­temple, initiated the construction.34 The name Dai’ichibō is also mentioned as the fourth leader in Onomichi-­shi (History of Onomichi), published in 1939. This rec­ord, which noted her involvement in the gate construction, with slight differences in the date and names of ­others involved, suggests that ­there ­were dif­fer­ ent sources of the oral tradition passed on regarding Dai’ichibō’s involvement in the gate construction.35 Onomichi-­shi also mentions Dai’ichibō as the wife of the lord of Sagata ­castle 相方城, which stood in current Fukuyama City in Hiroshima prefecture.36 No evidence has been found to confirm this information, and although subsequent history for Onomichi and Hiroshima prefecture continue to rec­ord this detail, it is problematic in that Sagata ­castle was not constructed ­until 1568, almost two centuries ­after Dai’ichibō had commissioned the gate.37 The Yugyō school’s itinerant mission visited Onomichi roughly ­every ten years ­until the fifteenth ­century. Despite ­these regular visits, ­there is l­ittle documentation available about the jishū in Onomichi. We do know that Onomichi Dōjō was a prosperous and impor­tant mixed-­gender jishū dōjō. It had several dōjō ­under its care within Onomichi, and the male bōzu (practice hall leader) carried one of the top religious designations in the Yugyō school: that of Sono’amidabutsu 其阿弥陀佛.38 To believe that nuns could only be in charge of ­women requires the unlikely scenario that this mixed-­gender dōjō quietly switched into a ­women-­only dōjō for Dai’ichibō’s tenure. To continue the exploration of the medieval dōjō space, at the very back of Onomichi Dōjō, hidden from the main hall, are four rooms. Three of them now serve as storage spaces, and one is used as a private meeting room. T ­ here is a legend told that one of ­these rooms was used to shelter Ashikaga Takauji before he became shogun. Apparently he had sought 26

Female Leaders and Gendered Spaces

refuge at Onomichi Dōjō ­after being defeated in a ­battle in the south. He stayed several months while he waited for an appropriate time to resurface. Frustration brought on by his long confinement led to impatient outbursts of sword swinging, and the resulting marks left by his sword can be seen throughout the room.39 No documented proof is available to verify this account, but the Amida Buddha statue, the one still standing in the center of the dōjō, was a gift from Ashikaga Takauji.40 ­There is another surviving ­fourteenth-­century jishū dōjō, Masuda Dōjō 益田道場, better known ­today as Manpukuji 萬福寺.41 Situated close to the river ­running through the town of Masuda in Shimane prefecture, this dōjō was constructed for and maintained by the Masuda clan, the lords of Nanao c­ astle. Similar to Onomichi Dōjō, the main hall is inviting and elegant in its simplicity. ­Today, the visitor enters into an expansive, open space through the side of the dōjō from a connecting building. The interior layout of Masuda Dōjō is almost identical to that of Onomichi Dōjō, with the division of space for the Buddha (Chishiki), monks, nuns, and the lay community.42 The visitor is also able to enter one of the back rooms, where some of the trea­sured artifacts from the Masuda clan are on display.43 Along the veranda to the back of the hall, another room displays rare historical pieces from the jishū, such as the box of twelve lights ( jūnikōbako).44 ­These trea­sures, however, tend to be overshadowed by Manpukuji’s main attraction for ­today’s visitor—­that is, the garden designed by the famous painter Sesshū 雪舟 (1420–1506). In 1479, Masuda Kanetaka 益田兼尭 (?–1485), the fifteenth lord of Nanao ­castle, invited this famous painter to his estate. During his stay, Sesshū was commissioned to design a garden for Masuda Dōjō. This Zen garden, situated at the back of the dōjō, has been designated a National Place of Scenic Beauty. Architectural historian Itō Nobuo has identified the architecture of Masuda Dōjō and Onomichi Dōjō as being the same, and that the dōjō style represented a ­simple residential building.45 Activities at the dōjō, such as the rituals and ser­vices, ­were intended to create religious merit. This merit was transferred or transferable to other living beings. The belief in the accrual of merit was one reason for the proliferation of dōjō and t­ emples in medieval Japan.46 The Onomichi Dōjō was largely sponsored by the local community, whereas the Masuda Dōjō was sponsored by the Masuda clan. When a patron or a ­family clan was the sponsor, additional merit making was acquired for the sponsor’s benefit, both in this world and in the next. Both of ­these jishū dōjō ­were situated along major transportation routes. The jishū could attract and serve more 27

Chapter One

­ eople by building dōjō in the most populated or highly trafficked areas. p Thus, the jishū made a contribution to the community by assisting in the practical day-­to-­day life and, even more significantly, by fulfilling their spiritual needs.47 To trace the history of t­ hese Pure Land Buddhist prac­t i­t ion­ers and the roles of nuns within them is not an easy task. T ­ hose who initially became prac­ti­tion­ers or patrons of the jishū movement w ­ ere the peripheral elites, commoners, or ­those who chose to take the path of a wanderer. The public found spiritual comfort and entertainment from ­these itinerant jishū and sought to accrue merit through the name Amida Buddha. The itinerant jishū met p ­ eople of diverse classes and regions throughout their missions: at other major pilgrimage sites, along the pilgrimage route, or while stationed between their travels. The Yugyō school was accepted by and prospered with the elites in the capital of Kyoto ­after it had developed a solid following and sponsorship from t­ hose outside the central sphere. By the sixteenth ­century, the Yugyō school had become a member of the elite religious groups whose rituals ­were included in government functions.48 Although it never achieved the same power­ful authority as the esoteric schools, it was a strong presence in the Buddhist world of Japan. ­Women played essential roles in the spread of the jishū movement, and while female leadership for ­these mixed-­gender jishū practice halls may not have been the norm, it was a possibility. Shinkyō expected nuns to participate in the administration and management of the newly found practice halls in the early f­ourteenth ­century. Takuga did not question Chin’ichibō’s religious authority in the mid-­fourteenth ­century, and Dai’ichibō funded the construction of the gate to Onomichi Practice Hall during her leadership at the close of the ­fourteenth c­ entury. A reference confirming the role of female leadership in a mixed-­ gender practice hall is found in a document titled Bōhishō 防非鈔 (Notes on preventing misconducts) from 1341, by Kai’amidabutsu 解阿弥陀佛 (dates unknown). Kai’amidabutsu, a jishū monk residing in Kyoto, wrote on the expected be­hav­ior of jishū members. His attitude t­ oward female practice hall leaders is expressed in the section with the heading “Regarding the stopping of long journeys or ­going on pilgrimages without the accompaniment of one’s local leader (坊主 bōzu).”49 The path of a journey is to climb steps and challenging mountain peaks, to surpass rough waves of the river and ocean. Through ­these dangerous ex-


Female Leaders and Gendered Spaces periences, the monks and nuns develop a bond [that leads to the crime of sex]. Through ­these experiences in which they need to work together, they develop relationships. As it is, when the boundary to the secular world is crossed, then the heart [desire] for lust grows stronger. And so, the prohibitions are broken. This is a sad ­thing. To be chained within prison for life and death. The basic cause and conditions [of] transmigration are desire and lust. Therefore the journeys [the monks and nuns take can] lead to the path of temptation [which w ­ ill give them the opportunity] to violate the precepts. Indeed, it is ideal to encompass the real intention of Buddhas and gods by ­going on pilgrimages. However, I repeat, the space between the monks and nuns needs to be limited. To prevent this evil from occurring, the [dōjō] leader must accompany the jishū to enforce the restrictions and to prevent any misconduct. Now, for short return trips, include the patron. However, nun leaders are excluded from this, ­because they are weak in enforcing punishments.

It is the very last sentence, which is almost a clarification or an afterthought, that validates female leadership. However, while it confirms the existence and familiarity of female leaders, it also expresses the restrictive and gendered bias male leaders had t­ oward them. In her study of nuns from Hokkeji during the medieval period, Lori Meeks has observed, “Laypeople do not appear to have viewed rituals performed or staged by ­women with any greater suspicion than ­those performed or staged by men; emphasis was instead placed on identifying which rituals ­were most efficacious.”50 The jishū movement was popu­lar for its ritual per­for­mance of chanting and dancing. It was both entertainment and spectacle with religious merit. The voices of male and female members in unison ­were pleasant to listen to, the dancing nembutsu was exciting to watch, and every­one was welcomed. The female jishū ­were as impor­tant in creating the feeling of religious inspiration as the male jishū. From the late thirteenth ­century and throughout the f­ourteenth ­century, the jishū movement not only allowed ­women to pursue training in the rituals and ser­vices but accepted that they performed alongside men. Monks and nuns, guided by their practice hall leader, embarked on pilgrimage journeys as part of their spiritual quest. They took to the roads, mountains, rivers, and ocean. It was a dangerous course, physically and mentally, but it was a path available to both men and ­women


Chapter One

who had the spiritual yearning and belief to follow the Buddha’s path. We may speculate that during the mid-­fourteenth ­century, jishū members, men and ­women, ­were individuals who had given up secular life and w ­ ere considered spiritually equal and ­under the protection and vows made to the Chishiki/Buddha. Let us now turn our focus to jishū as itinerants and the purpose of travel and travelers within the medieval world.


Chapter Two

Itinerant Path ­Women on the Road The itinerant holy man known as Yugyō hijiri 遊行聖 or Yugyō shōnin 遊行 上人 was considered to be the Buddha incarnate, and his traveling companions, the jishū, ­were Bodhisattvas. As a pilgrimage in reverse, the Yugyō school holy man and his mixed-­gender jishū entered vari­ous villages and towns promoting the world of Pure Land through their continuous chanting in unison of the name Amida Buddha. Together they assured the entry to Pure Land for t­ hose who listened and received the talisman with the inscription of the name Amida Buddha; the holy man also recorded the names of ­those who made a karmic connection with them into the kakochō 過去帳 (death register). To embark on a religious path during the medieval period required ac­cep­tance that it might be a one-­way journey; ­there was no guarantee of a safe return. Many also traveled for military campaigns during the ­fourteenth ­century, as it was a time of po­liti­cal chaos, brought on by the split in the imperial court and the resulting division between military fractions. Jishū monks and nuns traveled not only with the holy man but with their practice hall leader as well, embarking on pilgrimage journeys as part of their spiritual quest. It was a dangerous course, both physically and mentally, but such journeys w ­ ere undertaken for spiritual fulfillment. To situate the jishū’s travels within the medieval context, it is impor­tant to first paint an outline of travel in medieval Japan. Medieval sources, such as the Hijiri-­e and literary texts, are filled with depictions of travelers, from merchants and entertainers to ­those on pilgrimages. The images of w ­ omen compose part of this corpus; from stories of romanticized poets of the Heian period and pious, fictional characters, to crazed m ­ others in search of their lost c­ hildren, ­there is no shortage of tales recounting ­women on the road. Depictions of religious female and male itinerants similar to the jishū include preacher-­entertainers who collected donations and exalted the gods, Buddha, or bodhisattvas. Many medieval war tales, didactic tales (setsuwa 説話), and fictional stories 31

Chapter Two

­ ere transmitted by ­these itinerant preacher-­entertainers and ­were w used for their proselytizing and fund-­raising activities. In his numerous publications, Amino Yoshihiko has demonstrated the importance of understanding the world of t­ hose not bound by the land when looking at Japa­nese history. He suggests that while ­there ­were ­those forced into a life of wandering, ­there ­were many who actively pursued this lifestyle as a form of escape from conflict and social pressures.1

Travel in Medieval Japan Many terms exist for referring to traveling mystics: hijiri, kanjin hijiri, kōya hijiri, miko, arukimiko, kugutsu, biwahōshi, goze, etoki, ōhara-­me, and shōmonji.2 Finding them fascinating subjects, elite members of society recorded the passage and antics of such itinerant performers. As mentioned in the introduction, hijiri held multifaceted roles: alms-seeking preacher, recluse, itinerant, ascetic, one seen to have magical powers, or someone with secular ties.3 They ­were also noted for their vital role in spreading Buddhism across the provinces as well as their role in promoting public works, such as building bridges and irrigation systems.4 Kanjin hijiri ­were often on a specific fund-­raising campaign, seeking donations from all levels of society throughout the country.5 Kōya hijiri ­were affiliated with the major monastic center of Mount Kōya. Similarly, miko—­the shamans or maidens associated with shrines—­offered fortune-­telling, songs, and the opportunity to communicate with the departed or the divine.6 Arukimiko (walking shamans) ­were, as the name suggests, known to frequently travel the roads. The entertainers (gugutsu or kugutsu) ­were a group of traveling men and ­women, and as nomadic performers, they offered audiences puppet shows, songs, dances, and even the chance to accompany them to bed.7 Biwahōshi and goze ­were professional blind storytellers who traveled to tell their tales; they offered memorable per­ for­mances by reciting military epics accompanied by a musical instrument.8 Etoki, meaning “picture explaining,” was another form of alms solicitation by performers who used pictorial scrolls or prints. The most common pictures ­were of a ­temple’s or shrine’s miraculous origin, which in turn promoted that sacred site. It was perhaps more common for ­people to listen to etoki per­for­mances at a shrine or ­temple, but ­there ­were also etoki performers who conducted their solicitations at marketplaces and other locations where they could attract a crowd.9 The ōhara-­me (ladies of Ōhara) w ­ ere sellers of kindling who ventured into the urban space of Kyoto to sell their firewood. Shōmonji appear to have had 32

Itinerant Path

conducted a wide range of per­for­mances, from fortune-­telling to dancing to chanting. Their per­for­mances are associated with the onmyōdō 陰陽道 (yin-­yang divination). ­These are but a few of the recorded itinerant professionals, most of whom used their own skill of voice, dance, or musical talent to attract the attention of the moving crowd in hopes of receiving offerings.10 Didactic tales and literary works dealt with the subject of traveling or wandering w ­ omen, describing the mediums who communicated with the departed, the sensuous and alluring performers who ser­viced the elite members of society, and t­ hose ­women who begged on the streets. Tales of ­women working near port towns, or even on boats, to provide traveling men a chance to share their bed appear to have offered an erotic appeal to the central elite. Solitary female travelers w ­ ere often depicted as crazed or as ­women not of this world, and pitiable beggar nuns roaming the streets ­were shown to be a logical result of w ­ omen letting their jealous hearts guide their actions.11 Traveling nuns who used their unique appearances as a means for soliciting donations appear in fifteenth-­century texts. A court diary from 1449 titled Yasutomi-­ki rec­ords the bizarre arrival of a shira bikuni 白比丘尼 (white nun) in Kyoto from the Wakasa region. She claimed to be two hundred years of age and was charging admission for p ­ eople to see her.12 The same author noted the arrival of another nun from the eastern regions, one who arrived with twenty ­others in her group and who gave lectures on the Lotus Sutra. Many repre­sen­ta­tions of female travel existed, from filial ­daughters and famed poets to ­those seeking penance through travel and t­ hose who made their livelihood through travel; ­these images and portrayals ­were recorded by the elite male members of society. A discovery that has broadened our understanding of female travelers in the medieval period was made in the early twentieth ­century, when the diary of a thirteenth-­century female courtier was found. This ­woman served Emperor Go Fukakusa 後深草天皇 (1243–1304) in her youth and then took to the road as a nun during her thirties. Her given name was Lady Nijō or Go-­Fukakusain no Nijō 後深草院二条 (1258–1307?), derived from the street name Second Ave­nue, a common practice for court ladies at the time. Of special importance to this study is that she was a con­ temporary of Ippen and Shinkyō. Her diary is titled Towazugatari とはずが たり (Unrequested tales, or Confessions of Lady Nijō). The diary is divided into two sections, the first of which rec­ords her life in the ser­vice of her patron, Go Fukakusa, who, she informs us, was in love with her ­mother. 33

Chapter Two

As a result, he took her ­under his protection at an early age. This section provides lively insights into the sexual ­goings-on of court life, with its intrigues, conflicts, and betrayals. The second section of the diary rec­ ords her itinerant travels as a nun ­after leaving court life. She pres­ents her travels as culturally and spiritually motivated, as she intended to offer prayers to the gods and to visit famous sites of poets and teachers of the past. Lady Nijō sought to have her own name become part of the travel lit­er­a­t ure tradition through her recording of her journey, and to become a writer-­poet in her own right by recording her own poems at literary monuments where past poets had composed poems.13 Another female aristocrat from the thirteenth ­century who produced a travel journal is writer, poet, and Tale of Genji scholar Abutsu-ni 阿仏尼 (?–1283). Her mission was a quest for material support and official recognition that she was the heir to her husband’s poetic lineage.14 Both Abutsu-ni and Lady Nijō recorded their journeys not only as autobiographical travel diaries but also as rec­ords of their attempts to resolve certain prob­lems. In Abutsu-­ni’s case, it was a means to make a claim to her and her ­children’s inheritance rights; and for Lady Nijō, it may have been a search for self-­discovery and self-­transformation ­after losing her position at court. In Lady Nijō’s tale, she describes her encounters with ­people from vari­ous backgrounds and social standing and how she shared roads, shelters, and space at ­temples and shrines with ­t hese strangers. At one point, she writes of joining another traveling group on her way to Zenkōji, the famous pilgrim site in current Nagano prefecture. She declares, “I had hoped to pause along the way and visit famous places, but I fell in with a group of travelers and allowed myself to be swept along without stopping. ­Later, when the other travelers ­were ready to leave Zenkō ­Temple, I explained that I was bound by a pledge and would remain t­ here in retreat for a time. They ­were concerned about my staying on alone, but I was firm.”15 And so Lady Nijō stayed ­behind, where she became acquainted with some ascetics and nuns who w ­ ere also residing at Zenkōji. The medieval period was a time when men and ­women of all social classes contemplated or completed a pilgrim journey to a sacred site within the archipelago. Lady Nijō rec­ords the words of a man from a ­house in which she was staying: “It is quite natu­ral for ­people to travel about on pilgrimages, and you have no idea what her status might be in the capital.”16 Lady Nijō was clad in the robes of a Buddhist practitioner, removing the obvious clues of her social status. ­Women depicted in 34

Itinerant Path

scrolls are often seen at pilgrimage sites and marketplaces, or within their own residences. The symbolic, visual image of a female traveler is a person wearing a wide-­brim straw hat with a veil extending over their shoulders. This large hat and veil protected them from the ele­ments, including insects, but it was also used to conceal their identity. As the man of the h ­ ouse said, pilgrims dressed in the robes of a traveling Buddhist priest (or as a shaman or a mountain ascetic) ­were indistinguishable from one another. Thus, the pilgrims avoided the roles firmly established in a class-­conscious society. While the ­house­hold where Lady Nijō was boarding suspected that she was of noble birth, they could not be certain, and she was treated the same as all the other traveling holy persons. Zenkōji, as described by Lady Nijō, was one of the many popu­lar pilgrimage destinations and a location for the spiritual to reside and train. Ippen’s itinerant travel included Zenkōji, and one of his revelations was gained during his reclusion ­there. By chance, we have the name of one nun who seems to have joined Ippen’s jishū fellowship in the eastern region of Japan, likely Zenkōji. Known to us as Shōichibō 生一房, she traveled with him for years throughout the western parts and continued through to the island of Shikoku. ­A fter Ippen’s death, Shōichibō joined Shinkyō’s mission, took the vow of obedience to Shinkyō, and continued to travel with him and his jishū. At one point, however, Shōichibō must have done something to upset Shinkyō, for he was angry enough to write the following: Training without wisdom and without the earnest intention to attain enlightenment with one’s recitation of the nembutsu, ­will, regardless of the de­cades spent [in training], not amount to the Buddha’s way. Shōichi[bō] had traveled with the late hijiri (Ippen) joining in from the Eastern part and [traveling] to the western countries and to Shikoku. Although [she] survived starvation and the cold, she still does not have the true resolve. At the time, with the body the gong was struck and the words of promise [­were made] but now all that connection has been lost. This makes it obvious the saying that the training of the past has no merit.17

Without leaving the realm of speculation, we can form an image of Shōichibō as a ­woman similar to Lady Nijō who, unable to live in the circumstance that she had been raised in, took to the road as a pilgrim. She then aimed for Zenkōji, one of the most popu­lar destinations for female pilgrims. As Lady Nijō had done by joining a group for her journey to Zenkōji, Shōichibō may have initially joined Ippen and his fellow companions as a con­ve­nient and safer way to reach her destination. Charmed 35

Chapter Two

by Ippen’s charisma and inspired by his mission and purpose, she deci­ ded to devote her life to Ippen’s mission. Shinkyō’s dis­plea­sure ­toward Shōichibō allows us to confirm the active and mobile world of pilgrims and the importance placed on travel as physical training for sacred purposes. How did Shōichibō disobey or disappoint Shinkyō? Shinkyō demanded absolute obedience and required a vow from his jishū members, in contrast to Ippen, who did not enforce or demand such pledges. This vow was made with the striking of a gong and words of promise, as indicated ­here with Shōichibō’s oath to Shinkyō. From Shinkyō’s other writings, we understand that he was concerned with his jishū members disobeying the celibate rule of the order or being distracted by ­family attachments. Perhaps Shōichibō had sought comfort in her old age and ­either chose to return to her home or formed an attachment to another monk or nun? Or had she, as one of Ippen’s original fellowship, disagreed with Shinkyō’s plans to establish permanent practice halls, which was contrary to Ippen’s mission? While it is impossible to surmise Shōichibō’s ­mental state and the specific reasoning for receiving Shinkyō’s disapproval, this short entry nonetheless offers clues beyond the scroll’s renditions of the initially mendicant itinerants.

Hijiri as Extraordinary Visitors The most recognizable and celebrated itinerants of the medieval period ­were the hijiri, religious preachers or holy men.18 As mentioned earlier, rec­ords indicate that hijiri collected alms for imperial or monastic proj­ ects, especially the building of ­temples or Buddhist statues or mandalas.19 ­There ­were also hijiri like Ippen, who were not involved in any monastic or imperial proj­ects yet traveled the provinces to spread their vision of Pure Land. ­Because of his mendicant commitment, Ippen was known as the sute-­hijiri 捨聖 (holy man who discarded every­thing). While ­there are no depictions of public works by Ippen recorded in the Hijiri-­e, his self-­ claimed successor and founder of the Yugyō school, Shinkyō, is depicted performing a practical and miraculous public proj­ect in the Engi-­e. The story explains the origin of the Yugyō school tradition of suna mochi 砂持ち—­the practice of carry­i ng “sand blocks”—­that continues to this day. The story begins with the deity of Tsuruga Kehi G ­ rand Shrine appearing in a dream to Shinkyō and requesting a road be built to the shrine. Shinkyō, understanding the divine nature of this dream, started carry­ ing bags of sand from the beach to create a path. It was not long before 36

Itinerant Path

t­ hose who had established karmic affinities with Shinkyō joined the physical l­abor of creating the road. The scroll describes the scene: the jishū monks and nuns compete with each other saying, “me too, me too.” ­Those from other provinces who had placed their faith in Shinkyō, as well as the locals who established a karmic affiliation with him, participated. From the exalted to the ­humble—­clergy and secular, shrine priests, monks, itinerant female performers, and dancers—­they all worked for seven days and seven nights, with their shoulders creaking and their feet aching.20 In this way, Shinkyō’s “extraordinary visitor” or hijiri status is revealed through his accomplishment of a task considered too difficult or impossible by the locals. Shinkyō’s ability to mobilize and coordinate ­people even outside his group is also significant. Many of the illustrations of this scene depict Shinkyō sitting or standing at the end of the road being built, almost as if in a supervisory role; he is not pictured among ­those ­doing physical ­labor, which often included ­children among the non-­jishū. This suna mochi episode, emphasized in the Engi-­e, not only highlights Shinkyō’s identity as a hijiri but also asserts the “blessing” given to Shinkyō and his jishū by the kami (gods/deities). In addition to the populace’s expectation of a hijiri to have talent in building bridges or other infrastructures, ­there was a sense that a hijiri possessed supernatural abilities—in par­t ic­u ­lar, the power to heal. Although he does not have any public proj­ects attributed to him in the Hijiri-­e, Ippen is inexplicitly portrayed as a healer. The story invoking Ippen as a healer describes how a man (referred to as a akutō 悪党, “evil bandit” or “social outcast”) assaults a female member of Ippen’s fellowship and is consequently punished by divine powers, which leave him para­lyzed. The Hijiri-­e does not suggest it was Ippen who caused the affliction; rather, the man is visited in a dream by a divine being/monk who condemns him for disrupting the nembutsu prac­t i­t ion­ers, ­a fter which he wakes up unable to move. Fearful for their son, who is no longer able to work, the man’s parents visit Ippen and beg for a cure. ­A fter some persuasion, Ippen does see the man and heals him of his paralysis.21 Another scroll con­temporary to the Hijiri-­e is the pictorial and narrative scroll known as the Tengu-­zōshi emaki dated 1296. ­Here, Ippen as a healer-­hijiri is shown in a satirical form. In the scene, nuns are kneeling around Ippen, with a cylindrical tube placed in front of Ippen’s groin. The commentary above the scene states, “Look at all t­ hose ­people seeking urine!” “That is the blessed urine of the holy man [Ippen]; it is medicine for all illnesses.”22 Although the Tengu-­zōshi emaki depicted Ippen in 37

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a mocking manner, the scene does suggest that Ippen was known as a hijiri with the ability to cure illnesses.23 To what extent Ippen and his nembutsu prac­ti­tion­ers w ­ ere considered healers is unknown.24 Kai’amidabutsu, in Bōhishō, has a section with the heading “Regarding prohibiting jishū working as doctors and practicing magic.”25 He explains that “­there are ­those who, without reading one book, claim to be someone who practices medicine. As expected, ­there are mis­haps.” And ­these misfortunes appear to have led to the death of ­those who had sought help. Kai’amidabutsu does clarify: “However, depending on the time and depending on the person, and if ­there was ­pardon given by the patron, this [practice would then be] exempt [from this rule].” Thus, while he expressed contempt for ­those jishū who claimed to be physicians without sufficient medical knowledge, he seems to have acknowledged the demand for a jishū to help o ­ thers.26 Medical knowledge was considered a form of scholarship, and while ­there ­were families appointed as court medics and ­those who specialized in the profession, ­there was no standard for medical practice during the medieval era. As Kai’amidabutsu rec­ords, many could claim to be physicians without sufficient medical knowledge. Many monks associated with large monastic institutions studied medical texts, especially the new materials arriving from China. In par­tic­u­lar, the activities by the Ritsu sect around the thirteenth ­century are noticeable for their active connection with China and their engagement in charitable activities, such as building one of the largest medical facilities.27 On a local level, they provided aid similar to that of the hijiri, addressing the physical or spiritual needs of the ­people. The first Japa­nese vernacular medical text, Ton’ishō 頓医抄 (Notes of a ­simple physician), was written by Kajiwara Shōzen 梶原性全 (1265–1337), a monk residing near Kamakura. The author shared Kai’amidabutsu’s reservations about individuals who called themselves physicians: “My aim in writing in phonetic syllabary is to make ­t hings widely known to ­people and to help every­one in the realm. The average physician ­either focuses on profit and conceals ­things which are not difficult, or ­else out of self-­interest keeps secret ­those ­things which are of benefit.”28 Ton’ishō was intended as a guide for physicians. Throughout its fifty-­chapter set are recommended treatments for vari­ous conditions, including leprosy and ­battle injuries, as well as several chapters on female medicine. To what extent the Yugyō school and other jishū ­were familiar with this text is unknown; however, the jishū’s role as companions to warriors heading into ­battle and their provision of first aid to the wounded have 38

Itinerant Path

been a topic of interest.29 The most frequently cited source indicating the jishū’s involvement as providers of medical aid comes from a late sixteenth-­century text titled Ihon odawara-­ki 異本小田原記 (Variant chronicles of Odawara): In general, from the times of the old, the jishū monks have trained in waka and have treated b ­ attle wounds [kinsō]. They have been requested to accompany ­those to the frontline, treat ­battle wounds, and deal with the corpses. Also, they accept the last ten nembutsu.30

The chanting of the last ten nembutsu at the end of one’s life was believed to ensure a safe passage out of hell, regardless of the ­dying individual’s offenses in this lifetime. Attainment of birth in Pure Land was pos­si­ble through the repetition of the ten nembutsu. Jishū’s duty as chaplains who administered the last ten nembutsu to warriors g­ oing into b ­ attle has been well noted in literary sources as well. In addition to providing the last nembutsu, they served as eyewitnesses to the warrior’s valor, acted as reporters to surviving relatives, and offered prayers for all the newly departed spirits. Sybil Thornton, for example, has found ­these roles of the jishū school depicted in war tales, such as Taiheiki, Ōtō monogatari, and Meitokuki.31 The chanting of the nembutsu as a guarantee of rebirth was a teaching welcomed by many warriors who faced death on the battlefields. Shinkyō, when responding to a question regarding the necessity to recite the nembutsu with the joining of palms, specifically addressed the situation of warriors: “[To achieve] rebirth is to end life with the words of the nembutsu, therefore it does not depend on one’s joining or not have joining their palms. . . . ​Warriors and the like who proceed to the battlefields to be killed ­will have a weapon in their hand. If the name [Amida Buddha] is on their lips at their end [last breath], then rebirth is achieved. Only the chanting of the nembutsu is required.” Shinkyō was clear that “by the very sound of the chant [of the nembutsu], sins ­will be wiped away and rebirth in paradise ­will be achieved.”32 Thus, to ensure that the nembutsu was chanted at one’s death, jishū w ­ ere encouraged to accompany their patron warriors to the battlefield. A few de­cades ­later, Yugyō school leader Ankoku 安国 (1279–1337) wrote of his own eyewitness account of a ­battle in 1333 near the Fujisawa Dōjō: “Even in the thick of the fighting, they ­were all chanting the nembutsu, the attacking force and the defenders. . . . ​Since the ­battle, having witnessed what we did, ­people have been increasing their faith in the nembutsu.”33 The chanting of the name was portrayed to be the power­f ul 39

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force that not only enabled ­those doomed for hell to ascend into Pure Land but also encouraged t­ hose without faith to place their faith in the chanting of the name. On the grounds of the Yugyō ­temple ­today ­there still stands a fifteenth-­century cenotaph with the following inscription: Namuamidabutsu A war began on the 10th month 6th day, year 1416 that lasted to 1417. ­Here and ­there enemies and allies lost their lives by sword, arrows, ­water and fire. May the departed souls of all the ­people and animals reach rebirth in Pure Land. ­Those who pass this cenotaph, secular or lay, should chant the ten nembutsu. 10th month 6th day, year 1418.34

Jishū from the Yugyō school who traveled into b ­ attles with the warriors ­were referred to as shōban no jishū 相伴の時衆 (accompanying jishū) or dōdō no jishū 同道の時衆 (same road jishū).35 As the cenotaph carving states, jishū w ­ ere not to discriminate in their duty for offering salvation to all sentient beings: “May the departed souls of all the ­people and animals reach rebirth in Pure Land.”

Prayers for ­Battle Specific roles and duties of the Yugyō school jishū who accompanied warriors into b ­ attle are listed in an edict titled Jikū shōnin shojō 自空上人書状 (Letter from priest Jikū), composed by the eleventh Yugyō hijiri, Jikū 自空 (1329–1412), in 1399. Jikū opens his letter by stating that the previous leader’s letter on appropriate codes of conduct for jishū accompanying armies must not have been circulated, for many jishū—­seemingly unaware of their proper role—­had been acting as they please. To correct this, Jikū commanded that the articles laid out in his letter ­were to be followed and understood by both the jishū and their patrons. If they disobeyed ­these commands, both the jishū and the patron would be subjected to suffering.36 In other words, if they ­were to go against the religious code, that action would result in losing their privilege of rebirth. Divided into five sections, Jikū lists the impor­tant duties and guidelines that the jishū ­were to follow. First, a jishū’s goal was to administer the jūnen 十念: the ten moments of mindfulness—­that is, the ten repetitions of the invocation of the name Amida Buddha. ­These ten nembutsu, when chanted at the moment of death, ­were to assure safe passage to Pure Land. Second, Jishū w ­ ere not to act as messengers for military purposes; rather, they ­were to act to save ­those in need. Third, they ­were 40

Itinerant Path

never to touch items designed to kill, such as bows and arrows. Fourth, they w ­ ere to do their best to follow the regular jishū rituals and ceremonies. And fifth, as Jikū stated, “As you depart for ­battle, remember the following. When you became a jishū, you turned over both your body and mind to the Chishiki. With this connection, you are aware of your rebirth in this lifetime. Make sure to provide [the nembutsu] for your master’s life as well as your own.”37 Of the duties performed by the jishū who accompanied the warriors to the battlefield, the task of highest importance was to make sure the ten nembutsu ­were chanted. Jikū was convinced that the jishū had to remain neutral so that they could fulfill this task. The jishū had already secured ­f ree passage through gates and tolls and through military barriers. Jikū writes, “When road passage is difficult [due to warfare,] jishū are not [stopped] for inspection. Therefore, letters concerning ­matters of warfare [on bow and arrows] are entrusted to be carried through. This must never be carried out. However, if it is concerning ­family [wife and ­children] or in general to rescue ­others then ­there is no objection.”38 Thus, the privilege of ­f ree passage could be used to rescue noncombatants and to return final words and mementos to a warrior’s survivors. Jikū was also adamant that jishū stay away from articles that ­were designed to kill. He agreed that t­ here ­were times when a jishū could hold the patron’s armor, but this allowance was to be restricted to articles that ­were meant to protect the body. Jikū made it clear that the jishū must never hold weapons for their own safety, for it was impor­tant to prevent accusations that the jishū acted as spies or as active members of a military faction. While the jishū did have a close relationship with the patron, it was against the jishū ideal for them to take sides or be associated with one specific clan. If they acted as military couriers or held weapons, it would make their involvement appear partisan. The jishū needed to uphold their pure image among the laypeople of being strictly religious prac­ti­tion­ers. The Yugyō school leaders had to state explic­itly the need for jishū to remain neutral, warning that other­wise, they would no longer be considered a jishū.39 The jishū’s embrace of all without discrimination was a contention between the warrior patrons, who saw jishū as their own personal servants, and the leader of the school, who insisted that the jishū remain neutral. The jishū ­were still, first and foremost, held to obey the oath they had made to the Chishiki and to promote the idea of salvation, and provide it for every­one—­especially in times of conflict.


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Specific prohibitions connected to jishū providing medical aid or even attending to corpses are absent from Jikū’s letter. ­Were ­these duties assumed? Or did Jikū not wish to emphasize ­these features? By this time, methods for treating battlefield wounds had become a subject of interest, and texts specializing in such treatments began to appear. T ­ hese types of treatments, which specialized in wounds caused by metal weapons, such as metal-­tipped arrows and swords, ­were termed kinsō 金瘡. The kin stood for “metal” and the sō stood for “treatment.” Hence, specialists in t­ hese types of treatments ­were known as kinsōi 金瘡医. The kinsōi continued to be active during the late fifteenth and sixteenth ­centuries.40 Scholars have identified jishū as the origin of kinsōi, as seen in its encyclopedia entry: “The origin of the kinsōi is believed to originate with the medical treatment provided by the monks of the Ji-­sect who accompanied the warriors into ­battle.” 41 The argument for this connection is based on the previously quoted section from Ihon odawara-­ki and from the known roles of jishū who accompanied the warriors to the battlefield.42 Regardless of w ­ hether jishū ­were conduits for the medics known as kinsōi, as ­those who accompanied warriors into b ­ attle, they would be aware of the battlefield and the horrors surrounding it. As active members of the jishū groups, what roles did the nuns have in accompanying warriors to the battlefield? Jikū’s letter remains gender neutral, referring to his members as jishū without distinction between monks and nuns. During Jikū’s time, both the itinerant jishū and the jishū residing in the practice halls continued to be mixed-­gender. For example, in another document written by Jikū, he addresses the itinerant jishū members thus: “To the jishū group: monks and nuns.” By ­doing so, he reaffirms that at that point, monks and nuns are still being collectively referred to as jishū. Thus, to Jikū, the term jishū was not gender specific. While this does not allow us to assume that nuns ­were part of the accompanying jishū on the battlefield, it is impor­tant to remember that both monks and nuns continued to travel with the itinerant holy man, and practice halls ­were assumed to have both male and female jishū members. During his itinerant missions, Jikū himself traveled with both female and male jishū. In one of his letters, Takuga—­the itinerant holy man who encountered Chin’ichibō—­provides us with a clue to understanding the involvement of the nuns surrounding the battlefield. Addressed to Nikki Yoshinaga 仁木 義長 (?–1376), a military governor of the Ise Province, the letter provides insight into the actions of individual jishū monks and nuns who helped


Itinerant Path

protect and assist ­those affected by the vio­lence caused by military conflicts. The relevant section for the nuns reads as follows: During times of upheaval, jishū and their patrons hide their traces in the mountains and fields. When they do so, accompanying nuns (shōban no nishū 相伴の尼衆) come to their aid. Both monks and nuns have the same value (toku 徳). Even now, ­t here are many who request [the assistance of] our monks and nuns.43

From this it is apparent that jishū nuns ­were active participants during times of war and assisted close to the battlefield. One may speculate that some form of shelter was prearranged by t­ hese nuns for the injured and for noncombatants fleeing the ­battles. Several possibilities for the kinds of aid the nuns provided come to mind: offering spiritual comfort by chanting the name, providing food, acting as messengers, helping noncombatants escape, and giving medical aid.44 Although the nuns indicated ­here remained ­behind the line of fire, their presence provided spiritual comfort to the warriors, and their knowledge helped save the lives of ­those who ­were victims of the ­battles. Jikū may well have had nuns in mind when he issued his edicts to be circulated among jishū members. From the formation of Ippen’s jishū fellowship and for the next ­century, including Takuga’s and Jikū’s mission, female jishū w ­ ere active participants and vis­i­ble members of this school of Pure Land Buddhism. As seen in chapter 1, it was conceivable for female members to hold leadership roles within their mixed-­gender school. For example, only four years before Jikū’s letter regarding jishū on the battlefield was circulated, the leader of Onomichi Practice Hall, nun Dai’ichibō, commissioned its gate. To contemplate the possibilities of ­women’s battlefield involvement, let us turn to documents that offer specific examples of female jishū participating in the itinerant mission during the ­fourteenth ­century. First, an outline of the jishū’s connection to and symbolic meaning ­toward their itinerant journey, beginning with their spiritual founder, Ippen, ­will help us situate the ­women of this group, as well as the Yugyō school jishū, within the medieval landscape.

Establishing Permanency through Itinerancy According to Hijiri-­e, before Ippen formed a fellowship of jishū and embarked on his mendicant travels, he had already traveled as a pilgrim and trained as an ascetic. His journey as a hijiri—as a nembutsu practitioner without any attachments to a Buddhist institution—­began in 1274.


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The pictorial scene of his departure depicts Ippen accompanied by ­others, including Shōkai 聖戒 (1261–1323), Ippen’s half ­brother. It is Shōkai who edited the texts of the Hijiri-­e scroll and founded the Rokujō Dōjō 六条道場, or Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall in Kyoto. It is primarily through this Hijiri-­e scroll that Ippen’s teaching and life has been studied.45 The three other individuals who ­were with Ippen at the beginning of his travels have their names written above them: a nun, Chōichi 超一; a child, Chōni 超二; and Nenbutsubō 念佛房, whose gender is unidentified. ­These companions traveled with Ippen through Shitennōji (in current Osaka), to Mount Kōya, and all the way to Kumano shrine (in current Wakayama prefecture), where Ippen cuts his ties with them. The identity of ­these three figures has been a source of debate among scholars. One reason to question their involvement is that they do not appear in the scroll edited by Shinkyō, the Engi-­e. It has also been argued that the nun Chōichi rejoins Ippen at a ­later point, becoming part of the jishū fellowship. While the circumstances and validity of her ­later place in Ippen’s fellowship remain unknown, the general consensus is that Chōichi was related to Ippen, as wife, concubine, or ­sister.46 Another speculation is that Chōichi, Chōni, and Nenbutsubō ­were travelers who sought companionship with Ippen while on their own, in­de­pen­dent, journeys to Kumano.47 Regardless of their true identities, ­these three initial companions ­were impor­tant enough to have their names included in the Hijiri-­e, suggesting that they must have had a significant role in commissioning the scroll, in the narrative of the scroll, or in establishing the Sixth Ave­ nue Practice Hall with Shōkai in Kyoto. The remarkable Hijiri-­e scroll offers pictorial images of Ippen’s life and glimpses of the landscape of Japan at the time, but it is the documents collected by the Yugyō school that help shed light on the activities of a jishū in the medieval landscape. ­After Ippen’s death, Shinkyō continued the spirit of Ippen’s mendicant journey for another sixteen years. Many female jishū continued to travel and practice with him. He also sent many female jishū to lead congregations throughout the provinces, a point we w ­ ill discuss further in chapter 3. Shinkyō’s letters, decrees, and poems offer us a broader understanding of his life ­after Ippen’s death as a leader of a new Pure Land group and of his regard ­toward jishū. Shinkyō also commissioned the creation of the Engi-­e scroll, presenting his version of Ippen’s travels and the impor­tant role he himself had in maintaining and solidifying it. Although Shinkyō never officially went to Kyoto, he must have been aware of the


Itinerant Path

production of the Hijiri-­e by Shōkai. The path Ippen took and the texts regarding Ippen’s teaching are more or less the same or very similar to the Hijiri-­e, suggesting ­there was some communication and collaboration. The nembutsu dance, a key feature in the Hijiri-­e, is however, downplayed in the Engi-­e.48 Depictions of odori nembutsu 踊り念佛 (dancing nembutsu) scenes in the Engi-­e are formal, with a sense of order and structure. While the dancing nembutsu continued as a form of religious ritual within Shinkyō’s school, it had become just that, a ritualized dance, and was no longer a central focus of the jishū practice. The production of the Hijiri-­e was dedicated to immortalizing Ippen and his journeys. Shinkyō’s creation of the Engi-­e was intended to establish a new order, with himself as the rightful successor of Ippen. Shinkyō was likely conscious of the criticism by the elites aimed at his followers’ dancing per­for­mance. Shinkyō’s shift from being a mendicant itinerant group to establishing permanent practice halls and roots for the perpetuation of the school has been seen as a way to gain the trust of the po­liti­cal authorities. Shinkyō’s successor offered the following: The late hijiri [Shinkyō] spent over fourteen years in a permanent residence. It has been remarked that this was b ­ ecause of the rumors within Kamakura. [He also took up residency] for the benefit [of sentient beings] and to correct t­ hose with biases and misguided views. Many have become followers. However, t­ here are still more who do not yet follow.49

The statement “rumors within Kamakura” alludes to the growing instability among the supporters of the Kamakura government and the rising unease in the provinces, especially through the activities of the akutō (evil bands). Amidst the confusion, traveling itinerant groups ­were perceived with suspicion and often with disdain. Criticism aimed not only at travelers but specifically ­toward nembutsu prac­ti­tion­ers was expressed by the intellectuals of the time; Genkō shakusho states that the nembutsu dance is an “ecstatic dancing while chanting the sacred name, which men and ­women engaged in together.”50 Nomori no kagami reports on the shameless display of body parts during the dance.51 And the Tengu zōshi scroll describes the dance as unseemly: “When they chant, they dance by shaking their heads and swaying their shoulders. As if wild ­horses, they are vociferous. They are no dif­fer­ent from wild monkeys.”52 Perhaps some of the criticism was warranted, as it is easy to imagine the excitement some chanting and ecstatic dancing may have had on audiences. From the depictions in the Hijiri-­e it has been observed that, among the dancers,


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nuns appear closer to the edge of the elevated platform, closer to the audience, in what has been observed as a deliberate staging for the crowd.53 With their clothing coming loose from the heightened movements of dancing, perhaps more than just their legs ­were vis­i­ble to the audience. A more striking difference between the Hijiri-­e and the Engi-­e is found in the separation of the monks and nuns.54 To address the concerns of illicit relationships between monks and nuns, Shinkyō must have deliberately proposed the visual separation of the sexes in his hagiography. Whereas the Engi-­e emphasizes gender and distinctly separates the monks and nuns into two rows or lines, such sexual distinctions are lacking in the Hijiri-­e.55 ­There are additional visual distinctions in the Engi-­e, such as adding red to the lips of the nuns and the use of the box of twelve lights, jūnikōbako, as a boundary divider between the sexes. The Engi-­e, which hardly receives any attention ­today, was better known to the medieval public than was the Hijiri-­e. The Engi-­e scroll, describing first Ippen’s and then Shinkyō’s journeys with the jishū, was intended to educate the patrons, monks, and nuns of Yugyō school dōjō. Copies of this hagiography w ­ ere placed in vari­ous practice halls across the country to encourage the faithful and to elucidate the curious about the miraculous and auspicious beginning of the Yugyō school of Pure Land Buddhism. Each scene is a story retelling the venerated origin of the Yugyō school, founded by the itinerant holy men Ippen and Shinkyō. The pictorial scrolls may have never left the dōjō, but the monks and nuns who studied them presumably recited ­these stories to the public. A surviving hanging-­scroll version of the Engi-­e, used for the pictorial preaching known as etoki, attests to this practice.56 Men and ­women traveling together was not unusual, but Shinkyō wished to demonstrate that his followers ­were to be taken seriously as Buddhist prac­ti­tion­ers, especially now that they ­were establishing practice halls throughout the country. The Engi-­e scroll ends with Shinkyō’s establishment of Taima Dōjō near the seat of the Kamakura warrior government and close to the road leading between Kamakura and the imperial seat of Kyoto. Shinkyō entrusted the itinerant mission to Chitoku 智得 (1260–1320) and continued to proselytize from the practice hall at Taima. The growing jishū membership and the establishment of jishū practice halls generated prob­lems associated with dealing with larger numbers of prac­ti­tion­ers and finding permanent spaces. Added to this ­were the issues that surrounded the co-­residency of monks and nuns. The guidelines established by Shinkyō, such as in the Dōjō seimon, had warnings 46

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against sexual attraction. Shinkyō wrote that any sexual activity by a jishū would render that jishū a false Buddhist practitioner. Furthermore, sexual acts would make it impossible for the guilty jishū to achieve birth in the Pure Land.57 Chapter 3 ­will explore the dynamics of ­these mixed-­ gender practice halls in further detail. Of interest ­here is that Shinkyō, who aimed to cement the teachings of Ippen and the legacy created through itinerant missions, did not alienate, separate, or discourage the membership of female jishū. Thus, female members continued to take part in religious travels as well as in the emerging jishū practice halls.

Scheduled Itinerant Missions The shift from a mendicant itinerant group to one that sought government, elite warrior, and aristocratic recognition created new challenges for the jishū. ­There ­were new roles that needed to be fulfilled by the jishū, and a se­lection pro­cess began to determine who would join the itinerant mission, who would be sent to a dōjō, and who would lead that dōjō or assist that leader. With the passing of Shinkyō in 1319, Chitoku ended his itinerant mission and entered Taima Dōjō to serve in Shinkyō’s place as leader of the Taima Practice Hall. Chitoku then passed the role of itinerant leader to Donkai 呑海 (1264–1327). A few letters survive from ­these two, offering insights into the challenges this new religious group faced, both in the practice halls and on the road. Defining and distinguishing their school of jishū from other nembutsu prac­ti­tion­ers, and especially from other jishū groups, became a topic of interest to Chitoku and Donkai. It is through them and subsequent leaders that the term yugyō 遊行 (“journey” or “itinerant practice”) became synonymous with their school, leading to the association and identity of this lineage of jishū as the Yugyō school.58 Chitoku wrote: ­ hose who devote their mind and body to the Journey (yugyō) and help T with the method of teaching become ­t hose who help with the indirect ­causes. They are receivers of the protection of the mindfulness of the Buddha and are able to achieve rebirth. 59

In one of the letters, a statement made by Chitoku to Donkai indicates that jishū who had participated in the itinerant path would be valuable as leaders of new practice halls: Now, Gen’amidabutsu has done many years of yugyō and can be sent to lead a stationary life. As this was being considered, ­there was a person named Lord Godai’in Uemon Muneshige. He is devoted to the prescribed method of birth in Amida Pure Land. For the first time he has requested jishū [and 47

Chapter Two since Gen’amidabutsu] was ­going to serve ­here, I send [him to Lord Godai’in] with many o ­ thers.60

Gen’amidabutsu 厳阿弥陀佛 and other jishū ­were sent to assist this lord and his h ­ ouse­hold, and perhaps his community. The “many o ­ thers” suggests that among the growing population of jishū in Taima Practice Hall ­were ­those who did not want to participate in the itinerant mission. Taima Dōjō had not only become a retirement practice hall for the leader and the jishū who had conducted yugyō but also served as a functioning dōjō, which accepted converts and new members without demanding the practice of such yugyō.61 Chitoku, although accepting new members, perhaps felt more comfortable with a member from the itinerant mission to help run and assist him at the Taima Practice Hall. Chitoku discusses this when he writes to Donkai: From ­here [Taima] I request that you send the one [ jishū] that is of no use [to the yugyō mission]. Regarding this, do not think much about it. [You mention that monk] Kan’a although his ­will is ­there, he is not physically strong and not suited for yugyō. If this is true then you can arrange for him to be sent [to Taima]. [But] if this is not the case, and he is your right-­hand man . . . ​and of ­g reat use, then send [monk] Raku’a.62

Chitoku goes on to give Donkai further instructions about choosing a monk to send over to Taima: “Regarding [the] jishū, ­either of the two are fine. However, if one is of use to you then keep in mind that yugyō should have priority.”63 We do not know which monk was sent to Chitoku, nor how the monk was expected to help at Taima Dōjō. ­These two examples indicate that ­there ­were jishū who left or w ­ ere forced to retire from the life of itinerancy to assist as a practice hall leader or co-­leader. Jishū ­were no longer expected to travel ­until their death as exemplified by Ippen. Old age and ill health ­were both adequate reasons for jishū to seek a new path that involved assisting ­others in practice halls. Chitoku, however, complains to Donkai about the jishū who, a­ fter leaving their assigned post, sought residency at Taima Dōjō: ­ hose who following their own heart arrive ­here [Taima Dōjō], are not in the T least [directed] by faith or ­will, but are ­those who ­were directed by their own deluded mind. Anger is felt over this and t­ here is no sense of joy.64

In another letter to Donkai, Chitoku complains again: ­ here are ­those who have come interrupting their long trips and ­people T keep on piling in. ­Because this is a sad time, it is understandable that both 48

Itinerant Path the laity and priests come [to offer re­spect to the late Shinkyō]. However it is, for ­those who have still yet to acquire within their body the rules of be­ hav­ior, to come ­here without prior notice, without any reason and without concerns to one’s responsibility to the time, is to break the teaching. I therefore state that this be stopped immediately.

The news of Shinkyō’s passing caused a crowd of mourners, from laity to other religious prac­ti­tion­ers, to gather at Taima Practice Hall. Chitoku appears most troubled by the jishū who neglected their post or position to come to Taima. Chitoku describes Taima Dōjō as having become a holy site, where Shinkyō’s body was laid to rest and ­people from far and wide came to worship the late charismatic leader. Not only could the body of the holy leader be worshipped at Taima, but the faithful received the talisman and could attend the nembutsu chanting and dancing ser­vice as well. T ­ here was also the possibility that one could participate in poetry composition, as Shinkyō had done with the elites of Kamakura and Kyoto. At Taima, ­there ­were likely sermons with the Engi-­e. The Engi-­e was also copied ­there and distributed to the vari­ous provincial practice halls. In addition, ­there was the ser­vice of the ten nembutsu, which guaranteed rebirth. Chitoku complains in his letter that this invocation and promise of an auspicious death was distracting t­ hose from the path of yugyō: Nuns who have not even spent one or two years at [yugyō] have come. Even though I have said that just ­because you come does not imply that the ten nembutsu ­will be provided. However, I have heard that ­there are ­those who do not believe this. Thinking, if they are ­going to fall into Hell anyway, they force their way to Taima with the intention to die ­here. If this is true, then this is the result of having no aspiration.65

Chitoku explains that yugyō, or the itinerant mission, is the ultimate purpose for jishū; therefore, when ­people abandon their post, especially during the itinerant mission, or come uninvited, they are ­going against the fundamental teachings of their school. In real­ity, the mendicant and itinerant life was becoming harder to maintain, both externally and internally. Patrons continued to request jishū for their own spiritual benefit, which required the jishū to live in a permanent location. From Chitoku’s complaints, we can see that ­there ­were also prob­lems inside the membership from ­those jishū, both monks and nuns, who found the itinerant lifestyle difficult. The tension between itinerancy and permanency was a point of contention for the early leaders of the Yugyō school.


Chapter Two

Myōichibō’s Dedication and Challenges When Shinkyō passed on the role of itinerant leadership to Chitoku, he encouraged him with the following words: “By the Chishiki’s [Shinkyō’s] ­orders you have been sent out on [the road] to reach the unknown ultimate end, since your body and your life are not your own, entrust your departures and arrivals to sentient beings, and simply leave and return in response to ­people’s requests.”66 Chitoku’s belief and assertions in the importance of the itinerant journey made it difficult for him to deny the request of an older nun who had “retired” to a dōjō—­a request we ­will discuss in detail ­here. In the previous section we are given the impression that female members, being discouraged by the difficulty and challenges imposed by the lifestyle of the itinerant mission, would, without permission, leave the fellowship and seek material (and spiritual) comfort at Taima Dōjō. The following example is in contrast to this, and shows an el­derly jishū member who retook to the road even though she had already retired from the challenging religious journey. When nun Myōichibō 妙一房 requested to rejoin the itinerant mission despite her advanced age, Chitoku was unable to persuade her other­wise and eventually granted her permission to return to the group. The itinerant mission group, however, was not in ­favor of receiving her, and Chitoku had to explain his decision to allow Myōichibō to re­unite with the group.67 His letter to the itinerant mission group suggests that Myōichibō had traveled for many years with Shinkyō, perhaps even with Chitoku himself, before she took up residence in a dōjō. It appears that ­after Shinkyō’s death she heard rumors that he had questioned her devotion and faith. Despite her numerous years of journeying, her actions while in residence created enough suspicion in Shinkyō’s mind to call attention to her conduct but not enough to censure her directly. Anxious to redeem herself, Myōichibō sought permission from Chitoku to rejoin the yugyō itinerant group: Myōichibō, who I [Chitoku] sent your way, had from the late hijiri [Shinkyō] been constantly mentioned as someone who had not given up their body/ mind. Now, realizing that she was thought so [by Shinkyō], [she] feels resentment and regret of this. Therefore, in order to prove her worth to him, she has resolved to commit her body in yugyō and to redeem her late actions.68

To Myōichibō, itinerancy was a way to prove her devotion as a jishū. What led Shinkyō to speculate on her dedication is unknown. Common 50

Itinerant Path

complaints w ­ ere neglecting the assigned duties of a jishū; receiving luxury goods; showing loyalty to ­others, including one’s own patron and ­family; and, most significantly, interacting in a sexual manner with another jishū member. During Chitoku’s time, ­there ­were a few jishū who ­were posthumously denied rebirth.69 Perhaps Myōichibō was afraid Chitoku might do the same to her. Her motivation and reasons remain unknown; however, in­ter­est­ing insights into the jishū itinerant group emerge through the following short description of Myōichibō’s participation in Donkai’s yugyō group. Myōichibō is shown to have communicated with Chitoku directly and held a position that allowed her proximity to the itinerant leader, Donkai, as well: She [Myōichibō] had come to me numerous times and I concurred with her decision. To treat her as someone who disobeyed my wishes, to resent the attention given to her and her proximity to sit near [the leader, Donkai,] is unfounded. I have heard that the nuns have taken deep resentment ­towards this. T ­ hose who discriminate against Myōichibō are discriminating against the Chishiki. This is a grave crime.70

From this letter, it appears the nuns did not hesitate to voice their complaints or opinions to their leaders, Donkai and Chitoku. More importantly, what emerges from this letter is that Chitoku seems to be using Myōichibō’s case as a way to illustrate and assert his authority. Perhaps the position of leadership, as experienced by Chitoku, was precarious, and he wanted to reinforce and remind the itinerant mission of his importance. Since it was Chitoku’s decision to let Myōichibō rejoin the yugyō group, anyone who objected, including Donkai, would be ­going against his o ­ rders: [Myōichibō] is of considerable age. As [her] time in stationary [ser­vice] was long, ­there are ­people who think it must have been pretty boring. However, as the hijiri [Shinkyō] words are within memory, it [became] crucial that [Myōichibō] give up her body/mind, and this was expressed with ­g reat emotion, we are all to understand this. If it was that [she] had gone against me [Chitoku], then it would be my [responsibility] to make [her] attain absolute faith in Amida’s salvation. It was not out of selfish reasons that she was sent ­there. It is expected that all t­ hese m ­ atters be taken into account when considering this.71

It is in­ter­est­ing to learn that the younger jishū on itinerant missions considered permanent residency a boring life. The group appears to be closely united and are critical of Myōichibō for rejoining out of “boredom.” The exchange of communication between the two leaders over 51

Chapter Two

Myōichibō suggests that even Donkai was not convinced of her participation in his yugyō group. Was Myōichibō’s advanced age a hindrance to the pace of the younger jishū? Or, as a member who had traveled with Shinkyō, would Myōichibō expect specific yugyō practices that ­were no longer conducted among the new yugyō members? ­These are, however, speculations. What this letter does illustrate is the co-­participation of nuns in the itinerant mission and the line of communication between Taima Dōjō and the itinerant group. This messenger network system could have been carried out e­ ither within the group itself or in collaboration with traveling merchants. Chitoku comments that “even if you do not hear from me, do not worry,” suggesting that ­there was indeed frequent communication between them.72

In Search of Food: Gen’ichibō Now, is it true? The nun[s] have told me, Gen’ichibō who was sent your way with some (food) to you and your followers who could no longer eat.

This is from another letter Chitoku sent to the itinerant mission led by Donkai. ­Here we are informed that the nun Gen’ichibō 現一房 was specifically sent to Donkai to assist him at a time when ­there was a lack of food. Chitoku’s letter continues; You [Donkai] said you alone could not take that [food]. If this is true, this is without pre­ce­dent. The reason for this? The late Hijiri also, in the past, received prepared [goods] from Ryōichibō. We ­ought to follow this. . . . ​ Gen’ichibō’s efforts to assist in your difficult situation was done for you. Despite that you did not take in her efforts. Not only that, but my own feelings have also been hurt. Such actions do not have pre­ce­dent.73

Gen’ichibō, we may surmise, had developed skills in finding and preparing food in the most desperate of situations during her travels with Chitoku. We learn the name of another nun, Ryōichibō 令一房, who traveled with Shinkyō and maybe even Ippen, who is remembered for her valuable skills in dealing with food. It is pos­si­ble that both ­these nuns had knowledge of local plants and herbs, ­were persuasive in seeking alms from local residents, or knew of preservation techniques and so could offer rations during desperate times. Food was not guaranteed for the itinerant mission, which was especially problematic during times of drought or flooding. By the end of the thirteenth ­century, barley, millet, and brown rice along with vari­ous vegetables, bean paste, salted fish, and rice wine constituted the basic food of consumption.74 According William Farris, the years between 1280 52

Itinerant Path

and 1333, corresponding to Donkai’s itinerant journeys, was a time ­f ree of food shortage and without widespread famine due to the benign climate.75 Additionally, the ability to double-­crop by harvesting rice in the fall and other grains in the spring most likely alleviated the strain often experienced with the lack of food in early spring. It has been suggested that material life improved from the ­fourteenth ­century, although slowly and unevenly, in part as a result of the new economics experienced by many through the advance of specialization and a monetary-­based trade network. Such general prosperity must have allowed the jishū to travel with much less hardship and with fewer demands.76 However, as seen in the letter by Chitoku to Donkai, shortage of food was still a prob­lem. We can hypothesize that Chitoku got word of the starving itinerant group and sent Gen’ichibō, knowing she would be able to provide for them, as she perhaps had helped Chitoku and his itinerant group with food rations during their mission. It is also pos­si­ble that Chitoku sent food with Gen’ichibō, and she was simply delivering the much-­needed sustenance to the group. Another impor­tant piece that emerges from ­these letters is the network of communication and travel between jishū practice halls and the itinerant mission. The itinerant paths taken by Chitoku or Donkai remain uncertain; it is believed that the mission used the vari­ous practice halls, which had been established during Shinkyō’s time, as destination posts for their wandering cir­cuit. Many of ­these jishū practice halls w ­ ere situated along major ports or trading routes, offering the possibility that the paths they took ­were frequented by tradesmen. From the letters cited, it appears that Gen’ichibō and Myōichibō traveled in­de­pen­dently to join the itinerant mission. Solitary travel, regardless of gender, was a challenge, and as Lady Nijō had done with her travels, it seems likely that t­ hese jishū nuns joined ­others on the road, perhaps tradesmen or other groups of itinerants. Periodic messages or messengers ­were sent back and forth between the itinerant leader and the Taima Practice Hall, indicating a developed chain of communication. It is noted that a nun (or nuns) brought news to Chitoku; ­were nuns the receivers of messages at Taima Dōjō? Or ­were nuns the messengers themselves? Since Gen’ichibō and Myōichibō are examples of female jishū traveling to join the itinerant mission, it is pos­si­ble that nuns acted as messengers. ­These brief clues provide us with insight into the fluid and active world of medieval Japan, of the developed network of communications and roads connecting villages and trading posts.


Chapter Two

Prayers for Welcoming a New Life The jishū, including the Yugyō school jishū, as well as the numerous other jishū groups, ­were predominantly supported for and by the larger community. The jishū ­were actively sought out to chant the nembutsu at the moment of one’s death. Traditionally, many shamans and Buddhist monks ­were summoned to offer prayers at another cross point of life: childbirth. The few pictorial scrolls with a birth-­room scene depict two or four ­women directly assisting the ­woman in ­labor, surrounded by one or two shamans dancing and chanting, with a monk also chanting nearby.77 Very ­little is understood of the ­actual midwifery practices or about ­those who physically assisted at childbirth.78 Vari­ous medical texts offered sections on pregnancy and delivery. The obstetrical book titled Sansei yuijū shō, written by Ken’a around 1318, used Buddhist texts to explain the methods for delivering a baby and to provide information on how to change the gender of the child from female to male by chanting specific sutras.79 Ton’ishō, the vernacular medical text, recommended treatment for vari­ous conditions and included several chapters on female medicine that dealt with pregnancy, delivery, and the aftermath. One example of a jishū being requested to spiritually assist in childbirth is Jō’amidabutsu Shinkan 浄阿弥陀佛真観 (1269–1341) of Shijō Dōjō 四条道場, or the Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall.80 Jō’amidabutsu was summoned to conduct prayers for the retired emperor Go-­Fushimi’s consort, Kōgimon’in 広義門院 (1292–1357), who was having a difficult ­labor.81 Jō’amidabutsu, in addition to chanting prayers, gave Kōgimon’in three amulets to consume. The infant was born holding three amulets in his left hand. While ­there is no direct evidence, it is pos­si­ble that nuns from the Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall came with Jō’amidabutsu. Jishū nuns assisting the ­actual ­labor would explain the amulets held in the infant’s hand.82 Jishū ­were not cloistered ­behind ­temple gates. As we have examined through this chapter, the Yugyō school jishū nuns participated in itinerant journeys and in religious ser­vices, expressed their opinions directly to their leaders, and assisted with provisioning and acted as messengers. Both monks and nuns provided their community members with spiritual comfort through their chanting and teaching. In the previously quoted letter by Takuga to Nikki regarding the jishū’s roles in ­battle, Takuga stated: “Accompanying nuns come to their [patrons and monks] aid. Both monks and nuns have the same value. Even now, ­there are 54

Itinerant Path

many who request [the assistance of] our monks and nuns.”83 Jishū nuns ­were physically active, and although they may not have joined their male members and the warriors on the battlefield, it is probable that the aid they provided included treating the injured. Although ­there is no direct or explicit mention of such provisions, we can hypothesize that the experience and knowledge the female members gained through assisting in the birth pro­cess ­were used in a more general way, such as to help t­ hose injured in b ­ attle.84 Kinsōi’s techniques closely resemble ­those needed for childbirth, a point noted in the early kinsōi texts. 85 Furthermore, several kinsōi ­became specialists in midwifery once the ­battles ­were over. Kinsōi texts specifically state that the type of physical and ­mental shock, dizziness, and delirium that individuals went through ­after sustaining a b ­ attle wound was the same as that experienced by a ­woman ­after delivering a child.86 The knowledge of midwifery influencing the treatment given to ­those injured by ­battle wounds appears plausible when we take into account the participatory roles of female jishū both near and around the battlefield and in the birth room. Travel was an essential component of the medieval landscape, and as bridge builders, healers, or teachers, they wandered from community to community, knitting together the disparate villages into a larger society. Analy­sis of travelers shows an active participation by female itinerants, and rec­ords of the jishū school attest to the ac­cep­tance of such female participation in religious rituals and activities by the wider lay community. The reasons for a ­woman (or man) to join a jishū school may be varied, but it is clear that w ­ omen had substantial influence as members, foragers, or proselytizers. Through them we gain a view into the world of the time, one in which social and po­liti­cal upheaval was tempered by networks of religious wanderers chanting the ten nembutsu.


Chapter Three

­Fourteenth-­Century Mixed-­Gender Practice Halls The profound belief and importance ­people placed on proper devotion to the dead is attested by literary sources. Religious observances directed t­ oward the dead to appease them and prevent them from becoming lingering and harmful spirits w ­ ere a serious obligation in medieval Japan. Along with the need to mollify ­these spirits was the necessity to placate the gods. The frequency of droughts, typhoons, flooding, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes was believed by many to be the result of the wrath of kami. To pacify the kami and to bring order back to their lives, offerings, chanting, and dancing ­were performed in an area considered connected to the realm of t­ hose gods and their manifestations. Buddhist prac­t i­t ion­ers, both secular and lay, played impor­t ant roles in promoting and assuaging ­these fears and concerns, offering rituals to pray for the departed as well as performing useful ser­vices, such as corpse removal.1 The itinerant monks and nuns who visited villages provided indispensable help. Their connection with the Buddha gave their rituals and ceremonies sanctity and solace to the bereaved. As “extraordinary visitors,” they supplied both emotional and physical ser­vices to ­people in remote places, where they ­were welcomed not only for their message of rebirth into paradise but also for their per­for­mances and purification ceremonies for the dead and d ­ ying. ­There was no set standard for burial or cremation at the time, and many corpses ­were disposed of along riverbanks or buried in shallow graves. In the twelfth ­century, ­there ­were numerous references to corpses left on the streets, in riverbeds, and in the mountains in urban areas like Kyoto. This custom would have been a significant cause of disease at the time, coinciding with a natu­ral fear of epidemics, which ­were perceived to be the result of a curse and could only be dispelled through proper rituals. Individuals sought personal spiritual peace by chanting the nembutsu and performing regular rituals for their own impending death. Many also assigned or hired ­others to conduct ser­vices to benefit and accrue 56

­Fourteenth-­Century Mixed-­Gender Practice Hall

merit for themselves in their afterlife. The establishment and proliferation of jishū practice halls (not just of the Yugyō school) from the f­ ourteenth ­century should be seen as a reflection of the importance placed in the power of the recitation of the name of Amida Buddha. The social conditions of the time intensified the populace’s belief and faith in the recitation of the name, but it was also a time when it became eco­nom­ically pos­si­ble for an expanded circle of ­people to sponsor the creation of practice halls devoted to helping their own communities. Sponsoring a jishū practice hall offered the patron several benefits. In addition to the spiritual assurance and the practical resolution of dealing with the departed, the jishū, through their network of practice halls along major networks of highways, offered the community access to the traveling resources. Practice halls ­were also places where a community could gather and socialize to listen to the chanting of the name, to learn, and to participate in the many Pure Land practices. ­These communities assumed the inclusion of ­women and welcomed their participation. The esoteric institutional monasteries and the growing Zen Buddhist monasteries served an impor­tant role in the social welfare of ­those connected to the po­liti­cal realm, from the imperial ­house­hold and nobles to the elite warriors. Nembutsu practice halls attracted a wider segment of society, ranging from ­these same elites to the unfortunates. They catered to the needs of the ­people of the time by offering feasible solutions and methods for achieving a path into Pure Land. The ­simple teaching, along with the harmony of the chanting of the name, was likely an attractive ser­vice for many. This chapter traces the involvement of female patrons, sponsors, and prac­ti­tion­ers in the Yugyō school jishū practice halls in the early ­fourteenth c­ entury. The mistaken exclusive association of Ippen and the Yugyō school with jishū has led to some confusion and misunderstanding. Ippen and Shinkyō ­were not the only leaders of a religious community consisting of members called jishū, nor ­were they the only itinerant Pure Land prac­ti­tion­ers. It is impor­tant to remember that neither Ippen nor the Yugyō school had authority or claim to the term jishū, which was, ­until the seventeenth ­century, commonly used as a noun for groups or individuals who gathered for an assembly to perform the chanting rituals of the name Amida Buddha. It is the fate of historical preservation that most jishū documentation survives through the collection of the Yugyō school leaders. Therefore, while this study would like to make clear that jishū ­were not exclusive to the Yugyō school, as seen with Chin’ichibō’s practice hall (dōjō), our study nonetheless becomes Yugyō school–­centric. 57

Chapter Three

To simplify ­matters, this chapter, when referring to jishū, ­will, ­unless other­wise specified, be referring to the Yugyō school jishū.

The Spread of the Yugyō School The ­fourteenth ­century was a time of social change, emerging monetary markets, uprisings, and large-­scale ­battles. Parallel to ­these social upheavals ­were famine and natu­ral disasters. As p ­ eople became acutely aware of the uncertainty of life and the imminent threat of death, concern about the afterlife increased. This concern was shared by many facets of society, from the elite to the destitute, by ­women and men. Shinkyō, the founder of the Yugyō school, emphasized that the jishū ­were t­hose who helped promote the nembutsu in o ­ thers. He also propounded the importance of the chanting of the nembutsu ten times before death, which was known as the jūnen 十念 (ten nembutsu). Shinkyō explained that “at the time of death, if ­there should be no voice of the nembutsu then how could you even dream about the possibility of rebirth?”2 One of the most impor­ tant duties of his jishū members was to grant the last ten nembutsu to a ­dying community member, especially if the ­dying individual was their patron. Rich patrons sponsored the building of jishū dōjō knowing that they would in this way ensure the presence of a jishū to provide them guidance into salvation at the moment of death by chanting the jūnen. Shinkyō’s letters from the early ­fourteenth ­century confirm the anxiety ­people felt about death. They also show the significant role the jishū practice halls had in offering comfort to community members, since the jishū nembutsu was for the accumulation of merit for all sentient beings. The permanent accessibility to t­ hose associated with the Buddha and the chanting of the jūnen at times of death was a reassurance to all. Jishū members, through their oath to the Chishiki, w ­ ere guaranteed rebirth into paradise when they died, and this event would have been a source of spiritual support for the community. ­There ­were impor­tant visual signs that indicated a positive death, such as the appearance of purple clouds, sounds of ­music, radiant light, an unearthly pleasant fragrance, flowers falling, and a contented face. To attain this positive death, many sought refuge in the name Amida Buddha, by chanting themselves and, for added security, having ­others, especially a jishū, chant for them as well. Jishū, by virtue of their profession, ­were assured rebirth in Pure Land; however, proof of this was always welcomed, as stated in a letter by Shinkyō to a jishū monk, Ryō’amidabutsu 陵阿弥陀佛: 58

­Fourteenth-­Century Mixed-­Gender Practice Hall It is indeed joyous news that [nun] Ko’ichibō has achieved ōjō [being reborn in Amida Pure Land]. As a jishū, one has given their lives to the Buddha and prepares for this world and the next, and as they do not consider ­matters outside of this impor­tant task of rebirth, it is expected one achieves ōjō; nonetheless, the auspicious signs that visually demonstrated that person’s devotion, it is something to be grateful about. . . . ​Announce to the monks and nuns of the dōjō of this ōjō as further devotional inspiration for their continued practice to achieve the ultimate goal.3

Even though the jishū ­were promised rebirth into paradise, as the auspicious signs surrounding Ko’ichibō 護一房 attested, it was a grave sin if a jishū neglected to chant the nembutsu on his or her last breath. Shinkyō uses the case of nun Shōamidabutsu 稱阿弥陀佛 as an example, noting that Shōamidabutsu’s action was “extremely shameful,” since during her final moments she stopped her chanting and asked for someone to hold her hand.4 Shinkyō criticized Shōamidabutsu for remaining attached to the secular world: “not distancing your heart from even ­family relations, this indeed is what becomes love-­attachment.”5 Chanting the name at the end of one’s life was of utmost importance, and although Shōamidabutsu had devoted herself to the way of a jishū by regularly chanting the nembutsu ser­vices, Shinkyō castigated her for being distracted at the moment of death. The practice halls in communities where jishū could chant for the dead and d ­ ying became impor­tant spatial structures and soundscapes of medieval Japan. T ­ hese rituals ­were prominent proceedings in all communities and families; however, the practice hall was more than just a space for obsequies. The medieval Japa­nese dōjō was a place for training in the Buddhist way, a place where the Buddha was worshipped and the Buddhist way was practiced. It was a place for the religious and the laity, men and ­women, to gather for teaching and chanting. As a community gathering space, it also functioned as a space for social and cultural events, such as poetry and storytelling.6 A dōjō, small or large, often held a figure or scroll of worship, which would be on display to help visitors and members focus their training and prayers.7 Specific meetings conducted in vari­ous practice halls ­were, perhaps, gendered, but the space itself was not segregated. This is in contrast to the vari­ous monastic institutions, which ­were often a space for monks and male members who worked for the monastery and in princi­ple excluded ­women. Despite the reservations and suspicious attitudes about ­women expressed by the elite monastic members through doctrinal works, ­women had a place in the religious world of medieval Japan. ­Women served 59

Chapter Three

beside the monks, ­either as itinerant nuns or as nuns living in a dōjō. Although t­ here are no remaining rec­ords written by female jishū (or, for that ­matter, by any regular jishū), ­there is information available to provide a rudimentary idea of what life was like for a nun in a Yugyō school dōjō in the f­ ourteenth ­century. Before we examine ­these specific cases, it is impor­tant to have an understanding of what being a nun entailed to many of ­those living in medieval Japan.

A Religious Way of Life ­There are vari­ous reasons why ­women took the tonsure in medieval Japan. Taking the tonsure, or cutting one’s hair, was a symbolic act of renouncing the world. Some took the religious path as a result of divine revelations. O ­ thers ­were asked to serve the religious path for ­family reasons. W ­ omen shaved their heads (or trimmed their hair) as a ritual symbolic act, to announce their renunciation from worldly affairs. Frequently they did this when they thought their life was nearing its end or when they became widowed. However, it must be noted that taking the tonsure did not always reflect a religious devotion, nor did all ­women who shaved their heads become nuns.8 Some ­women who took the tonsure did so as a way to distance or detach themselves from ­family relations; for example, it could serve as a way to divorce or as a way to flee from crime.9 The reasons varied for the ­women who did become nuns, from devout religious commitment to an opportunity for a ­widow to gain a religious distinction and at the same time preserve her status as the “loyal” wife.10 Such a w ­ oman was able to maintain her position in the ­house­hold and keep the property her deceased husband had bequeathed her. Katsuura Noriko mentions that the category of “nun” was socially power­ful and notes that w ­ omen who ­were part of the medieval guilds (za) registered with aristocratic titles or with the nun ­designation.11 Monk-­ or nunhood was not a one-­way path, and many returned to secular life. Ippen and Abutsu-ni are just two examples of individuals who became a monk and a nun, then returned to lay life, only to ­later, once again, become a monk and a nun. Nishiguchi Junko’s extensive research on medieval ­women and Buddhism explains that ­there is no ­simple definition of ama (“nun” or “nunhood”). A nun could live in a nunnery or live within her home. She might live a secluded life or live among a community of ­women. She could live within monastic walls, never to leave, or live a life of itinerancy, never settling down. Some ­were wealthy, with power­f ul affiliations to the court; some ­were beggars on the street. A 60

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nun could belong to one par­tic­u­lar sect or practice vari­ous dif­fer­ent teachings.12 ­There was, however, one feature basic to nunhood: being a nun signified that she belonged to the realm of the Buddha. For some ­women, becoming a nun liberated them from standard duties, such as sexual activities (although this did not imply that they ­were necessarily celibate); for ­others, their daily actions might have remained the same. The under­lying goals that all nuns worked t­ oward w ­ ere rebirth in paradise and accruing merit for death. Becoming a nun did not blind ­people to the nun’s social status, but it allowed them to look past it or ignore it. ­Women from aristocratic and high-­ranking warrior families established nunneries in which they resided and actively produced calligraphy, painting, and poetry inspired by Buddhist teachings. Many elite ­women ­were active and prominent sponsors of vari­ous religious ser­ vices, even if they did not take any formal vows. Some parents sponsored their ­daughters, and at times, the nunnery became a microcosm of the real world: a place in which the social hierarchy of the outside world continued uninterrupted inside the walls, including servants who had to follow their mistress in taking the tonsure.13 Historically, impor­tant ­temples w ­ ere built and sponsored by w ­ omen from imperial h ­ ouse­holds. A female court noble commissioned the first vernacular Buddhist text.14 Wealthy patrons sponsored the transcription of sutras and mandalas, commissioned Buddha statues, and donated land to Buddhist institutions.15 Magnificent aesthetic religious ser­vices, rituals, and ceremonies ­were attended; financed; and appreciated, not only as spiritual experiences but also as a means for men and w ­ omen at court to obtain po­liti­ cal advantage. T ­ emples or huts built as a space to offer ancestor prayers became common in both urban and rural areas. The concern over the fate of one’s ancestors, loved ones, and self ­after death encouraged ­people to donate large sums of money to ­temple-­shrines. Ritsu, Zen, and Jōdo school nunneries opened during the thirteenth ­century to provide ­women from noble and prominent warrior families a retreat or a place to reside. Smaller-­scale nunneries, gosho 御所 (honorable places), tailored to the lifestyles of elite ­women, could also be found in the medieval period.16 The ­women from aristocratic backgrounds ­were raised in a hierarchy-­ conscious world, and while they venerated the priests, they also considered them inferior in rank. For ­these ­women, the priests ­were both masters of the Buddhist teaching and tradesmen who provided a ser­ vice. By the end of the thirteenth ­century, however, ­there was a slow but 61

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steady shift in attitude among the religious masters, who no longer wished to be treated as inferior by ­these eminent ­women. Lori Meeks points out that regardless of social hierarchy, ­women began to be treated as “disciples”; thus, prominent monks could avoid bowing down to them.17 One widespread notion of medieval Buddhism is that the monasteries ­were the dominant locale of Buddhist practice. Theoretically, advancement within a monastic order was governed by one’s knowledge of the scriptures and religious guidance. In real­ity, in the tenth ­century especially, prominent posts and high-­ranking appointments and promotions ­were based on the social status and noble patronage of the individual. This was the case at the most influential religious centers on Mount Hiei and on Mount Kōya, where, to quote Mikael Adolphson: “Benefiting from the connections with their kin at the imperial court and from the material and ­human resources they controlled, ­these monastic aristocrats established their own cloisters, known as monzeki, as a way to bypass several steps in the monk hierarchy and endure less of the rigorous religious training, but still gain influence within the most prominent monasteries.”18 The standard scriptures, tenets, and sutras taught at ­these impor­tant monastic centers ­were eclectic, demonstrating the diverse practices and rituals performed ­there. The issues of purity, defilement, rebirth, and other Buddhist teachings ­were discussed and considered. The attitude ­toward ­women, in accordance with Buddhist tradition, remained negative. The priests ascribed ­women’s inferior status to their limitations (the five obstacles, for example, explained how the female body cannot attain the five ranks in the Buddhist cosmos, including that of Buddha), their sinfulness, and their inability to attain similar religious achievement as men.19 Included among the vari­ous descriptions and deliberations on the nature of w ­ omen was the debate ­whether it was necessary for ­women to be reborn as men before attaining enlightenment (known as henjō nanshi 変成男子). Intrinsically polluted, the female body was prohibited from entering sacred places, including the monastic grounds of Mount Hiei and Mount Kōya, which ­were the locations of the preeminent Buddhist centers of learning and worship.20 It is recognized that ­there ­were institutional nunneries, but ­these have been relegated to remain in the shadow of the monasteries. Further examination shows that this is a misconception, and nunneries did, in fact, hold impor­tant positions in the history of Buddhism in Japan. One case in point is the nunnery Hokkeji, which was founded in 1243 with the aid of monk Eison 叡尊 (1201–1290), the founder of the Shingon Ritsu 62

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sect. Hokkeji became a significant center for Buddhist teaching and practice, and the nuns ­there received full ordination into Buddha-­hood. Eison encouraged massive group rituals involving both men and ­women of vari­ous classes. The Ritsu sect was based on the Vinaya, which has a classification system that includes both men and ­women. Often the convents and monasteries of this sect ­were constructed in pairs, one next to the other.21 Although ­women ­were excluded or considered inferior within Buddhist training and within the monasteries, this convention did not necessarily extend to the larger society of Buddhist life. ­Women lived and worked in nunneries and contributed in many ways to the proselytization of Buddhism. Examination of rec­ords from ­women outside the court circle confirm the active participation of ­women in Buddhist practices and indicate that ­women had not internalized the concept of female inferiority and pollution, as expressed in the doctrines. As Lori Meeks contends in her study of the rival of Hokkeji nunnery, we need to be careful to not assume that the interpretation of Buddhist texts by monastic scholar-­monks was the norm among ordinary ­people. This notion is supported not only by the rec­ords of the nuns at Hokkeji but also through research on kishinfuda 寄進札 (donation-­plates on which the donor recorded their prayers and/or intentions for making Buddhist offerings) in the Wakasa region, which has revealed that words reflecting religious discrimination t­ oward ­women only began to appear around the start of the sixteenth ­century.22 Many scholars have begun to refocus on vernacular Buddhism and distinguish the doctrinal and sectarian historically based studies from ­those of ­actual practiced Buddhism. Through the letters preserved by Shinkyō of the Yugyō school, we can contribute additional insights into the world lived by religious men and ­women. The spread and proliferation of jishū practice halls should be understood not by the central authorities’ utilization of religious rituals and functions, but through the ­people who prayed and offered devotion to the kami of their locality. As discussed in the introduction, hijiri and miko had a vis­i­ble presence at communal festivals and ­were entrusted to provide personal salvation. Their per­for­ mances of dance with songs ­were a common feature at ­temple-­shrine complexes, offering the visitor a festive, entertaining, and spiritual experience.23 Thus, for the majority of the populace of medieval Japan, ­women ­were expected to participate in ways that helped balance and bless their world.


Chapter Three

Growing Networks of Practice Halls Shinkyō’s establishment of the structured dōjō life in the early ­fourteenth ­century required most jishū members to adjust to a new way of life. The original mendicant movement, which had abandoned material security, home, and ­family to follow a charismatic leader (first Ippen and then Shinkyō), was now building permanent residences. The desire to remain close to the leader, whom they believed to be a manifestation of a divine being, had encouraged the fellowship to share in the mission that involved itinerancy.24 This complete de­pen­dency and closeness to the leader had to change for jishū who ­were directed to t­ hese new provincial dōjō. According to Shinkyō, ­there ­were many requests from influential individuals for jishū to ­settle and or­ga­nize a dōjō, cementing Shinkyō’s decision to establish a permanent practice hall at Taima in 1304. Shinkyō also encouraged the creation of permanent practice halls throughout the provinces, especially in locations he and his jishū had visited during their journeys. Shinkyō selected and dispatched jishū monks and nuns to be spiritual guides for t­ hese local dōjō. In order to maintain his vision of Pure Land practices and that of a jishū, Shinkyō developed the concept of chishiki—­a common term used to describe a religious friend—­into the hierarchal position of Chishiki (religious teacher). This title designated him the leader of the mission, who held ultimate authority over jishū members. In order to become a jishū of Shinkyō’s school, one had to take an oath of obedience to the Chishiki: ­ hose who enter this jishū ­w ill from this time forward u T ­ ntil the end of time turn their body and life over to the Chishiki. . . . ​If precepts are broken, then in this lifetime [that jishū] ­w ill get white leprosy and black leprosy and in lives to come ­w ill slip out from the Amida Buddha’s forty-­ eight vows and w ­ ill fall into the three evil paths.25

This oath, the Chishiki kimyō 知識帰命 (vows of devotion to the Chishiki),26 was both a promise of obedience and an acknowl­edgment of the Chishiki as the religious authority and the messenger of the Buddha. Jishū who kept their oath and chanted the nembutsu would achieve rebirth, but this rebirth now depended, as well, on obedience to the Chishiki. Shinkyō explains: What we call jishū are ­those who have abandoned ­family, ­those who have left their residences, ­those who have made themselves empty and their lives are within the hands of the Buddha [Chishiki]. ­Those who do every­ 64

­Fourteenth-­Century Mixed-­Gender Practice Hall thing with the purpose of, and for the benefit of, the guaranteed rebirth, are who we call jishū.27

Shinkyō, while demanding complete obedience from ­those who took the vow, did not discourage lay adherents from joining the jishū in chanting the nembutsu. He stated that all t­ hose who worked together to promote the nembutsu, religious or lay, ­were dōgyō 同行 (fellow prac­ti­tion­ers). The main difference between a jishū and a dōgyō was the vow to the Chishiki. Whereas the jishū secured their own rebirth through this vow, the laity had to rely on chanting of the nembutsu. The jishū sent to guide the lay community and run the practice halls w ­ ere representatives of the Chishiki. As such, the assigned leader had the authority to decide on concerns within the practice hall. Since this leader was the Chishiki’s proxy, the jishū members of the dōjō ­were expected to adhere to any decisions he or she made without question. The position of leader of a local practice hall, often called bōzu 坊主, would have, at the very least, required the ability to read and write in order to correspond with Shinkyō. Several letters addressed to female jishū who w ­ ere likely leaders of practice halls indicate that they had communicated or acted with other leaders of jishū dōjō in­ de­pen­dently of their patron and Shinkyō. Amino Yoshihiko has suggested that by end of the thirteenth ­century, literacy, in the form of kana, was not restricted to the upper class but could also be found among ­women of the low-­ranking warrior class and the wealthier commoners.28 Ōdo Yasuhiro, in his study on educational facilities in the medieval period, has suggested that the jishū dōjō worked as a base for education. He claims that jishū dōjō (not specific to Yugyō school) ­were the most open in offering Buddhist studies to the lay society and that they held a strong educational aspect.29 The dōjō was a place where warriors, the lord, and his retainers could attend sutra readings, seminars, and discussions on the ­matters of life and death.30 Ōdo Yasuhiro’s focus was on the warrior-­sponsored practice halls, but one can assume that similar educational and cultural gatherings occurred at practice halls sponsored by non-­warriors as well. With a guaranteed member of the practice hall being literate, some form of learning opportunities, such as reading and writing, may well have been taught to ­those who sought it.

Letters to Female Jishū The letters sent to the residents of provincial jishū practice halls offer us insight into the issues faced by t­ hose who led a devotional life while 65

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trying to propagate and secure the ­f uture of their school. Most jishū who ­were sent to a dōjō to support and spread the teachings of Shinkyō (and that of Ippen) appear to have found it difficult to adjust to their new way of life. Among ­those jishū who ­were sent to be spiritual guides to their patron and lead provincial practice halls w ­ ere female members. Nun Son’ichibō 尊一房, for example, was sent to Aki Province, pres­ent western Hiroshima prefecture, to guide the patron and community of that dōjō to the path of Pure Land. In the early f­ ourteenth c­ entury, Son’ichibō wrote to Shinkyō expressing her anx­i­eties over her role; her letter no longer exists, but Shinkyō’s reply does.31 From his letter to her, one can surmise that Son’ichibō had expressed her insecurities at being so far away from him. Not only did she request permission to return to him, but she also expressed her desire to die by his side. In this reply, Shinkyō comforts her, but he remains firm and clear about her duties as a jishū: to maintain her faith, to remain in her designated dōjō, and to continue to perform her assigned duties. He states, “Once you took the oath of obedience, and gave [your] name to the Buddha [Shinkyō], then [your] faith ­will not fail no ­matter how far [one is from the Chishiki/Shinkyō], even to the edge of China and India, when the practitioner’s faith is put into the nembutsu, then that ­will bring you to Pure Land.” Furthermore, “although the place is far away, if you think we are performing in front of you, then, even ­a fter your death, you ­w ill not be separated in wisdom and blessing of the Chishiki [Shinkyō].”32 Shinkyō’s correspondences with his jishū bōzu of provincial halls offer glimpses that confirm our understanding that the medieval worldview placed ­g reat importance on an assured afterlife and, for the jishū, that was to be achieved through devotion to the nembutsu chanting. Son’ichibō, as a jishū member who took the oath of obedience with Shinkyō, was assured of her own rebirth, but her duty now as a leader of a practice hall was to guide o ­ thers to the path of Pure Land. Another female bōzu example is nun Shu’ichibō 衆一房. Where she had been sent to remains unknown; however, through Shinkyō’s reply we can sense that in her initial letter Shu’ichibō had also lamented the distance, the difficulty, and perhaps the loneliness of being separated from Shinkyō and the members she used to travel with. Shinkyō explains to her, “No ­matter where you are, it is all for, and only for, the purpose of the all-­impor­tant rebirth. ­Whether one was side by side or separated by distance, if ­there is the faith ­towards rebirth, then, without a doubt, the heart ­will always remain connected.”33 We can speculate that the initial letter addressed to Shinkyō by Shu’ichibō was filled with her insecuri66

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ties and the difficulty she experienced being separated from him and other jishū members. ­These correspondences bring to light the direct communication female members had with Shinkyō at Taima Dōjō. Not only does this suggest the legitimate and impor­tant positions of female jishū, but it also informs us that at least ­those who ­were sent to guide and teach at local practice halls ­were literate. This proposes that among ­those who joined the itinerant mission, some ­were educated or at least exposed to some form of literacy training. ­There is also a comment made by Shinkyō regarding personal letters being exchanged by the nuns themselves, reinforcing how jishū members had some form of rudimentary literacy, and also demonstrating the friendship bond that must have existed among the members who had experienced the journey together. We are informed of such communication among the nuns in a letter addressed to monk Kyō’amidabutsu 教阿弥陀佛, who was sent to lead a practice hall in Hashimoto along with nun Gen’ichibō 現一房.34 Gen’ichibō, we discover, had sent a letter and some material for clothes (tafu 太布) to two nuns. ­These nuns, named Okuichibō 億一房 and Tōichibō 東一房, both resided with Shinkyō at Taima Dōjō. Shinkyō was upset over this exchange. He states: I saw that t­ here was a letter on thin paper that described how three tafu are being sent to Okuichibō and Tōichibō to whom the tafu is to be divided one and a half each. T ­ hese jishū [Okuichibō and Tōichibō] have no right to receive private gifts from individuals. Also that jishū [Gen’ichibō] has no right to hold private belongings and to give it to some acquaintance. It is in be­ hav­ior like this that one eventually breaks the code [of jishū] and becomes like laypeople. It is therefore from now and for the f­ uture that I write this and send it out. Tafu is, as is known, an object against the law. I ­will have it burned.35

Furthermore, Shinkyō realized that one of the letters enclosed among the contents was not intended for him: “More and more that letter does not appear to be from that person [but was written by Gen’ichibō and] was written for the two of them. Thus for ­those ­here, for their benefit, it ­will be burned.”36 Shinkyō was making a point in this letter that anything not approved by him is against the law of the order. In another correspondence, Shinkyō expressed the need for jishū to limit their possessions to the accepted twelve belongings, since any other personal possession or private property would interfere with their ultimate goal of attainment of rebirth.37 Therefore, this exchange of “luxury” goods between his members, without his acknowl­edgment, was in essence a 67

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threat to his authority and the ­f uture of his school. This incident also reveals that Gen’ichibō had written to, and expected to correspond with, Okuichibō and Tōichibō, suggesting that although Shinkyō demanded detachment and mendicancy, not all members thought such mea­sures ­were necessary. One can imagine that Gen’ichibō, while on an itinerant mission, befriended Okuichibō and Tōichibō. She was then sent to Hashimoto with Kyō’amidabutsu to run the local dōjō. Perhaps life at Hashimoto Dōjō had proved rewarding, and Gen’ichibō had received luxury items from her patron or supporters, items which she then wished to share with her friends at Taima Dōjō. ­Whether she sent cloth or other items and letters to members at other local practice halls—­such as to Son’ichibō or Shu’ichibō—we ­will never know. ­There is one letter, however, that demonstrates that ­there was not only correspondence but a network of communication among the jishū nuns in­de­pen­dent of Shinkyō. A nun with the name Dai’ichibō 大一房, one of the leaders of the Nakajō Dōjō 中條道場, received harsh criticism from Shinkyō. In his letter addressed to her, we discover she had acted in­de­pen­dently and without his approval, and her actions resulted in disapproval from a local patron. Apparently Dai’ichibō had directed two female jishū away from the dōjō they had been assigned to, instructing them to go to her own dōjō in Nakajō instead.38 Shinkyō expressed his anger at her for defying his authority: “­After having given our body and life to the Amida Buddha, one may not have thoughts of owner­ship ­towards [other] jishū or belongings. Particularly, to consider one a master of [another] jishū, what notion is this?”39 He continues to admonish Dai’ichibō ­because she had taken the Buddhist vow (to him): To behave in this manner suggests that you have not let go of the life of laity, and the attitude of [owning] personal belongings. Thus even though the tonsure was taken . . . ​Having abandoned this world and discarded the body, ­there is no ground to becoming an owner of objects of this world. As it is the promise that we become the object of the Buddha, every­thing is for the purpose of rebirth for this body. ­There is no reason to be attached to ­things. It is only incommodious ­towards the path of rebirth.40

From Shinkyō’s perspective, it was essential that the jishū leaders follow his directives without question and accept the requests of the patrons; thus, he further stated: “Ultimately, I emphasize that the two nuns, Ryū’ichibō 立一房 and Hō’butsubō 宝佛房, be returned to the person who made the fundamental vow.” From this and other letters it becomes apparent that Shinkyō expected his jishū to follow the patron’s 68

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wishes and not only fulfill their religious needs but also perform nonreligious duties, such as working in the fields and providing ­house­hold ser­ vices. All this, he assured them, was for the benefit of their teaching. Shinkyō’s letter to Dai’ichibō goes on: If someone does not have the faith, then it is that person’s prob­lem. To have supplied a jishū for [spiritual support] to that person, yet to retrieve [the jishū] ­because the agreement [turned out to be] dif­fer­ent, then you have not done for the person but acted within your own mind. While you have the mind to behave on your own account, then you have forgotten that [such actions] defy the Chishiki’s ­orders.41

The unequivocal ac­cep­tance of patron’s wishes ensured the continued sponsorship of the dōjō and order. Dai’ichibō had jeopardized this sponsorship by taking ­matters into her own hands. It is unlikely we ­will ever know the ­actual story ­behind ­these two nuns, Ryū’ichibō and Hō’butsubō. What we learn from ­these letters, however, is that ­there ­were nuns who w ­ ere sent to jishū practice halls at the request of their patrons, and some jishū leaders acted without the consent or knowledge of Shinkyō or their sponsor. Jishū sent to lead and guide ­others on the path not only faced isolation from their itinerant members and separation from their leader but also ­were expected by their leader (initially Shinkyō) to attract new members and maintain a positive relationship with their patron and sponsors. It is instructive to remember that at this time, the elites and the wealthy saw the nembutsu practices and rituals they sponsored as a complement to their already eclectic devotional ceremonies. A provincial, power­f ul warrior ­house­hold often sponsored a variety of religious schools, among which would be ­those engaged in nembutsu practices, such as the jishū. The Nakajō Dōjō, where the nun Dai’ichibō resided, was located in current Niigata prefecture. Not far from the Nakajō Dōjō was another jishū practice hall, known as Shimojō Dōjō 下條道場. We know of three con­ temporary jishū members who resided in the Shimojō Practice Hall: the nun Bo’ichibō 菩一房, and the monks Ren’amidabutsu 蓮阿弥陀佛 and Hi’amidabutsu 悲阿弥陀佛.42 The letters sent to both Bo’ichibō and Ren’amidabutsu suggest that each of them expressed their concerns and sought advice from Shinkyō on how to inspire their new members and patrons, and how to properly perform or behave. It appears they ­were troubled by the lack of appreciation and participation by their patrons and new members. To Bo’ichibō, Shinkyō offered: “If even now, no thought is taken about themselves and actions they take are against the 69

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Way, then, no ­matter how you teach, what purpose is ­there? Except, to give, is the base of our teaching. Even if the person ­were to achieve rebirth or to fall into hell, you yourself should keep [the teaching] in mind.”43 Ren’amidabutsu also expressed his concern and complaints about the lack of aspiration he felt among the community members of Shimojō Dōjō. In reply, Shinkyō wrote: “From the time of the late hijiri [Ippen], the monk and nun disciples have not particularly excelled in awaking aspiration or in wisdom compared to ­others.”44 Furthermore, “among the provincial dōjō, ­there are few who seek emancipation and many who do not seek enlightenment.”45 Shinkyō explains that t­ hose who had become jishū of his group did so out of their own ­f ree ­will, knowing fully the risks that membership entailed. Therefore, the leader of the dōjō did not have to take responsibility for actions done by their own jishū.46 Provincial dōjō leaders ­were responsible to Shinkyō (and subsequent leaders) first, then to the dōjō patron, and fi­nally to the jishū members within the dōjō. To Ren’amidabutsu, Shinkyō also states: “­Because that is the persona of the patron’s faith, it is not that [his] inner heart is undesirable. I explain this for the sake of the monks’ and nuns’ understanding of the protection, strength and power of the Buddha way.”47 Although it is only through Shinkyō’s words that we can establish a view of Shimojō Practice Hall and other newly established jishū practice halls, what emerges even from the one-­sided dialogue is the undeniable presence and position of female jishū as guiding and leading members of ­these new halls. Furthermore, both monks’ and nuns’—as seen through the examples of the Shimojō and Hashimoto practice halls—­were expected to co-­lead and guide the community to the path of Pure Land—­a task that does not appear to have been e­ asy.

Mixed-­Gender Practice Halls Appointing a female leader for a newly established provincial dōjō may have been for the benefit of the female patrons and female sponsors of the jishū practice. In addition to the rising strength of warrior ­house­holds as landowners, the late thirteenth ­century saw an emerging group of specialized professionals and merchants. This created a new affluent group that could support and sponsor religious undertakings, such as practice halls. Jishū scholars have tended to focus on the Yugyō school’s relationship with provincial warriors, and although Shinkyō and ­f uture Yugyō school leaders did secure ties with ­these landowners, they also 70

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attracted and received support and contributions from ­these professionals of newfound wealth. ­People gathered at marketplaces with growing consistency and frequency from the thirteenth ­century on. The market was where hijiri, including Ippen’s fellowship, proselytized. The surplus in agricultural yields and the growing trend ­toward specialization allowed ­these spaces for exchange to take place on a regular basis. Coins from China became a common medium of exchange among the growing class of merchants and led to a market-­centered economy. Additionally, by the end of the thirteenth ­century, the merchants had created extensive regional exchange networks and expanded trade to a wider segment of society. Often ­these trade routes and networks did not rely on the government or on regional landowners.48 Of par­tic­u­lar interest to our study is that gender was no barrier for participation in this developing commercial economy. Renditions of the female sellers, producers, and artists who gathered at marketplaces are provided in pictorial scrolls, such as the Hijiri-­e and Shokunin utaawase 職人歌合 (Poetry competition among p ­ eople of vari­ous occupations) collections.49 In addition to pictorial renditions of female merchants at marketplaces, ­there are more specific examples as well. One letter, for example, informs us of a ­widow-­nun who held a stall at Fukatsu marketplace and engaged in exchange of financed bills.50 Kanai Kiyomitsu has carefully traced the locations of the known medieval Yugyō school practice halls. A pattern emerges and indicates that jishū practice halls ­were situated close to high-­traffic areas, such as on major highways, along prominent pilgrimage routes, and near ­water transports.51 Marketplaces ­were often situated near ­these high-­traffic areas due to the ease of transportation and availability of land. Amino Yoshihiko has stressed that the space of t­ hese markets was “unattached,” freeing the space and the ­people occupying it from their ordinary obligations and class hierarchy.52 Having emerged out of the growing stability of the marketplaces and the increase in trade networks, jishū dōjō w ­ ere used and sponsored by ­those who frequented such routes. ­Women, as part of the landscape of ­these marketplaces and networks of transportation, may have had a role in wishing for a nembutsu practice hall, perhaps to help accrue merit or even to join the network the jishū offered. Examination of the regional network of jishū practice halls of the ­fourteenth ­century reveals the often-­neglected participation of ­women as leaders and educators in community formation. Kaminokawa Dōjō 上三河道場 in Utsunomiya, currently of Tochigi prefecture, was led by monk Yo’amidabutsu 與阿弥陀佛 and nun Gen’ichibō 71

Chapter Three 現一房. The surviving replies to Yo’amidabutsu and Gen’ichibō suggest

that the situation at Kaminokawa Dōjō was unstable, with doubts or prob­lems within the jishū practice. Gen’ichibō appears to have sought the consultation and physical assistance of Shinkyō. In Shinkyō’s letter to Gen’ichibō, he reprimands her for having asked him to visit her patron, the “honorable el­derly nun of Nasu.”53 He advises her and explains that “being separated from us, and needing to deal with [issues] by yourself can, like this, be exasperating. However, you must refrain from ­these complaints.”54 Gen’ichibō was expected to deal with the jishū members and patron of this practice hall with confidence and without seeking the physical presence of Shinkyō. It is acknowledged that eminent w ­ omen sponsored Buddhist rituals and relics, and donated their own land for assurance of a positive afterlife, both for herself and for her ­family. Taking the tonsure to devote time to prayer was also a common practice, even though it did not necessary equate to complete detachment from secular life. What lifestyle of nunhood the “honorable el­derly nun of Nasu” upheld remains unknown; she did express an interest to converse directly with Shinkyō and supported the jishū practice hall, but at the point of the recording of this letter, she was not a jishū herself. We do, however, have an example of a nun who became a sponsor and a jishū member; she is known as Kaibutsubō 戒佛房.55 We do not know the circumstances ­behind her entering a practice hall, and we may even presume that part of her own residence had been converted into a Yugyō school dōjō. Unlike the other female jishū we have examined thus far, Kaibutsubō did not seek to be in Shinkyō’s presence, nor did she ask him practical questions about how to run a dōjō. She had also not taken the vow of obedience to Shinkyō. Thus, she was a lay-­fellow practitioner, dōgyō no jishū. We cannot know why Kaibutsubō had initially written to Shinkyō. It is likely that she wrote to inform him of the death of Lord Yamamoto and of her decision to become a nun. Shinkyō began his reply by first mentioning how he had been ill for a few days in Kai Province. Had Kaibutsubō known of this illness, or was Shinkyō offering a reason for his late reply? Regardless, the tone suggests that both Shinkyō and Kaibutsubō ­were acquaintances and had likely exchanged letters or poems before Kaibutsubō became a nun. She was prob­ably related to Lord Yamamoto: as wife, ­daughter, ­sister, or even perhaps ­mother. Shinkyō informs Kaibutsubō that it is a joyful ­thing that she can now focus on the


­Fourteenth-­Century Mixed-­Gender Practice Hall

merit of the nembutsu to enter Pure Land and thus forever be a friend beside Lord Yamamoto. In his letter, Shinkyō reminded Kaibutsubō—­whom he described as having written to him “with soft words in an elegant learned hand”56—­ that now that she was a nun, she could no longer maintain her former attitude or be­hav­ior. Her love of refinement and her disdain ­toward ­those below her w ­ ere no longer appropriate. She needed to renounce her former way of thinking, to “overcome the mind of the past, surpass from the past into the now, in mind and be­hav­ior[;] this itself is then the normal core of mind and be­hav­ior. This way one’s mind is clear and at ease within this world and the next and [can] focus on aiming to achieve rebirth.”57 Shinkyō’s admonition that she can no longer feel superior to other ­people reaffirms the idea that the status structure of lay society was not supposed to apply to the dōjō. One cannot know if it was something she mentioned in her letter to Shinkyō that made him respond in this way, or if someone ­else had voiced a complaint about her unchanged attitude. Nevertheless, according to Shinkyō, a jishū nun or monk, regardless of personal social standing before taking the vow, was expected to follow the mendicant jishū order in the same manner as any other acolyte. This appears to be contrary to the monzeki convents—­religious residences for aristocratic and imperial ­women—­where the exterior social world, along with its hierarchy, extended inside the walls. It is uncertain to what extent Shinkyō’s demand that a jishū disregard formal attachments and attitudes, including the notion of a master-­servant relationship, was observed, for as we ­will see in chapter 4, ­there ­were jishū with personal attendants in Kyoto’s practice halls. Shinkyō also informed Kaibutsubō of what was expected of her now that she was a nun: she must “part from desire of the heart, do not wear nice clothing, do not seek taste in your mouth, cut apart the ties between the living and dead.” In addition, he advised her to “convert your former heart/mind and do not neglect the nembutsu, then, the Buddha’s mercy ­w ill be bestowed [on you], and you ­w ill definitely achieve rebirth.”58 He did not mention, however, that she was to pray for sentient beings, or that she owed strict obedience to him—­a reflection of the distinction Shinkyō made between a lay jishū and a jishū who took the vow of obedience. Furthermore, he does not recommend or address any extra rituals or devotions she should pray for as a ­woman. She is simply regarded as one of the many disciple-­patrons, united by the name.


Chapter Three

Shinkyō also offered Kaibutsubō comfort. He assured her that she and Lord Yamamoto would meet again in the Pure Land and forever be companions. This contradicts the ethos of abandonment of ­family and all attachments, an attitude he often stressed in his other letters. However, it must be remembered that Shinkyō, building on Ippen’s notions of bringing together the worship of the kami with the nembutsu, included ancestor worship and attachment to the dead to promote his nembutsu practice. This policy ensured the support of impor­tant families for the establishment of jishū dōjō. ­These practice halls would serve as a place for ­family-­(clan-) based ancestor worship as well as a place for teaching and chanting the nembutsu.59 The monk Kyōamidabutsu appears to have been responsible for overseeing the jishū duties at the dōjō ­were Kaibutsubō resided. With the death of Lord Yamamoto, not only did Kaibutsubō partake in a jishū life, but so did several young girls who appear to have been ­under his protection. ­These young nuns ­were apparently a distraction for the other dōjō members and created some disruption within the dōjō. Shinkyō assured Kyōamidabutsu that with time ­these girls would eventually learn the way of the dōjō: “The more nembutsu they hear, the more likely they, too, w ­ ill start to chant themselves.” Shinkyō seemed sympathetic with Kyōamidabutsu’s situation and understood that the prob­lem meant that Kyōamidabutsu was unlikely to have the time for his own practice: “While the situation now is troubling, you ­will eventually find it to be beneficial and satisfactory.”60 The connection between the young nuns and Kaibutsubō is unclear. Since the honorific suffix -­goze is used with the young nuns, we can assume they ­were above the servant class and ­were of a similar status to Kaibutsubō. ­These letters paint an image of a lively medieval dōjō, with several young girls ­running around; a lady complaining about her lack of comfort; and, all the while, the male and female jishū performing their nembutsu chanting.61 ­Here we have an example of an affluent w ­ oman, now a nun, devoting herself to nembutsu chanting within the same space as monks, nuns, and ­children. Jishū as a mixed-­gender group continued even within the warrior-­sponsored practice halls, suggesting that religious practices w ­ ere perhaps not as clearly gendered. It also informs us of the character of ­these practice halls as a sanctuary for t­hose without a home, and how they functioned not only as a religious space but also as a cultural and social sphere. The mixed-­gender style of the jishū practice halls was not without its prob­lems; in fact, it led to be­hav­ior considered improper. For example, 74

­Fourteenth-­Century Mixed-­Gender Practice Hall

Shinkyō specifically criticizes a jishū monk who had formed an attachment to a nun: To take the tonsure for the purpose of enlightenment, and having made the vow to the Chishiki, . . . ​to become friendly and close to a nun results in feelings of attraction. Then the vow to the Chishiki is no longer as you would devote yourself to the nun. This way of the heart cannot complement the Buddha’s [Chishiki’s] wishes and [you] w ­ ill not achieve rebirth.62

Another letter by Shinkyō, addressed to the monk Shi’amidabutsu

師阿弥陀佛 of Umeda, alluded to the tension and distractive nature of a

mixed-­gender practice hall, yet at the same time confirmed the importance of the jishū as a mixed-­gender religious group. In this letter, as examined in chapter 1, Shinkyō recommended creating separate sections for monks and nuns. Thus, while addressing the issues of a mixed-­gender practice hall, Shinkyō did not include as an option the idea of dismissing or disallowing female members from joining. Surviving rec­ords by Shinkyō demonstrate his competence and knowledge of the larger religious tenets, including Tendai and Zen teachings. Shinkyō, then, was not ignorant of the misogynistic assumptions; yet in his replies to the female jishū, ­there is no emphasis that, as ­women, they needed to focus harder or provide additional merit-­making devotions. His focus remained on their promise made to him (the Chishiki) through the vow that, as a jishū, they would follow the guidelines set by their Chishiki. That vow was, as we saw earlier, an ac­cep­tance that the Chishiki was also the Buddha in living form. From Shinkyō’s letters, it is also apparent that he expected his jishū to comply with the wishes of the patrons, within reason. By providing beneficial ser­vices and creating a sense of trust between them and their patrons, they would in turn assure the continued support of the Yugyō school. Although it was impor­tant to Shinkyō to appease his patrons, and despite the reservations he received from members of the lay community over the inappropriateness of mixed-­gender practice halls, he continued not only to accept female members but to assign female members to lead provincial practice halls. Female participation was not just assumed—it was an integrated part of the order itself. In the landscape of the early ­fourteenth ­century, many ­women had control of their own wealth, and like all other medieval populaces, they took a keen interest in their own afterlife. ­Women who sought intellectual and devotional studies faced the real­ity of being denied entry to the most prominent and impor­tant institutions 75

Chapter Three

of medieval Japan: Mount Hiei and Mount Kōya. However, not being able to pursue the extended training available to men at such Buddhist institutions did not prevent w ­ omen from creating and attaining their own path of studies and spiritual awakening. Examples include such eminent nuns as the first Zen abbess Mugai Nyōdai 無外如大 (1223–1298) and Jizen 慈善 (1187–?), one of the first nuns to take the full monastic precepts in Japan in over four hundred years. Mugai Nyōdai was the founder of the Keiaiji convent in Kyoto, which became the head of the Amadera Gozan 尼寺五山 (Five mountain convent association) and held fifteen subtemples.63 Jizen and a group of nuns revived the Hokkeji convent in the old capital of Nara, which became a “vast cultic center that supported the religious practices of hundreds of ­women.”64 Studies continue to reveal the effective role of convents in medieval Japan, such as Dōmyōji 道明寺 (in current Osaka), which had been designated as one among a group of ­temples to conduct prayers for the medieval warrior governments in exchange for practical benefit.65 Both w ­ omen of elite status and common66 ers resided in Dōmyōji. While Mugai Nyōdai and Jizen ­were able to achieve religious in­de­pen­ dence through more orthodox means, the rise in popularity of Ippen and similar Pure Land schools provided a dif­fer­ent ave­nue outside the monastic walls. Situated on the streets of Kyoto ­were numerous jishū practice halls. Overshadowed by the prominent and wealthier institutions of ­today, ­these practice halls have been neglected by recent scholars and forgotten by the residents of the urban city itself. Chapter 4 addresses the jishū practice halls located in the urban landscape of Kyoto during the f­ ourteenth c­ entury, as well as the opportunities they offered to men and ­women living in the capital. To the benefit of city dwellers, patrons, and jishū alike, t­ hese halls functioned as places of learning, as spaces for ­people from vari­ous backgrounds to socialize, as locations for urban dwellers to participate in religious ser­vices, and as dispatch centers for jishū to act as guides for their patrons.


Chapter Four

Practice Halls of Kyoto Urban Jishū Nuns The ­fourteenth ­century has been described as a time of anticonformism, extravagance, and turbulence, but also as a time of innovation and transformation. The proliferation of jishū practice halls throughout the provinces corresponds to this dynamic time. In chapter 3, we examined the mixed-­gender practice halls that took roots during Shinkyō’s tenure. The growing popularity of t­hese nembutsu prac­ti­tion­ers was not limited to wealthy provincial elites or commoners, as prac­ti­tion­ers ­were also gaining patronage from urban elites both in Kyoto and in the eastern provinces surrounding the warrior capital of Kamakura. In his letters, Shinkyō did not shy away from indicating his own popularity with such influential members; one such example is in his refusal of an invitation to visit Kyoto to promulgate for a courtier f­ amily. An aristocratic ­family member planned for Shinkyō and his jishū to proselytize in the capital of Kyoto, even suggesting that the emperor might attend if he and his fellowship ­were to come. Shinkyō, however, declined with the following excuse: “As I was preparing to leave I was surrounded by fierce Kantō warriors who would not allow me to move, so while this is entirely contrary to my own intentions, I ­will not be able to follow your plans [of proselytizing in the capital].”1 To stress the need for his necessary presence among the warriors, Shinkyō writes in another letter of the demands that the warriors of the eastern district made on him: “It was your deep aspiration and your true faith that inspired you to kindly write to me in this way; therefore, I ­really ­ought to go ­there. However, I think they absolutely ­will not let me go, so [our visit] ­will not come to pass.”2 Shinkyō did, however, delegate a jishū to propagate his teachings in Kyoto and formed a Yugyō school jishū practice hall ­there. As one of the several jishū practice halls in Kyoto, this Yugyō school embarked on developing ties with the prominent, wealthy, and influential urban dwellers of Kyoto. This Yugyō school was just one of the many jishū groups that received patronage and cultivated relationships with the elite and the 77

Chapter Four

commoners residing in Kyoto. This chapter examines the activities of ­these mixed-­gender jishū groups situated in the busiest and most culturally diverse urban space of Japan.

Kyoto and the Turbulent 1330s Kyoto became the capital of Japan in 794 and remained the center of politics, economics, and culture well into the nineteenth ­century. Modeled ­after Chinese T’ang city planning, the streets of Kyoto ­were laid out in a grid pattern, which served as the framework for what is pres­ent-­day Kyoto.3 By the ­fourteenth ­century, Kyoto shared two districts: Kamigyō 上京 (upper town) and Shimogyō 下京 (lower town).4 The imperial court was in Kamigyō, where the emperor, courtiers, and elite priests resided in private villas and beautiful ­temples. To the south was Shimogyō, the district of merchants and townsfolk—­a lively, crowded neighborhood where ordinary ­people lived alongside merchants and craftspeople, who supplied necessities to the elites. As well as being a prosperous commercial and industrial city, Kyoto was the po­l iti­cal and religious heart of Japan. In the year 1334, an anonymous notice appeared in Kyoto: At this time in the capital, among the ­things in fashion: assaults in the night, armed robberies, falsified documents, easy ­women, galloping through the town, panics for no reason, chopped-­off heads, monks who defrock themselves and laymen who shave their heads.5

This announcement, found on the riverside of Second Ave­nue in the Shimogyō part of town, described the danger and unease experienced by the populace of this large urban center. This post appeared soon ­after Emperor Go-­Daigo 後醍醐天皇 (1288–1339) and his supporters had overthrown the Kamakura government in 1333. Go-­Daigo had promised to give his followers land if they had proper documentation; as a result, warriors who had supported his campaign flocked to Kyoto to receive their reward.6 The ­fourteenth c­ entury was a time of opportunity and confusion for all sectors of society. The authorities and their traditions ­were being questioned; armed monks ­were marching down from the “holy mountains”; and a new style called basara—­which essentially referred to that which was ostentatious and extravagant—­was becoming popu­lar, especially among the new warrior class. In the area surrounding Kyoto was an increasing number of akutō (evil groups), which defied authorities by performing illegal and violent actions. Jishū practice halls w ­ ere becoming a visual presence in Kyoto, catering both to the elites in the upper 78

Practice Halls of Kyoto

area and to the merchants and artisans in the lower area, as well as to the new incoming warriors. The practice halls ­were named ­after the street or ave­nue on which they ­were built. For example, the Yugyō school had its Kyoto practice hall on Seventh Ave­nue and was thus known as the Seventh Ave­nue Practice Hall, Shichijō Dōjō 七条道場. The other prominent jishū school practice hall in Kyoto was the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall, Rokujō Dōjō, where the famous Hijiri-­e scroll was displayed. The Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall, Shijō Dōjō 四条道場, was one of the first jishū schools to receive imperial sanction, with the title of shōnin 上人 for its leader. From the late twelfth ­century, warriors took a stronger central role in politics, culture, and religion. For example, they supported and encouraged the spread of Zen Buddhism as well as the cult of the tea ceremony. Their power and influence was in part due to the work of the military-­ based government established in Kamakura to the east. Although located in Kamakura, the government had created a headquarters with representatives in Kyoto to maintain its influence and presence as well as to monitor the court nobilities. The Kamakura government’s representatives, as well as its warriors, ­were directed to live outside what was considered Kyoto’s bound­a ries. All this changed in the early f­ ourteenth ­century, when Go-­Daigo overthrew the Kamakura government. Go-­ Daigo not only encouraged his favored generals to build residences in Kyoto by granting them land near the imperial palace but also encouraged his warriors to stay in Kyoto, although they w ­ ere relegated to the Shimogyō area. Large numbers of warriors arrived in Kyoto in anticipation of a reward for their support of Go-­Daigo. According to the anonymous notice of 1334, most of ­these warriors ignored the order to remain in Shimogyō and seized residences from the elite and priests. This ended with a proscription against warriors taking residence in the city.7 A chronicle written in this period states, “Kyoto and Shirakawa had become utterly inundated by w ­ arriors.”8 Go-­Daigo’s government was not able to compensate the warriors who had initially supported him in overthrowing the Kamakura regime, and many became resentful. When his former allies turned against him in a coup in 1336, led by Ashikaga Takauji, Go-­Daigo and his supporters ­were forced to flee Kyoto. This marked the beginning of what is now called the Northern and Southern Court period. For the next sixty years, ­battles ­were fought in the name of the Southern Court, with Go-­Daigo’s supporters, or in the name of the Northern Court, ­under the banner of the Ashikaga government. 79

Chapter Four

Kyoto was a key city in Japa­nese history, so it is in­ter­est­ing to examine documents referencing the lives of the jishū members who lived and practiced ­there. ­There are sets of codes of conduct and be­hav­ior explained by the leaders of the jishū schools for their members residing in Kyoto practice halls. ­These codes provide a fascinating view into an organ­ ization trying to deal with a growing membership of men and w ­ omen in a changing urban environment. Through them we can sense the tension the leaders felt over the need for discipline, maintaining public support, and not losing sight of their religious purpose. The practice hall leaders and the practicing jishū w ­ ere no doubt aware of the po­liti­cal situation surrounding them.9 The civil war marked the f­ourteenth ­century and affected every­one, especially ­those within the city of Kyoto. Scholars have contended that some defeated warriors became jishū, and ­others joined ­because of the continuing ­battles and po­liti­cal unrest. Although the world around the jishū practice halls was changing and ­there ­were new members constantly joining, life within the practice halls appears to have carried on, with monks and nuns conducting their daily practices, displaying both pious devotion and defiant attitudes.

Regulations and Proper Conduct for Jishū in Kyoto Two documents from the early 1340s survive; one we have already looked at, Bōhishō 防非鈔 (Notes on preventing misconducts) by Kai’amidabutsu 解阿弥陀佛.10 The other is by Takuga, the seventh itinerant leader of the Yugyō school, titled Tōzai sayō shō 東西作用抄 (Summary of conduct at all times and places). The rules, regulations, and prohibitions found in ­these codes reflect the social dynamics of the time. Listing a prohibition meant e­ ither that the prohibited activity had taken place or that ­there was a concern that such an activity could take place. From both ­these texts one can surmise that ­these jishū w ­ ere not cloistered or confined within the walls of their practice hall. The lists suggest that t­ here was a wide age group and social class who resided in the dōjō, and that ­there ­were separate residences for monks and nuns, some with their own room (or section) and their own personal retainer or servant. Furthermore, it appears that male and female jishū members visited each other’s residences. Sleeping quarters ­were separate, but the teaching and practice was conducted for all the jishū together in the main hall. Apparently, jishū often visited private homes, not always to perform a religious ser­v ice but sometimes to attend a poetry or tea gathering. 80

Practice Halls of Kyoto

Let us first examine the rules and regulations found in Bōhishō, a text attributed to a jishū monk named Kai’amidabutsu. Kai’amidabutsu’s identity and that of the jishū practice hall where he resided remain unknown. The extant copy was made ­under the direction of the fifty-­third Yugyō leader in 1775 and has been stored in the Seventh Ave­nue Practice Hall. Although the circumstances surrounding the initial dictation and recording of ­these rules are unknown, it is nonetheless a fascinating document, which reveals the be­hav­ior of the jishū, the challenges of a mixed-­gender practice hall, and the reception they received by the surrounding community. The first ten prohibitions involved killing, stealing, sexual temptation (­toward ­women), lying, drinking alcohol (except for medicinal purposes), eating meat (punishable by 5,000 rai 禮), eating spices (permitted to be used as an applicant for medicinal purposes; other­wise, punishable by 5,000 rai), assisting another to have sexual relations with a ­woman, stabbing, and assisting in murder (punishable by 5,000 rai). Other ­matters listed had to do with diverse issues, such as when to do laundry, how to deal with the sick, the prohibition of wearing other ­people’s shoes (punishable by 48 rai), the prohibition of possessing tea or other luxury goods (punishable by 300 rai), and the prohibition of jishū members to act as physicians or shamans. The exact meaning of the punishment rai 禮 is not clear. However, since the rai character means “to make obeisance to; to pay re­spect; ceremony; rite,”11 the penance was likely that the jishū had to make the designated number of ceremonious bows for forgiveness t­oward the Amida Buddha statue or the leader of the dōjō. The following prohibitions and punishments concerned relationships between nuns and monks. One entry states that except during ritual practices, monks ­were prohibited from holding a ­woman’s hand, exchanging items with them, or sitting with them. Punishment of 100 rai was accorded for such actions.12 Another similar entry forbade any close proximity between males and females: “Regarding preventing closeness from all females. Associated monks and nuns should not cross over to each other’s section/bound­aries. However, should this rule be ignored and the bound­aries be crossed, [the punishment is] 100 rai.”13 Monks and nuns ­were also not to seek each other out if the reason was not related to the teaching, since “many evil and bad ­things happen when monks and nuns allow each other access [to their space].” Such violations ­were punishable by 200 rai.14 The number of entries prohibiting or limiting the interaction between men and ­women, monks and nuns, demonstrates 81

Chapter Four

the concern that existed on this topic. The punishment for such be­hav­ior, however, was a relatively minor number of 100 to 200 rai. This was lenient compared with other transgressions, such as eating meat or spices. The possession of tea or other luxury goods was punishable by 300 rai and moving to another location was punishable by 5,000 rai.15 This and other entries indicate that ­these edicts ­were not addressed to only the one practice hall but to the other dōjō as well. Kai’amidabutsu’s rule restricting members moving from one location to another suggests ­there was a prob­lem of jishū leaving their assigned practice hall without proper permission from their leader or their patron. This illicit relocation must have occurred frequently enough to warrant an official sanction. We may recall Shinkyō’s annoyance when he received news that Dai’ichibō had redirected two jishū nuns to her Nakajō Dōjō. Her action had resulted in the patron, to whom the nuns had been assigned, angrily complaining. As indicated by the large number of rai as punishment, abandoning one’s post was a grave offense. Kai’amidabutsu notes, however, “if both patrons are in harmony, then ­there is no restriction.” Thus, it can be concluded that the most impor­tant consideration was not the following of the rule but in maintaining a good relationship with patrons. The leaders understood that it was essential for their jishū members to both act and be perceived as exemplary in order for their group to be considered a legitimate, celibate Buddhist school. Keeping space between monks and nuns was seen as a way to prevent any undesirable attachments as well as misunderstandings among the surrounding community. To be regarded as virtuous Buddhist prac­ti­tion­ers, it was impor­ tant that members of the lay community, especially potential patrons, ­were convinced of the commitment of the jishū t­ oward the Buddhist path. The jishū members had to maintain a reputation for honesty, purity, and being deeply religious. Kai’amidabutsu cautions against taking care of other ­people’s belongings. He explains this point: “When responsible for someone ­else’s belonging, it is a weight upon you. Should you lose the object, you accrue the ill ­will and the ­whole group ­will be suspected of having stolen the object. . . . ​Also, both monks and nuns interact and become close, which inevitably builds up desire ­towards lust. Thus we have this prevention.”16 Kai’amidabutsu advised that when ­either a nun or a monk left the practice hall, chaperones should go along. For example, in the section regarding “the accompaniment of monks and nuns to a lay ­house­hold without the chaperones of a patron or officer,” he explains that the chaperone’s role was to assure the surrounding community that 82

Practice Halls of Kyoto

the sole intent of the jishū is Buddhist practices. “Even if it is for the benefit of the patron as well, the facing together of monks and nuns without a chaperone must be stopped (patron punishable by 100 rai, officers by 500 rai, and ordinary jishū by 1,000 rai).”17 This is the only entry in which punishment is recorded for non-­jishū members. Preventing desire or sexual interest among jishū members, specifically between monks and nuns, was essential; thus, Kai’amidabutsu dictated: “When [an incident occurs] within the dōjō, punishment must be imposed harshly. Still, should words be exchanged, ­faces looking at each other, how is this to reflect on the morality [of us] to the [surrounding] community? It is nothing but violation of the precepts. Any such occurrence must be stopped.” Despite ­these concerns and scrutiny from the community, the jishū continued to function as a mixed-­gender group. By the seventeenth ­century, however, the Yugyō school practice halls had become exclusively male, referring to other jishū schools as corrupt for having monks and nuns share the same grounds.18 The gradual expulsion of nuns was the result of alterations made within the internal structure of the school and the demands from the community and patrons they served. As early as the ­fourteenth ­century, Kai’amidabutsu alludes to a society or individuals who did not wish to have a combined ser­vice by monks and nuns: Now, if the officer comes and does not request the ser­vice of the nuns, all of you are to go together and ask if it would be acceptable to have both the monks and nuns [perform the ser­vice]. If not, then ­those except the nuns ­w ill provide the ser­v ice. The nuns should then go and make the request [to participate].19

Kai’amidabutsu does not explain the reasons why an officer or a patron might not wish the ser­vices of the nuns, but he does make it clear that the ser­vices ­were normally performed together. However, adjustments could be made to accommodate the wishes of the patron, and ser­ vices carried out by monks only ­were a possibility. Shortly ­after the Bōhishō was recorded, Takuga, the itinerant leader and leader of the Seventh Ave­nue Practice Hall in Kyoto, deci­ded to set down his own dōjō rules. The Tōzai sayō shō was written in 1342 and lists 254 regulations that the jishū members of the Yugyō branch ­were to follow. This document is a significant source of information regarding the attitudes, conduct, and be­hav­ior expected in the daily activities of a jishū. Although the mendicant itinerant way of life continued to attract some, for the jishū residing in the Seventh Ave­nue Practice Hall in Kyoto, it was no longer necessary to leave on an itinerant mission. In fact, for 83

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many, the mendicant itinerant lifestyle may have become simply a part of the school’s history and legend, something they saw only in the Engi-­e scroll.

Takuga’s “Conduct at All Times and Places” Takuga was the itinerant leader for the Yugyō school from 1338 to 1358. During ­these two de­cades, he ventured on vari­ous missions, one including the visit with Chin’ichibō. He also spent many years in residence at the Seventh Ave­nue Practice Hall in Kyoto. Through his leadership, he  established rules of be­hav­ior for the jishū in this practice hall. He addressed issues concerning the religious welfare of the jishū, such as the importance of recognizing the Chishiki (the leader) as the ultimate authority, the need to abandon thoughts of attachment in order to achieve rebirth in Pure Land, and the necessity to distance oneself from the lay community and secular life. ­There ­were also more prosaic and practical concerns, such as the style of fans they could carry. In order to grasp the style and format of this code, let us look at the first few entries: Have sudden insights to reason; be gradual in practice. Never be over confident in your actions. Comprehend that you must train constantly. Discard any distracting thoughts. Without distractions, the fountain of the mind ­will be completely empty and tranquil. Face the boundary of secular life and simply discard your mind. Break your own slanted thoughts by facing other insults. At no time should the desire of lust capture your thoughts. Inclusively, the same goes for any location that would cause distraction of mind. Rid yourself of a place to dwell and keep that sentiment alive. At no time and no place are you to have distractive thoughts. If any ill thoughts arise, they are to be erased into darkness. . . . ​ While in front of the Chishiki or a venerable elder, do not take a hand cloth and wipe away your sweat or wipe your face. Do not look up to see the nuns or ­women. If by chance you see them, do not think to look at them again. Do not think of sexual desire. Do not hold any thoughts or actions other than the commands given by the Chishiki. In the past, t­ here w ­ ere no edicts and together jishū had on their own volition the sincere and earnest intention to attain enlightenment and performed accordingly. Now ­there are rules and doctrines, and they behave as if they have forgotten their roles. 84

Practice Halls of Kyoto Newly converted are not to hold a fan in their waist-­belt. Fans that show pictures and color, are especially prohibited.20

The rules give a general picture of the way the jishū lived and worked in the practice hall and include details of actions that ­were prohibited. For example, during ser­vices in the dōjō, prac­ti­tion­ers must not raise their arms to stretch; they must cover their mouths when yawning; they must never leave through the front door during ser­vices; and nothing was to be placed u ­ nder the dōjō’s tatami. Although it might become hot in the dōjō, one was not allowed to leave to cool off, nor ­were they to express their discomfort with words: “Regardless of how hungry you are, do not utter the words ‘oh, [I am] so hungry.’ This is the same for cold and heat.”21 Takuga also remarks that they ­were not to shuffle their feet or talk in loud voices in the hallways. Young jishū ­were not allowed to wear tabi (shoes), nor w ­ ere they allowed to urinate while standing.22 ­There are many prohibitions restricting private or social conversations, as well as certain interactions between group members: While in the dōjō do not tell stories or laugh. Do not make voices to tell a story. Do not go to this person’s room then to that person’s room to chat for no par­tic­u­lar reason. During the end of year betsuji ser­vice and during any other betsuji rituals, while within the jishū dōjō do not forsake the nembutsu to tell stories, jest or laugh. 23 During the day ser­vice with lots of p ­ eople, at the back door, do not laugh or make noise/racket, do not force through to be the first one in.24

The need to set ­these regulations indicates that ­there ­were lively and disruptive jishū who ­were not wholly devoted to their religious practice. One imagines that during ser­vices, the practice hall was filled with laity and jishū members. While some came to listen, chant, or pray, ­others stood around chatting and laughing. Indeed, Takuga laments the lack of committed members and begins with the following: In the past, ­there ­were true Chishiki. And ­there ­were many jishū who had sincere and earnest intentions to attain enlightenment by giving to the Chishiki. And so five to six leaders passed. The time is now upon me. And I, sadly, seem not to be a true Chishiki. ­Because of this, I do not see jishū who find resolve to attain enlightenment through their Chishiki. . . . ​Furthermore, since the ­will of jishū are not obvious, the following examples have been recorded for the jishū that can be seen and for the jishū in places that cannot be seen.25 85

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To what extent ­these codes ­were passed along to other practice halls remains uncertain, although ­there are entries addressed to jishū living in other practice halls. For example, “Jishū sent to other locations are to perform in accordance with the patron’s wishes.” A hijiri, the leader, was to work the land with his or her group and “the hijiri sent to other places, do not flaunt a hijiri-­face, nor act with arrogance.” Similarly, they ­were not to accept any gifts or “consume better food than ­those around you.”26 Takuga’s tenure as itinerant leader coincided with the ongoing hostile ­battles between the Northern and Southern Courts, which lasted ­until 1392. The growing membership of jishū during the f­ ourteenth c­ entury has been ascribed as a reflection of this turbulent time, in which many warriors from the Northern and Southern Courts, as well as their ­family members, entered jishū practice halls upon defeat or loss of a patron.27 Perhaps it was the influx of ­these new members, who joined the group for vari­ous reasons—­not necessarily ­because of a religious commitment—­that caused Takuga prob­lems. Kyoto at the time was a vibrant and cultural center, which attracted ­people from all walks of life. Tax rec­ords during this time indicate the growing commercial development of Kyoto, from sake brewers and oil retailers to pawn shop dealers.28 As mentioned previously, the urban center of Kyoto was divided into the upper and lower area, and it was the Shimogyō, the lower district, that developed and changed drastically during this period. As large numbers of p ­ eople moved into this part of Kyoto, ­there was a boom in construction for warrior residences, commercial spaces, and religious centers, including jishū practice halls. Artisans of religious paintings, sculptures, and other artwork settled in Kyoto and began to work for the wealthy and for religious organ­izations. From the rules and regulations Takuga set down in his codes, it is clear that the jishū participated in the secular world of Kyoto outside their practice hall grounds. He seemed to acknowledge that contact with the lay community was inevitable but that it should be approached with caution. He prohibited jishū members from ­going to the market for personal reasons and from attending tea ceremonies, linked-­verse poetry (renga 連歌) parties, or the newly popu­lar tea ­battles (tōcha 闘茶). Takuga appears to have been troubled by jishū members who did not uphold the codes expected of a Buddhist practitioner and thus reminds members that if they should take on the appearance of a layperson, then their hearts ­will become like one, too.29 He did not want them walking near fish sellers or sake sellers, ­houses of ill repute, or even ­houses where no man 86

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resided.30 Additionally, contact with pretty young boys was cautioned, and one was not to approach them.31 Furthermore, jishū ­were not to associate with “­those who drink alcohol, eat meat, and/or take the five spices. Do not go near them.” In addition, they w ­ ere “not [to] walk with a 32 person who is ­under the influence of alcohol.” The frequency with which a jishū left the practice hall is unknown; however, Takuga does mention that they ­were to always report if they ­were leaving the dōjō grounds. It was normal for the jishū members to be in contact with the laity, such as merchants, warriors, and perhaps courtiers, and to enter their homes for religious purposes. However, it was the personal or illicit activities beyond the religious ser­vices that caused Takuga to worry. Several of Takuga’s codes are addressed to both nuns and monks, proving that his jishū practice hall was mixed-­gender. Other regulations are directed specifically to the monks or to the nuns, which informs us of the gendered distinctions. Following are some examples of t­ hese edicts: “While in front of the Chishiki, monks and nuns are not to tell stories or utter words.” Addressing the monks, he states: “Do not look up to see the nuns or w ­ omen. If by chance you see them, do not think to look at them again.” “Even an old monk ­shall not continuously look at the nuns. Do not go ­towards the nuns on one’s own.” To the young jishū, he decreed: “Even a young monk ­shall not continuously go ­towards the nun’s side, [nor to] become an errand boy.” “A monk is to not take care of the personal needs of a nun by her side.” And “Do not have a nun or ­woman, old or young, live within your room for your own personal needs.” “Do not personally have a nun mend your own clothing and fabric. [Clothing to be mended] must be submitted together.” Takuga’s rules also confirm the existence of separate sleeping quarters for monks and nuns. “Do not go to the nun’s quarters (room) without accompaniment. Even if you have many accompanying you, do not go casually (with ease). While in that room do not continuously laugh and tell stories.”33 “When in front of the Chishiki, do not make eye contact or smile when meeting a jishū friend. Also do not go seeking a friend in the nun’s rooms.”34 From ­these admonishments, we have an image of the Seventh Ave­nue jishū dōjō as a place where the sacred and profane existed side by side. The elegant single-­story main practice hall was where the teachings, ser­v ices, and rituals ­were conducted for the salvation of all sentient beings; it was also where some jishū would hide items ­u nder the floor, 87

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yawn out of boredom, gossip, and socialize. To the sides of this main hall ­were smaller structures, which w ­ ere used as the nuns’ and monks’ quarters. Apparently, the laity could visit ­these rooms and sometimes even stayed on as servants. Takuga was troubled when monks and nuns visited each other’s quarters, and although monks and nuns resided and practiced together, it was seen best to prevent any interaction between them. Takuga insisted that the monks be careful, ordering: “Do not walk together with the nuns or with ­women.” The jishū practice hall ground was a holy place for receiving karmic merit from the Amida Buddha chanting rituals, but it was also inhabited by ­those who enjoyed chatting, laughing, and gathering with friends. Both ­these codes of conduct from Kai’amidabutsu and Takuga bring to light the function of practice halls in the urban landscape of Kyoto. It was a religious space as well as a social space, and it was home to ­people of vari­ous ages from vari­ous backgrounds, who came together united by the power held in the Amida Buddha’s name.

The Sixth Ave­nue Dōjō The Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall, or Rokujō Dōjō, was one of the first halls devoted to the chanting of the name in connection with Ippen.35 Initially established in 1299 by Ippen’s half ­brother, Shōkai 聖戒 (1261–1323), it gained a following from the aristocracy in Kyoto. Nobles such as Kujō Tadanori 九条忠教 (1248–1332), who was an impor­tant figure at the imperial court, became members. It is ­here that the famous Hijiri-­e was stored and viewed on special occasions. The Sixth Ave­nue jishū group was popu­ lar, and although their practice hall was destroyed by fire several times over the centuries, it remained an impor­tant landmark practice hall.36 By the 1340s, it had gained enough support and funds to establish a mortuary sub-­temple in Ryōzen, known as Gyōfukuji 行福寺.37 The Sixth Ave­nue jishū dōjō provided the p ­ eople of Kyoto a place to socialize and was, like many other new ­temples of the time, seen as a center for cultural development. 38 The monks from this school ­were noted for reciting tales and for their skill in flower arrangement, and by the fifteenth ­century, this practice hall became a popu­lar location for linked-­verse poetry composition meetings. 39 For an insight into the life of individual jishū in the medieval times, we have the rec­ord of a mid-­ranking courtier of Kyoto, Nakahara Moromori 中原師守 (dates unknown), whose aunt was a jishū nun from the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall. 88

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Moromori left a rec­ord of the day-­to-­day life and ser­vices of the Nakahara ­house­hold from 1339 to 1374 (with omissions in between) in what is now titled Moromori-­ki 師守記 (Rec­ord of Moromori). This chronicle has received scholarly attention for its details on the military and social affairs of the time, including mortuary events and ser­v ices.40 A rudimentary, yet informative image of the nuns living in Kyoto at this time is revealed through the entries in which Moromori mentions his jishū aunt, Keibutsubō 經佛房 (dates unknown), and other jishū members. T ­ hese social and active nuns worked for and provided ser­v ices for his f­ amily as well as for other ­people living in the city. Through t­ hese entries, one can sense how jishū-­hood was an acceptable and v­ iable way of life for t­ hose living in Kyoto. Moromori-­ki rec­ords the rituals and ser­v ices for the Nakahara’s memorial ser­v ices, especially t­ hose of Moromori’s ­father and ­mother. The nembutsu recitation appears to be part of all the mortuary ser­v ices, and the primary reciters ­were the female jishū, who ­were paid for this religious ser­vice. The Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall jishū nuns, as well as some from the Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall, appear regularly for the memorial ser­vices for the Nakahara ­house­hold members.41 The recitation of the nembutsu was not the primary focal point of the mortuary ser­vices, but it was an impor­tant part of medieval religious ser­vice. The function of the jishū nuns included regular visits and interaction with the ­family. Moromori’s aunt Keibutsubō, often accompanied by another nun from the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall, made frequent visits to the Nakahara ­house­hold, such as New Year visits, or joined the ­family on pilgrimage outings within the capital. In addition to the fees for their ser­v ices, Moromori notes that sweets and tea ­were also sent to their practice hall. More involved ser­vices required more jishū members, such as the special religious ser­vice, which consisted of chanting the nembutsu throughout the night at the Nakahara ­house­hold.42 Ser­vices at the gravesite and during the day ­were performed by both monks and nuns, but the overnight chanting appears to have been done by nuns only. The following is a summary of Keibutsubō’s religious ser­vices according to her nephew’s rec­ords.

Servicing the Elites in Kyoto: Keibutsubō of the Sixth Ave­nue Dōjō On the 8th month of the 23rd day in the year 1345, the nuns Keibutsubō and Kō’ichibō 行一房 ­were called in from the Sixth Ave­nue Dōjō to the 89

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Nakahara ­house­hold with the news that Moromori’s ­mother, Kenshin 顯心 (1288?–1345), was nearing her final moments. Moromori notes that since Kenshin’s husband’s sudden death six months earlier, her own health had deteriorated quickly. She passed away that night, comforted by the name Amida Buddha chanted by the jishū nuns, which guaranteed her rebirth into the Pure Land. Keibutsubō and Kō’ichibō are recorded as Kenshin’s religious teachers, chishiki.43 In addition to being her religious teachers and chanting the nembutsu at her death, the two nuns ­were also responsible for the ceremonial rituals ­after Kenshin’s death. They ­were involved with the spiritual burial ser­vice, acting as komorisō 籠僧—­a role whose duties included reading sutras and chanting the nembutsu beside the burial site.44 Many monks also attended and participated in the ser­ vice for Kenshin. Keibutsubō held an impor­tant position throughout Kenshin’s seventy-­ seven day mourning period, as well as for her first-­and third-­year memorials. She officiated at the ser­vices as well as participated in the chanting of the nembutsu, both at the Nakahara residence and at the gravesite.45 Keibutsubō was the only nun from the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall who we know was related to the Nakahara ­house­hold. She was the ­sister of Moromori’s ­father, who was Kenshin’s husband; however, it is difficult to ascertain to what extent this affiliation gave her access to or religious authority over the Nakahara ­house­hold. Keibutsubō’s spiritual accomplishments and dedication as a Buddhist nun active in the urban setting can be seen through Moromori’s journal. Her first appearance is at the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall itself, where she served Moromori tea ­after he had attended their ser­vice.46 In his journal, Moromori recorded his frequent visits to the Sixth Ave­nue Dōjō to attend ser­vices. He also mentions ­going to see the newly constructed branch hall of the Sixth Ave­nue Dōjō in the vicinity of Ryōzen, reporting on its impressive burial ground. His interest in this jishū school extended beyond his aunt being a nun ­there. He rec­ords the destruction of the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall by fire in 1347, and reports the news he hears regarding the health of the leader.47 The main hall of the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall was for both monks and nuns to perform, together, the nembutsu dance, and chant the name continuously on specific days. On days without scheduled ser­vices or obligations to other ­house­holds, it seems the nuns and presumably the monks ­were permitted to participate in other Kyoto activities, such as ­going on pilgrimage trips or attending other festival ser­vices. Keibutsubō, for example, joined Moromori’s wife on a visit to Kiyomizu ­temple and 90

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accompanied the ­family on their outings to festivals.48 Keibutsubō also embarked on long pilgrimage trips to places such as Kumano and Nara. Moromori recorded the names of several nuns from the Sixth Ave­ nue Dōjō; some appear only once, but ­others appear as frequently as Keibutsubō. He often used the phrase “and two other nuns” in connection with Keibutsubō when she conducted ser­vices for his parents, which indicates that she was not specifically paired with one other nun or monk. The ceremonies they conducted ­were at the gravesite of Moromori’s ­father and ­mother, as well as at the Nakahara home, where they chanted the overnight nembutsu ser­vice. As a Sixth Ave­nue jishū nun, Keibutsubō attended and conducted rituals for the Nakahara ­house­hold with several other jishū nuns. Her duties ­were not restricted to the Nakahara ­family, and Moromori mentions her absence on the 11th month, 23rd day in 1347, due to “being already engaged in nembutsu ser­vice.”49 Just as other nuns participated in the nembutsu ser­vice at the Nakahara ­house­hold, Keibutsubō, too, would have been expected to assist in the rites for other ­house­holds. It should be noted, though, that when she went to read the sutras for her own deceased ­brother, she went alone. This suggests that she conducted a religious observation for her ­brother as herself, and not as a jishū nun.50 ­Either due to her relation as aunt or for her religious position, Moromori mentions her absences from ser­vices, such as the one previously mentioned and his ­father’s first-­year memorial ser­vice due to being on a pilgrimage to Kumano.51 Moromori also mentions her absence from another ser­vice due to her visiting the old capital of Nara.52 Her name ceases to appear in the journal ­after the year 1356. In its place appears the nun Ka’ichibō 下一房, who becomes the main correspondent from the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall and continues with the rituals and roles previously conducted by Keibutsubō. This may indicate that Keibutsubō passed away, and if so, ­there is no mention of her passing in the Moromoro-­ki, or of any mortuary rites for her. As ­these ­were significant to medieval ­house­holds, it is pos­si­ble that her mortuary and funeral ser­vices ­were taken care of by the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall. In medieval society, the ceremonies ­after one’s death ­were of paramount importance, and they tended to be very expensive. If the religious institution took care of its members’ ser­vice, this would have offered additional inducement to have a member of a f­ amily join a Buddhist institution. The Buddhist rites performed by the practice hall for its own members would have alleviated the concern and expense for the ­family and for the individual. Thus, sending a ­family member to join a Buddhist institution 91

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offered both practical and spiritual solutions for aristocratic families who wanted the assurance of a Buddhist rebirth as well as a respite from the high cost of death rites. Keibutsubō is an example of a ­woman from a noble ­house­hold in Kyoto who followed the path of a religious priest and sustained her livelihood by offering religious ser­vices to the inhabitants of Kyoto. In addition to her duties as a member of the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall, she was entrusted with impor­tant duties, as exemplified by her role with Moromori’s ­mother, Kenshin. Keibutsubō’s religiously inspired active lifestyle complements our understanding of Chin’ichibō and her jishū group of Okunotani Dōjō in Iyo Province. They both belonged to a religious movement composed of men and ­women, and in the case of Chin’ichibō, she was entrusted to guide them. Although they lived in dif­fer­ent locations, as contemporaries, their examples inform us of compassionate ­women who ­were physically strong, learned, in­de­pen­dent, and dedicated to their own and o ­ thers’ salvation through the chanting of the name. Moromori’s ­father had passed away only six months before Kenshin’s death. His death was unexpected, and it was shortly ­after his death that Kenshin took the tonsure. Taking the tonsure was a common practice for a ­widow, but her tonsure was likely also motivated by her own decline in health. Preparing for death by taking the appearance and name of a Buddhist priest was a common custom, which was still impor­tant during the ­fourteenth ­century. One of the expressed concerns Moromori had over his ­father’s unexpected death was that he had not received the tonsure before his last breath. The funeral ser­vices for Moromori’s ­father and ­mother ­were dif­fer­ent from each other.53 His ­father’s funeral and memorial ser­vices ­were much more elaborate and eclectic than Kenshin’s. For the purpose of our study, the noticeable difference in his ­father’s ser­vices was the additional participation of the jishū nuns from the Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall in addition to the Sixth Ave­nue nuns. The nuns from the Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall came for the overnight nembutsu ser­vices and for the subsequent scheduled monthly and yearly ser­vices for Moromori’s ­father, Morosuke. For Kenshin, the Fourth Ave­nue nuns offered condolences but ­were not hired to conduct the mortuary ser­v ices. Thus, for the ­father’s mortuary ser­v ices, two groups of jishū nuns provided the nembutsu chanting rituals. Moromori’s ­father was the head of the Nakahara clan and held a hereditary position within the court of se­nior secretary (dai geki 大外記).54 His importance as the head of the Nakahara clan may be one explanation for the more elaborate and prolonged ceremonies. Intriguingly, the chant92

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ing of the nembutsu at the gravesite for both Morosuke and Kenshin was conducted by the nuns of the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall and did not include the Fourth Ave­nue nuns. Hayashi Yuzuru has theorized that this was connected to the territorial bound­aries of the religious groups and demonstrates how Ryōzen, the location of the grave for the Nakahara, was closely connected with the Sixth Ave­nue Dōjō.55 The Sixth Ave­nue and Fourth Ave­nue nuns ­were an integral part of the funeral and memorial ser­vices and ­were able to provide the Nakahara ­house­hold with spiritual support. From the Moromori-­ki we learn that Moromori’s aunt and other nuns ­were active in the community, received payments for their religious ser­vices, and traveled for vari­ous reasons. One may never know the f­ amily connections of the other jishū nuns; we may speculate, however, that the nuns within ­these jishū practice halls reflected and represented the diverse urban space of Kyoto. The chanting of the nembutsu was a familiar sound to t­ hose residing in Kyoto, as ­there ­were many halls devoted to this practice. In addition to the jishū practice halls mentioned thus far, ­there ­were several other jishū schools as well as other Pure Land nembutsu halls established throughout the city of Kyoto. ­These halls performed the impor­tant function of relieving an individual of the burden of dealing with the complicated rites involved with the death of a f­amily member by offering the necessary preparations of burial and mortuary rituals.

Forgotten Jishū Dōjō of Kyoto One of the challenges in using the jishū as a guide to understanding the environment and involvement of ­women as religious teachers during the ­fourteenth ­century is overcoming the binary assumption of jishū as Ji-­ sect. This misconception continues to be advocated in textbooks ­today and attests to the successful campaign from the seventeenth ­century by the Yugyō school leaders to promote themselves as the sole and rightful group known as Ji-­sect. The Ji-­sect emphasized its connection with the itinerant holy man Ippen as their founder, and subsequently the once in­ de­pen­dent jishū groups dissipated into the Yugyō school’s history. When asserting their claim as Ji-­sect, the Yugyō school claimed leadership over twelve jishū groups.56 Of ­these, six schools (not including the Yugyō school) ­were based in Kyoto. Sources pertaining to the jishū groups before their forced conversion to the Ji-­sect come to us sporadically through journals, land rec­ords, and visual images. While the information is minimal, it helps us understand how jishū was a popu­lar movement that 93

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involved and helped the diverse population of Kyoto. By examining ­these jishū, we can see the dynamic and participatory role ­women had within ­these groups. From the six jishū schools based in Kyoto, let us start with the Fourth Ave­nue jishū group.

Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall: Konrenji As mentioned in Moromori-­ki, nuns from the Fourth Ave­nue Dōjō frequently entered the Nakahara ­house­hold to perform the overnight nembutsu ser­vices. Nun Myōichibō 妙一房, in par­tic­u­lar, appears to have been an impor­tant member of this jishū group for the Nakahara, although her relationship with the Nakahara ­house­hold remains unknown. She is often mentioned by name along with “and accompanied by other nuns,” and she is indicated to have received a larger payment than the ­others.57 She is introduced in the journal as the disciple of Jō’amidabutsu, the founder of the Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall.58 As with the Yugyō school and the jishū from the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall, the religious designations for Jō’amidabutsu’s jishū group ­were -­ichi or -­butsu for the nuns and -­a for the monks. The founder, Jō’amidabutsu Shinkan 浄阿弥陀佛 真観 (1269–1341), as mentioned briefly in chapter 2, was the holy man who provided amulets to the emperor’s consort for the safe delivery of her baby, the ­f uture Emperor Kōgon 光厳天皇 (1313–1364). Similar to Ippen and Shinkyō, Jō’amidabutsu was a charismatic itinerant hijiri who traveled with a fellowship. According to one of his biographies, dated 1463 and titled Jō’a shōnin den 浄阿上人伝 (Biography of priest Jō’a), Jō’amidabutsu was born in Kazusa Province, the son of Makino Tarō.59 He became a disciple of the Ritsu sect priest Ninshō 忍性 (1217–1303) at Gokurakuji ­temple in Kamakura. While on a pilgrimage to Kumano shrine, Jō’amidabutsu received divine inspiration and began journeying through the country as an itinerant monk ­until 1309, when he moved to Kyoto and established what would become the Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall, or Konrenji 金蓮寺.60 His fame in Kyoto was heightened when he provided the three amulets to the retired emperor’s consort, who then successfully delivered her child. Jō’amidabutsu was, in turn, awarded the title shōnin 上人 (a person of superior wisdom, virtue, and conduct) from the imperial ­house. This biography also highlights the relationship and strong bond between Jō’amidabutsu and Shinkyō. It is stated that the two encountered each other during their respective journeys and then held a three-­day doctrinal debate, whereby Jō’amidabutsu formed a disciple-­bond with Shinkyō. 94

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Jō’amidabutsu was then given the right by Shinkyō to distribute the Amida Buddha talismans in Kyoto, and in turn, Jō’amidabutsu worked to have the shōnin title extended to Shinkyō. Despite this suggested amicable relationship between the two jishū schools, before this biography was even written t­ here was enough tension and rivalry between Jō’amidabutsu’s jishū school and the Yugyō school that when in 1424 the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshikazu 足利義量 (1407–1425) forced the Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall jishū to convert to the Yugyō school, the members burned down their own Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall in defiance.61 Even ­after this forced conversion, the Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall continued to extend some po­liti­cal and religious influence among the elite members of Kyoto. For example, another biography of Jō’amidabutsu titled Jō’a shōnin eden 浄阿上人絵伝 (Illustrated biography of the priest Jō’a) is a three-­volume scroll written by the imperial prince Shōren-in Sonno 青蓮院尊応親王 (?–1514) and illustrated by Tosa Mitsunobu 土佐光 信 (1434?–1525?), a painter patronized by the Ashikaga shoguns.62 The production of this scroll in the early sixteenth ­century suggests that the Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall had continuous support from the courtiers of Kyoto. The most striking aspect of this scroll is the blatant lack of association or connection of Jō’amidabutsu with Shinkyō and the Yugyō school.63 The Fourth Ave­nue Dōjō continued to be a vis­i­ble presence in Kyoto, and we have the plea­sure of visualizing the main hall of this dōjō from surviving paintings, particularly from the decorative folding screens depicting the urban area of Kyoto, known as Rakuchū rakugai-­zu 洛中洛外図 (The area in and around the Kyoto city).64 Many of the known branch practice halls of the Fourth Ave­nue Dōjō are situated along the coastline, from Sakai in Osaka to Himeji in current Hyogo prefecture.65 Unlike the Yugyō school branch halls, which spread throughout the archipelago, the Fourth Ave­nue school appears to have stayed within a comfortable distance of Kyoto, with practice halls near coastal ports, suggesting sponsorship by trade merchants and seafaring individuals.66 ­Little is known regarding the branch practice halls or of the nuns (and monks) who worked within ­these urban and coastal areas; Kaiganji 海岸寺 in Amagasaki was, however, established by the nun Sei’ichibō 西一房 in the early ­fourteenth ­century.67 From the nuns who joined Jō’amidabutsu on his itinerant mission, to his disciples—­such as Myōichibō, who provided nembutsu recitations for the elite members of Kyoto—to his patronage by the ­mother of the emperor, female members and patrons had an 95

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impor­tant role in promoting and stabilizing the Jō’amidabutsu jishū group in Kyoto.

Jishū from the Fifth Ave­nue From the Seventh Ave­nue Practice Hall’s codes and conducts regarding their resident jishū monks and nuns, the activities of the nun Keibutsubō from the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall, and the activities of the nuns Myōichibō and Sei’ichibō from the Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall, ­these jishū schools attest to the ac­cep­tance of a mixed-­gender group. Another example of this type of jishū school was the Mieidō 御影堂 jishū, whose members ­were also forced to convert to the Yugyō school in the seventeenth ­century. Very ­little is known of the Mieidō jishū group; courtier journals sporadically mention Mieidō, suggesting that at one point it was located on Fifth Ave­nue and that it held dancing nembutsu per­for­ mances.68 It was also mixed-­gender, and the religious designations for the Mieidō jishū ­were -­a or -­ami for the monks, with Ren’a 連阿 reserved as the title for the male leader. Shōichibō 生一房 was the title designated for the female leader, and -­ichi and -­butsu ­were given to female jishū members.69 Mieidō, as scant as the sources are, provide another case example of men and w ­ omen working together ­under the religious role of jishū who ser­viced the urban dwellers of Kyoto. Onozawa Makoto’s research suggests that this group provided funeral and mortuary rites along with lodging and bathing ser­vices. Onozawa further notes that this jishū group did not practice celibacy.70 Although no longer extant, a copy of the Hijiri­e is believed to have been made by this Mieidō group, suggesting a connection with the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall jishū and not with the Yugyō school.71 The resident nuns ­were known for their production of folding fans, creating fash­ion­able fans known as Mieidō-­ōgi 御影堂扇 (Mieidō fans).72 When or how the fans produced by this practice hall became famous is unclear. An early modern woodblock print advertising the Mieidō fans depicts beautiful lay-­women creating them.73 Also known as Amida-­ori 阿 弥陀折 (Amida-­fold), the quality of ­these fans was known throughout the country.74

On the Streets of Kyoto Other examples of jishū groups in Kyoto are ­those of Ichiya Dōjō 市屋道場 and the jishū groups by Koku’amidabutsu. Ichiya Dōjō trace their origin to the holy man Kūya and had several branches in the vicinity of Kyoto.75 96

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Its main hall, Ichiya Practice Hall, was located on Seventh Ave­nue; another was on Eighth Ave­nue, known as Hachijō Dōjō 八条道場, or Eighth Ave­nue Practice Hall.76 However, to date, the activities of Ichiya Dōjō remain unknown. They ­were, nonetheless, valued nembutsu prac­ti­tion­ers who provided ser­vices for the urban dwellers of Kyoto. The elites of Kyoto w ­ ere not immune to the allure of the mystic power of hijiri, or itinerant holy men. ­These “extraordinary visitors” ­were a source of fascination, and the hijiri who demonstrated magical abilities ­were admired. Kūya, Ippen, Shinkyō, and Jō’amidabutsu—­with their focus on the chanting of the name, distribution of the talisman, nembutsu dance, and assurance of every­one’s rebirth into Pure Land—­were welcomed by the urban dwellers of Kyoto. One mystic holy man to arrive ­later in Kyoto was Koku’amidabutsu Zuishin 国阿弥陀佛 随心 (1314–1405). As a hijiri, Koku’amidabutsu conducted extensive itinerancy before settling down outside the urban center of Kyoto, in the eastern hills of Ryōzen. He quickly gained popularity and established another practice hall close by. His unique oak leaf talisman was distributed to t­ hose making a pilgrimage trip to Ise Shrine. ­These leaves from the Kashiwa oak tree held the power to purify an individual from all his or her m ­ ental or moral filth and ­were especially intended for the residents of Kyoto.77 With this leaf in hand, one was assured of being purified before visiting Ise Shrine. Thus, it was impor­tant for the pilgrim making the five-­day journey to Ise from Kyoto to first stop at Koku’amidabutsu’s practice hall to receive the leaf talisman. Koku’amidabutsu’s prominence among the p ­ eople of Kyoto at the end of the ­fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth ­centuries is recorded in courtier diaries. Even though his group was one of the ­later to propagate in Kyoto, his school enjoyed seniority over the other jishū schools. For example, in 1489, as part of the funeral ceremonies for shogun Ashikaga Yoshihisa 足利義尚 (1465–1489), the order of entry for the nembutsu groups to perform their ser­vices was Chion-in, Koku’amidabutsu’s school, the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall, and the Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall; the Seventh Ave­nue Practice Hall did not attend.78 By the seventeenth ­century, ­there was some internal conflict between the two main practice halls established by Koku’amidabutsu. This resulted in a division of factions: the Higashiyama Dōjō 東山道場 or Sorinji 雙林寺, ­later known as the Koku’a branch; and the Shōhōji 正法寺, ­later known as the Ryōzen branch.79 According to the Yugyō school documents, the Koku’a branch did not have many branch halls, whereas the Ryōzen branch did.80 97

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­There ­were many active jishū dōjō in Kyoto during the ­fourteenth c­ entury. Moromori, for example, mentions nuns from Ōmiya Dōjō 大宮道場 as well as the overnight chanting ser­vice performed by four nuns who ­were the “disciples of Shō’amidabutsu 正阿弥陀佛 from Rokujō Karasuma 六条烏丸.”81 Since the title for the leader of the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall was Mi’amidabutsu 弥阿弥陀佛, this suggests ­there was another practice hall within its vicinity. By the sixteenth ­century, ­there ­were jishū practice halls from First Ave­nue all the way to Ninth Ave­nue. Occasionally multiple practice halls would be built on one ave­nue; for example, Seventh Ave­nue had the Seventh Ave­nue Practice Hall, Ichiya Dōjō, and Shiokōji Dōjō.82 Jishū members themselves ­were loyal to their own jishū school, and ­there appears to have been some rivalry between the groups, as seen with the Fourth Ave­nue school and the Seventh Ave­nue Yugyō school. However, from the perspective of the urban dwellers, loyalty to a specific jishū school was not necessary. T ­ hese practice halls w ­ ere a space for the ­people to gather to socialize, listen to stories, and engage in poetry exchanges. If necessary, ­people could even spend the night, and several practice halls had baths or cleansing facilities. From the imperial and courtier elites, prominent warrior families, and wealthy merchants to the artisans and day laborers, the jishū groups ­were able to ser­vice the diverse residents of Kyoto in their spiritual (nembutsu recitations and talismans), practical (burial, bath, and lodging), and entertainment (nembutsu dance, poetry gatherings, and storytelling) needs. Jishū was not an exclusive or a defined sect, but a movement guided by the belief in the spiritual power of continuously vocalizing and chanting the name Amida Buddha. Most practice halls ­were located along the Kamo River, near a bridge, marketplace, or mountain—­spatial locations believed to connect this world with other realms—­and for the jishū, that was the Amida’s promised Pure Land. With a jishū practice hall located on ­every major street of Kyoto, ­there was a chance for every­one to see a nembutsu dance, listen to the chanting voices, or participate in a poetry session. Not only did the jishū’s musical and vis­i­ble presence attract visitors for the entertainment value, but ­these halls offered impor­tant religious ser­ vices, such as burial and mortuary rites. One could be part of this religious movement or simply a casual visitor to the practice hall to receive a blessed talisman, to witness or participate in the activities. Being a member of the movement involved becoming a teacher, chanter, and/or dancer, with the possibility of pursuing one’s own artistic talent.83


Practice Halls of Kyoto

It is inconceivable that the leaders of t­ hese vari­ous jishū groups w ­ ere ignorant of the repeated admonition of ­women as a distraction for a man’s pursuit to enlightenment.84 They ­were aware of the exclusion of ­women from vari­ous holy mountains, especially the dominant Buddhist institution located on Mount Hiei, which overlooked the basin of Kyoto. ­Women ­were, however, a part of the daily life of the urban streets of Kyoto, which ­were filled with female vendors, business ­owners, and even guild leaders.85 Both men and w ­ omen entered through the gates of the jishū practice halls. It is unclear if during the ­fourteenth c­ entury female salvation and, in par­tic­u­lar, the defiled female body ­were discussed within the hall. Regardless, female jishū had opportunities to participate in the learning, training, and rituals of this nembutsu movement, and this was conducted alongside the monks. The larger practice halls had separate dormitories for the monks and nuns; nevertheless, they ­were located within the same grounds. The proliferation and ac­cep­tance of ­these nembutsu chanters, both individually and as a group, show how popu­lar and necessary they ­were in Kyoto. It is impossible to ignore the presence and participation of ­women in the spread of this Pure Land Buddhist movement. The reception they received from the urban residences of Kyoto, such as the Nakahara ­house­hold, inform us that their chanting was valued and sought out, not just for its entertainment value but for its effectiveness and spiritual merit for mortuary rites. The focus on devotion to the name Amida Buddha did not limit some jishū’s pursuit of deeper education and learning, as seen in Keibutsubō. In the Kyoto practice halls, both monks and nuns ­were able to chant, study, and lead their groups. However, over time, the position of ­women and their opportunities for leadership within the group seem to have diminished the more institutionalized the jishū became. In par­tic­u­lar, for the Yugyō school, gender, class, and age divisions came to dictate group dynamics. Although it is hard to ascribe a direct cause for this transformation, chapter 5 ­will chart how the jishū school of the seventeenth ­century had a considerably dif­fer­ent attitude t­ oward ­women prac­ti­tion­ers.


Chapter Five

The Yugyō School Fifteenth ­Century and Beyond Fifteenth-­century documents attest to the active involvement of jishū nuns, who participated in and devoted their lives to religious ser­vices and journeys. The following rec­ord of the journey of Nanyō 南要 (1387– 1470)—­the sixteenth Yugyō school leader—­through the island of Shikoku in the summer of 1430 is especially intriguing, as it sheds light on the early fifteenth-­century Yugyō school’s jishū group and their group dynamics, and indirectly informs us of the activities of the female (and male) jishū. This chapter shows the changes that occurred in the jishū movement over the course of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, particularly the attitudes expressed by the male leaders ­toward the jishū nuns.

Summary of the Yugyō School’s Travel in the Summer of 1430 It was the ­m iddle of the summer of 1430, when the sixteenth Yugyō hijiri’s itinerant group stopped beside the Yoshina River 吉無川.1 Hot and exhausted from their duties, members of the group found it difficult to resist the temptation to bathe in the cool river ­water near the dōjō where they ­were staying. Without seeking permission from Nanyō, their leader, several jishū jumped into the river to refresh themselves.2 Since ­there was a strong current ­running through the river, most jishū remained near the banks. Rin’a 臨阿, though, was confident in his swimming skills and swam to one of the large rocks. He was sunbathing when he noticed I’a 以阿 making his way over to the rock as well. As Rin’a watched, he saw I’a flounder and strug­gle against the current. Rin’a jumped back into the river and swam over to rescue I’a, but the current was too strong, and both w ­ ere swept away, never to return. When this drowning tragedy was reported to Nanyō, he revoked the right of rebirth from the two deceased, for they had acted in an unap100

The Yugyō School

proved manner. By not seeking permission to bathe in the river, the two jishū had committed the gravest sin: they had disobeyed the Chishiki. The next day, the body of I’a was discovered, and Nanyō instructed that the body be left on the road for the beasts to tear apart. Although Rin’a’s body was still missing, the group continued their journey to Shōmyōji, in Iwakura.3 During this visit, Nanyō was informed by the nun Dai’ichibō 大一房 that one of the female jishū, Kōichibō 光一房, had been possessed by the spirits of the two drowned men. While ­under the spell, Kōichibō seemed to have suddenly died. Then, without warning, a voice was heard coming from the dead body of Kōichibō. The voice said: “I am I’a from the sixth dorm. I, without wanting to, drowned. I have come to seek leave from my fellow members.” Soon another voice was heard. This time it was Rin’a, wishing to be pardoned by the Yugyō hijiri, Nanyō. The Yugyō hijiri’s p ­ ardon and recitation of the ten nembutsu was his only hope of achieving rebirth. Dai’ichibō and other nuns and monks pleaded with Nanyō, their leader, for clemency on behalf of the two jishū. Nanyō was moved by the devotion of Rin’a as well as the miraculous effort of entering Kōichibō to explain and ask for forgiveness. He recited the ten nembutsu for Rin’a, thus securing his entry to Pure Land. Kōichibō made a miraculous recovery and was revived a few hours ­later. Soon ­after she awoke, ­there came a report that Rin’a’s body had been discovered near I’a’s body. Instructions ­were given for the body to be delivered to them at Shōmyōji for a funeral. The Yugyō group continued their journey the next day, and once again Dai’ichibō reported to Nanyō that Kōichibō had taken ill and, in the same way as before, I’a had possessed Kōichibō’s body to confess his sins. His confession was that, when still alive, he had formed an attachment to a w ­ oman within the group. No “­actual crime” had been committed, but he had deep feelings for the nun Nin’ichibō 忍一房. Despite being dressed in the clothes of a religious man he had formed illicit thoughts. His only hope for redemption was to receive sympathy and forgiveness from the Yugyō hijiri. Nanyō, however, was not merciful this time and deci­ded that I’a had broken the laws of the order. He had disobeyed the order of the Chishiki and thus abandoned the path to rebirth. I’a was not pardoned, and the nun involved, Nin’ichibō, was chastised by being renamed Shōbutsubō 稱佛房. Over the next four months the Yugyō group continued its way through the provinces of Shikoku. One autumn day, while the group was making their way to ascend a tall mountain, Kōichibō collapsed. Not knowing if 101

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she was still alive, they gave her medicine, and Nanyō recited the ten nembutsu for her. She was then placed in a carriage and carried to their destination, Ganjōji.4 ­There, once again, the voice of I’a took over her body: “Although [I am] afraid of what the Shōnin [Nanyō] would think and embarrassed for what the group may think, it is said that one should confess at the end, therefore [I] state this by exposing my own actions.”5 I’a proceeded to inform the audience, via the mediation of Kōichibō, that when he had claimed that ­there was no “­actual crime” committed with Shōbutsubō (Nin’ichibō), he had lied: “Ashamed for what ­people would think over the crime, I falsely said that ­there was no ­actual crime.” ­Because of this he had since sunk into the continuous suffering of hell (nairi 泥梨). He again asked for forgiveness from the Yugyō hijiri, Nanyō. Shōbutsubō was sought out and questioned over this new claim. She was unable to deny any of it. As her crime also included not revealing her full involvement with I’a during the first confession, Shōbutsubō was punished by banishment. In distress, she spent several days fasting ­until she was fi­nally granted a ­pardon and given kyakuryō 客寮 (visitor) status. I’a was not pardoned, however, and was to remain an example for ­f uture generations of jishū of what happens when unlawful acts are committed. Eventually, a person from Ashū Province sought forgiveness for I’a and prayed that he be granted the ten nembutsu. This person’s intercession on behalf of I’a was successful, and he was pardoned. However, his story continued to be told as an example to ­those who might be tempted to transgress, regardless of ­whether it was a small infraction or one committed in the heart. Nanyō reminded his members that jishū who had “struck the gong” w ­ ere neither to shy away from the all-­seeing Buddha nor to be embarrassed (to confess their sins) in front of their fellow companions. The most impor­tant t­ hing to remember was the vow made at the jishū ordination: to obey completely and to have absolute trust in the leader.

Crime, ­Pardon, and Spirit Possession The story of the two drowned men and the nun who was possessed by their spirits was more than just a cautionary tale filled with supernatural ele­ments that showed how crimes committed by a jishū could cause their downfall; its more fundamental purpose was to demonstrate the authority of the Chishiki. 102

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The drowning accident involving the two jishū occurred a­ fter the jishū had completed the preparations and duties for the religious ser­vice to be performed at Kuhonji for lord Nikaidō. The tragedy did not alter the course of the itinerant journey, and the group departed as planned to its next destination. This rec­ord of the drowning gives us a rare glimpse into the organ­ization and activities of a yugyō group in the year 1430. From this account, we know that the trip was preplanned, with dates and destinations scheduled; that palanquins and other carriers ­were in use and available during the journey; and that both monks and nuns made up this yugyō mission, providing religious rituals and ceremonies to their hosts and patrons. Three nuns appear in the document: Dai’ichibō, Kōichibō, and Nin’ichibō. Dai’ichibō was a leader-­figure, likely for the group of nuns, but it is conceivable that she was in charge of overseeing specific duties and rituals regardless of the gender of the jishū. Dai’ichibō is one of the few who addresses Nanyō directly, and it is clear that she held an impor­tant position within the group. The “voices” coming from Kōichibō’s trances ­were heard directly by her, and she is responsible for reporting them to Nanyō. Dai’ichibō and another “older monk” also joined together to have Rin’a pardoned. Kōichibō, the medium, held the title shokusho 食所 (eating/food place), suggesting she was involved with preparing food for the group. Nin’ichibō, the object of I’a’s affections, held the title monodachisho 物立所 (place of mending/needlework). When Nin’ichibō’s connection with I’a is discovered, her name is changed to Shōbutsubō 稱佛房, which appears to be a punishment. While no other evidence indicates that a title of -­butsubō 佛 房 was lower than one of -­ichibō 一房, this reference suggests that ­there was a hierarchy embedded in the religious designations. When Nin’ichibō, now Shōbutsubō, was forced to confess her amorous relationship with I’a, she was banished from the order. Yet she did not go far. Perhaps as penance for the crime, she fasted for three days. ­After that she was granted permission to return to the group as a guest. The trance of Kōichibō is essential to the narrative, as it gives a voice to the two dead monks and provides insight into the prominence of the supernatural in the medieval world. Nanyō rec­ords the witnessing of the first trance: “Right now Rin’a’s soul returned to borrow Kōichi[bō]’s mouth to express his sorrow over being in the state of purgatory. How can one not be touched by compassion over this?” 6 He then offered the ten nembutsu, to which “the invalid/ill [Kōichibō] joined the palms and as tears poured down, [Rin’a] said, ‘[I am] now, at peace, knowing 103

Chapter Five

without a doubt that the path for Rebirth is set. ­There is nothing further on my mind.’ And with this, he took his leave, and returned.”7 Belief in the spirits of the dead was well rooted. The spirits ­were assumed to be able to traverse the barrier that divided their world from that of the living. It was believed that an individual who had an untimely, violent, or lonely death would become a discontented, angry, or wandering spirit. Malignant spirits w ­ ere capable of possessing ­humans and could inflict sickness, enfeeblement, or ­mental derangement in ­those possessed. Vengeful spirits w ­ ere also believed to be able to harm society as a w ­ hole.8 From ancient times, ­women ­were associated with shamanism and revered for their power to communicate with kami and the deceased. Shamans or maidens connected with celestial practices frequented the roads and offered fortune-­telling, songs, and the chance to communicate with the departed or the divine. As discussed in the introduction, female mediums (miko) ­were believed to have the power to converse with the spirits of the dead and deities. Most accounts noted that a trance would occur ­after the medium had given a theatrical per­for­mance, involving dancing, chanting, or ­music. The miko would then fall into an altered state and would be able to transmit messages from the world beyond.9 Falling into miko-­like trances and receiving divine messages has been recorded in certain monastic circles—­such as at Hokkeji, where some nuns proclaimed their ability to offer spiritual guidance through their capacity to communicate with divine messengers.10 ­There is no mention that Kōichibō had any previous experience of spirit possession, but Nanyō does note that the three episodes of Kōichibō’s trances began without any ceremony or warning. Each time she collapsed, and her life seemed to be in danger. Was Kōichibō inadvertently contesting the social order, or was her role as medium a way to assert her own importance? Anthropological studies conducted on spirit possession in vari­ous cultures suggest that for w ­ omen, spirit possession is an effective vehicle for manipulating the dominant sex. As a female strategy to ­counter male empowerment, it can be seen as a subversive response to the social injustice and psychic repression of w ­ omen.11 A ­century earlier, during the time of the third and fourth Yugyō hijiri, nuns could speak directly with their leaders. The letter describing Myōichibō, as examined in chapter  2, demonstrates that she argued directly with the Yugyō hijiri, Chitoku. Myōichibō had insisted on returning to the yugyō mission, and though Chitoku did not initially approve, 104

The Yugyō School

her per­sis­tence and sincerity eventually convinced him to consent to her request. As well as indicating Myōichibō’s actions, the letter informs the reader that Myōichibō voiced her complaint directly to the Yugyō hijiri, suggesting that jishū members had relatively easy access to their leaders, as well as a belief that the leaders would listen to their concerns. In Nanyō’s group, only a select few had direct access or permission to converse with him; one of t­ hese was Dai’ichibō. As it was not pos­si­ble for Kōichibō to speak to Nanyō, it is conceivable that her trance was a ploy to draw his attention to the drowning tragedy of her colleagues. Nanyō’s actions and comments demonstrate neither remorse nor regret at the loss of the two members. In fact, he condemned them for their selfish be­hav­ior and, as punishment, denied both of them the last ten nembutsu and a proper burial. Indeed, when I’a’s body was found, it was to be left for the beasts. As seen in previous chapters, proper care for the departed was of utmost importance, so this abandonment emphasizes the severity of Nanyō’s judgment. It seems this Yugyō hijiri’s traveling mission had become rigid with hierarchy, leaving no room for a ju­nior member (male or female) to voice concerns or opinions. Left without a voice, spirit possession appears to have become a strategy to access and ­counter the Chishiki’s dominance. Rin’a is granted a p ­ ardon as a result of the “spiritual” powers revealed by Kōichibō. If Kōichibō’s first two trances ­were requests for ­pardon by Rin’a and I’a, the third trance is puzzling ­because of its difference. Not only do the circumstances differ from the first two, but this one occurs four months ­after the drowning tragedy. The first two trances happened within a dōjō, while the third trance began on the road. Kōichibō was quickly placed in a carriage and carried to the group’s destination. Once at the dōjō, the voice of I’a is heard, stating he is still in purgatory and wishes to confess his sexual relationship with Shōbutsubō (formally Nin’ichibō). The outcome of this trance was the banishment of Shōbutsubō. Was this third trance aimed to punish the nun, or was the aim to remind every­one of the drowning incident four months earlier? Although I’a was not pardoned b ­ ecause of Kōichibō’s trances, he was eventually pardoned through the influence of an outsider, “a person from Ashū Province.” The outsider was not named but was, perhaps, lord Nikaidō, the patron of the dōjō near the river where the tragedy occurred. ­There may have been some incentive to keep the memory of the tragedy fresh in hopes that such a ­pardon could occur. The Yugyō hijiri, then, while having absolute authority within the group, did still comply with outside authorities, such as influential patrons. Outside support and regard continued to be as 105

Chapter Five

pertinent as it had been during the formation of the school in the early f­ ourteenth ­century. The rec­ord of the drowning incident and the eventual ­pardon by a patron of a deceased jishū member reveals the dynamics of the jishū itinerant mission; no longer itinerant and no longer mendicant, their travel included the use of palanquins and ­horses. Female jishū continued to be active members and, similar to the monks, served vari­ous functions within the group. Not every­one was allowed direct access to the leader, and it appears the leader was not aware of the personal relationships between his traveling members. While the romantic attachment between I’a and Shōbutsubō led to her temporary banishment, by demonstrating penance through a three-­day fast she was allowed to participate in the group once again, although it is not clear in what capacity. I’a may never have been pardoned (that is, been given the ten nembutsu) if a person of influence had not requested it. Sexual tension or the formation of bonds between the monks and the nuns had been an issue from the establishment of the practice halls in the early f­ ourteenth c­ entury. In one of his letters, Shinkyō described how the procreative act was related to the twelve conditions that are responsible for ­human suffering.12 Shinkyō explained that a child, a sentient being, who is brought into this world could only suffer. To Shinkyō, the two conditions that set the cycle of transmigration ­were the mixing of “one’s ­mother’s blood and one’s ­father’s semen.” Contact between ­these two substances was the cause of conception; hence, to avoid implicating themselves in the transmigration of other beings, jishū should avoid sexual temptation.13 A c­ entury l­ ater, fornication among members continued to trou­ble the Yugyō school leaders, especially when it resulted in the conception of a child.

The Yugyō School Dōjō of the Fifteenth ­Century The ­fourteenth leader, Taikū 太空 (1375–1439), recorded the following: “[ Jishū] who break the precepts by conceiving a child, ­will, even if they return to the proper Way, often be taken over by feelings of attachment ­towards their own child. . . . ​­There have been cases where that child is made a jishū, this is strictly forbidden.” Taikū, however, seemed sympathetic ­toward sexual indiscretions, for he further commented: “­Because we are within the latter ages, the feelings of affectionate attachment between men and w ­ omen have become even more pronounced. ­Because of this, t­ here are many who lack the aspiration for the Way, while this may 106

The Yugyō School

be forgiven when they return to face the proper Way, bringing [their] child as jishū is unacceptable.”14 As a method of enforcement, Taikū declared that if a child by jishū parents entered the dōjō, the parents, child, and leader of their dormitory had to be expelled immediately.15 It appears that it was not too uncommon for jishū members to conceive a child. Taikū gave reasons for refusing a child of jishū parents, remarking that allowing a child into the group would engender contempt and derision from the lay community. Disrespect from the community that supported the jishū both financially and devotionally would lead to the downfall of the group.16 This reflects the impor­tant role of the lay community in the maintenance and survival of a practice hall. Taikū did not discriminate against the gender of the child or parent. The term oya 親 (parent) is used consistently, suggesting that both parents would be expelled; likewise, ­mother and ­father would be equally responsible if they ­were to bring their child back to the dōjō. The concern expressed by the leaders of the Yugyō school over jishū leaving the group can be sensed ­here as well. Taikū notes that the parents could return, but not the child, as a child in the practice hall would be proof of an illicit relationship and be a target of mockery by the outside community. It is unknown what happened when a child was conceived by a nonmember and a jishū. A fifteenth-­century account by a Chosōn emissary who traveled through Japan in 1420 mentions the real­ity of sex in the practice hall. Among his many observations and impressions, he states, “­Temples that are nembutsu or amidabutsu t­emples are all congregated by monks and nuns who reside within the Buddha ­house.”17 Song Hŭi-­g yŏng 宋希璟 (1376–1446; Japa­nese, Sō Kikei) describes not only nembutsu practice halls but other activities he observed through his journey in Japan. Of par­tic­u­lar interest to this study are the comments he made with regard to Zen’nenji, a Yugyō jishū dōjō in Yamaguchi prefecture: In one of the ­temples, the monks reside to the east and the nuns to the west. Within the Buddha hall, the nuns sit to the west, the monks to the east and they continuously chant the nembutsu. At night, they place a sutra box to separate themselves, and that is how they sleep.18

Song Hŭi-­g yŏng inquired about such practices from a man who lived near this dōjō and reported their conversation: “At this ­temple the monks and nuns, well, within the Buddha hall they sleep together. They are young, that is, do the monks and nuns not engage in sexual activity?” To this, Rai, laughing, replied, “A nun, if she becomes pregnant is no longer able to stay and w ­ ill return to her parents’ home. 107

Chapter Five ­ fter delivering, she returns to the ­temple and lies in front of the altar. A ­After three days, the group of nuns come and she pleads to be brought back to the original position.”19

For this traveler, the prevalence of mixed-­gender dōjō filled with young jishū was an oddity worth reporting. His inquiry about the sexual conduct between members was answered by the locals, who considered this be­hav­ior risible and described the penance that was needed for a nun to return to her duties as a jishū. Thus, the official celibate order appears to have become a source of amusement for the community near Zen’nenji. Song’s observations provide us with an outside view of a jishū practice hall a c­ entury a­ fter Shinkyō began his quest of housing monks and nuns across the provinces. The potential for sexual distractions leading to illicit relationships and scorn by the laity continued to be a source of concern for the Yugyō school leaders; however, the practice hall arrangement and the chanting of the name Amida Buddha appears to have remained the same.

Government Sanction A pivotal change in the design of the Yugyō school was initiated by its official sanction by the fourth shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimochi 足利義持 (1386–1428), in 1416. Over the de­cades, the Yugyō school had established practice halls across the archipelago and strategically promoted itself among the influential warriors. The Yugyō school officially operated with two headquarters and with two leaders: one, the Yugyō hijiri; and the other, the Fujisawa (Tōtaku 藤沢) shōnin. The Yugyō hijiri, when not on his yugyō cir­cuit, resided in the Seventh Ave­nue Practice Hall in Kyoto. The Fujisawa shōnin, as the leader of the Fujisawa Practice Hall (Fujisawa Dōjō 藤沢道場) in current Kanagawa prefecture, was responsible for the eastern provinces.20 The Yugyō school’s dual positioning and emphasis on assuring po­ liti­cal powers in both the west, with the urban elite of Kyoto and the Ashikaga government, and the eastern provinces, including the Kamakura kubō, provided the school with visibility and identity.21 A general pattern of succession within the Yugyō school indicates that upon the death of the Fujisawa leader, the Yugyō hijiri succeeded in that position, relinquishing his title of Ta’amidabutsu 他阿弥陀佛 to the new Yugyō hijiri.22 The original itinerant mendicant mission had, one ­century ­after its initial beginning, cultivated relations among the power­f ul leaders both in the capital of Kyoto and among the eastern warriors. ­These changes 108

The Yugyō School

assured the position of the Yugyō school’s credibility and authority over other nembutsu prac­ti­tion­ers and schools. This assurance and protection did not, however, centralize the jishū movement. As seen in chapter  4, ­there ­were numerous jishū practice halls in the capital of Kyoto, and the jishū-­t ype hall was not necessarily synonymous with the Yugyō school. It was, nonetheless, growing into a respectable institutional order, recognized officially by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimochi as an in­de­pen­dent Buddhist school. Yoshimochi had issued an order prohibiting any Yugyō school dōjō to convert to another Buddhist sect or school.23 A few years ­after this edict, he issued an order addressed to the military governors, calling for and explicating the ­f ree and safe passage of the Yugyō school jishū throughout the provinces. The Yugyō school’s dual leadership was also acknowledged.24 This established a pre­ce­dent whereby each new shogun issued a document that included this statement: “The passage of the jishū of the Shōjōkōji Fujisawa Dōjō, and Yugyō Konkōji Shichijō Dōjō, and their porters, palanquins and ­horses are, by reason of this official seal and stamp, to pass from the capital through the vari­ous provinces without hindrance and without being charged a toll at the barriers.”25 For his journey in 1519, the twenty-­fourth Yugyō hijiri (1460–1526) had an entourage that included not only monks and nuns, but also porters, ­horses, and even outcasts, as well as the use of big ships.26 Government sanction continued into the sixteenth ­century. For example, the tenth shogun, Ashikaga Yoshitane 足利義稙 (1466–1523), declared that the military governors of each province should provide the Yugyō mission with board and fifty pack­horses with handlers.27 From the sixteenth ­century, with ­every new Yugyō hijiri, a government document was issued licensing his tour and entitling him to the use of fifty ­horses and the manpower necessary to take care of the ­horses through the vari­ous provinces.28 Furthermore, it was the responsibility of the local lords of each territory the yugyō train passed through to provide provisions, such as food and housing. They w ­ ere also responsible for rebuilding and refurbishing jishū ­temples in their provinces.29 The small group of travelers, who originally possessed only twelve belongings, gradually increased in size and style, from a mendicant itinerant group into an elaborate parade accompanied by porters, h ­ orses, and palanquins. Regarding ­these official sanctions, Sybil Thornton explains that the principal advantage of government sanction was assertion and arrogation of the right to rule.30 Even when Ashikaga’s po­liti­cal power became a symbolic position with no ­actual power, the local warlords continued to allow the yugyō mission to travel throughout their claimed territory. 109

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As Thornton demonstrates, by conforming to the decrees supporting the yugyō mission, a warlord could test the effectiveness of his authority over his vassals, and the vassals could prove their loyalty and worth.31 Even Oda Nobunaga 織田信長 (1534–1582), a lord famous for his dislike of Buddhist institutions, allowed the passage of the Yugyō school through his territory.32 The official sanction of the yugyō mission continued even with the new Tokugawa government in the early seventeenth ­century and support for the mission continued ­until the nineteenth ­century, ending only when the Meiji government no longer considered Buddhism the official state-­ sponsored religion. The Yugyō hijiri and the Yugyō school had for centuries continued to benefit and support themselves through their structured travels without needing to rely on their local parishioners, as most Buddhist sects had done during the Tokugawa period.33 As an example of the mission’s ­grand parade, in 1795 a local resident of Hamada city, in Shimane prefecture, recorded the supplies demanded by the fifty-­fourth Yugyō hijiri and his entourage when passing through their region: four hundred porters, forty-­five ­horses, and ten palanquins.34 Although now a ­grand pro­cession, the purpose of the mission remained the same: to chant the name to encompass all sentient beings into the realm of Amida Buddha, and for the holy man to distribute the talisman to every­one without discrimination, without a fee or expectation of alms. ­There ­were, however, other items that could be purchased. 35 This continued ­u ntil 1885, when the Yugyō school lost government support for its mission, and the positions of Yugyō hijiri and Fujisawa shōnin ­were, by law, combined. ­Today, the Yugyō shōnin from Yugyōji in Fujisawa continues the practice of yugyō to other Yugyō school t­ emples by using bullet trains and taxis, and without the escort of other jishū. The talisman, however, with the printed character of Amida Buddha’s name, is still distributed by the holy man ­free of charge.

Dismissing Their Own By the turn of the sixteenth ­century, a dismissive attitude ­toward female members had become more explicit in the Yugyō school leader’s texts. In a document attributed to Chiren 知蓮 (1459–1513), the twenty-­first Yugyō hijiri, his answer to one par­tic­u­lar question addressed the presence of nuns who assisted the leader during betsuji ser­vice:36 “What is the reasoning for the nuns to be placed [in a position] as assistant [to the leader] and to work closely with the [leader] during the seven day 110

The Yugyō School betsuji ser­vice?” The question continued: “even ordained [­women] are still deep in the grime of evil passions. Even lay p ­ eople are to keep their distance [from ordained w ­ omen] during special trainings. Then, why is it that they are placed close to the Chishiki?”37

His response was: Now, ­there is a method of teaching regarding the saying of how the Chishiki’s physical body is the Buddha’s body. The origin is, Shakyamuni Buddha on the path of becoming [Shakyamuni Buddha] was, ­after six years of rigid training, physically tired and left without strength.

He continues to explain that two girls from the Baramon helped the tired Shakyamuni. They healed him from his exhaustion by providing a bath and medicine; the text continues: Thus, the exhaustion of the physical body was revitalized by the medicinal bath. The ones to take care of the male body are exclusively w ­ oman. This is a naturally born virtue [of the w ­ oman]. This is why the nuns are now acting as assistant. It is based on this example. To sit constantly for seven days and seven nights, the exhaustion is remarkable. If ­there is idleness [during the ser­v ice] then the rebirth of the monks and nuns ­w ill not be pos­si­ble. In this sutra, from the time beyond t­ here have always been a need for ­women who do not take the path of wife. Especially our nuns who now uphold the precepts. This is an explanation of why they serve closely [to the Chishiki].38

Female members, once considered valuable religious teachers for the school, ­were by the early sixteenth ­century treated with condescension and relegated to the position of healers or handmaidens for the exhausted male leader. More significantly, it appears that the leaders felt that written justification for the nuns’ participation alongside monks was required. As examined in previous chapters, the participation of nuns ­under the same roof as monks had been a concern of patrons since the establishment of the order in the early ­fourteenth ­century. However, the reasoning for female presence and participation within the group took a new turn beginning in the sixteenth ­century. This is clearly seen in the Yugyō school jishū religious name designation.

What Is in the Name? A study of the late thirteenth-­century Hijiri-­e scroll indicates that when Ippen was the itinerant leader, he considered all other members of his group companions, and referred to them as such. He expected all members to 111

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renounce worldly life, including status, gender, and ambition.39 Although ­there was a certain hierarchy in the per­for­mance of rituals, the jishū group regarded one another as equals on the path of salvation and followers of their leader and holy man, Ippen. The naming convention, with its distinct religious designations for monks and nuns, suggests some conscious gender division; however, Ippen was likely just following the religious naming convention of the day. Janet Goodwin explains: “[The] amida suffix should be seen as an emblem of membership in a collectivity that had a common religious purpose.”40 The amida suffix was a­ dopted by w ­ omen as well, a practice even the seventeenth-­century Yugyō school leaders remembered: “­Those of the past did not distinguish between male or female. Nuns took the A title, as monks received the Butsu title.”41 An examination of the explication and expectation of ­these religious designations offers clues to the attitudes of the leaders t­ oward their female members. The practice of adopting the religious designation -­amidabutsu or -­ichibō was widespread and not specific or unique to the jishū. By the early mid-­fourteenth ­century, the Yugyō school appears to have standardized its naming practice with a clear gender divide of -­ichibō 一房 or -­butsubō 佛房 for the nuns and -­amidabutsu 阿弥陀佛 or -­a 阿 for the monks.42 One of the earliest explanations for this naming convention of the Yugyō school is from 1341, by Takuga in his document addressed to Chin’ichibō’s jishū group.43 He explained that the monks’ suffix of amidabutsu comes from the concept that ­people’s devotion and Amida Buddha’s salvation are one. For nuns, the single Buddha vehicle is how they enter the vow of Amida; thus, their titles are -­ichi and -­butsu.44 Takuga did not ascribe gender superiority or inferiority in the logic of the naming convention. Over a ­century ­later, we encounter a new explanation for the nuns’ naming convention. Chiren, the twenty-­first Yugyō hijiri, stated: “Regarding the question why the nuns’ religious title is something -­ichibō or something -­butsubō? This is to achieve the benefit of henjō nanshi within this world and thus achieve Rebirth.”45 The explicit use of the term henjō nanshi (­women transforming into male in order to achieve rebirth) is striking considering the history of the Yugyō school’s active presence of nuns within its practice halls. Chiren cited Takuga’s work extensively, leading one to assume that this inclusion of henjō nanshi was a deliberate insertion. Scholars have asserted that by the fifteenth ­century, ­there was an ac­ cep­tance from a broader spectrum of society of the androcentric view, especially regarding the female body as polluted.46 It has been suggested that the Blood Bowl Sutra (Ketsubonkyō 血盆経)—­a short scripture emphasizing the impurity of ­women and their fate of being sent to a special hell 112

The Yugyō School

for polluting the earth with blood from childbirth and from their monthly cycles—­was one of the teachings that spread this interpretation to the general public.47 Patriarchal Confucian values, which ­were being disseminated and becoming popu­lar, could also have contributed to the negative view of the female body. Wakita Haruko has pointed out that the change in ie (house­hold structure) from one of a husband-­w ife pair to “essentially corporate organ­izations” must also be taken into account when assessing the decline of female positions.48 By Chiren’s tenure, the once mendicant itinerant group was a fabulous parade of monks and nuns escorted by porters with palanquins, and treated as special guests by regional lords and ­temples. The Yugyō school order had transformed into an institutional Buddhist school. In the early thirteenth ­century, Shinkyō expected a jishū member upon entering the order to make the vow of obedience ­toward the Chishiki/ Shinkyō, and as long as the promise was kept, the jishū would achieve enlightenment.49 By the turn of the sixteenth c­ entury, Chiren states: “At the very conscious moment of yielding the word ‘I’ to the Chishiki, every­ thing in the universe becomes selfless, and therefore, the crossing over [rebirth] is guaranteed.”50 A jishū who was accepted into the order was to look upon the Chishiki as his or her Buddha; furthermore, since the Chishiki extended his authority to ­those dispatched to vari­ous practice halls as leaders, a jishū of a provincial practice hall was required to treat that leader as his or her Chishiki.51 The religious names for t­ hese practice hall leaders had become hereditary, and each dōjō leader’s name was ­adopted from the previous leader; for example, the male leader of Onomichi Dōjō was to be known as Sono’amidabutsu 其阿弥陀佛, whereas the leader of Umeda Dōjō 梅田道場 was to take the name Shi’amidabutsu 師阿弥陀佛.52 The structure and operation of the Yugyō school order changed from its original itinerant and fluid religious movement into a corporate structure with strictly defined positions and hierarchy. Female membership continued at least ­until the end of the sixteenth ­century, as attested by the inclusion of nun entries in the death register. While the practice halls continued to welcome every­one, the teachings and knowledge transmitted encouraged the silence and alienation of ­women.

Enlisting a Community of the Saved A dōjō space was believed to provide one with gokuraku ōjō 極楽往生 (birth in the Land of Utmost Bliss [of Amida Buddha]) ­after death. Thus, death 113

Chapter Five

in a dōjō or in front of a Buddha statue was considered an auspicious death.53 Having a symbolic tie with a dōjō also merited benefit, and the most common form of relationship with a dōjō was to have one’s name recorded and placed in the dōjō itself, such as in a death registry. This way, even if death was not realized within the dōjō ground, the individual was considered to be enlightened and could still achieve rebirth in Amida Pure Land.54 The few examples of surviving death registries, or kakochō, strongly indicate the presence and support of female members well into the sixteenth c­ entury. The oldest surviving death register in Japan is the Jishū kakochō 時衆過 去帳 (Jishū death registry), with the first entry in 1279  in Shinkyō’s handwriting, and the last in 1563  in that of the thirtieth Yugyō hijiri, Yūsan 有三 (1512–1583).55 The names of jishū who kept their vows u ­ ntil their death w ­ ere recorded in the Jishū kakochō, symbolizing that they had achieved rebirth.56 It was the Yugyō hijiri alone who had the power to rec­ord names in this registry, and this power was passed down to each Yugyō hijiri upon his succession. Between the years 1281 and 1388, eight men and sixteen ­women had their status of rebirth rescinded by having the word fu 不, meaning “not,” written over their name. Presuming that they had not kept their vows, ­these jishū w ­ ere posthumously denied rebirth. In the case of two nuns, the character fu was inscribed over their names, but ­later a “­pardon accepted” (免了) was added beside their names.57 In addition to the Jishū kakochō of the Yugyō hijiri, local jishū dōjō kept their own death registries. Power­f ul lords who supported dōjō had registries for their own ­family and for clan members.58 Local dōjō, each sponsored by the community surrounding it, also kept their own kakochō.59 The Yugyō hijiri was responsible for recording the names in the main registry; for the local practice halls, it was the responsibility of the dōjō leader to rec­ord the names of community members who ­were saved in ­these registries. Unfortunately, registries from practice halls where ­there ­were female leaders, such as Okunotani, Onomichi, and Amagasaki Dōjō, have not survived. Still, it is useful to discuss the surviving local death registries, for they confirm the participation of the diverse community surrounding and supporting the jishū schools. Kontaiji kakochō 金台寺過去帳 survives from Kontaiji or Taruma Dōjō 垂間道場, a Yugyō jishū dōjō in the coastal town of Ashiya in current Fukuoka prefecture.60 The rec­ords that survive cover the period 1462–1588. One of the local lords, of the Asō ­family, appears to have been one of the principal patrons of this dōjō. The kakochō includes names of both male 114

The Yugyō School

and female members on the same page. In addition, we find vari­ous specialists listed, particularly imoji 鋳物師 (specialists in casting metal). This concentration of metal specialists is not surprising due to Ashiya’s several foundries. We can also find such titles as kaneya 金屋 (specialist in metal) and kamaya 釜屋 (specialist in iron pots) listed for both men and ­women.61 Another community-­based kakochō that has survived is from Shōrinji 照林寺 or Kodera Dōjō 小寺道場 in current Mihara city in Osaka. This dōjō was located in a prosperous merchant town, which also had foundries. Connected to this dōjō was a fuseya 布施屋 (an establishment to help ­those in need). A fuseya could be an orphanage, an old-­age fa­cil­i­ty, or lodging for travelers. The dōjō also had a room for the tea ceremony, which suggests that it was of considerable size. Furthermore, it is known that the fifteenth Yugyō hijiri conducted the year-­end ser­vice t­ here in 1422.62 The kakochō from this dōjō lists 248 members on a single sheet. The religious names of men and ­women—­and even non-­jishū designations—­are recorded, along with an occasional detail, such as occupation or date of death. Although only a few names include a profession, two typical male designations of -­amidabutsu include the profession of ishiya 石屋 (stone dealer), one female designation is listed as being from the fuseya, and another female designation is recorded as a kamiyui 髪結 (hair stylist). Another female professional named Onahe (not a jishū name) is listed as a miko.63 The surviving kakochō from two local practice halls list men and ­women on the same sheet, although not all names entered are ­those given to jishū (identified by the -­a, -­ichi, or -­butsu designation). ­These death registers reveal the importance ­people felt in being part of a community; they wanted to be remembered as having lived and died belonging to a group. The Jishū kokochō, normally in the possession of the Yugyō hijiri, attests to the relationship of the leader recording the names with the community of ­those who wished to have their names entered. Initially only the jishū clerical names w ­ ere recorded, with perhaps a date affixed. Gradually information such as the location of death, the dōjō name, or the role the member had within the jishū was entered as well. Thus, names of lay members (kechienshū 結縁衆)—­those still living as well as heroes from the past—­eventually become part of the community included in the kakochō.64 Based on Ōhashi Shunnō’s counting, the number of entries through the first six leaders is comparable, with a slightly higher number of female entries.65 Takuga, the seventh leader, recorded the names of 112 115

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monks and 160 nuns, one of which was Chin’ichibō. A ­ fter Takuga, the only leader to list more nuns than monks was Taikū, the ­fourteenth Yugyō hijiri, who listed 308 nuns and 244 monks. Son’ne 尊恵 (1364–1429), the fifteenth Yugyō hijiri, had the highest number of entries in the Jishū kakochō during his term, listing 3,295 monks and  2,534 nuns.66 Coincidently, it was during Son’ne’s tenure as leader that Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimochi officiated the first government sanction of the Yugyō school. Although the ­actual numbers cannot lead to firm conclusions, the metadata that provides the locations, occupations, and roles is helpful in identifying the community that surrounded the Yugyō school. The inclusion of this extra information in the death rec­ords was gradual. The seventh Yugyō hijiri, Takuga, frequently entered the roles of the individuals, and by the fifteenth and sixteenth leaders, it appears a standard had been established to rec­ord the roles whenever pos­si­ble. Although the nineteenth leader recorded only the names, by the twenty-­fifth leader, almost all entries included a description of the individual’s occupation or position in the Yugyō school community. By this time, the itinerant route was being carefully planned, and the Yugyō school mission traveled without anxiety about finding food or shelter. Vari­ous identifications given to members recorded in the Jishū kakochō—­such as yugyō 遊行 (itinerant group), shokusho 食所 (food place), and monodachisho 物立所 (place of mending/needlework), positions already encountered in Nanyō’s group, attest to a structured positioning within the jishū group by the late fifteenth c­ entury.67 Professions such as nenju-­ya 念珠屋 (rosary shop), ishidaiku 石大工 (stone constructor), giba 耆 婆 (healers using Chinese medicine), and, interestingly, kaizoku 海賊 (pirates) inform us of the community that supported the Yugyō hijiri and his mission. We also encounter the religious roles of miko 巫女 (shaman) and bikuni 比丘尼 (nun), which reflects an open community that accepted other teachings and practices.68 Another impor­tant ­fourteenth-­century kakochō, known as Rokuhara nanbokuchō 陸波羅南北過去帳, survives from the Ikkō 一向 school of jishū.69 Recorded in this death register are the names of the warriors who followed their lord Hōjō Nakatoki 北条仲時 (1306–1333)  and committed ritual suicide in 1333. The tale of this army of men at their final moments is depicted in the war tale Taiheiki. Hōjō Nakatoki and his men, upon realizing their inescapable defeat, entered the grounds of Banba Dōjō 番場道場, in current Shiga prefecture, and took their own lives in front of the main hall.70


The Yugyō School

This Ikkō jishū school did not maintain any known practice halls in Kyoto; nevertheless, it was a popu­lar school, as attested to in the description by Rennyo 蓮如 (1415–1499), the eighth abbot of the Jōdo Shinshū sect 浄土真宗 (True Pure Land Buddhism): That which is called Ikkō-­shū [一向宗 Ikkō sect], is the name of ­those of jishū-­ type. That is, Ippen and Ikkō. Its base is at Banba Dōjō in Kōshū, this is Ikkō-­ shū . . . ​our name is Jōdo shinshū.71

As noted previously, the term “Ji-­shū” as a name for the Yugyō school jishū was not formally used ­until the seventeenth ­century. Indeed, as Rennyo states, it is the jishū-­t ype. Rennyo is distinguished for his revitalization and popularization of True Pure Land Buddhism in the fifteenth ­century, especially in the Northern provinces. Many Ikkō and Yugyō school jishū dōjō of the Northern provinces converted to Rennyo’s teaching and to True Pure Land Buddhism during this time.72 This period also witnessed many peasants’ revolts, known as Ikkō-­ikki 一向一揆, in which peasants and farmers of the True Pure Land Buddhist sect launched or­ga­nized attacks on their landlords. The term ikkō, used for ­these or­ga­nized attacks, created confusion, as it was the same term used for jishū groups, especially ­those founded by Ikkō Shunshō 一向俊聖 (1239–1287). Banba Dōjō in Kōshū, as stated by Rennyō, was a jishū dōjō based on the teachings of Ikkō, another itinerant holy man who was a con­temporary of Ippen.73 Ikkō’s jishū group also conducted continuous chanting of the name, danced the nembutsu dance, and applied the -­amidabutsu designation to their names. They ­were also mixed-­gender, and both the monks and the nuns held the -­amidabutsu designation. Ikkō traveled at the same time as Ippen, but ­there is not much known about him. None of his own writings survive, and his biographical pictorial scroll, Ikkō shōnin den 一向上人伝 (Biography of priest Ikkō), is believed to have been composed at least three centuries a­ fter his death.74 The legend he left ­behind differs between regions, and this, along with the other similarities between Ikkō and Ippen, led some to believe that Ikkō was a fictional figure.75 It was not u ­ ntil the discovery of the pictorial scroll depicting Ikkō’s death, titled Ikkō shōnin rinjizu 一向上人臨終図 (Illustration of priest Ikkō’s moment of death) and estimated to have been created shortly ­after his death, that his existence was fi­nally confirmed by scholars.76 Ippen and Ikkō ­were both religious figures based within the hijiri practice.77 The schools that formed in the wake of ­these


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charismatic leaders shared similar practices and held the same name, and although the found­ers ­were dif­fer­ent, the Ikkō school was eventually forced to became a subsidiary of the Yugyō school in the seventeenth ­century.78

To Hide One’s Path Just as the history of the Ikkō school was to be altered and fused into the Yugyō school, with Ippen as its founder, so the history of the mixed-­ gender groups of the Yugyō school was changed and ultimately erased. In the seventeenth ­century, when the Yugyō school was cementing its right of authority and fusing jishū 時衆 groups to Ji-­shū 時宗, as Ji-­sect, the leaders of the now Ji-­sect deliberately rejected their own history of mixed-­gender practice halls. Furthermore, to assert their own legitimacy and be worthy of government recognition as the Ji-­sect, they denounced the other jishū groups as immoral (hakai no jishū 破戒時衆) for their cohabitation with nuns.79 Thus, the Yugyō leaders chose to suppress and ignore their own school’s centuries-­long history of mixed-­ gender practice. What had once existed as dormitories within the same grounds ­were explic­itly separated, creating institutionally proper nunneries and monasteries. One such nunnery was Mantoku-ji 満徳寺, ­today known as one of the Tokugawa period’s “divorce ­temples.”80 From the initial formation of practice halls in the Yugyō school, ­there had been concern about the interaction between monks and nuns, especially that of illicit relationships. Yet t­here was never a question of ­women not belonging to the order. The dōjō was a center to pursue religious activities: chanting the name; conducting sermons and rituals for patrons; cultivating the land for their own food; and, if time permitted, g­ oing on pilgrimages. A jishū made a vow of absolute obedience to his or her Chishiki and committed his or her life to creating a world encompassed by the grace of Amida Buddha through invoking the nembutsu. What began as an itinerant mission transitioned into a stationary one, and by the mid-­fourteenth ­century, most jishū resided in dōjō, with only a few devoting their lives to itinerancy. By the fifteenth c­ entury, the Yugyō school became an officially recognized religious order by the Ashikaga government. Supported by warriors and granted governmental sanctions to travel freely, the ­whole aspect of the Yugyō jishū itinerant mission changed. With food and shelter secured, the traveling jishū no longer depended on one another for survival, altering the relationships not only between the leader and the 118

The Yugyō School

jishū but among the members themselves. While chanting the Amida Buddha’s name remained at the core of their practice, the experiences seen in the early formation of the mixed-­gender group ­were no more. Members ­were categorized into dif­fer­ent ranks and assigned specific responsibilities. As the school actively began to develop its own doctrines, the debates and developing dogma included a priori assumptions of the inferiority of ­women. Thus, the very participation of ­women in the religious life of the order was contested. By the sixteenth ­century, the functions of the female jishū forever changed within the Yugyō school, and attempts ­were made by the leaders to repudiate ­women from their own school’s history.


Conclusion The rec­ords of female jishū, while forming only glimpses of their lives, tell us of the roles w ­ omen had in the religious practices of their time. Their experiences reflect a society in which ­women conducted prayers and rituals in parallel with their male members. Their activities included proselytizing throughout the provinces as members of a mixed-­gender fellowship. The lack of direct documentation by the w ­ omen themselves must not be equated with a lack of significance in their participation in society. As the examples shown throughout the previous chapters demonstrate, we should be cognizant of the danger facing us as historians and Buddhist scholars: that by focusing only on doctrines, sutras, and official documents, we are led to an interpretation of a society viewed through the lens of a select elite. Examining the jishū religious movement offers us both historical and historiographical information, specifically in comprehending the medieval Japa­nese Buddhism experienced on the ground level, where ­women worked closely with male clergy, participated in rituals, and ministered directly to the laity. ­Women have often been full-­fledged members of vari­ous Buddhist schools, yet they are sparsely represented and more than often regarded as second-­tier participants. This, as argued by James Dobbins, is due to the modern construct and perception becoming intertwined with the interest in sectarian and founder-­focused studies.1 It is now generally accepted that t­ here are discrepancies and distinctions between the formal teachings of Buddhism, such as ­those based on monastic institutions with emphasis on doctrines, and the daily practiced Buddhism, as experienced by both clergy and lay members, including ­women. While both studies are equally impor­t ant in building an understanding of medieval Japan, the prescribed teachings and ­actual practices are not necessarily compatible. A view of medieval religiosity based only on monastic teachings results in an elite male–­centric view of Buddhism and its valued practices. From this perspective, as Bernard Faure has pointed out, “­woman is conspicuously absent, or she appears in as much as she is 120


an ele­ment of the Buddhist discourse on sexuality: not for herself, as individual, but as one pole of attraction or repulsion in a gendered male discourse about sex.”2 The Yugyō school is no exception; as seen in chapter 5, Chiren considered the role of females to be merely to help the exhausted male body. Similarly, Fukoku, the forty-­eighth leader from the late seventeenth ­century, condemned mixed-­gender congregations as destructive jishū, or hakai no jishū. It is easy to read over any female influence in a Buddhist school if we consult only the doctrines and treatises for evidence of their practice. The term “Ji-­shū” ­today has become synonymous with Ippen, the charismatic itinerant holy man who propagated salvation through the chanting and dancing of the nembutsu during the late thirteenth ­century. Publications with titles including “Ji-­shū” 時宗 or “jishū” 時衆 remain primarily reliant and focused on Ippen’s life and teachings.3 Scholarship has placed significant importance on studying the teachings and lives of the found­ers of a sect, such as Hōnen with Jōdo shū, Shinran with Shin Jōdo shū, Nichiren with Nichiren shū, and Dōgen with Sōtō Zen, to name just a few from medieval Japan. Sectarian-­oriented and founder-­centric approaches inevitably emphasize the teachings of the founder as well as the sutras and Buddhist texts the founder found significant for his own theology, philosophy, and writings. Within Ji-­shū studies, this has created an image of a unified sect with a set of practices and beliefs traceable to Ippen; however, as seen in the previous chapters, ­there ­were other jishū leaders and found­ers, such as Ikkō, Koku’amidabutsu, and Jō’amidabutsu, as well as the Mieidō jishū group.4 It is impor­tant to remember that prior to the unification and creation of a Ji-­sect in the seventeenth ­century, ­there was no one school identified as Ji-­shū.5 Considerable effort was made to place Ippen as the central founder of a united sect when the Yugyō school sought official recognition as the only Ji-­shū Buddhist school. To impress the new military government, legends and narratives w ­ ere created to reinforce the legitimacy of Ippen’s school of Pure Land Buddhism. A text from the late seventeenth ­century, for example, introduces Ippen as the “founder who inaugurated the style of the Fujisawa Ji-­shū nembutsu.” The tale then describes his moment of religious awakening: two mistresses, both beautiful and kind, with deep love and affection, ­were one day resting their heads on a Go board across from each other.6 As they slept, the w ­ omen’s hair turned into l­ ittle snakes. With scales raised, t­ hese snakes began to bite each other. Witnessing this, Ippen drew his sword and cut them apart. This event showed him the horrors of attachment, affection, and jealousy, and led him to understand the 121


truths of transmigration, deluded actions, and karmic effects, hence awakening his religious aspirations. He left his home and ascended Mount Hiei, whereby he took the ­orders. This narrative became one of Ippen’s legends and continues to be cited to this day.7 In the late seventeenth ­century, it was impor­tant for the Yugyō school, now the Ji-­shū, to (re)create a tale of the founder. They selected Ippen as their leader, over Shinkyō, perhaps ­because Ippen was a scion of a ­great warrior ­house. The addition of Ippen’s ascension and study on Mount Hiei was likely an attempt to make him equal to other spiritual found­ers; Hōnen, Shinran, Dōgen, and Nichiren had all studied on Mount Hiei. The Yugyō school, ­after unifying the vari­ous jishū groups ­under the umbrella of Ji-­shū, had by the late seventeenth ­century become “one of the most prestigious Buddhist institutions in Japan.”8 As an institution, the Yugyō school, now Ji-­shū, created a gender divide; no longer ­were ­there dormitories for the nuns within the monastic Ji-­shū ­temples. It is not known if the chanting rituals ­were still conducted together on a regular basis. The Yugyō school’s success over the centuries was due to its adaptability to social changes, its straightforward message, and its continued association with itinerancy. The apparent lack of involvement of jishū nuns from the seventeenth ­century onward (with the noted exception of Mantokuji) may be a reflection of the institutionalization of the school and of the increasing patriarchal society. However, forces driving institutionalization and patriarchy ­were also pres­ent in the centuries leading up to this transition, causing us to contemplate ­whether ­there might be more at hand. If, as noted in the introduction, miko remained an unstructured option for religiously inspired ­women, we may speculate that the jishū, which had previously fulfilled this religious need, w ­ ere no longer an attractive option. The received history of the jishū, with its focus on sectarian and doctrine-­based studies, has been biased by the consolidation of vari­ous ­fourteenth-­century jishū schools into the Ji-­sect, an amalgamation that deliberately dictated the survival and preservation of documents that provided a Yugyō school–­centric attitude. By overlooking the mixed-­gender and the celibate-­style formation, female leaders such as Chin’ichibō appear to be an anomaly. However, the study of con­temporary male leaders’ mundane correspondence clearly attests to the expected participation of w ­ omen and acknowledges their leadership positions. Scholarship based solely on official sectarian documents has been predisposed to assume that any female participation, and especially leader122


ship roles, would have been impossible. The male Yugyō school leaders of the ­fourteenth ­century ­were versed in vari­ous orthodox Buddhist texts and practices, yet female members ­were included in their religious order. ­Women worked as impor­tant co-­members alongside male jishū from the late thirteenth ­century well into the fifteenth ­century. The jishū groups, including the Yugyō school, provide us with case examples of subcultures that contradict our binary assumptions, such as a monastic and nunnery divide. The attention paid to the specific mendicant itinerant Ippen, and the subsequent history that deliberately ignored a mixed-­gender past, have clouded the eclectic and inclusive nature of the jishū movement, within which we have found w ­ omen holding vis­i­ble and meaningful positions. Scholars interested in ­women’s history are aware of the shortcomings of using only canonical texts and have begun examining and approaching historical documents in a new way. Documents that have been considered noncanonical sources, such as literary tales and visuals, are providing a win­dow to the past, unedited by doctrinal demands. Many recent studies have advanced our understanding of the prominent positions and active participation of ­women in vari­ous Buddhist schools. Paula Arai, in her study on the history and current involvement of ­women in Zen, states, “The unambiguously established androcentric bias in historiography has created the illusion that w ­ omen ­were not actively involved and prominent in their own spheres of influence. . . . ​Judgement about the status of ­women, then, must be withheld ­until we have a more informed understanding of what ­women ­were actually ­doing.”9 Most Zen schools—­such as the Sōtō school, which Arai focuses on—­held a monastic and nunnery divide; however, at its inception in the thirteenth ­century ­there ­were ­women disciples, and ­women continue to practice ­today. William Bodiford’s study focuses on Sōtō Zen based on a regional and rural component, rather than only on the scriptures, and identifies the strong and power­f ul ­temple networks, which ­were supported by rural elites who sought the spiritual and material benefits associated with Buddhist worship.10 Although his study is not focused on ­women per se, it affords us another example of the discrepancy between an assumed rigid structure and the structure that actually existed. The thirteenth-­century Hijiri-­e scroll does not shun ­women or portray them as jealous, sinful, or below the status of men. Neither does the Engi­e scroll describe or allude to ­women’s sexuality. On the contrary, one section explic­itly demonstrates that the power of a nembutsu chanter is greater than the menstrual blood pollution, and insists that all female 123


members of Shinkyō’s fellowship could enter the sacred Ise Shrine.11 The con­temporary authors and paint­ers of t­ hese scrolls represented the female jishū as they saw them: members of a group who traveled, danced, and conducted the ser­vices expected of a jishū. Their participation was not as wife, ­daughter, or ­mother, but as nembutsu practitioner and full-­ fledged member of a fellowship—­a fellowship on a mission to encompass the world with the name Amida Buddha. Ippen, Shinkyō, Ikkō, Jō’amidabutsu, and Koku’amidabutsu founded their practices within the hijiri tradition and w ­ ere supported by the network of ­those who believed in the mystical powers, especially ­those of Amida Buddha. The worldview of medieval Japan was concerned with manifestations, both abstract and in ­human form, and attributed power and sacredness to vari­ous sites. The world was filled with mysterious forces and miraculous events, and almost every­one possessed a keen concern regarding the afterlife. Life was traditionally connected to the land and w ­ ater, and ­people worked and experienced life through the cycle of harvest and tides. The ­fourteenth ­century saw the evolution of a currency economy, expansion of transport and commercial operations, and technological sophistication that led to more specialization of tradesmen in manufacturing and crafts. Agriculture saw advances through multiple cropping, better irrigation systems, and enrichment of soil through the use of manure and ash, all leading to an environment that saw the rise of more permanent marketplaces throughout the country. Stability of marketplaces and ports created possibilities for expansion of urban areas and populations, offering ­great opportunities to ­those able to advance themselves amidst the ongoing shift of society and economy. ­Others, however, saw themselves squeezed out of their landholdings or made destitute through warfare. The civil war, which lasted more than half a ­century, contributed significantly to the instability of the time, bringing destruction and death and creating a flux of ­widows; orphans; and ­those who lost their land, home, and social connections. During this time of change and movement, the mixed-­gender jishū groups offered a straightforward spiritual path, one that was both practical and accessible to the general public and the elites. The spread and rise in popularity of the jishū groups correspond to a time of economic diversification and expansion. With the growth of urban areas and the new flourishing ­middle class, ­people sought religious salvation that met their needs and concerns; the jishū movement was ­shaped by and tailored to this new environment and demographics.



Hierarchy was the basis of Japa­nese social life. From the elites to ­those residing in villages, ­there was an under­lying awareness of one’s own station in life. It is impor­tant to recognize that in this hierarchically conscious world, gender was secondary to rank. Furthermore, it was inconceivable that an individual had no social connections or ties. With its wide geo­g raph­i­cal range, the jishū movement provided the medieval populace—­especially ­those affected by the dramatic social changes brought by war, the new economy, and the rising ­middle class—­with an accessible and respectable social connection to the jishū school.12 The jishū movement, including the Yugyō school, offered the populace not only the spiritual assurances and tangible practices of their order but also a socially impor­tant ele­ment that defined medieval Japan: a position with social recognition. It should be stressed that taking the tonsure had long been a means to escape or transcend secular ties, at least theoretically. Therefore, the rapid dissemination of the jishū Pure Land Buddhist groups through the ­fourteenth ­century was part of a large movement that included other religious groups; as a result, the jishū movement was not considered a radical new teaching or practice. The group’s key ritual—­the chanting of the name Amida Buddha—­was familiar and shared by many forms of Buddhist practices. Nonetheless, it was a movement both practical and meaningful for the medieval ­people, and it attracted the attention of ­those in the new urban settings. A look at another popu­lar school of the ­fourteenth ­century, Shin Buddhism, offers additional understanding of ­women’s participation in religious communities during that time. Shin Buddhism expanded as a religious movement beginning in the thirteenth ­century and continues to be an impor­tant Buddhist sect in Japan. During the medieval period, many Shin Buddhist congregations ­were founded by a husband and wife. The husband was the bōzu 坊主 (leader of the practice hall), and the wife was the bōmori 坊守 (guardian of the practice hall). Both the husband and wife, as a pair, exerted authority jointly and acted as leaders of their local congregations.13 One branch of Shin Buddhism known as Bukkōji 佛光寺, located a short distance from the Seventh Ave­nue Practice Hall and the Sixth Ave­ nue Practice Hall in Kyoto, offers us another example of a medieval practice hall. The founder was Ryōgen 了源 (1295–1336), and along with his wife, Ryōmyō 了明 (1294–1376), this school gained considerable influence during the ­fourteenth ­century. Bukkōji and its branch congregations are



characterized by their objects of worship and proselytization devices: calligraphic wall hangings of the nembutsu, salvation registers, and portrait lineage scrolls, all of which are believed to have begun with the founder Ryōgen. Unique to Bukkōji are the portrait lineage scrolls, ekeizu 絵系図. ­These are a series of portraits of individuals dressed in clerical garb linked together by a red line, which demonstrates a direct lineage between ­those portrayed and the founder Ryōgen, who was then in direct line to Shinran’s teachings. The husband and wife pair are identified in ­these portraits, with the ­woman frequently positioned beneath her husband.14 ­There are a few shared practices between the Bukkōji branches and the Yugyō school. Aside from the emphasis placed on the importance of the nembutsu, the Bukkōji kept myōchō 名帳, or salvation registers, which James Dobbins notes “fulfilled precisely the same purpose of the kakochō of the Jishū school and ­were apparently inspired by the Jishū example.”15 This salvation register provided concrete assurance that t­hose whose names w ­ ere recorded in it would be born in Pure Land. The absolute authority assumed by the leader of Bukkōji was comparable to the Yugyō school’s Chishiki. The Yugyō school jishū, including provincial practice hall leaders, had all vowed to relinquish their life to the Chishiki; as such, he held the power to bestow or deny a member entry into Pure Land. The Bukkōji leader also had that authority over his congregation and branch members, as submission to the leader was a cardinal princi­ple of membership.16 This is in contrast to other Shin Buddhism congregations, in which, at least theoretically, the believers are equal in religious status and responsibility.17 The significant distinction between the Yugyō school and Shin Buddhism was the choice of celibacy versus the choice of ­family relations. ­A fter the untimely death of Ryōgen in 1336, his ­w idow, Ryōmyō, became his successor, taking the head position and continuing to lead their congregation.18 During her time as leader, Bukkōji received public support and expansion, which also resulted in criticism and threats.19 Chin’ichibō and Ryōmyō ­were contemporaries, as was Keibutsubō from the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall in Kyoto. Chin’ichibō and Ryōmyō are examples of female teachers of Buddhism who ­were leaders of mixed-­ gender congregations that ­were impor­tant to the community they ser­ viced and catered to. One can assume that ­these ­women, as religious clerics with disciples, ­were well educated, taught Buddhist teachings, and had enough personality and charisma to maintain influence and control over their practice hall. Ryōmyō represents and confirms the importance 126


of rank and social ties; her connection as wife (­widow) of Ryōgen, a religious figure venerated for his direct connection with Shinran, placed her above all ­others, including the male members in Bukkōji. Chin’ichibō was the chosen successor of Sen’a, the founder of Okunotani Dōjō. We do not know her relationship to Sen’a, but ­there is no doubt she was a person of a prominent social position. The viability of nunhood as an option for ­women has been well noted. From the introduction of Buddhism in the sixth ­century, many ­women throughout the recorded history of Japan have in vari­ous forms and styles chosen (or been forced to choose) to be followers of Buddhism. It was not unusual for w ­ omen to be educated and to play an impor­tant role in pursuing a Buddhist path. In the urban area of Kyoto, near the Sixth Ave­nue Practice Hall where Kei’butsubō was active, and at Bukkōji, where Ryōmyō oversaw her ­temple and branches, ­there ­were also many nunneries, such as the Five Zen Mountains, which was or­ga­nized in the latter part of the ­fourteenth ­century.20 To the south, in the old capital of Nara, was Hokkeji, the popu­lar convent where Ritsu nuns took charge in pursuing a fulfilling life as religious devotees with an extensive network of convents. However, it was not only within the walls of convents or in mixed-­gender practice halls where ­women sought a religious pursuit; some sought it as proselytizers and pilgrims, by singing songs, telling stories, or offering divine readings. An impor­tant component to understanding the jishū movement is to consider the other itinerant and shamanistic traditions. The activities of female jishū presented in this book show that Buddhist practices in medieval Japan w ­ ere more nuanced and porous than what is stated in the androcentric language of monastic documents. The Yugyō school, the Fourth Ave­nue school, and the Sixth Ave­nue school, as well as the other jishū schools beginning in the ­fourteenth ­century, attest that knowledge of scriptures and doctrines did not hinder co-­ participation. Furthermore, patrons, sponsors, and administrators of ­these practice halls acknowledged the value of t­ hese jishū per­for­mances, suggesting the rituals of the vocalization of the name and the dancing nembutsu outweighed the discourse of the doctrines. The original jishū mendicants traveled, chanted, and prayed. Their way could not have been easy; however, their community and spiritual commitment would have given them purpose and strength. A path to personal and universal salvation remains a ­human ideal, and many ­people continue to go on pilgrimages ­today. In Japan, ­there are a number of popu­ lar places for pilgrims to visit. One of the most impor­tant pilgrimage 127


routes is in Shikoku, known as the Shikoku Pilgrimage 四国遍路 (Shikoku henro). It is a cir­cuit around the island of Shikoku, visiting eighty-­eight official ­temples; thus, it is also known as the Eighty-­Eight ­Temple Pilgrimage 八十八ヶ所巡り (hachijūhakkasho-­meguri). Throughout the year, hundreds of ­people travel by foot, car, or bus, with or without guides, to pray at the t­ emples along the route. They often rent traditional pilgrim robes and hats, buy any number of souvenirs, and get their pilgrim’s passport stamped at each t­ emple. Although the trappings may seem frivolous to the critical devotee, for the pilgrim, the spiritual satisfaction derived from the journey is impor­tant. ­There have always been ­those cynical of the jishū, critical of the men and ­women chanting and dancing together. The outsiders’ opinion has no weight to the individual pilgrim whose journey is a spiritual expression. This religious impulse is without gender or culture, and pilgrimages have been carried out since recorded time. Several years ago, a friend’s grand­mother, in accordance to her Jain belief, left her ­family and her luxurious home in Kobe, Japan, and flew to India. ­There, she joined a group of other female ascetics who ­were partaking on a spiritual journey ­toward a holy fast to death (sallekhanā). Her ­family never expects to hear from her or see her again: this journey represents her ascendance to the next stage of her faith. The grand­mother and the ­others ­will travel for years as mendicant pilgrims while gradually ceasing to eat and drink. News reports inform me that the sallekhanā practices are to be banned by the local government; how this ­will change their quest remains to be seen. Itinerancy continues t­oday as a valid form of spiritual expression. The footsteps of modern itinerants are still being laid for ­f uture scholars to seek, just as we have sought the footsteps of the jishū.


Appendix Translations of Selected Texts 1. A letter from Shinkyō (1237–1319) to Dai’ichibō. Ta’a Shōnin hōgo 他阿上人法語 (Works by Ta’a[midabutsu] Shinkyō) was assembled in its current form through the organ­ization and funding of the fifty-­third Yugyō leader in the late eigh­teenth ­century.1 Included within the collection ­were over one hundred correspondences, many addressed to provincial nobility or officials of the military government, and among them ­were letters to jishū nuns. The following is the letter addressed to Dai’ichibō from Nakajō Dōjō, as examined in chapter 3.

Reply ­toward Dai’ichibō of Nakajō.2 Myself, as well as jishū, have abandoned our parents, discarded our c­ hildren, forsaken our body, and abandoned our minds. ­After having given our body and life to the Amida Buddha, one may not have thoughts of owner­ ship ­toward [other] jishū or belongings. Particularly, to consider one a master of [another] jishū, what notion is this? Once a person of resolve requests [to have a jishū nearby] and this is provided to that person, regardless of what happens, it is up to that person to decide ­matters. Therefore, ­there is no ground to retrieve [the jishū that was sent over]. Yet, still to retrieve [the jishū], then, you are disobeying the order of the Chishiki and [the promise you made] yourself. Anything and every­thing is for the purpose of rebirth. If someone does not have the faith, then it is that person’s prob­lem. To have supplied a jishū for [spiritual support] to that person, yet to retrieve [the jishū] ­because the agreement [turned out to be] dif­fer­ent, then you have not done for the person but acted within your own mind. While you have the mind to behave on your own account, then you have forgotten that [such actions] defy the Chishiki’s ­orders. To behave in this manner suggests that you have not let go of the life of laity, and the attitude of [owning] personal belongings. Thus even though the tonsure was taken, you being like this, go and break ­people’s contracts. 129


Also, if a contract is met, you accord with the person, yet if it is not met, then you act upon yourself, [if this misconduct] is of benefit to the person and not yourself, then without debating the ­matter, [let it be that this] is what w ­ ill make one closer to the mind of the Buddha. Ultimately, I emphasize that the two nuns, Ryūichibō and Hōbutsubō, be returned to the person who made the fundamental vow. You ­will also return the lotus carving along with them. Once an agreement has been made it is not to be broken by yourself. Having abandoned this world and discarded the body, ­there is no ground to becoming an owner of objects of this world. As it is the promise that we become the object of the Buddha, every­thing is for the purpose of rebirth for this body. ­There is no reason to be attached to t­ hings. It is only incommodious ­toward the path of rebirth. By adopting a conciliatory attitude and allowing ­others to determine where one lives throughout the country is in accord with the wishes of the spirits of the dead and ­will also receive the Buddha’s protection. To object is to cultivate a mind which fosters resentment in one’s mind; this is of no benefit to anyone. Thus, the ritual of agreement is itself to be directed and given to p ­ eople. Within the vari­ous ways to have a slanted view of the all-­encompassing wisdom of the Buddha and while not fully understanding the gaze of the Buddha, then, this is what I propose for you. Not yet have you discarded your heart nor reached the resolve of a sincere and earnest intention ­toward attaining enlightenment. Reflect upon your actions. In front of the statue of worship seek repentance for your sins and seek rebirth. If you have the slightest movement of mind, then, while you differ from the mind of the Buddha, this is what I request and propose for you. Namuamidabutsu 2. A Letter from Chitoku (1261–1320) to Donkai (1264–1327).3 Chitoku Ryō’amidabutsu (智得 量阿弥陀佛) was the successor to Shinkyō’s yugyō mission. When Shinkyō passed away in 1319, Chitoku resumed the post as leader of Taima Dōjō and handed over the itinerant mission to Donkai Yū’amidabutsu (呑海 有阿弥陀佛). The following original letter survives from the early ­fourteenth ­century (­either written in 1319 or 1320), when Chitoku, then residing in Taima Dōjō, sent the following instructions to Donkai, who was on the yugyō mission.

To Yūamidabutsu The late hijiri [Shinkyō] had spent over fourteen years in a permanent residence. It has been remarked that this was ­because of the rumors 130

Translations of Selected Texts

within Kamakura. For the benefit [to sentient beings]. And to correct ­those with biases and misguided views. Many have become followers. However, ­there are still more who do not yet follow. The time had arrived for [Shinkyō] to enter nirvana. [I] have received the method of teaching and to reside in this foundation. If I ­were to not take up this method, it would be to go against the path, to ignore the princi­ples of cause and effect, and face harmful obstructions [­toward enlightenment]. It is, as a method of teaching, the wisdom of the Buddha. Therefore, ­there is no other issue. Initially, one or two arrived [­here]. But then ­there are ­those who have come interrupting their long trips and ­people keep on piling in. B ­ ecause this is a sad time, it is understandable that both the laity and priests come [to offer re­spect to the late Shinkyō]. However it is, for ­those who have still yet to acquire within their body the doctrinal teaching, to come ­here without prior notice, without any reason and without concerns to one’s responsibility to the time, is to break the teaching. I therefore state that this be stopped immediately. Nuns who have not even spent one or two years at [yugyō] have come. Even though I have said that just b ­ ecause you come does not imply that the ten nembutsu ­will be provided. However, I have heard that ­there are ­those who do not believe this. Thinking, if they are ­going to fall into Hell anyway, they force their way to Taima with the intention to die ­here. If this is true, then this is the result of having no aspiration. For the momentous ­matter regarding one’s life and death, one has disregarded the bond of love formed during their lay-­life and have offered their life to the Chishiki. Therefore, even should your neck, legs, and hands fall off, t­ here should be not one thought of ill ­will. Entrusting rebirth to the yugyō hijiri, the third generation of the mission has been passed on. Therefore, I have recorded a few ­things that have been on my mind. To become a jishū is to seek help for the indirect cause and to offer help by spreading the teaching. For ­those who are still attached to the ego, or ­those who by their own accord have no positive aspiration for awakening, or ­those who go near and far from the Chishiki as well as ­those who do not concern themselves with salvation nor in attaining absolute faith in Amida’s, w ­ ill have no chance in achieving rebirth. ­Those who seek by any means a way to gain stationary life, or do not comprehend the benefit of yugyō, ­those who share such thoughts end up having no aspiration. 131


One who sells their heart to the lord is a loyal retainer. One who gains the heart of the Chishiki is a disciple. Since this understanding is not yet comprehended by many, I continue to hear of ­these ­matters. Even if one claims w ­ holeheartedly that coming ­here is within reason and one is serving the momentous ­matter regarding one’s life and death, one should keep in mind the purpose and training on yugyō and expect to die [while on yugyō.] Without spending years and months [in yugyō before coming] ­here, regardless of who you are, is not to be forgiven. Keep this [in your] heart. Make sure to read this to all members. Now also regarding Myōichibō, who I sent your way, had from the late hijiri [Shinkyō] been constantly mentioned as someone who had not given up their body/mind. Now, realizing that she was thought so [by Shinkyō], [she] feels resentment and regret of this. Therefore, in order to prove her worth to him, she has resolved to commit her body in yugyō and to redeem her late actions. She [Myōichibō] had come to me numerous times and I concurred with her decision. To treat her as someone who disobeyed my wishes, to resent the attention given to her and her proximity to sit near [the leader, Donkai,] is unfounded. I have heard that the nuns have taken deep resentment ­toward this. ­Those who discriminate against Myōichibō are discriminating against the Chishiki. This is a grave crime. [Myōichibō] is of considerable age. As [her] time in stationary [ser­ vice] was long, ­there are ­people who think it must have been pretty boring. However, as the hijiri [Shinkyō] words are within memory, it [became] crucial that [Myōichibō] give up her body/mind, and this was expressed with ­g reat emotion, we are all to understand this. If it was that [she] had gone against me [Chitoku], then it would be my [responsibility] to make [her] attain absolute faith in Amida’s salvation. It was not out of selfish reasons that she was sent ­there. It is expected that all ­these m ­ atters be taken into account when considering this. Now, Gen’amidabutsu has done many years of yugyō and can be sent to lead a stationary life. As this was being considered, ­there was a person named Lord Godai’in Uemon Muneshige. He is devoted to the prescribed method of birth in Amida Pure Land. For the first time he has requested jishū, [and since Gen’amidabutsu] was ­going to serve ­here, I send [him to Lord Godai’in] with many ­others. ­People who did not serve and did not have the awakened aspiration have been sent to Kamakura. While it may appear [to you that ­there are] not enough ­people [­don’t worry;] they ­will naturally join. 132

Translations of Selected Texts

Trust all to the wisdom of the Buddha. Do not take any personal mea­ sures. Respectfully Namuamidabutsu 3. Se­lections from Bōhishō 防非鈔 (Notes on preventing misconducts) by Kai’amidabutsu.4 Kai’amidabutsu, as noted in chapter 4, belonged to a jishū school in Kyoto in the early to mid-­fourteenth ­century. The list of rules, which cover from the mundane to the spiritual, provides insight into his jishū practice hall. Comments that ­were provoked by the mixed-­gender nature have been translated h ­ ere.

Bōhishō One must not touch, receive or sit beside a ­woman. 100 rai.5 The following should be observed. Exceptions are: during the hymn of praise for the buddha, the amulets [distributions], and the lotus flower [ser­vice]. Aside from ­these [activities], it should be completely stopped. Regarding keeping in possession objects from the laity or from other priest [or] among the monks and nuns. When responsible for someone ­else’s belonging, it is a weight upon you. Should you lose the object, you accrue the ill ­will and the ­whole group w ­ ill be suspected of having stolen the object. This would be an embarrassment and shameful action for someone who took the tonsure. Also, both monks and nuns interact and become close, which inevitably builds up desire ­toward lust. Thus we have this prevention. Regarding preventing closeness from all females.

Associated monks and nuns should not cross over to each other’s section. However, should this rule be ignored and the bound­a ries be crossed, [the punishment is] 100 rai.6

This is for ­those who took the tonsure and precepts. Even if ­there was not a regulation like this, this is something to be deeply guarded. It is ­because that man would incur doubt and suspicion [within the community]. This ­w ill result in slander from the outsiders, ­because it inspires active lust. It is stated in the Lotus Sutra, if one goes to another ­house, do not converse with girls, ladies, or ­women. If you must speak the Buddha’s teaching to a female, then do not show your teeth with laughter. Do not display what is 133


in your heart. All is for the Buddha, ­there is no need to became exceptionally friendly. The g­ reat leader of the past, during his life, did not look up to see w ­ omen. Our sect and other sects all fear this. Even the ­great priest before realizing perfect absorption take guard against this. How, then, can it be that the disciples do not guard this? This is why this order is recorded. An exception is made during the deathbed prayer and when performing the method for saving suffering beings.

Regarding the prevention of patrons seeking monks and nuns for issues not related to the scripture. 200 rai. This is b ­ ecause many evil and bad ­things happen when monks and nuns allow each other access [to their space]. Therefore, this rule is made to prevent that from happening. Even if it is for the benefit of the patron, the facing together of monks and nuns without a chaperone must be stopped. Patron punishable by 100 rai, officers by 500 rai, and ordinary jishū by 1000 rai.

Even if ­there was nothing that required an apology, [what happened] is not acceptable. Since this [action] can lead into development of lust, this rule is made. Patrons, especially, must guard against this. This rule is for the benefit of both the patrons and the jishū. Regarding the ­matter of moving. One must not leave the existing residence to move elsewhere. 5000 rai.7 In the faraway past, to prevent attachment to a place of residence, one did not foretell [imagine] living in one place. Like floating clouds and the current of ­water. ­People ­today rise with anger and hate regarding their master. Or form attachments to their clothes, food and dwelling. This is why most dislike [where they are] and desire that which is far away. ­These ­matters are against the manner of being a disciple of the Buddha. For this reason, this regulation is set. However, if both patrons are in harmony, then ­there is no restriction. Regarding the ­matter of selecting nuns for your personal ser­vice. Even if you are a hijiri or a dōjō leader, do not have nuns wait on you. In the ritsuzō and other sutras, t­ here are discussions regarding the [correct] proximity to ­women. It is also said in an old saying. The hermit named One-­Horn was caught by a ­woman. He lost the path 134

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to the sky of five hundred climbs, and fell. It would be better to put the man’s sex in the mouth of a poison snake than to go close to a ­woman. It is recorded in the four categories of Benefit. It is best not to get close [to a ­woman]. To have someone wait on you, for your own personal purposes, what is the benefit of this? Also, ­there are many young monks in ser­vice; this too is to be stopped. Should [the leaders] break [this rule], then all members would conduct [themselves in] this [way]. However, exceptions are made for beneficial ser­vices.

Regarding prohibiting jishū working as doctors and practicing magic.8 ­ here are ­those who, without reading one book, claim to be someT one who practices medicine. As expected, ­there are mis­haps. In an old document, it is said, It is not the illness that kills the person, it is the doctor.  . . . ​ However, depending on the time and depending on the person, and if t­ here was ­pardon given by the patron, this [practice would then be] exempt [from this rule].

Regarding the stopping of long journeys or ­going on pilgrimages without the accompaniment of one’s local leader (bōzu).9 The path of a journey is to climb steps and challenging mountain peaks, to surpass rough waves of the river and ocean. Through ­these dangerous experiences, the monks and nuns develop a bond [that leads to the crime of sex]. Through ­these experiences in which they need to work together, they develop relationships. As it is, when the boundary to the secular world is crossed, then the heart [desire] for lust grows stronger. And so, the prohibitions are broken. This is a sad t­hing. To be chained within prison for life and death. The basic cause and conditions [of] transmigration are desire and lust. Therefore the journeys [the monks and nuns take can] lead to the path of temptation [which ­will give them the opportunity] to violate the precepts. Indeed, it is ideal to encompass the real intention of Buddhas and gods by ­going on pilgrimages. However, I repeat, the space between the monks and nuns needs to be limited. To prevent this evil from occurring, the [dōjō] leader must accompany the jishū to enforce the restrictions and to prevent any misconduct. Now, for short return trips, include the patron. 135

Appendix However, nun leaders are excluded from this, ­because they are weak in enforcing punishments.

Regarding the accompaniment of monks and nuns to a lay ­house­hold without the chaperones of a patron or officer. The following is in regards to the space between monks and nuns. When [an incident occurs] within the dōjō, punishment must be imposed harshly. Still, should words be exchanged, ­faces looking at each other, how is this to reflect on the morality [of us] to the [surrounding] community. It is nothing but violation of the precepts. Any such occurrence must be stopped. However, depending on the situation and the timing, the patron may be involved. Should the patron go elsewhere and it is regarding betsuji and Buddhist ser­vices, his wishes must not be discarded. Now, if the officer comes and does not request the ser­vice of the nuns, all of you are to go together and ask if it would be acceptable to have both the monks and nuns [perform the ser­vice]. If not, then ­those except the nuns [amahōshi] ­will provide the ser­vice. The nuns [nishū] should then go and make the request [to participate]. 4. Introduction of Jōjō gyōgi hōsoku by the seventh Yugyō hijiri, Takuga (1285–1354).10 The following document, titled Jōjō gyōgi hōsoku 條條行儀法則 (Articles of the rule of deportment), is our primary source for Chin’ichibō, who was examined in chapter 1.

Jōjō gyōgi hōsoku The time was during a difficult and hot summer; ­after we had finished our teaching in Kyūshū, we had headed to Shikoku to teach. When our yugyō took us to Iyo province, [we encountered the leader of Okunotani Dōjō]. Okunotani Hōgōnji was founded by Sen’a, a disciple of Ippen Shōnin. The successor and head priest was Sen’a’s disciple nun Chin’ichibō. She continued to reside t­ here working ­toward rebirth. Having known of the yugyō, Chin’ichibō was in admiration of the continued prosperity of the method of teaching and the benefit of it that had not diminished from the past [Ippen]. Wishing to participate, she came with her members to receive the ten nembutsu. The experience was greater than her expectation. She was overcome with tears and invited us to her dōjō. H ­ ere, we stayed for three days. Even 136

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a­ fter we departed, we promised to always remain in contact and demonstrated our w ­ ill of surrender. We continued to Yakura, spending several days with many coming and g­ oing; with ­those days ­behind us, we returned to the dōjō. ­There on the same sixth month twenty-­first day, the head priest Chin’ichibō came. She said: “I have come on a ­matter of ­great importance. I have noticed a change in my body, [especially] on the road ­here. The reason for my coming is to request that the dōjō be u ­ nder your guidance ­after I achieve my real intention [of rebirth].” This agreement was made on the morning of the twenty-­first, and while [she] was making her leave with tears in her eyes, [I] gave her an Ami-­robe and told her to wear this [when she] achieves rebirth. She achieved rebirth on the twenty-­sixth at the hour of tatsu [between 7 a.m. and  9 a.m.]. This was wholly within Buddha’s wisdom. In accordance with her wishes a head priest was placed [as head of her order] from a Yugyō [member]. The monks and nuns both accepted their former master’s order and ­will now follow my words to enter the [Yugyō school] jishū with the same vow and same heart, and continue to live at the [dōjō]. Jishū ­under our school have from now [on] and into the never-­ending ­f uture entrusted their body and mind to the Chishiki. Should they break this [vow], they ­will, from ­under their feet [and through their entire body,] be affected by white and black leprosy. They ­will fall out of the forty-­eight promises of Amida and sink into the three evil paths, never to resurface. To become a jishū, one takes the vow and strikes the gong. This is the demonstration of the emergence of the three thoughts of faith [of sincere heart, deep thought, and aspiration to be born in Amida Pure Land] and for the purpose of understanding [that] one needs to take refuge in the Chishiki. The promise and the precept of the three vari­ous Buddhas are the proper deeds which lead to birth in Pure Land. It is therefore the precept to return to the heart of the Buddha. It also holds the commandment of one’s devotion to the Buddha. The observance of the pure precepts is conductive to enlightenment. This is what the other power holds. Do not create crime out of your own power. Indeed, since the precept is based on the three thoughts of faith, how could you break it? It is the diamond precept. Thus, if the vow is broken, the heart that made the vow did not have the three thoughts of faith and is unable to achieve rebirth. The proper way of the heart is in understanding that the oath you make to the Chishiki, is to the Buddha in ­human form. You must know 137


then that the metal [gong that you strike] to make your promise is the forty-­eight vows in which the Buddha and the Chishiki become a single body. Sentient beings are encompassed by the mercy and compassion that is in the heart of the Buddha. It is the Chishiki, Buddha and the mercy and compassion that comprises the heart. For this reason it is stated in the scripture that the Buddha’s mind is composed of g­ reat mercy and compassion. It is said: To encounter the zen-­ chishiki is to be met with ­great mercy and compassion. One must know this is the same mercy and compassion. To the monks and nuns of Okunotani [Dōjō], now that you have agreed to incorporate our school style, the ­water of the Dharma ­will never cease. The ocean and Buddha are of the same mind and together create extensive won­der of Buddha’s blessing. As this contract has been made, I have recorded the vari­ous manners and way for performing jishū practices. 5. First forty-­four entries from Tōzai sayō shō by the seventh Yugyō hijiri, Takuga (1285–1354).11 Tōzai sayō shō 東西作用抄 (Summary of conduct at all times and places) was written around 1342 and has 254 entries. The following—an opening by Takuga and the first 44 entries—­provides a good introduction and gives a sense of the entire document.

Tōzai sayō shō In the past, ­there ­were true Chishiki. And ­there ­were many jishū who had sincere and earnest intentions to attain enlightenment by giving to the Chishiki. And so five to six leaders passed. The time is now upon me. And I, sadly, seem not to be a true Chishiki. ­Because of this, I do not see jishū who find resolve to attain enlightenment through their Chishiki. It is said: The protection of clear perception is the ­great indirect cause for good deportment. It must be fate that it is the way it is ­today. Without forgetting the main cause of the past, without neglecting the practices of t­ oday, let us not make the f­ uture effects hollow. Furthermore, since the ­will of jishū are not obvious, the following examples have been recorded for the jishū that can be seen and for the jishū in places that cannot be seen.


Translations of Selected Texts

  1) Have sudden insights to reason; be gradual in practice.   2) Never be over confident in your actions.   3) Comprehend that you must train constantly.   4) Discard any distracting thoughts. Without distractions, the fountain of the mind ­will be completely empty and tranquil.   5) Face the boundary of secular life and simply discard your mind. Break your own slanted thoughts by facing other insults.   6) At no time should the desire of lust capture your thoughts. Inclusively, the same goes for any location that would cause distraction of mind.   7) Rid yourself of a place to dwell and keep that sentiment alive.   8) At no time and no place are you to have illusory thoughts. If any ill thoughts arise, they are to be erased into darkness. . . . ​   9) While in front of the Chishiki or a venerable elder, do not take a hand cloth and wipe away your sweat or wipe your face. 10) Do not look up to see the nuns or ­women. If by chance you see them, do not think to look at them again. 11) Do not think of sexual desire. 12) Do not hold any thoughts or actions other than the commands given by the Chishiki. 13) In the past, ­there ­were no edicts, and together jishū had on their own volition the sincere and earnest intention to attain enlightenment and performed accordingly. Now t­ here are rules and doctrines, and they behave as if they have forgotten their roles. 14) Newly converted are not to hold a fan in their waist-­belt. Fans that show pictures and color, are especially prohibited. 15) At the end of year betsuji ser­vice and during other betsuji ser­vices within jishū dōjō, do not neglect the nembutsu by telling stories, chatting, and laughing. 16) Do not enjoy events like tea ceremonies. 17) Do not go to the nun’s quarters without accompaniment. Even if you have many accompanying you, do not go casually. While in that room do not continuously laugh and tell stories. 18) Regardless of how tired one is, wake yourself up to engage in the noon and night ser­vices. 19) When in front of the Chishiki, face him directly. Do not avoid him. 20) Do not talk about your time spent in the secular world.



21) Do not discuss the good and evil of the secular world. 22) In the presence of the Chishiki, do not fall asleep on your ­cheek. 23) Do not raise your leg or change your legs. Do not have your legs up even u ­ nder your clothing. 24) Do not show your chest by leaving your shirt open. 25) When in the presence of the Chishiki, monks and nuns are not to tell stories or utter words. 26) Mend your clothes. 27) Aside from the betsuji ser­v ice, clothes should be clean and vivid. If they are not new, make sure to clean them very well. 28) At all times, do not associate with lay ­people. 29) Do not form relationships. Do not f­ avor interactions. 30) Always conduct your training with a positive attitude. Do not distance yourself from it. 31) New jishū are to re­spect the experienced jishū. Experienced jishū are not to look down upon the new members. 32) Always recall the initial time of your resolve to attain enlightenment. Do not develop an egoism. 33) Do not think you are above ­others. Do not think you are below ­others. 34) Clothing is to be provided by the Chishiki. Do not dislike it [the robe] even if it is thin or short. Wear it long. 35) Jishū sent to other locations are to perform in accordance with the patron’s wishes. 36) Hijiri residing at other dōjō are not to accept gifts. A thin cloth is all that is needed. Do not have more than ­those around you. Do not consume better food than t­ hose around you. 37) The hijiri sent to other places do not flaunt a hijiri-­face, nor act with arrogance. 38) The hijiri at a dōjō must work the land with the group. 39) During ser­v ice and when in front of Chishiki, join one’s palms together; this is a demonstration of belief. 40) The noon and night ser­vices are to be performed as if they ­were [being performed] for the last time. 41) While the daytime ser­vices are being performed, do not rush to leave. 42) Sleep in the dōjō once the nighttime ser­vice is over. 43) For the noon and night ser­vices, engage your own voice in the chant. 140

Translations of Selected Texts

44) Do not personally have a nun mend your own clothing and fabric. [Clothing to be mended] must be submitted together. 6: Jishu kakocho. A sample selection of the nun entries from 1367 to 1372.12 Reproduced here vertically Entries by the tenth Yugyō hijiri, Gangu (1324–1387); the nun section. Sixth year Teiji, sixth month, eleventh day Kyōbutsubō

Same, ninth month, twenty-­sixth day Sin’ichibō

First year Ōan, Uzuki, eleventh day Kyōichibō

First year Ōan, fourth month, twenty-­second day Zen’ichibō [Kushige]

Same, fifth month, nineteenth day Dai’ichibō [Hagitai]

First year Ōan, fifth month, f­ ourteenth day Ge’ichibō [Iwano]

Same first year, seventh month, third day Shōbutsubō [Iwamatsu]

Dai’ichibō [Honchō]

Second year Ōan, ninth month, fourth day Myōbutsubō

Third year Ōan, Shōgatsu, sixteenth day Sanbutsubō

Fourth year Ōan, Shōgatsu, n ­ ineteenth day Ken’ichibō

Same, second month, eleventh day Jūbutsubō

Same, third month, eleventh day Dai’ichibō [Komazawa]

Third year Ōan, third month, twenty-­eighth day Dai’ichibō [Motonaga]

Fourth year Ōan, Shōgatsu, fifth day Shōichibō [Onomichi]

Same, fourth month, third day Shi’amidabutsu [Satomi]

Same, fourth month, eigh­teenth day Ryō’ichibō

Same, fifth month, fifth day Shō’ichibō [Roku’ura]

7. Entries one through twelve from Shinshū yōhō ki by the twenty-­ first Yugyō hijiri, Chiren 知蓮 (1460–1513).13 Chiren’s collections of tenets, Shinshū yōhō ki 眞宗要法記 (Rec­ord of impor­tant teachings of the Pure Land school), was written around 1500. It consists of forty-­three entries dealing with such ­matters as the reason and means of chanting, the time and direction of prayer, and the types and colors of clothing. To emphasize the princi­ ples and conduct of the jishū, the text weaves together quotations from vari­ous sutras, including the Mahāvairocana Sutra (大日経 Dainichi-­k yō), the Lotus Sutra (法華経 Hokke-­k yō), the Diamond Sutra (金剛経 Kongō-­k yō), and the Amitābha Sutra (阿弥陀経 Amida-­k yō). It is an intriguing document revealing the values of the leader, what teachings ­were contentious, what required clarification, 141

Appendix and the expected scholarship of the readers. Of note, Chiren refers to their school as “Ippen School” as well as “Amida-­sutra sect” (阿弥陀経宗 Amida-­k yō shū).14


We have vari­ous chants of worship in both Chinese and Japa­nese for transferring merit t­ oward attaining birth in the Amida Pure Land.15 However, we are to chant ­these out of our own volition. ­Later, taking the Amida Sutra, [we] transfer merit ­toward the founder and use that as help ­toward [entering] the kakochō. Repeat the ten nembutsu three times: first, direct it ­toward the three gate signs. This is ­because ­these are the places of worship. Next, direct it ­toward the one box. This is ­because the gods and Buddhas have vowed to protect this practice. One should thank them for their protection of the practice. Fi­nally, although the previously mentioned reasons all make pos­si­ble the transfer of merit and are virtuous acts, [the chanting] is also to be done for ­those who have made donations on that par­tic­u­lar day, and for all sentient beings throughout the universe. 2. REGARDING THE LAST TEN NEMBUTSU OF MIDDAY.

The last ten nembutsu of midday are to be held sacred. It is said in the text: “the good worshipper’s per­for­mance of worship is empty and tranquil, with no consciousness of self or ­others, it embodies non-­duality. We, together with the body of all sentient beings, desire to explain the path and give rise to the perception of enlightenment, as well as to the consciousness of the ultimate truth.” Therefore, if the ­people of the world pray to the Chishiki, then they are good worshippers. The Chishiki in return stands to pray for his disciples, thus they become ­those whom are worshipped. This idea should be held in the heart for all worship as well as during the special time [nembutsu]. One should r­ eally understand this. 3. REGARDING THE TWO REPETITIONS OF THE TEN NEMBUTSU IN THE EARLY EVE­NING AND BEYOND.

[The first of the two repetitions of] the ten nembutsu of the early eve­ning and beyond is for Sir Nikaidō of Kamakura, as the jishū are grateful ­toward him.16 Formerly, even in the extreme heat, one was not able to carry a fan; even in the utmost cold, one could not wear a hat. Now all of ­these are permitted. Also, the everyday shaving of the hair has been re142

Translations of Selected Texts

duced to once in three days. In addition, before, when a jishū crossed over to the Pure Land, its body was discarded ­either in the mountain or along the roads. Now, we can cremate [the dead jishū members]. For the sake of gratitude for ­these four considerations, our group as one are encouraged to participate in this [chanting of the ten nembutsu]. The next ten nembutsu is in accordance with the wishes of the Honorable Kamakura Shogun Chōshun’in.17 It has been from the f­ourteenth leader that this practice has been encouraged.18 The rec­ord proving this is within the grounds at Fujisawa. 4. REGARDING THE PLATFORM DANCE OF EARLY EVE­NING AND MIDDAY.

Dancing ­after the early eve­ning is done facing in the direction of ­Kumano, and is to be enjoyed in a religious way. We have this promise with the gods and our founder. To the divine message, we promise and say: ­those belonging to the Ippen School w ­ ill never make pilgrimages in front of shrines. We at all times w ­ ill not leave the dōjō but protect it. That is why the flint is placed in front of the shrine, and the fire is in the grounds. The platform dancing ­after midday is for all sentient beings down to and including ­those with leprosy. This demonstrates the expression of the princi­ple of not discriminating between ordinary beings and sages. The nembutsu dance is thus done together with every­one; it is to bring ultimate deliverance to t­ hose born in low classes. From the very beginning what is called platform dancing has been a practice of our group. As for the practice of our founder, training was ­either in the ­temple, shrine grounds, or town marketplace. Regardless of secular or lay, male or female, together all danced the nembutsu dance. From this began this performing practice.19 5. REGARDING THE HALF-­OPENED LOTUS FLOWER.

A question was asked: Other schools generally have an open lotus. In our group we are not like this, why is that? The answer in reply was: Our school takes the fundamental quality of sentient beings of this latter day world and makes them receivers of enlightenment. The fundamental qualities of t­hese sentient beings of this latter day world are ­people of the ten resultant evils and five deadly sins. Therefore, by meeting the Chishiki and by chanting the [Amida] name, their rebirth in the Pure Land ­will be certain. However, having said this, the lower of the low level take six kalpa to pass. The lowest of the low take twelve kalpa to pass. 143


Since this is a result of accumulative obstruction to the lotus-­womb, our founder had compassion for this. He revealed that within this world of ascetic practice, the “soul” is entrusted to the half-­opened lotus flower. While continually thinking about this, think well of the twelve ­great kalpa. Then, at the end of your life, the chanting of the name Amida with total conviction ­will open the flower and you ­will be reborn in the highest level. In the commentary of the Mahavairocana Sutra, a passage is noted on the half-­opened lotus flower; it says: “this is the vari­ous Buddhas and Bodhisattvas trea­sure box. Also, ­there are two stages: one is the opening of the blossom ­after it is closed; the second is the closing of the flower ­after it is open.” The truth is: the half-­opened lotus flower is the shape of the dusk and dawn of the nembutsu. 6. REGARDING THE PROMISED PRECEPTS.

In the jishū, when someone strikes the bell for the promised precepts, the Chishiki is to hold this in mind. How auspicious! This person stands before the founder, the Chishiki, and the gathered assembly; having pledged the precepts as rules of the indestructible diamond, he strikes the bell. This very action itself is equivalent to crossing over. From Amida to the Bodhisattvas and all the Buddhas and Gods, and the three trea­sures, all ­will certainly delight in it. As we look upon this person, we earnestly pray that he ­will dare not break ­these promised precepts. However, even if they are broken, from the beginning the precepts are like the diamond. They do not break ­people. Also, the Buddha, together with Chishiki, does not break them. For the above [reasons,] rebirth in the Pure Land ­will certainly be achieved. This rule is indeed the moral commandment of the Buddha. That is precisely why it is named “The precepts of the indestructible diamond.” The commandment of the concentrated diamond trea­sure mind is called the “Moral Commandments of the Buddha.” In the commentary of Yōjin no daikō it is said: “the time of striking the bell should give rise at that very moment to the adamantine absorption. For this, it is said: the kindling of faith is the state of the wondrous enlightenment.”20 The adamantine absorption is a passing from the enlightenment of the bodhisattva to that of wondrous enlightenment. During this time, the state of mindfulness is achieved.


Translations of Selected Texts

Know this! For this is the observing of the Buddha’s moral commandments. This is what we call the perfect and sudden teaching of the true mind. Now, it is said in the promised precepts: ­until the ­f uture is extinguished, one yields one’s body and life to the Chishiki. This, and only this, is the most impor­tant ­thing. How, ­after entrusting one’s body and life to the Chishiki, could selfish views arise? When one considers one’s life as one’s own possession, ­because of this, the vari­ous dharma all reside within the bound­aries of one’s own possessions. From time immemorial to this very day, the reason for being swept along and turned about in the three realms is ­because we are dependent on selfish views. At the very conscious moment of yielding the word “I” to the Chishiki, every­thing in the universe becomes selfless, and therefore, the crossing over is guaranteed. This is said to be the state of wondrous enlightenment. 7. REGARDING THE LENGTH AND SOUND OF THE NEMBUTSU.

As for the prac­ti­tion­ers of the nembutsu, it is understood that each and ­every sound and each and ­every step is directed ­toward the time of death. Having said this, [our school is] especially drawn to this time, and thus takes the state of nembutsu and directs it ­toward the last breath. Therefore, the nembutsu at the end of one’s life is to be in accordance with that person’s fundamental quality. It is to be chanted in ­either high or low voice, or made longer or shorter. ­Because of this chant, the crossing over is accomplished. Therefore, at vari­ous places, and each by each, this is to be chanted. This is specifically seen in the teachings of Hōnen Shōnin’s ritual per­ for­mance at the time of death. 8. REGARDING THE TRAVELING BETWEEN PROVINCES AND THE CHANTING THE TEN NEMBUTSU.

­ here are two ­matters concerning the chanting of the ten nembutsu and T proselytizing. First: although training is to be done in one province, the ten nembutsu is to be chanted for ­those sentient beings ­u nder affliction everywhere. Thus all desire to unite and achieve rebirth in Amida Pure Land. Second: On receiving the alms from the congregation of the province, we therefore, in return, transfer the merit of the ten nembutsu out of the desire to repay the debt we owe to the province.



In the dark with a loud voice the nembutsu is chanted in unison. Specific details are written on another page. As the Lotus Sutra states: “we are now indeed, at the ­middle of the night, about to enter nirvana. The Buddha during this night is extinguished and crossed over into nirvana, just like fire wood burning up and the fire extinguishing.” This phrase expresses this kind of idea. Beyond that, the one voice of the nembutsu and the many secret teachings are just the realm of Buddha with [other] Buddhas. 10. REGARDING THE CLOTHING FOR THE NEMBUTSU.

Someone said: the founder had encountered the supreme and extraordinary dharma and with ease of understanding departed [the common realm] and danced the nembutsu dance. He had not known that he had stepped on his hem and had pulled it down. It is since this that we have been like this. I have a copy of the Diamond Sutra; it says: “of the dharma one must abandon it. All the more so, how much more true is this for the non-­ dharma?” In our school, it is said: above the dharma, we reject the dharma and become detached from all phenomena. Thus, in our attire, we do not wear underskirts and we use five patches as our robes. For our rosary, we carry one with fifty-­four [beads]. By this, it becomes pos­si­ble to know vari­ous other ­things. 11. REGARDING THE ROBES THAT ARE SHARED BY BOTH THE MASTER AND THE DISCIPLE.

The five-­patch robe is ­either called the practice robe, the beggar robe, or the vest. ­These are con­ve­n ient for sitting or lying down in religious activities and training. That is why we wear them. It is for both the master and disciple to take the same meaning from this.21 12. REGARDING THE MASTER’S AND DISCIPLE’S GARMENT COLOR OF WHITE AND BLACK.

A question: the master’s garment is white, while the disciple’s is black; why is this? The response: the master’s garment is white ­because this is the color of the fundamental law. Being not deep and not defiled, it arrives at whiteness. Generally, the color white is the basis of all colors. All sentient beings’ internal nature, innate Buddhahood, and purity of heart


Translations of Selected Texts

are the color white. Therefore, the master’s garment returns to the innate purity, and thus has arrived at white. The commentary in the Mahavairocana Sutra says: “the accomplished enlightenment is of the color white. Namely, this is the perfect and astounding ultimate meaning.” Also, for the disciples’ garment, as they are not yet trained, it is the color black.


Notes Preface 1 Takuga, Shichidai shōnin hōgo, in Teihon Jishū shūten, vol. 2, ed. Jishū Shūten Hensan Iinkai (Fujisawa: Jishū shūmusho, 1979), 383. I found this quote in Japa­nese while reading Hattori Toshirō, Muromachi azuchi momoyama jidai igakushi kenkyu (Tokyo: Yoshikawa kobunkan, 1971). 2 My own research in Japan was made pos­si­ble by generous support from the Japan Foundation Fellowship and through the wonderful resources and scholars at the Historiographical Institute at the University of Tokyo. 3 A replica of the statue is shown to the public once ­every seven years. 4 For a discussion of tsumado jishū, see Sakai Kohei, Zenkōji shi (Tokyo: Tokyo bijutsu, 1969). Sybil Thornton discusses their roles as described in the medieval war tale Ōtō monogatari; see S. A. Thornton, “Epic and Religious Propaganda from the Ippen School of Pure Land Buddhism,” in Religions of Japan in Practice, ed. George J. Tanabe (Prince­ton: Prince­ton University Press, 1999), 185–192. Regarding the fund-­raising missions, see Hank Glassman, “At the Crossroads of Birth and Death: The Blood Pool Hell and Postmortem Fetal Extraction,” in Death and the Afterlife, ed. Jacqueline  I. Stone and Mariko Namba Walter (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2008), 181–182; Ushiyama Yoshiyuki, “Shinano  Zenkoji  shi kankei bunken mokuroku,” Jiin shi kenkyū 2 (1991). Rec­ords of Zenkōji as a hongansho 本願所 (fund-­raising mission) indicate that nuns w ­ ere associated with ­these fund-­raising campaigns from the fifteenth ­century. This continues ­today through the Daihongan convent, and the nuns heading the missions are known as Hongan-ni. ­There ­were other female campaign leaders, such as ­those from Kumano, Seiganji, and Ise Shrine. 5 For more on the Kumano religious landscape in En­glish, see D. Max Moerman, Localizing Paradise: Kumano Pilgrimage and the Religious Landscape of Premodern Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005). 6 Just as ­there was no one Ji-­sect in the medieval period, we should not assume ­these Kumano bikuni ­were only one religious order; rather, as Barbara Ruch states: “they actually belonged to several dif­fer­ent and quite separate groups.” Ruch, “­Woman to ­Woman: Kumano bikuni Proselytizers in Medieval and Early Modern Japan,” ed. Barbara Ruch, Engendering Faith: ­Women and Buddhism in Premodern Japan (Ann Arbor: Center for Japa­nese Studies, University of Michigan, 2002), 541. 149

Notes to Pages x–2 7 Akai Tatsurō, “Kumano bikuni to nagi no ha,” Nihon bijutsu kogei 571, no. 4 (1986): 58. 8 Ruch, “­Woman to ­Woman,” 540. 9 Ibid., 557. 10 This per­for­mance was one of the many events hosted in honor of Kumano, Yoshino, and Kōya being recognized as world heritage sites. 11 熊野観心十界曼荼羅 (Visualization mandala of heart and ten-­worlds of Kumano). 12 Another mandala displayed for this per­for­mance was the Nachi sankei mandara (那智参詣曼荼羅 Pilgrim to Nachi), depicting the pilgrim areas around and at the Nachi shrine in Kumano.

Introduction 1 Transcriptions use the more common form of the chin 珎 character 珍, rendering her name 珍一房. See Takuga, Jōjō gyōgi hōsoku, in Teihon Jishū shūten, vol. 1, ed. Jishū Shūten Hensan Iinkai (Fujisawa: Jishū shūmusho, 1979), 250. The handwritten entry of Chin’ichibō by Takuga uses the 珎 character. See Jishū kakochō (Fujisawa: Shojokoji, 1969), 100. 2 The jishū used the term dōjō 道場 (practice hall) for their space of training ­until the seventeenth ­century, when the use of tera/ji 寺 (­temple) became the standard term, which is still applied to the Ji-­sect ­temples ­today. Chin’ichibō’s leadership w ­ ill be discussed in chapter 1. 3 By the medieval period, I refer to the period from the late twelfth ­century to the sixteenth c­ entury. 4 Both an individual and the group itself ­were known as jishū in the medieval era. The characters used w ­ ere 時 (time) and 衆 (congregation). The Ji-­shū, Ji-­sect or Time Sect, use the characters for time (時) and sect (宗). In this book, when referring to the Ji-­sect, the capital letter J and a hyphen ­will be used (Ji-­shū); to indicate the individuals as well as the vari­ous groups of the medieval period, jishū ­will be used. 5 The six periods of worship to Amida Buddha was initiated by Shandao 善導 (613–681), one of the patriarchs in the Chinese Pure Land tradition. Worship to Amida Buddha was to be carried out over a full day, which was divided into six periods: three daytime periods and three nighttime periods. 6 On this point, see Wakita Haruko, Josei geino no genryū (Tokyo: Kadokawa shoten, 2001); Amino Yoshihiko, Chūsei no hinin to yūjo (Tokyo: Akashi shoten, 1994). 7 The most common compound for miko ­today is 巫女, containing the character “female.” Other compounds are 御子, 神子, or 巫子. The first noted miko in 150

Notes to Pages 2–7 Japan is Himiko  or  Pimiko  (卑弥呼), recorded as the shaman queen of the country of Wa or Yamatai in Chinese sources from the third c­ entury. 8 See, for example, Amino Yoshihiko, Hyohaku to teichaku: Teiju shakai heno michi (Tokyo: Shogakkan, 1984); Gorai Shigeru, Yugyō to junrei (Tokyo: Kadokawa shoten, 1989); Hagiwara Tatsuo, Miko to bukkyoshi: Kumano bikuni no shimei to tenkai (Tokyo: Yoshikawa kōbunkan, 1983). 9 It is also known by the title Ippen shōnin eden 一遍上人絵伝 or Rokujō engi 六条縁起. 10 Barbara Ruch, “Obstructions and Obligations: An Overview of the Studies That Follow,” in Engendering Faith, xliii. 11 Imai Masaharu, “Ippen to jōsei,” Kokubungaku kaishaku to kansho 69, no. 6 (June 2004): 133–139. He argues that they ­were included ­because of the appeal of their chanting voices and how the combination of both male and female voices in the chanting of the nembutsu would attract a larger crowd. This article is similar to what he had written in Imai Masaharu, Ippen to chūsei no jishū (Tokyo: Daizō shuppan, 2000), 26–35. The section is titled “Ippen to jishū no ama oyobi josei” (Ippen and jishū nuns and ­women). 12 The archipelago ­here encompasses the islands known ­today as Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu. 13 They do not use the term biku 比丘 or bikuni 比丘尼. 14 See Wakita Haruko, “The Japa­nese ­Women in the Premodern Merchant House­hold,” trans. G. Rowley, ­Women’s History Review 19, no. 2 (2010): 259–282. 15 See Lori Meeks, Hokkeji and the Reemergence of Female Monastic ­Orders in Premodern Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2010). 16 Bernard Faure, The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender (Prince­ton: Prince­ton University Press, 2003), 329. 17 Minomoto Arifusa, Nomori no kagami, in Shinkō gunsho ruijū, vol. 21, ed. Kawamata Kei’ichi (Tokyo: Naigai shoseki kabushiki geisha, 1930), 248. For a discussion of the visuals in Tengu-­zōshi emaki of Ippen and jishū, see Kuroda Hideo, Sugata to shigusa no chūsei shi (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 2002), 23–44. See also R. Keller Kimbrough, “Nomori no kagami and the Perils of Poetic Heresy,” Proceedings of the Association for Japa­nese Literary Studies 4 (2003): 99–114.  18 Examples of such jishū are found throughout medieval texts. One example appears in The Tale of the Heike, in the chapter that describes Taira Shigemori (1138–1179) constructing a building for the purpose of entry into Pure Land. The building was divided into forty-­eight sections, and in each section six jishū ­were established to chant the nembutsu. ­These jishū, totaling 288 members, ­were selected from among the ladies-­in-­waiting serving the Heike and other nobles of the court. See Hayashi Yuzuru, “Ippen no hikitsureta mondeshi, jishū ni tsuite,” in Chūsei no jiin taisei to shakai, ed. Nakao 151

Notes to Pages 7–10 Takashi (Tokyo: Yoshikawa kōbunkan, 2002), 92. Referencing Kajihara Masaaki and Yamashita Hiroaki, eds., Heike monogatari [The tale of the Heike], vol. 3, in Shin nihon koten bungaku taikei, vol. 44 (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1991), 341–342. Sybil Thornton also comments that the text Teikin ōrai shō (complied ­a fter 1444) remarks on this ser­v ice as a Yugyō school jishū ser­v ice.  S.  A. Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation in Medieval Japan (New York: Cornell East Asia Series, 1997), 67. Another example is found in Mujū Ichien’s 無住一円 (1226–1312) Tsuma kagami 妻鏡 (Mirror for ­women), where he mentions establishing jishū specifically for the purpose of uninterrupted nembutsu per­for­m ance. Hayashi, Ippen no hikitsureta mondeshi, 94. See also Onozawa Makoto, “Jishū towa nanika I,” Jishū Bunka 1 (April 2000): 46. 19 Many kanjin hijiri carried with them a kanjin-­cho 勧進帳 (register book of donors) and recorded the names of ­those who contributed to the proj­ect at hand. This created a tangible and symbolized karmic connection, along with the concept of a community of the saved. 20 James H. Foard, “Prefiguration and Narrative in Medieval Hagiography,” in Flowing Traces: Buddhism in the Literary and Visual Arts of Japan, ed. William R. LaFleur (Prince­ton: Prince­ton University Press, 1992), 91. 21 Lori Meeks, “The Disappearing Medium: Reassessing the Place of Miko in the Religious Landscape of Premodern Japan,” History of Religions 50, no. 3 (2011): 253. 22 Ibid., 232. For a discussion of miko and festivals, see Wakita Haruko, Josei geinō no genryū, 27–70. 23 Wakita Haruko, Josei geinō no genryū, 70. The festival took place in 1271 at Takajin shrine 高神社 in current Ide-­cho, south of Kyoto. 24 Based on the annual events held at Ōga estate, from the archives of the Ōga Daimyōjin shrine in current Wakayama prefecture. See Meeks, “The Disappearing Medium,” 232–233. The less formal per­for­mances are noted as sarugaku 猿楽 (monkey ­music) and dengaku 田楽 (field ­music), which ­were juggling and acrobatic shows with song, dance, and recitations. 25 Ryōnin taught that one’s recitation of the nembutsu influenced all ­others, that the continual ritual recitation of the nembutsu was not only to accrue merit for the individual but for the benefit of every­one. 26 Kōbō Daishi 弘法大師 is the posthumous name of Kūkai 空海 (774–835), the founder of the Shingon school of Buddhism. 27 Jacqueline Stone, “The Secret Art of ­Dying: Esoteric Deathbed Practices in Heian Japan,” in The Buddhist Dead: Practices, Discourses, Repre­sen­ta­tions, ed. Bryan  J. Cuevas and Jacqueline  I. Stone (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007), 154.


Notes to Pages 10–11 28 Classifications of the nembutsu as well as debates on the efficacy of the vari­ ous nembutsu practices ­were discussed by scholar-­monks. Broadly, the practices w ­ ere contrasted between contemplative nembutsu and vocal nembutsu, with vocal nembutsu being perceived as suited for beginner prac­t i­ tion­ers. The Kegon kyō 華厳経 (Avataṃsaka-­s ūtra) distinguishes nembutsu practices into four types: the vocal invocation of the Buddha’s name (shōmyōnen), the contemplation of the Buddha’s image and realm (kanzōnen), the contemplation of the characteristics of the Buddha or realm (kansōnen), and the contemplation of suchness ( jisōnen). James L. Ford, Jōkei and Buddhist Devotion in Early Medieval Japan (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 114–115. 29 Nishiguchi Junko, Onna to hotoke: Kodai no josei to bukkyō (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1987), 239–245. 30 For a scholar’s portrait, see Kakuban’s “Ichigo taiyō himitsu shū,” in Kōgyō Daishi senjutsu shū, ed. Miyasaka Yūshō (Tokyo: Sankibō Busshorin, 1989), 157–176. For literary tales, see the collection found in Royall Tyler’s Japa­nese Tales (New York: Pantheon Books, 1987). 31 William E. Deal, “­Women and Japa­nese Buddhism: Tales of Birth in the Pure Land,” in Religions of Japan in Practice, ed. George J. Tanabe (Prince­ton: Prince­ ton University Press, 1999), 177–184. 32 Ibid., 178. 33 Ford, Jōkei and Buddhist Devotion, 165. Mappō 末法 (degenerate age of the latter day Dharma) was a belief that the Buddha’s teachings would degenerate over three phases, and the final “end of the Dharma” for Japan was calculated to begin with the eleventh ­century. Among Hōnen’s contemporaries, ­there ­were many who reflected the unfortunate events surrounding them as part of this stage of mappō. Of the three stages, the first stage was the period of true law. During this period, the Buddha’s dharma could be taught and practiced, and enlightenment could be attained. The second stage was that of semblance law, during which only the teaching and practice ­were pos­si­ble. In the third stage, mappō or the latter law, only the teaching remained. Belief in this degeneration of the Buddha’s teaching led many monks, such as Hōnen and Shinran, to emphasize reliance on the other-­ power, tariki 他力, such as that of Amida Buddha, since nobody was believed capable of attaining awakening through one’s own efforts, jiriki 自力. 34 Buddhist prac­ti­tion­ers of the time can largely be categorized into two branches: the traditional and orthodox Shōdōmon 聖道門 monks, and the Tōnseimon 遁世門 monks, which deviated from the orthodox schools. The Tōnseimon monks, such as Zen monks, Ritsu monks, and the nembutsu prac­ti­tion­ers, are considered to have helped spread the Buddhist teachings to the general populace. The term hijiri (or shōnin) was predominantly given


Notes to Pages 12–13 as a designation for the Tōnseimon monks. The term was used both as an honorific designation and as a common noun, referring to and implying low-­ranking wandering monks. Hayashi Yuzuru, “Nihon zendō eno yugyō to fusan,” in Yugyō no sutehijiri, Ippen, ed. Imai Masaharu (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 2004), 76. 35 For more details on hijiri, especially kanjin hijiri and their activities, see Janet R. Goodwin, Alms and Vagabonds: Buddhist ­Temples and Pop­u­lar Patronage in Medieval Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1994). 36 ­There are other examples; Chikan bikuni traveled around in 1477, seeking funds to rebuild the Shinzō shrine. See Shinjō Tsunezō, Shaji sanmō no shakai keizaishiteki kenkyū, shinkō (Tokyo: Hanawa shobo, 1982), 108–109. See also Katsuura Noriko, “Ōrai henreki suru joseitachi,” in Tennō to ōken wo kangaeru, ed. Amino Yoshihiko (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 2002), 62–64. 37 On ­these points, see Wakita Haruko, Josei geino no genryū; Meeks, “The Disappearing Medium.” 38 Miko included t­ hose with stationary residence who had connections with monastic elites and could be wealthy and in­de­pen­dent. They w ­ ere hired by institutions and had influential and wealthy clients. On this point, see Meeks, “The Disappearing Medium.” On the other spectrum, Yung-­Hee Kim states, “With the craze for pilgrimage ever accelerating, the vicinity of shrines where pilgrims and worshipers converged away from home was fertile ground for miko to carry on prostitution.” Kim, Songs to Make the Dust Dance (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), ­6. 39 Yung-­Hee Kim suggests the arukimiko combined their religious function with prostitution and entertainment. Kim, Songs to Make the Dust Dance, 7. The Ryōjin hishō, a collection of imayō songs collected in the twelfth ­century, contains songs with the regional descriptions. The popularization and spread of the imayō songs has been attributed to the ­women who led itinerant lifestyles. 40 Kuroda Hideo, Sugata to shigusa, 75–105. 41 Ibid., 78–87. 42 Meeks, “The Disappearing Medium,” 223. 43 On this point, see James Dobbins’s study of Shin Buddhism through the letters of Shinran’s wife, Eshinni. James C. Dobbins, Letters of the Nun Eshinni: Images of Pure Land Buddhism in Medieval Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2004). 44 Meeks, “The Disappearing Medium,” 259. 45 Lori Meeks, Hokkeji, chap. 5. 46 Known as Chishiki kimyō 知識帰命 (vows of devotion to the chishiki), to be discussed in chapter 3.


Notes to Pages 14–17 47 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgo, in Teihon Jishū shūten, vol. 1, ed. Jishū Shūten Hensan Iinkai (Fujisawa: Jishū shūmusho, 1979), 131. The title of the letter is “E’chukoku Yoshie dōjō.” 48 Also referred to as Ippen shōnin engi-­e 一遍上人縁起絵 or Yugyō shōnin ekotoba den 遊行上人絵詞伝. 49 Hijiri-­e makes no mention of a successor to Ippen’s group; on the contrary, it states that Ippen ceremoniously burned his writings and declared that “my teachings are for one lifetime only,” suggesting that Shōkai did not intend to create a religious order based on Ippen’s teachings. The goal or message of the scroll by Shōkai was, as Miya Tsuguo states, to portray the “­human-­ness” of Ippen. The Engi-­e, however, highlights Shinkyō as the natu­ral and chosen successor of Ippen’s mission and displays Ippen with the qualities of a religious cult founder. In the Engi-­e it is implied that, even before Ippen’s death, Shinkyō was regarded as the potential successor of Ippen. See Miya Tsuguo, “Ippen hijiri-­e to Yugyō shōnin engi-­e,” in Ippen hijiri-­e to chūsei no kōkei, ed. Ippen kenkyū kai (Tokyo: Arina shobō, 1993), 193; Miya Tsuguo, “Yugyō shōnin engi-­e no seiritsu to shohon wo megutte,” in Nihon emakimono zenshū 23 (Tokyo: Kadokawa shoten, 1968), 7. 50 ­There appears to be a pattern distinguishing the usage of the butsu 佛 and of the butsu 仏 character found at the end of the ~amidabutsu name for the members and leaders. Writers address o ­ thers with the ~ 佛 character, but sign their own name with the ~仏 character. See the photocopies of the correspondences by the leaders in Chōrakuji no Meihō, (Kyoto: Kyoto National Museum, 2000), 20–37. 51 In a letter to Chitoku by Shinkyō from Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 125. 52 Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation, 48. 53 William Farris, for example, states that Japan was one of the most urbanized areas in the world at the time. Kyoto had the largest number of inhabitants at 200,000, Hakata in Kyushū had 40,000, and an area near the current Osaka had 30,000. He explains that the demographic expansion was a direct result of a general decrease in mortality and of higher infant survival rates. William Wayne Farris, Japan to 1600: A Social and Economic History (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2009), 141.

Chapter One: Female Leaders and Gendered Spaces 1 The itinerant holy man’s visit and interaction with Chin’ichibō and the subsequent transfer of the leadership of Okunotani to Yugyō jishū is recorded in Takuga, Jōjō gyōgi hōsoku, in Teihon Jishū shūten, vol. 1, ed. Jishū Shūten Hensan Iinkai (Fujisawa: Jishū shūmusho, 1979). A translation of this encounter is provided in the appendix.


Notes to Pages 17–21 2 The six periods of the day was based on the understanding that daytime and nighttime ­were divided into three periods each. 3 It is located in current Ehime prefecture in Matsuyama city in the Dōgo Yutsuki-­cho. This location was the setting for Natsume Sōseki’s novel Botchan. It is also believed to be near Ippen’s birthplace. 4 Takuga, Jōjō gyōgi hōsoku, 250. A translation of this introduction is in the appendix. 5 Ibid. 6 ­There is no mention of itinerancy in this document. 7 Takuga, Jōjō gyōgi hōsoku, 251. 8 Hot springs have long been associated with medicinal qualities. The legends of Dōgo Onsen revolve around its healing ability, as it is believed to have healed the kami Sukunahikona no Mikoto from illness as well as an injured ­egret. 9 Ami-­robe, 阿弥衣 amie, amigoromo, or amiginu was the religious robe worn by jishū. 10 Takuga’s numerous theoretical works became impor­tant reference for the order. He is believed to be a cousin of the famous Zen master Musō Soseki 夢窓疎石 (1275–1351). See Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation, 80. 11 Takuga, Takuga shōnin hōgo. In Teihon Jishū shūten, vol. 2, ed. Jishū Shūten Hensan Iinkai (Fujisawa: Jishū shūmusho, 1979), 360. The letter in question is titled “Inquiry by leave of a certain lady.” The four modes of birth, shishō 四生, are being born from a womb, from an egg, from moisture, and through metamorphosis. The twenty-­five states of existence, Nijūgo-­u 二十五有, is the pro­ cess by which an unenlightened sentient begins to transmigrate through the twenty-­five sub-­realms of the three realms. The desire realm has fourteen existences, the form realm has seven existences, and the formless realm has four existences. Inagaki Hisao, A Dictionary of Japa­nese Buddhist Terms (Kyoto: Nagata bunshodo, 1985), 306, 229. 12 In this way, Takuga employed the same paradigm used by Hōnen and Nichiren 日蓮 (1222–1282): by first focusing on texts that emphasize w ­ omen’s inferiority, and then assuring them of their salvation by chanting the name Amida Buddha. 13 Found in Takuga, Shichidai shōnin hōgo, 383. We ­will discuss this letter in chapter 2. 14 Takuga, Jōjō gyōgi hōsoku, 251. The term for “means” is ki 機. The definition provided in the Jishū jiten is “sentient beings; in accordance to the law of the Buddha.” See Jishū Shōmushō, ed., Jishū jiten (Fujisawa: Jishū shōmushō kyogakubu, 1989), 81. 156

Notes to Pages 22–25 15 Henrietta  L. Moore, Space, Text and Gender: An Anthropological Study of the Marakwet of ­Kenya (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 125. 16 On this point, see Edward Soja, who states: “Space itself may be primordially given, but the organ­ization, use, and meaning of space is a product of social translations, transformation and experience.” Soja, Postmodern Geographies (New York: Verso, 1989), 80. Building on concepts from Henri Lefebvre, Soja further postulates that “the spatial organ­ization of ­human society is an evolving product of ­human action, a form of social construction arising within the physical frame of ubiquitous, contextual space but clearly distinguishable from it.” Soja, “The Socio-­Spatial Dialectic,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 70 (June 1980): 210. 17 Daphne Spain, Gendered Spaces (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992), 7. 18 Ibid., 3–7. 19 Ibid., 233. 20 ­There is another building, just out of sight but connected to the central structure by a covered hallway. One can detect enough clues to assume this building is the h ­ ouse of ­those in charge of the ­temple. 21 Hanging in the center is a framed carving with the inscription “Saieji” 西江寺 (­temple of the West bay). T ­ hose who paid attention to the stone carving outside the gate ­w ill be puzzled by the name change. Somewhere along the way, from the carving of this frame in 1354 to the refurbishment of the ­temple in 1965, the ­temple’s name was transformed from the ­temple of the West bay to the t­ emple of the West inland. This change likely indicates the new surroundings, as no doubt the development and landfill shifted the ­temple “back” to the inland. 22 For the structural layout of the dōjō, see Itō Nobuo, “Jishū no kenchiku,” Bukkyo geijutsu, no. 185 (1989): 104–111. The central object was often a scroll with the six characters representing Amida Buddha. Also common ­were the Amida triads statues or an Amida statue. 23 See photo on p. xvi of the spatial layout of Masuda Dōjō, Manpukuji. The spatial divisions of Masuda Dōjō and Onomichi Dōjō are the same. Itō, Jishū no kenchiku,108–111. 24 Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation, 78. 25 This allocation of separate nun and monk sides in the dōjō can be seen in the Engi-­e pictorial scroll. Such division is not found in the Hijiri-­e scroll. 26 For details of the dōjō rules, see Ōhashi Shunnō, Jishū no seiritsu to tenkai (Tokyo: Yoshikawa kōbunkan, 1973), 160–174. 27 Shinkyō, Shōsoku hōgo, ed. Ōhashi Shunnō, Jishū niso Ta’a shōnin hōgo (Tokyo: Ōkura shuppan, 1975), 8. 157

Notes to Pages 25–26 28 Ibid. 29 The twelve belongings ­were (1) bowl (for food) 引入 hikiire; (2) chopsticks container 箸筒 hashizutsu; (3) Ami-­robe 阿弥衣 amie (amigoromo); (4) stole 袈裟 kesa; (5) summer robe 帷 katabira; (6) hand cloth 手巾 shukin; (7) sash 帯 obi; (8) paper robe 紙衣 kamiko; (9) prayer beads 念珠 nenjū; (10) robe 衣 koromo; (11) wooden clogs 足駄 ashida; and (12) hood 頭巾 zukin. Jishū Shōmushō, ed., Jishū jiten, 171. For an image of the box, see Miya Tsuguo, Yugyō shōnin engi-­e, 68. For a discussion on the individual pieces and their religious significance according to Ippen’s philosophy, see Kobayashi Mamoru, “Jodokyo to jūnikōbutsu,” Meiji daigaku Nihon bungaku 15 (1987): 1–11. 30 See, for example, the letter to Shi’amidabutsu of Umeda. Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 143. 31 Ibid. 32 Ibid., 194. 33 Spain, Gendered Spaces, 27–29. 34 Also involved ­were Kyō’a 教阿, Ritsu’a 立阿, Jo’a 助阿, and Fujiwara Hirosada 藤原広貞. For a picture and transcription of this, see Saigō-ji hondō oyobi sanmon shūri innkai, ed. Jūyō bunkazai Saigōji hondō oyobi sanmon shūri kōji hōkokusho (Kyoto: Beinridoo, 1965), 3. 35 I have been unable to locate this. ­There is reportedly a Saieji ki (rec­ord of Saie ­temple), but not even the head priest was aware of this document or able to locate it. The years given for her association are during the Jōji years (1362–1368), and the daiku (patron/carpenter) was named Takeda Banshō. Onomichishi-­shi, jokan (Kyoto: Onomichishi yakusho, 1939), 764. 36 Ibid. Subsequent Onomichi city histories have reported the same; see Aoki Shigeru, ed., Onomichi-­shi, vol. 6 (Onomichi: Onomichi yakusho, 1977), 72. 37 Geo­g raph­i­cally, the distance between Onomichi and Sagata ­castle is not that far, making it plausible that some connection could have existed. Sagata ­castle was maintained by the Miyauji clan, which held power in the southern Bingo region. ­After 1552, the Arachi clan, a branch of the Miyauji, oversaw the ­castle ­until 1591, when Mōri took direct control. On Hiroshima prefecture, see Nihon rekishi chimei taikei and Kadokawa Nihon chimei daijiten. 38 The Jishū kakochō (death register) reveals that the Yugyō hijiri visited Onomichi roughly ­every ten years ­until the fifteenth ­century. Entries of ­t hose who ­were conclusively from Onomichi Dōjō are listed ­here, along with the year of the visit: 1342, Shaku’amidabutsu; 1363, Mi’amidabutsu; 1372, Shō’ichibō; 1378, Sono’amidabutsu and Sen’amidabutsu; 1381, Sen’amidabutsu; 1387, Sono’amidabutsu and Shō’ichibō; and  1399, Sono’amidabutsu and Sen’amidabutsu. Since the male dōjō leader held the Sono’amidabutsu designation, we can surmise that Dai’ichibō became the 158

Notes to Page 27 fourth leader in 1387 and passed away sometime a­ fter the commission of the gate in 1395 and before 1399. From Jishū kakochō (Fujisawa: Jishū kyōgaku kenkyūjo, 1969). For the monk entries, see pages 27, 35, 41, 44, 49, 57, and 59, respectively. For the nuns, see pages 169 and 173. The entries on Sen’amidabutsu read “Onomichi Oku,” suggesting another dōjō. Sen’amidabutsu was likely the title for the dōjō leader for this Oku Dōjō in Onomichi. While ­there are entries of Dai’ichibō during this period, none refer to Onomichi. ­There is one entry from 1398—4th month, 3rd day with the words Saru kuyō (see page 176). 39 Story told during an interview at Saigoji, December 2­ 004. 40 Onomichishi-­shi, jokan, 765. 41 It survives from 1374 and is located in current Shimane prefecture, Masuda city. Negita Shūran notes the name of this dōjō as Seiryū Dōjō. See Negita Shūran, Jishū no teradera (Shizuoka: Mishima shuppan, 1980), 377. 42 The main difference of the structure of the two buildings is that Masuda Dōjō is larger than Onomichi Dōjō. The outer dimensions for Masuda Dōjō are roughly 17 by 17 meters, whereas ­those of Onomichi Dōjō are roughly 15 by 14 meters. See Itō Nobuo, “Jishū no kenchiku.” 43 As of 2015, Google Earth allows you to view this garden and the inside of the ­temple, including the trea­sure rooms. 44 The separation of the monks and nuns by this box can be found in the Engi­e scroll. See, for example, the “scenery of Misaka pass” and “betsuji ser­vice at Taima” in Miya Tsuguo, Yugyō shōnin Engi-­e, 29, 68. 45 Itō Nobuo, “Jishū no kenchiku,” 109. It is difficult to compare the spatial layout of the jishū dōjō with other con­temporary dōjō of the time due to deficiencies of information and surviving buildings. Chion-in Seishidō in Kyoto survives from 1530 and is perhaps a representative example of a con­ temporary non-­jishū Amida practice hall. This hall resembles the jishū dōjō in the layout of the three sanctuaries. However, ­there is a significant distinction. A door (shitomido) divides the inner sanctuary from the rest of the hall. This suggests that access to the central Buddha figure, as well as to the leader, was limited within the Chion-in Seishidō. A physical barrier like the one found in Chion-in does not appear to have been part of the jishū dōjō. Although it would have been easy to install a door, the structural history of the two surviving jishū dōjō from the ­fourteenth ­century suggests that ­there was never a divider to obstruct the full view of the center. One can speculate from this absence of partitioning that the spatial arrangement of the jishū dōjō never denied ­either side access to the center area despite the institution of the right–­left divide. 46 See, for example, William M. Bodiford, Sōtō Zen in Medieval Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1993). 159

Notes to Pages 28–33 47 Kanai Kiyomitsu has carefully traced many medieval Yugyō school jishū practice halls and found that most jishū dōjō ­were located on or near principal highways and waterways and along prominent pilgrimage routes. See Kanai Kiyomitsu, Jishū kyōdan no chihō tenkai (Tokyo: Tokyo bijutsu, 1983). 48 Regent Toyotomi Hideyoshi 豊臣秀吉 (1536?–1598), for example, ordered the Buddhist schools to each provide one hundred members to participate in his ancestors’ memorial ser­vices. The list for the Buddhist sects, in order of prominence, was Shingon, Tendai, Ritsu, Five mountain Zen, Nichiren, Pure Land, Yugyō, and Ikkō. See Tokitsunekyōki 言経卿記 entry on year 1595, 9th month, 25th day. Onozawa Makoto, Chūsei jishū shi no kenkyū (Tokyo: Yagi shoten, 2012), 114, 115. 49 Kai’amidabutsu, Bōhishō, in Teihon Jishū shūten, vol. 2 (Fujisawa: Jishū Shūmusho, 1979), 719–731. See appendix for more translations from Bōhishō. This entry can be found on page 729. 50 Meeks, Hokkeji, 213.

Chapter Two: Itinerant Path 1 See, for example, Amino, Hyōhaku to teichaku. 2 聖, 勧進聖, 高野聖, 巫女, 歩き巫女, 傀儡, 琵琶法師, 瞽女, 絵解き, 大原女, and 声 聞師. 3 See Gorai Shigeru, Kōya Hijiri (Tokyo: Kadokawa shoten, 1965). 4 Bridge building was particularly significant, for a bridge was believed to connect this world with the divine and supernatural forces. 5 See Shinjō Tsunezō, Shaji sanmō no shakai keizaishiteki kenkyū, shinkō (Tokyo: Hanawa shobo, 1982). For specific female kanjin activities, see Katsuura Noriko, “Ōrai henreki suru joseitachi,” in Tennō to ōken wo kangaeru, ed. Amino Yoshihiko (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 2002), 62–64. 6 Miko ­were also known to travel with male partners. 7 For a discussion on the history of puppeteers in En­glish, see Jane Marie Law, Puppets of Nostalgia: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of the Japa­nese Awaji Ningyō Tradition (Prince­ton: Prince­ton University Press, 1997). See also Terry Kawashima, Writing Margins: The Textual Construction of Gender in Heian and Kamakura Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), part one, “Female Entertainers.” 8 Biwahōshi ­were men; goze, ­women. 9 For more on etoki, see Ikumi Kaminishi, Explaining Pictures: Buddhist Propaganda and Etoki Storytelling in Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2006). 10 For more on female itinerant performers in the medieval period, see Wakita Haruko, Josei geino no genryū.


Notes to Pages 33–34 11 Exceptions to this mode of drifting ­women can be found in tales relating to the famous tenth-­century poet, Izumi Shikibu, or to the Japa­nese Cinderella tale of Chūjōhime. For Izumi Shikibu, see Kimbrough, Preachers, Poets, ­Women and the Way. For stories of Chūjōhime, see Monika Dix, “Writing ­Women into Religious Histories” (PhD diss.); Hank Glassman, “Show Me the Place Where My ­Mother Is!” in Approaching the Land of Bliss: Religious Praxis in the Cult of Amitabha, ed. Richard K. Payne and Kenneth K. Tanaka (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2004). Noh plays such as Kashiwazaki, Miidera, and Sakuragawa portray crazed solitary ­mothers who ­were separated from their ­children. This separation leads them into “craziness,” and they wander the medieval roads searching for their ­children. In most cases, when the ­mother is re­united with her child her craziness dissipates. For beggar nuns, Hosshinshū 発心集, compiled by Kamo no Chōme 鴨長明 (1153–1216), includes the stories “The ­Matter of a Servant of the Shijō Empress Putting a Curse on a Person and Becoming a Beggar” and “The ­Matter of a ­Mother Becoming Jealous of Her ­Daughter and the ­Mother’s Fin­gers Turning into Snakes.” Both tell how the root cause of a ­woman’s deterioration is her jealousy. Terry Kawashima discusses this story’s theme of jealousy and notes, “The narrative focuses on the satisfaction of revenge, and the candid comment at the end, ­‘there is nothing to be done,’ suggests that even a regretful heart is useless.” Kawashima, Writing Margins, 268. Regarding tales of ­women in the Pāli Canon, see David B. Griffiths, Buddhist Discursive Formations. Keywords, Emotions, Ethics (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2004), chapter 5. 12 Another diary, Gaun’nitsu kenroku, mentions a similar, if not the same, nun (entry 1449, 7th month, 26th day). He notes that he has heard that an old nun around eight hundred years old from the Wakasa region entered Kyoto. Wealthy ­people had to pay one hundred sen; ­those without rank had to pay ten sen to be allowed entrance to her hut. Also in Setsutsunakyō ki (1449, 6th month, 8th day), the author notes that an eight-­hundred-­year-­old shira bikuni visited the palace. The author sees this as most bizarre and assumes it is a bad omen. Apparently she was supposed to visit the next day as well but never showed up. For more on the old shira bikuni, see Tokuda Kazuo, “Ikei no Kanjin bikuni,” in Chūsei henrekimin no sekai, ed. Amino Yoshihiko (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1990), 102–119. See also Hank Glassman, who connects t­ hese diary entries with the fifteenth-­century tale titled Hitsuketsu no monogatari (The brushmaker’s tale). Glassman, “At the Crossroads of Birth and Death,” 182–183. 13 Christina Laffin, “­Women, Travel, and Cultural Production in Kamakura Japan: A Socio-­Literary Analy­sis of Izayoi Nikki and Towazugatari” (PhD diss., Columbia University, 2005), 48. Saeko Kimura offers another theory: that Nijō sought and collected salvation narratives, outside the canonical


Notes to Pages 34–37 Buddhist doctrines, in a search for salvation of the sexual ­woman. Kimura Saeko, “Regenerating Narratives: The Confessions of Lady Nijō as a Story for ­Women’s Salvation,” Josai University: Review of Japa­nese Culture and Society 19 (December 2007): 87. ­There ­were many female courtier writers predating Lady Nijō. The diary by Sugawara no Takasue no Musume, which includes a rec­ord of her three month journey taken as a young girl in the early 11th ­century, is one example. See The Sarashina Diary: A ­Women’s Life in Eleventh-­ Century Japan, trans. Sonja Arntzen and Itō Moriyuki (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014). 14 Her husband was Fujiwara Tameie 藤原為家 (1198–1275), a renowned poet and compiler of imperial poem anthologies. 15 Karen Brazell, The Confessions of Lady Nijō (New York: Anchor Press and Doubleday, 1973), 197. 16 Ibid., 235. 17 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 147. The mention of Shōichibō appears in “Words from the shōnin to priest and laymen,” a collection of vari­ous short entries by Shinkyō. Each segment begins with “And it was said.” The translation ­here is the full entry concerning Shōichibō. 18 In medieval Japan, unknown visitors to villages ­were often considered incarnations of Buddhas, bodhisattvas, or descendants of gods (kami). As such, ­there was an expectation for the visitor to provide goods or ser­vices of practical benefit for the community he or she had entered. “Extraordinary visitor” is a translation of marebito まれびと. For a discussion on the presence of marebito in medieval Japan, see Amino Yoshihiko, particularly in “Futatsu no shiten,” in Hyōhaku to teichaku, ed. Amino Yoshihiko (Tokyo: Shogakkan, 1984), 156. A translation of this chapter can be found in Amino Yoshihiko, “Medieval Travelers: Two Points of View,” trans. David Eason, Josai University: Review of Japa­nese Culture and Society 11 (December 2007): 14–29. See also Goodwin, Alms and Vagabonds, 139. Kyōraku Mahoko states that religious mendicants w ­ ere welcome to live in the residence of the aristocracy. Kyōraku Mahoko, “Taking the Tonsure in Eleventh ­Century Heian-­kyō: Buddhism, ­Women, and the City,” in Gender and Japanese History, vol. 1, ed. Wakita Haruko, Anne Bouchy, and Ueno Chizuko (Osaka: Osaka University Press, 1999), 18. 19 An especially common form of hijiri was the kanjin hijiri; as mentioned previously, they ­were monks who sought donations from all levels of society throughout the country. Kanjin hijiri performed valuable tasks for the visiting community: building or restoring bridges and ­temples, dispensing charity to the poor, and burying the dead. 20 Yugyō shōnin engi-­e, vol. 8, sec. 4, 79. Three versions of this scene are on plate number 7. 162

Notes to Pages 37–39 21 Found in Shōkai, Ippen hijiri-­e, vol. 5, sec. 4, 5­ 1. 22 Tengu-­zōshi, in Nihon emakimono zenshu, vol. 27 (Tokyo: Kadokawa shoten, 1978), 65–66. 23 Kanai, Ippen to jishū kyodan, 123. 24 Shinmura Taku discusses the healing power of the nembutsu and that not properly chanting the nembutsu was seen as the cause of illness. “Jishū yugyō hijiri ni okeru yamai,” in Ippen hijiri-­e to chūsei no kōkei (Tokyo: Arina Shobō, 1993), 161. 25 Kai’amidabutsu, Bōhishō, 727. 26 Ibid., 725. 27 This public medical treatment fa­c il­i­t y was established in 1287 on the grounds of Gokurakuji 極楽寺 in Kamakura. The fa­cil­i­t y ­housed a Hall of the Medicine Buddha, a clinical treatment building, separate lodgings for the ill and for leprosy sufferers, a bath­house, a medicine dispensary building, and other facilities. It was, as Goble, states: “the most sophisticated and extensive medical fa­cil­i­t y in Japa­nese history to that time.” Andrew Edmund Goble, Confluences of Medicine in Medieval Japan: Buddhist Healing, Chinese Knowledge, Islamic Formulas, and Wounds of War (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2011), 19. Goble further notes the substantial access to resources, including ­those from China that the physicians of Gokurakuji enjoyed. It held elite patronage and had the economic bases to support its activities and ser­v ices. Ibid., 20. 28 Translated by Goble, in Confluences of Medicine, xviii. Twenty years or so l­ ater, he wrote a longer medical work titled Man’anpō 萬安方, this one in Chinese. Close to one-­third of the book was devoted to obstetrics and pediatrics. See Goble, Confluences of Medicine, 41–45. 29 See, for example, Hattori Toshiyō. Muromachi azuchi momoyama jidai igakushi kenkyu. 30 Ihon odawara ki, in Kokushi sōsho 3, ed. Kurokawa Mamichi (Tokyo: Kokushi kenkyū kai, 1915): 359–360. This passage is recorded in the renga poetry section (found in chapter 1) and refers to the highly accomplished renga poet known as Ai’a from Odawara, Fukuda t­ emple. 31 太平記, 大塔物語, 明徳記. Taiheiki, Chronicle of G ­ reat Peace is a historical tale recounting the de­cades of conflict, ­battles, and po­liti­cal maneuvers between the Northern and Southern Court during the f­ourteenth ­century. Written almost contemporarily, this epic tale informs us of the importance warriors placed on having the last ten nembutsu administered for a chance of rebirth in paradise. Taiheiki rec­ords several instances of a Yugyō school jishū providing the last ten nembutsu to fallen warriors, such as Hitomi On’a Homma Kuro Suketada and Okamoto Shinano no kami Tomotaka. See 163

Notes to Pages 39–42 Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation, 101–105. For the jishū in Ōtō monogatari, see Thornton, “Epic and Religious Propaganda from the Ippen School of Pure Land Buddhism,” in Religions of Japan in Practice (Prince­ton: Prince­ton University Press, 1999), 185–189. For a discussion of Meitokuki, see Thornton, “Meitokuki: Spirit Pacification and Po­liti­c al Legitimacy in the Late Medieval Japa­nese Epic,” History Compass 12, no. 7 (July 2014): 550–558. 32 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 174. 33 Translation from Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation, 101. From Ankoku shōjo, in Kondaiji collection found in Ōhashi, Ippen. 34 See, for example, Shōjōkōji pamphlet and Takano Osamu, ed. Yugyō-­ji (Fujisawa: Shōjōkōji, 2004); Hattori, Muromachi azuchi momoyama jidai igakushi no kenkyū, 447. 35 Jikū, “Yugyō jūichidai Ta’a shojo,” in Chōrakuji no Meihō, ed. Kyoto National Museum (Kyoto: Kyoto National Museum, 2000), 70. Also in Jikū, Shichijō monjo, in Teihon Jishū shūten, vol. 1, ed. Jishū Shūten Hensan Iinkai (Fujisawa: Jishū shūmusho, 1979), 397. 36 Ibid. Thornton also offers a translation of this edict. Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation, 181. 37 Jikū, Shichijō monjo, 397. 38 Ibid., 396. 39 See Takuga, Shichidai shōnin hōgo, 383; and Chitoku, Shichijō monjo, 396. 40 Rec­ords by the Kinsōi texts give us some examples of the medical practices on the battlefield. For example a weapon would be removed from a wound with ointment (tomon), followed by the application of ninjin (radix ginseng) and/or amagusa (radix glycyrrhizal) to stop the bleeding. Then the wound would be washed with hakka (peppermint), ōhako (plantago asiatica), and/ or dokudami (chameleon plant—­houthuynia cordata), and, if necessary, the wound would be sewn together. In the case of wounds to the intestines, the area would be carefully washed, and the excrement of a child or baby applied as a plaster. See Fujikawa Yū, Tōyō igaku: Igaku bunka shi, vol. 1 (Kyoto: Shibunkaku shuppan, 1980), 183; Hattori Toshiyō, Muromachi azuchi momoyama jidai igakushi kenkyū (Tokyo: Yoshikawa kobunkan, 1971), 279. In En­g lish, see Goble, Confluences of Medicine. 41 Sekai Daihyakka jiten (World encyclopedia), entry on kinsōi, p. 604, by Souda Hajime (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1972); Hattori Toshiyō, Muromachi azuchi momoyama, 263. 42 ­There ­were many monk-­physicians in the ­fourteenth ­century led by Zen monks as well as jishū. Shinmura, Kodai iryō kanninsei no kenkyū, 351. However, Andrew Goble’s research on kinsōi and combat medics does not men164

Notes to Pages 43–46 tion the involvement of jishū prac­ti­tion­ers. Although physicians with the -­a designation cannot be assumed to be jishū, it does suggest that ­these physicians ­were not from ­house­holds traditionally associated with medicine. The names of physicians from the Muromachi period included Sho’a, physician to Ashikaga Yoshiakira (1330–1367); and Su’a, physician to emperor Shōkō (1401–1428). We also know of a kinsō physician, Raku’a, a h ­ ouse vassal of Uramatsu Sukeyasu, who attended the wounds inflicted on Sanjō Genshi, consort of Go-­En’yū (1358–1393). Other known physician names are Shō’a, Sei’a, and Ku’a. Bon’a from Sōrinji is identified as a jishū optician in Rokuon nichiroku (Daily recording from Rokuon). The Jishū kakochō lists a few specialists involved in healing and medicine. 43 Takuga, Shichidai shōnin hōgo, 383. Thornton translates toku as “same principal.” See Charisma and Community Formation, 183. 44 Luis Frois (1532–1597), a Portuguese Jesuit missionary who arrived in Japan in 1563, wrote down his impressions of Japan in comparison to Eu­rope. One entry states, “Our nuns ordinarily do not go outside of the convent: The bikuni (nuns) of Japan are always ­going out, sometimes visiting military camps.” A translation of Frois’s commentaries can be found in Clive Willis, “Captain Jorge Álvares and F­ ather Luís Fróis,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 22, no. 2 (2012): 391–438. 45 The painter of the Hijiri-­e is recorded as En’I 円伊. 46 For example, see Sunagawa Hiroshi, ed. Ippen hijiri-­e no sōgōteki kenkyū (Tokyo: Iwata shoin, 2002); Jishū shōmushō, ed., Jishū jiten (Fujisawa: Jishū shōmushō kyogakubu, 1989), 242, 245. 47 Kanai Kiyomitsu, “Ippen no tennō-ji fusan to koshoku,” in Sunagawa Hiroshi, ed. Ippen hijiri-­e no sōgōteki kenkyū (Tokyo: Iwata shoin, 2002), 12–15. 48 Miya, “Yugyō shōnin engi-­e,” 7. 49 Chitoku, “Yugyō sandai Chitoku shōnin shōjo,” in Chōrakuji no Meihō (Kyoto: Kyoto National Museum, 2000), 23 and 67. 50 元亨釈書. Marian Ury, “Nuns and Other Female Devotees in Genkō Shakusho,” in Engendering Faith: ­Women and Buddhism in Premodern Japan, ed. Barbara Ruch (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2002), 191. Genkō Shakusho was presented to Emperor Go-­Daigo in 1322. 51 Minomoto Arifusa, “Nomori kagami,” in Shinkō gunsho ruiju, vol. 21, ed. Kawamata Kei’ichi (Tokyo: Naigai shoseki kabushiki gaisha, 1930), 248. 52 Tengu zōshi, in Nihon emakimono zenshu, vol. 27 (Tokyo: Kadokawa shoten, 1978), 90. 53 Takeda Sachiko, “Yosoi no hyōshiki,” in Chūsei no kōkei, ed. Asahi shinbun gakugeibu (Tokyo: Asahi shinbunsha, 1994), 274. Reporting on a point made during one of the study sessions on the Ippen hijiri-­e. 165

Notes to Pages 46–52 54 An intriguing bathing scene is found in the Konkōji version of the Engi-­e, vol. 9, sec.  1. To purify themselves for their pilgrimage to Ise Shrine, the jishū are depicted bathing themselves in a river. Although separated by a bridge, both monks and nuns are naked in the river. Yugyō shōnin engi-­e; see plate 17. 55 Except for one scroll, which is not explicit. See Miya, “Yugyō shōnin engi-­e,” 13. 56 For a color picture of this vertical Engi-­e, see Jishū no bijutsu to bungei, 64. 57 Shinkyō, Shōsoku hōgo, 8. 58 Bukkyōgo daijiten defines Yuggō as: The travel engaged in by monks for the purpose of teaching ­people and receiving alms. It also means the religious travel of training and self-­sacrifice. See page 1379. 59 Chitoku, Yugyō sandai Ta’a shojo, 67–68. 60 Chitoku, Shichijō monjo, 392. 61 When Chitoku passed away, Shinkō, the chosen successor to Taima Dōjō by Chitoku, was pres­ent at Chitoku’s death. Shinkō was well connected with the Hōjō families but had not participated in yugyō. The Hōjō ­family held governmental power during the Kamakura period. 62 Chitoku, Yugyō sandai Ta’a shojo. 67–68. 63 Ibid. 64 Ibid. 65 Chitoku, Shichijō monjo, 392. A translation of this letter is in the appendix. 66 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 125. 67 Chitoku, Yugyō sandai Chitoku shōnin shojō, 392. Also in Chōrakuji no Meihō, 67–68. A photocopy of the original letter can be seen on pages 22–23. 68 Ibid., 392. 69 Ibid. 70 Ibid. 71 Ibid. 72 Ibid., 394. 73 This and the preceding excerpt are from Chitoku, Yugyō sandai Chitoku shōnin shōjo, 394. Also in Chōrakuji no Meihō, 68. A photocopy of the original letter can be seen on page 24–25. Umetani in Chūsei yugyō shōnin to bungaku offers another interpretation, suggesting that Gen’ichibō remained in the itinerant mission even a­ fter the successor changed from Chitoku to Donkai and continued to find ways to prepare food for the mission when food was scarce. 74 Farris, Japan’s Medieval Population, 128. 166

Notes to Pages 53–55 75 Ibid., 142. See also Farris, Japan to 1600, 92. 76 One memorable scene depicted in the Hijiri-­e (as well as in the Engi-­e) is the handing out of food by the jishū and laity in a large circle eating together. 77 For example, 北野天神縁起 Kitano tenjin engi, 餓鬼草紙 Gakizōshi, 融通念仏縁起 Yūzu nembutsu engi, and 彦火火出見尊絵巻 Hikohohodeminomikoto emaki. Kitano tenjin engi, in Nihon emaki taisei, vol. 21, ed. Komatsu Shigemi (Tokyo: Chuokoron sha, 1978); Gakizōsh, jigokuzōshi, yamai no sōshi, kusōshi emaki, in Nihon emaki taisei, vol. 7, ed. Komatsu Shigemi (Tokyo: Chuokoron sha, 1977); Yūzu nembutsu engi, in Zoku nihon emaki taisei, vol. 11, ed. Komatsu Shigemi (Tokyo: Chuokoron sha, 1983); Hikohohodeminomikoto emaki, urashima myōjin engi, in Nihon emaki taisei, vol. 22, ed. Komatsu Shigemi (Tokyo: Chuokoron sha, 1979). 78 Regarding childbirth and the notion of kegare (pollution), see Hitomi Tonomura, “Birth-­Giving and Avoidance Taboo: W ­ omen’s Body versus the Historiography of Ubuya,” Japan Review 19 (2007): 3–45. One mention of kegare from the Yugyō school relating to ­women’s menstrual cycle is found in the Engi-­e scroll. Provided as evidence of Shinkyō’s mystical powers, he enters the Ise Shrine complex with his mixed-­gender jishū without concern or consequence for the menstruating nuns. Yugyō shōnin engi-­e, 80. 79 産生類儒聚抄, Ken’a was a monk from Shōmyōji in Kamakura. See Sugitatsu Yoshikazu, Osan no rekishi (Tokyo: Shueisha, 2002), 79. Rec­ords of birth of the Ashikaga ­family, titled Osanjo nikki 御産所日記, recorded births within the Shogun’s ­house­hold from 1434 to 1560 and included the names of the physician, the religious attendants, and the location of the birth. Sugitatsu Yoshikazu, Osan no rekishi, 94. 80 Wakasugi Junji, “Konrenji zō, Jō’a shōnin eden ni tsuite,” in Kyoto National Museum Bulletin, no. 4 (March 1982): 143. Jō’amidabutsu’s date of birth is also given as 1275, see Jishū jiten, 177. 81 Also known as Saionji Neishi (Yasuko) 西園寺 寧子, ­mother of Emperor Kōgon 光厳天皇 and Emperor Kōmyō 光明天皇. Emperor Go-­f ushimi 後伏見天皇 (1288–1336) reigned as emperor from 1298 to 1301. 82 For the story of the delivery, see Wakasugi, “Konrenji zō, Jō’a shōnin eden ni tsuite,” sec. 11, 161. Available online through the Kyoto National Museum website. 83 Takuga, Shichidai shōnin hōgo, 383. 84 The ­fourteenth Yugyō hijiri Taikū, for example, explic­itly banned ­children conceived by jishū from becoming part of the order. Also, within the travel rec­ord of Song Hŭi-­g yŏng (1376–1446) from 1420, we are informed that should a jishū nun become pregnant, she would return to her ­family’s home. ­After the child was delivered, she would once again return to the dōjō. See chapter 5. 167

Notes to Pages 55–59 85 See Andrew Goble, “War and Injury: The Emergence of Wound Medicine in Medieval Japan,” Monumenta Nipponica 60, no. 3 (Autumn 2005): 297–338. He provides a few examples where the texts confirm the parallels in treatment of wounds and that relating to childbirth. Also in connection to injury specialists and the Ton’ishō, Goble states, “What is quite striking is that a considerable amount of information relevant to the treatment of ­battle injury derives from the treatment of ­women’s medical needs, which ­were in the normal course of events accorded much attention.” Goble, Confluences of Medicine in Medieval Japan, 105. 86 Ibid. Kinsōi texts from the ­fourteenth ­century are Kinsō ryōji shō 金瘡療治 (On healing incised wounds), written around 1357; and Kihō 鬼法 (Decom. formulas) from 1391. Both are collections of treatments and care for battlefield wounds, gathered mostly through oral sources and traditions. Kinsō ryōji shō, for example, states that the work was derived from information from several hundred ­p eople who had gained experience in treating wounds from the Genkō era, 1331–1334. Goble notes a few examples of treatments given in t­ hese texts that relate to postpartum treatment. Section 44 of the Kinsō ryōjishō, on the topic of ingested medicine for wounds, suggests the Japanese “white medicine” as a good treatment for postpartum delirium. Entries in Kihō recommend for constipation due to wounds and childbirth the use of fresh rehmannia. Also medicine for purging blood may be used for wounds and blood wellings during pregnancy and childbirth. Goble, Confluence of Medicine, 108. Other Kinsōi texts are Kinsō Hiden 金瘡秘伝 ­(Secrets of Kinsō) from 1510 and Gairyo Saizan 外療細塹 (Detailed look on surgical treatment) from 1607. Several kinsōi became specialists in midwifery once the ­battles ­were over.

Chapter Three: ­Fourteenth-­Century Mixed-­Gender Practice Halls 1 Riverbanks w ­ ere a common area for p ­ eople to abandon the sick and deceased. Farris, Japan’s Medieval Population, 91. 2 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 174. 3 Ibid., 135. ­There is a name Ko’ichibō recorded in the nun section of the death registry, dated Kagen 3, 8th month, 14th day, which may be the same Ko’ichibō as in this letter. 4 The following is recorded in Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 142. He notes that she is from the practice hall of nun San’ichibō 三一房. 5 Ibid. 6 See Kanda Chisato, “Chūsei no dōjō ni okeru shi to shukke,” Shigaku zasshi 97, no. 9 (1988): 1–35. 7 Ibid., 3. Kanda Chisato’s research into the dōjō space concludes that dōjō ­were a space where one expected to achieve gokuraku ōjō, “Birth in the Land 168

Notes to Pages 60–62 of Utmost Bliss (of Amida Buddha),” ­after death. For a definition of dōjō and tera, see Nakamura Hajime, Bukkyogo daijiten, shukusatsu-­ban (Tokyo: Tokyo shoseki, 2000), 1015, 978. See also Inagaki Hisao, A Dictionary of Japa­nese Buddhist Terms, 486. 8 Katsuura Noriko has analyzed medieval ­women’s hair-­cutting practices in relation to the social roles of nuns and suggested the dif­fer­ent roles taken on by nuns who styled their hair in full tonsure, in partial tonsure, or in a ­simple cropping. See Katsuura Noriko, “Tonsure Forms for Nuns: Classification of Nuns according to Hairstyle,” in Engendering Faith: ­Women and Buddhism in Premodern Japan, ed. Barbara Ruch (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2002), 109–130. 9 Ruch, “The Other Side of Culture in Medieval Japan,” 509. 10 It was also common for a ­woman to take the tonsure out of religious devotion and still maintain connection with her f­ amily and marriage. 11 Katsuura Noriko, Onna no shinjin (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1995), 150–153. Also mentioned in Meeks, Hokkeji, 11. 12 Nishiguchi Junko, ed. Nihonshi no naka no josei to bukkyō (Kyoto: Hozokan, 1999), 166. 13 Ibid. See also Ushiyama Yoshiyuki, “Buddhist Convents in Medieval Japan,” in Engendering Faith: ­Women and Buddhism in Premodern Japan, ed. Barbara Ruch (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2002). 14 Such as the collection of tales titled The Three Jewels (Sanbōe 三宝絵), composed in 984. 15 It was common for court w ­ omen to fashion their own ritual traditions based on their matrilineal ­family lineages. See Brian D. Ruppert, Jewel in the Ashes: Buddha Relics and Power in Early Medieval Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000), 214–229. 16 Bikuni gosho referred to places where ­women of the highest classes resided once they took the tonsure. A nunnery, a hermitage, a practice hall—­ whatever style of building, it served to allow the elite ­women to continue living in the privileged environment even ­a fter entering the religious order. 17 Meeks, Hokkeji, 112–116. 18 Adolphson, “The Doshu,” 268. 19 The five obstacles, goshō or itsutsu no sawari 五障, is often paired with the concept of the three obediences, sanju 三従, whereby w ­ omen are to obey three groups of men: ­father, husband, and son. The goshō sanju concept is believed to have had a discriminatory impact on w ­ omen’s salvation. For a comprehensive study of ­women and Buddhism in premodern Japan, see Ruch, Engendering Faith. 169

Notes to Pages 62–67 20 It was not u ­ ntil the nineteenth ­century that w ­ omen ­were allowed on ­these monastic grounds. 21 The nuns at Hokkeji proved instrumental in the development of nunneries of the Ritsu sect elsewhere—­for example, Kodaiji was founded by Shinjo (?–1299), a nun from Hokkeji. Active in raising money and participating in activities of the Saidaiji, Kodaiji was the “most power­f ul convent next to Hokkeji in the Saidaiji lineage.” Hosokawa Ryoichi, “Kamakura Period Nuns and Convents: Exploring Hokkeji Convent,” trans. Micah Auerback, in Gender and Japa­nese History, vol. 1, ed. Wakita Haruko, Anne Bouchy, and Ueno Chizuko (Osaka: Osaka University Press, 1999), 39, 42. Kodaiji burned down during the Onin war (1467–1477) and was never restored. 22 See Nomura Ikuyo, Bukkyō to onna no seishin shi (Tokyo: Yoshikawa kobunkan, 2004), 153–154. Nomura notes that the concept of “rescuing” ­women based on discrimination starts off with men praying for their m ­ other’s souls. Most ­were interested in praying for the soul of their parents, husband, and child, as well as their own. 23 The Hijiri-­e renders Ippen watching a miko per­for­mance at Ikushima shrine in Aki Province. The variety of activities associated with the term miko, from divination, dance, song, to roles as healers, has created a complex image, and therefore it is a challenge to define and identify them. See Meeks, “The Disappearing Medium.” 24 Several jishū committed suicide ­after Ippen’s death. 25 See Yugyō shōnin engi-­e, 72. 26 The Engi-­e reports this as Ippen’s words, contradicting the teachings of Ippen portrayed in the Hijiri-­e. 27 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgō, 162. 28 Amino, Chūsei no hinin to yūjo, 187. 29 Ōdo Yasuhiro, Nihon chūsei kyoiku shi no kenkyū (Tokyo: Azusa shuppan, 1998), 226. 30 Ibid., 424, 224. Ōdo is referencing Utsunomiyake shikijo. 31 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgō, 130. According to the Yugyō shōnin engi-­e, Shinkyō did not travel to current Hiroshima during his itinerant mission. 32 Ibid. 33 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 140. 34 Ōhashi suggests this to be Kyōonji 教恩寺 in Shizuoka prefecture. Ōhashi, Jishū niso Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 69. 35 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgō, 144. 36 Ibid. 37 Ibid., 119, addressed to monk Kon’amidabutsu. 170

Notes to Pages 68–71 38 Ibid., 135. A translation of this letter is also in the appendix. Nakajō is believed to be from Echigo Province, Naka no numa Gun, Nakajō; current Niigata prefecture, Tōkamachi. Ōhashi, Jishū niso Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 46. Jonathan Todd Brown makes reference to this letter in pages  440–444 of “Warrior Patronage, Institutional Change, and Doctrinal Innovations in the Early Jishū” (PhD diss., Prince­ton University, 1999). He suggests that Ryū’ichibō and Hō’butsubō ­were Dai’ichibō’s ­daughters or other close relations. 39 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgo 135. 40 Ibid. 41 Ibid. 42 ­There are four letters addressed to Shimojō Dōjō; one is addressed directly to Bo’ichibō, one to monk Hi’amidabutsu, and two to monk Ren’amidabutsu. See Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 131, 200, 194 and 195. 43 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgo,131. 44 Ibid., 195. 45 Ibid. 46 Ibid. For another example, see Shinkyō’s reply and answer to Sō’amidabutsu in Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 139. 47 Ibid. 48 For more on this point, see Ethan Segal, Coins, Trade, and the State: Economic Growth in Early Medieval Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011), 166. William Farris remarks that between 1251 and 1300 alone, the amount of tribute items made into cash was six times more than just a half ­century earlier. Farris, Japan to 1600, 121. 49 Shokunin utaawase is an imaginary poetry contest about commoners by the elite members of society. Composition of a poem accompanied an illustration of an urban dweller’s occupation, be it woodcutter, metalworker, fortune-­ teller, or gambler. One of the oldest is the Tōuhoku’in Poetry Contest among Persons of Vari­ous Occupations (Tōhoku’in Shokunin Utaawase Emaki 東北 院職人歌合絵巻), from the thirteenth ­century. Perhaps the most famous is the Poetry Contest among Persons of Vari­ous Occupations in Thirty-­Two Rounds (Sanjūniban Shokunin Utaawase Emaki 三十二番職人歌合絵巻), from the late fifteenth c­ entury. 50 For more on this letter, see Segal, Coins, Trade, and the State, 175. For other examples of female merchants, see Wakita Haruko, “The Japa­nese ­Women in the Premodern Merchant House­hold,” 259–282. 51 See Kanai, Jishū no chihō tenkai. 52 See, for example, Amino Yoshihiko, Muen, kugai, raku, zokan (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1996). He mentions this point in vari­ous other publications as well. 171

Notes to Pages 72–76 53 Ōhashi suggests this “Nun of Nasu” was the wife or ­mother of one of the Utsunomiya clan. Ōhashi, Jishū niso Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 429. 54 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 142. 55 The letter discussing this sponsor–­jishū member can be found in Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 158. 56 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgō, 158. 57 Ibid. 58 Ibid., 158. 59 The letter is addressed “Reply to Katsumata’s Kaibutsubō.” Ōhashi Shunnō suggests this is the Katsumatsu region in Tōtōmi Province, ­today’s Shizuoka prefecture. Ōhashi, Jishū niso Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 106, 149–156. Shinkyō’s poet friend Fujiwara (Katsumata) Nagakiyo 藤原(勝田)長清, also known as Shōamidabutsu 証阿弥陀佛, was from a power­f ul warrior f­ amily, and he is believed to have commissioned the jishū ­temple Katsumata Shōjōji. The identity of Lord Yamamoto, however, remains unknown, as does the connection between Shōamidabutsu and Kaibutsubō. Neither Shōamidabutsu nor Kaibutsubō (nor Ji’amidabutsu, believed to be Shōamidabutsu’s son) is recorded in the Jishū kakochō ( jishū death register). However, as Ishida Yoshihito states, the Katsumata clan had its own death registry and likely recorded its f­ amily and clan members in that death register. Ishida Yoshihito, Ippen to jishū (Kyoto: Hōzōkan, 1996). In the Jishū kakochō, the first appearance of the name Kaibutsubō is in 1356, noted as Kaibutsubō from Echigo Sanjō, in current Niigata prefecture; therefore, she is unlikely to be the same person. The next notation of Kaibutsubō is in 1379; ­u nless she lived to an extremely old age, this entry indicates a dif­fer­ent Kaibutsubō. 60 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 158. 61 Brown in “Warrior Patronage” takes this letter as evidence that female dependents of a warrior patron used the dōjō as a refuge in order to retain some authority and wealth. In Kaibutsubō’s case, it does appear that the death of Lord Yamamoto led her to take the tonsure and reside in the dōjō. Brown, “Warrior Patronage,” 364. 62 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgo, 147. 63 For more on Mugai Nyōdai, see Ruch, Engendering Faith, and Mōhitotsu no chūseizō. 64 Meeks, Hokkeji, 1. 65 Robert Borgen, “A History of Dōmyōji to 1572 (or Maybe 1575): An Attempted Reconstruction,” Monumenta Nipponica 62, no. 1 (2007): 44. 66 Ibid., 43.


Notes to Pages 77–81

Chapter 4: Practice Halls of Kyoto 1 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgō, 162. 2 Ibid., 188. 3 While the city planning of the capital was initially arranged in the eighth ­century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi conducted extensive urban planning for Kyoto in the sixteenth c­ entury. 4 The terms kamigyō and shimogyō appear from the late thirteenth ­century. Before that, the area to the north was called the upper area, kamino watari 上辺, and the lower area was known as shimono watari 下辺. 5 Translation from Pierre Souyri, The World Turned Upside Down (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001), 114. 6 See Jeffrey P. Mass, “Of Hierarchy and Authority at the End of Kamakura,” in The Origins of Japan’s Medieval World: Courtiers, Clerics, and Peasants in the ­Fourteenth ­Century, ed. Jeffrey P. Mass (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997), 17–38. 7 For more on this, see Matthew Stavros, “The Sanjō bōmon ­Temple-­Palace Complex,” Japan Review, no. 22 (2010): 3–29. 8 Ibid., 11. Shirakawa area is around ­today’s Okazaki. 9 The Yugyō school used the Northern Court periodization in its documentation. 10 Kai’amidabutsu, Bōhishō, 719–731. See appendix for more translations from Bōhishō. Surviving copy is from 1775. The rec­ords ­were preserved within the Shichijō Dōjō, Kyoto—­the Yugyō school headquarters in Kyoto. An introduction to this Bōhishō was made in 1775 at the Hyōgodai Dōjō (Shinkōji), the resting place of Ippen, in pres­ent-day Hyogo prefecture. The entry in Jishū jiten (Jishū dictionary) provides the following description: “This is a document warning against the unlawful be­hav­iors between the jishū monks and nuns. . . . ​Taking examples from sutras it forbids any and all contact between ­women, including physical touching of hands or exchange of material goods.” Focusing on the sexual conduct alone, it neglects to mention the numerous other issues and prohibited actions unrelated to sex. 11 In the ceremonies and rites derived from Buddhist scriptures, the reading of this Chinese character is rai. In the ceremonies and rites relating to Daoism, it is read rei. Nakamura Hajime, Bukkyogo daijiten, sukusatsu ban, 12th ed. (Tokyo: Tokyo shoseki, 2000), 1437. 12 Kai’amidabutsu, Bōhishō, 722. 13 Ibid. 14 Ibid.


Notes to Pages 82–86 15 Ibid., 723. 16 Ibid., 722. 17 Ibid. “Patron” (tōnin 頭人); “officers” (yakunin 役人). 18 This was expressed by the forty-­eighth Yugyō hijiri, Fukoku 賦国 (1656– 1711), in 1697. He stated that all jishū groups outside the Yugyō order ­were corrupt jishū ­because the monks and nuns lived together. Fukoku, Jishū Yōryakufu, in Teihon Jishū shūten, vol. 2, ed. Jishū Shūten Hensan Iinkai (Fujisawa: Jishū shūmusho, 1979), 1217–1231. 19 Kai’amidabutsu, Bōhishō, 729. 20 Takuga, Tōzai sayō shō, in Teihon Jishū shūten, vol. 2, ed. Jishū Shūten Hensan Iinkai (Fujisawa: Jishū shūmusho, 1979), 733. More translated entries are available in the appendix. 21 Entries can be found in Takuga, Tōzai sayō shō, 736, 738. ­There is also an entry that forbids the jishū from leaving the dōjō to warm up elsewhere ­because they are cold (p. 739). 22 Ibid., 736, 737. 23 Betsuji 別時 (betsuji nembutsu 別時念佛) is the practice of uninterrupted chanting of the nembutsu for one, seven, ten, or ninety days. The Betsuji nembutsu banchō 別時念佛番帳 is a list indicating the names of t­ hose performing the ritual ser­vice. The oldest surviving list was recorded by Shinkyō in 1306. It shows five groups, each with fourteen members, and a sixth group with eigh­teen members. The practice of organ­izing the members into six groups, for both monks and nuns, continued well into the sixteenth ­century. A list from 1721 indicates that the members for the betsuji ritual included close to two hundred members, with forty-­eight monks, forty-­eight nuns, and additional groups composed of lay members. See Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation, 66–67. 24 Takuga, Tōzai sayō shō, 738, 733, 739. 25 Ibid., 736. 26 Ibid., 738. 27 The popularity and belief surrounding the importance of the last ten nembutsu can be seen throughout the Taiheiki. Not all instances are directly related to jishū of the Yugyō school; however, Nagasaki Dōjō or Shōnenji, in current Fukui prefecture, is one example (chap. 20). ­Here, eight jishū take the body of Nitta Yoshisada 新田義貞 (1301–1338), a general of the Southern Court, to Nagasaki Dōjō for burial, whereupon many of his men also entered the practice hall, assumingly becoming jishū monks. 28 See Stavros, “The Sanjō bōmon ­Temple-­Palace Complex,” 3–29. On the warriors’ influence and commercial development of Shimogyō district, see section titled “A Warrior Enclave in Shimogyō” (p. 17). Also Matthew Stavros, 174

Notes to Pages 86–90 Kyoto: An Urban History of Japan’s Premodern Capital (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2014). 29 Takuga, Tōzai sayō shō, 738, 739. 30 Ibid., 738. 31 Ibid., 739. 32 Ibid., 738. 33 Ibid., 733. 34 Ibid., 733, 734, 735, 736, 738, 739. 35 Also known as Kankikōji 歓喜光寺. 36 Fire appears to have damaged or destroyed the structure several times in the ­fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, including in 1347, 1379, 1419, 1428, 1434, 1436, and 1490. 37 On this point, see Hayashi Yuzuru, “Nanbokuchoki ni okeru Kyoto no jishū no ichidoki,” Nihon rekishi, no. 403 (December 1981): 43–44. 38 Negita Shūran, Jishū no teradera, 340. 39 Hayashi, “Nanbokuchoki ni okeru.” 40 This diary was designated as an Im­por­tant Cultural Property in 2004. For a study of mortuary rituals through this text, see Itō Yuishin, “Moromoriki ni miru chūsei sōsai bukkyō” and Karen M. Gerhart, The Material Culture of Death in Medieval Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2009), section 2: “Funerals in the Fifteenth C ­ entury.” 41 Nishiguchi Junko has noted the jishū nuns’ provisions of rituals for Moromori’s parents; see Nishiguchi, Hotoke to Onna, 233–238; also in Chūsei no josei to bukkyō, 20–25. 42 See entries for the year 1345 in Nakahara Moromori, Moromori-­ki, in Dainihon shiryō, vol. 2, ed. Tokyo daigaku hensanjo (Tokyo: Tokyo University Press, 1983). The all-­night chanting can be found on page 784, 5th and 6th days. 43 Not to be confused with the way the term was used in the Yugyō school. ­Here, it implies a teacher of Buddhism. 44 See entry for the 8th month, 23rd day, in 1345. Nakahara, Moromori-­ki, 3:166. 45 Ibid., 3:244. Also see entry for the 11th month, 18th day, in 1345, in which they come over to discuss the upcoming ser­vices. 46 Ibid., 1:48. Entry for 11th month, 23rd day, in 1339. 47 For the fire he rec­ords on the 12th month, 18th day in 1347: “This night during the Hour of the Boar (9–11pm) Sixth Ave­nue Karasuma burned down. Sixth Ave­nue Miamidabutsu’s 弥阿弥陀佛 practice hall burned down. In addition many of the residences of the warriors ­were burnt down.” Ibid., 175

Notes to Pages 91–95 4:220. Regarding the decline in health of the leader on the 2nd month of the 13th day in 1364, he reports the arrival of the nun Ka’ichibō reporting the news to his ­house­hold. Ibid., 7:38. 48 Ibid., 1:271. Also in 3:19 and 4:57. 49 Ibid., 4:207. 50 Ibid., vol. 3. See, for example, entry for 11th month, 23rd day in 1345. Moromori’s f­ ather’s name is Morosuke 師右. 51 Ibid., 3:274. See entry for the 2nd month, 5th day, in 1346. 52 Ibid., 4:102. “­Today, Keibutsubō did not accompany the entry. It is said she has headed to the southern capital. The other nuns attended.” As Lori Meeks has demonstrated in her examination of nuns from the Hokkeji, ­there was a wide and active network of Ritsu nuns in Nara. Meeks, Hokkeji, chap. 5. 53 Documents describe several dissimilar funeral ser­vices for the men and ­women of the elite society of Kyoto. The most notable difference is the gravesites and the ser­vice in front of the grave. See Itō Yuishin, “Moromoriki ni miru chūsei sōsai bukkyō”; Gerhart, Material Culture of Death, 47. 54 For more on the Nakahara clan, see Imae Hiromichi, “Hōke Nakahara shi keizu kōshō,” in Shoryōbu kiyō, vol. 27. 55 See Hayashi Yuzuru, “Nanbokuchoki ni okeru,” 43. 56 For a detailed list, see Takano, Ji-­shu kyōdan shi, 73–90. 57 See, for example, Nakahara, Moromori-­ki, 3:99, 3:127, 3:167, 3:199. Her ser­ vices are also frequently noted in volume 4. 58 Ibid., 1:257. Entry 2nd month, 18th day, 1340: “­Today, Jō’amidabutsu’s disciple Myōichibō arrived.” Subsequent leaders of this jishū school w ­ ere also given the Jō’amidabutsu name. 59 This biography can be found in Jō’a shōnin den, in Teihon Jishū shūten, vol. 2, ed. Jishū shūten hensan i’inkai (Fujisawa: Jishū shūmusho, 1979). 60 Wakasugi Junji, “Konrenji zō, Jō’a shōnin eden ni tsuite,” Kyoto National Museum Bulletin, no. 4 (March 1982): 143–145. 61 This incident is recorded in the con­temporary court diary Kanmon-­gyōki. Entry is on the 8th month, 11th day, in 1424. A summary of the entry is as follows: “11th day. Clear sky. Regarding the fire at Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall. Apparently it was done on purpose, by [members of the Fourth Ave­ nue Practice Hall] themselves. It was triggered by the [forced] conversion of the Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall to be a subtemple of the Seventh Ave­nue Practice Hall, by ­orders of the lord himself. . . . ​The Fourth Ave­nue Shōnin was powerless in refusing and it is said he had received the ten nembutsu by the Seventh Ave­nue Shōnin. ­Because of this, the Fourth Ave­nue crowd all


Notes to Page 95 expelled their Shōnin.” Found in Kanmon nikki, in Zoku gunsho ruiju, hokan 2: Kanmon gyōki, jō (Tokyo: Heibunsha, 1999), 450. 62 Wakasugi, “Konrenji zō, Jo’a shōnin eden ni tsuite,”143–145. 63 Ibid. 64 One of the best renditions of this Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall can be found in the Rakuchū rakugai-­zubyōbu, known as the Rekihaku “B” version, from the National Museum of Japa­nese History. 65 According to Jishū Shijō-ha matsudera chō 時宗四条派末寺帳 (List of the branch ­temples of the Fourth Ave­nue ­school), ­there ­were eigh­teen branch practice halls in the Kyoto vicinity, fifteen in current Shiga prefecture, nine in current Aichi prefecture, five in current Hyogo prefecture, and five in modern Osaka area. Of ­these, four practice halls ­were of par­tic­u­lar importance to the Fourth Ave­nue school: Sakai Shijō Dōjō 堺四条道場 or Injōji 引接寺 in Sakai; Zentsūji 善通寺 in Amagasaki; Kinomoto jizōin 木之本地蔵院 or 浄信寺 Jōshinji in Shiga prefecture; and Kamei Dōjō 亀井道場 or Enpukuji 円福寺 in Nagoya. 66 A list created in 1692 mentions four Fourth Ave­nue jishū ­temples in Amagasaki (Kaiganji 海岸寺, Shōfukuji 正福寺, Zentsūji 善通寺, and Hōkōji 宝光寺). Although its origins are unknown, Hōkōji is recorded as having been established before 1624, with its first leader being Nan’ichi 南一. The second leader went also by the name Nan’ichi, and the third leader was Shōichi 生一. At the time of the recording in 1692, it was uninhabited. See Chiiki kenkyū shiryō kan, “Genroku gonen Amagasakicho jisha aratame cho utsushi,” Chiikishi kenkyū 27, no. 1 (1997): 44–46. T ­ oday, only Zentsūji remains as a Ji-­sect ­temple. See Negita, Jishū no teradera, 426. 67 Established in 1333 or 1334. Genroku gonen Amagasakichō jisha aratame chō 元 禄五年尼崎町寺社改め帳 (Revised list of ­temples and shrines from the town of Amagasaki, 1692) begins the rec­ord of the establishment of Kaiganji as follows: “Jishū: Branch ­temple of Kyoto Konrenji. Seiryūzan, Kaiganji. Current priest Naga’ami. This ­temple is said to have been established by Sei’ichi bikuni 西一比丘尼 over three hundred and sixty one years ago in the era of Shōkyō. The subsequent second and third leaders are unknown. Three hundred years ago in the era of Meitoku, the monk Rin’ami [became the head] priest, second head priest Gen’ami, third head priest Naga’ami . . .” Chiiki kenkyū shiryō kan, ed., Genroku gonen Amagasakichō jisha aratame chō utsushi, 44. In Setsuyō gundan 摂陽群談 from 1701, it is explained that Kaiganji was built by Sei’ichi bikuni who wanted to appease the spirit of Hadano Takebun, a warrior of the Northern Court. His gravesite was believed to be located in this ­temple ground. His tombstone is now in a Ji-­sect ­temple, Zentsūji in Amagasaki. See Kaiganji entry in Amagasaki chiikishi jiten, ed. Amagasakishi chiiki kenkyū shiryō kan (Amagasaki: Amagasaki shi, 1996). On the legend


Notes to Pages 96–97 of Hadano and establishing a practice hall for his prayers, see Onozawa, Chūsei jishūshi kenkyū, 198. 68 It was also known as Shin-­Zenkōji. This jishū group periodically moved locations. See entry on Mieidōha in Jishū jiten (Fujisawa: Jishū shōmushō kyogakubu, 1989), 320–321. 69 Ibid., 59. 70 See Onozawa, Chūsei jishūshi kenkyū, 58, 66. 71 However, Mieidō was placed ­under the umbrella of the Yugyō school as the Ji-­shū in the seventeenth ­century. The historical description as presented by the Yugyō school stated that the Mieidō held the statues of the Amida triads and of Kōbō Daishi; therefore, to honor the spirit of the dead, this hall was established. In 1282, the statue of Kōbō Daishi was moved to another ­temple (to Godaiji). Following this move, Oo’a, Emperor Gosaga’s son, entered Mieidō and became a follower of Ippen. Therefore, Mieidō is also known as Oo’a-­school. To what extent this history relates to the formation of a jishū group at Mieidō remains to be seen. A copy of the Hijiri-­e, a statue of Kōbō Daishi, and its other name as New-­Zenkōji suggest a connection with the hijiri tradition and Mount Kōya. 72 Wakita Haruko introduces the nuns supplementing their religious activities by making ­these fans. She also notes that during the sixteenth ­century, a ­widow-­t urned-­nun known as Genryō (note, not a jishū designation) had a shop named Hoteiya and held the right to half the business of selling ­those fans in the capital. Haruko, “The Japa­nese W ­ omen,” 266. 73 In Shūi miyako meishozue 拾遺都名所図会 from 1789. Titled Mieidō ougiori 御影堂扇折, in vol. 1, p.  54. The texts are available on the Nichibunken website. 74 In 1613, the government declared that only fans produced at Mieidō Practice Hall ­were allowed to use the Mieidō name. Okuno Takahiro, Sengoku jidai no ōkyū seikatsu (Tokyo: Yagi shoten, 2004), 54. 75 Onozawa, Chūsei jishūshi kenkyū, 232–233. 76 Ibid. and Jishū jiten, 20. One of the famous dancing nembutsu scenes in the Hijiri-­e is at Ichiya Dōjō; see Hijiri-­e, 195. 77 Koku’a Shōnin eden, in Teihon Jishū shūten, vol. 2, ed. Jishū Shūten Hensan Iinkai (Fujisawa: Jishū shūmusho, 1979), 561–585. 78 In Inryōken nichiroku 蔭凉軒日録: “智恩院諷經。次國阿道場。次六條、次四條。七條 道場不参云々.” From Onozawa, Chūsei jishūshi kenkyū, 250. Chion-in was originally built around the gravesite of Hōnen by one of his disciples during the thirteenth c­ entury. ­Today, it is the headquarters of the Pure Land Sect. 79 According to Onozawa, Anyōji 安養寺, a branch ­temple of Shōhōji, was a jishū practice hall that promoted husband-­wife relations and engaged in busi178

Notes to Pages 97–100 nesses such as food ser­vices. See section on Koku’amidabutsu in Onozawa, Chūsei jishūshi kenkyū. 80 Ibid. Koku’amidabutsu’s biographies have only survived from centuries ­after his death and each with conflicting information, such as his ­family roots and w ­ hether he had a connection with the Yugyō school. 81 Nakahara, Moromori-­ki. 3: 6. 82 七條塩小路道場, 白蓮寺 a Koku’amidabutsu school jishū. The Uesugi version of the Rakuchū rakugai-­zu, in par­tic­u­lar, has many of ­these jishū practice halls for us to see. Ozawa Hiromu and Kawashima Masao, Zusetsu Uesugi-­bon, Rakuchū rakugai zu byōbu wo miru (Tokyo: Kawade shobo shinsha, 1994), 22, 23. 83 Scholars such as Murai Yasuhiko have promoted the connection between jishū and the dōbōshū 同朋衆, the cultural and aesthetic advisers to the Ashikaga government. Murai Yasuhiko, Buke bunka to dōbōshū (Tokyo: Sanichi shobō, 1991), or, “Jishū to bungei,” in Chōrakuji zō Shichijō dōjō Konkōji monjo no kenkyū, ed. Murai Yasuhiko and Ōyama Kyōhei (Kyoto: Hozokan, 2012), 393– 409. The Ashikaga shogunate employed the dōbōshū (companions), whose ­family origins we do not know. However, ­every dōbōshū held the -­a name and ­was tonsured. Although the dōbōshū are most remembered as cultivators and critics of the arts, their initial duties ­were much more mundane, resembling that of personal attendants. The term dōbōshū as a job title appeared during the reign of the fourth Ashikaga shogun, Yoshimochi 義持 (1386–1428), and increased in number by the time of the sixth shogun, Yoshinori 義教 (1394–1441), a condition attributed to the formal annual functions performed and or­ga­nized by the Ashikaga Bakufu. It is in the latter years that the dōbōshū became well known as cultivators of the arts, and on occasion, a surname was bestowed upon them, an official elevation in stature. As Ietsuka Tomoko has demonstrated, it appears that the requirement for a dōbōshū was to be tonsured and hold the -­a, -­ami, name. Noami (1397–1471) and Goami (1431–1485) are famous dōbōshū for their skill in Chinese paintings and Chinese pottery, whereas Zenami is remembered for his talent in garden design. Ietsuka Tomoko, “Dōbōshū no shokuken to ketsuen,” History of the Performing Arts, no. 141 (April 1998): 84–95, and “Dōbōshū no sonzaikeitai to hensen,” History of the Performing Arts, no. 136 (January 1997): 35–57. 84 Koku’amidabutsu, Jō’amidabutsu, as well as the Yugyō school jishū leaders are each described with a list of theological achievements. 85 For more on the roles of ­women as merchants in Kyoto, see Wakita, “The Japa­nese ­Women.”

Chapter Five: The Yugyō School 1 The following narrative is from Yugyō jūrokudai shikoku ushinki 遊行十六代 四國回心記 (Travel rec­ord of the sixteenth Yugyō group in Shikoku). Nanyō, 179

Notes to Pages 100–106 Yugyō jūrokudai shikoku ushinki, in Teihon Jishū shūten, vol. 2 (Fujisawa: Jishū shūmusho, 1979), 475–478. 2 This document refers to Nanyō as shōnin, religious leader. To keep with the flow of the book, I have used the term “Yugyō hijiri” as well as “Nanyō.” 3 The path of the itinerants is clear for only the first three destinations. They start out at Kuhonji 九品寺 in Ashū, then travel to Shōmyōji 稱名寺 in Iwakura. The next day they head to Hachiman shatō Dōjō 八幡社頭道場 in Iwasu. 4 Ganjōji, 願成寺remains a Ji-­shū t­ emple ­today in Kita District, Ehime Prefecture. See Negita, Jishū no teradera, 414–415. 5 Nanyō, Yugyō jūrokudai shikoku ushinki, 477. 6 Ibid., 476. 7 Ibid. 8 One famous malignant spirit was Sugawara no Michizane 菅原道真 (845– 903), who was exiled and died in disgrace ­after a po­liti­cal dispute. A succession of calamities—­flood, drought, lightning, pestilence—­overwhelmed the country ­after his death. ­These phenomena ­were attributed to the work of his extremely vengeful and angry spirit. His form, fashioned of lightning and thunder, was seen in the capital. To pacify his anger, extraordinary mea­sures ­were needed. It was only ­after the spirit was transformed into a god, kami, ­under the name of Kitano Tenjin that the enmity ceased. Similarly, the death of the retired emperor Sutoku 崇徳天皇 (1119–1164), who had been banished from the capital in 1156 ­after an attempted coup d’état, was believed to be the cause of numerous natu­ral calamities, including outbreaks of fire, pestilence, and comets sighted in the capital. Again, public rituals had to be performed to appease his angered spirit. 9 Gerald Groemer, “Female Shamans in Eastern Japan,” Asian Folklore Studies 66, no. 1/2 (2007): 38. 10 Lori Meeks, Hokkeji, 153, 154. 11 Ioan M. Lewis, Ecstatic Religion: An Anthropological Study of Spirit Possession and Shamanism (Harmonds­worth, UK: Penguin, 1971), 26; Victor Turner, On the Edge of the Bush (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1985), 292; Doris Bargen, A ­Woman’s Weapon: Spirit Possession in “The Tale of Genji” (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1997), xix, 7, 247. Bargen states that spirit possession was “a way to show the men that the social order may not be uncontested.” 12 Found in “Letter to Ji’amidabutsu of Amagasaki,” Ta’a Shōnin hōgo, 137. The twelve conditions: jūni innen 十二因縁. The Buddha found the cause to the rise of ­human suffering to be a continuum of twelve phases of conditioning in a regular order. The classical formula for the twelve limbs of conditioned existence are (1) ignorance, as inherited affliction; (2) karma, good and 180

Notes to Pages 106–109 evil, of past lives; (3) conception as a form of perception; (4) body and mind evolving (in the womb); (5) the six organs on the verge of birth; (6) infant with knowledge of sparśa (“contact” or “touch”); (7) childhood with knowledge of discrimination; (8) age of puberty with thirst, desire, or love; (9) the urge of sensuous existence; (10) forming the substance (bhava) of ­f uture karma; (11) the completed karma ready for rebirth; and (12) old age and death. See Inagaki Hisao, A Dictionary of Japa­nese Buddhist Terms (Kyoto: Nagata Bunshodo, 1985), 154. 13 Shinkyō does not concern himself with same-­sex interaction. Jonathan Todd Brown has introduced an in­ter­est­ing point regarding the regulation of sexuality in Shinkyō’s letters: that through all the mention of the danger of sex between monks and nuns, ­there is no mention or concern regarding same-­sex liaisons. He concludes that while “intercourse between men and ­women was the most severe violation of the precepts, same-­sex encounters between males w ­ ere considerably less objectionable and affairs involving only ­women ­were still less serious.” Brown, “Warrior Patronage,” 501. 14 Taikū, “Tō tera matsudai jūshoku kokoroerubeku jō,” in Jishū chūsei monjo shiyoshū, ed. Takano Osamu (Tokyo: Shirogin gyosho, 1991), 4­ 2. 15 Ibid. 16 Ibid. 17 Nembutsu-­dera 念仏寺, Amidabutsu-­dera 阿弥陀寺. Sō Kikei, Rōshōdō Nihon kōroku, ed. Murai Shōsuke (Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1987), 160. 18 Ibid. Entry number 168, titled, “Hindered by the wind, we stop and revisit Zen’nenji.” Sunagawa discusses this Zen’nenji専念寺 as a Yugyō school practice hall in Sunagawa Hiroshi, Chūsei yugyō hijiri no zusogaku (Tokyo: Iwata shoin, 1999), 473. 19 Sō Kikei, Rōshōdō Nihon kōroku, 160. Name of the informer is given as Saburō 三甫羅. 20 The practice hall Shinkyō had initially established, Taima Practice Hall, had developed its own school, separate from the Yugyō school, but also maintained Ippen and Shinkyō as its found­er; the leader of the school took the title Ta’amidabutsu. This school was also mixed gender. 21 For a discussion of this in En­glish, see Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation. 22 Takuga, however, never took the role of Fujisawa shōnin, since he passed away before the death of the Fujisawa leader. It was Shinkyō who had established the tradition for the Yugyō school leader of the yugyō mission to inherit the name Ta’amidabutsu. 23 See Tachibana Shundō, Jishūshi ronkō (Kyoto: Hozōkan, 1975), 256. For an En­ glish translation, see Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation, 126. It 181

Notes to Pages 109–110 should be noted that the term “Ji-­shū” is not used; rather, they use “Shin-­ shū” most commonly to refer to their religious order. 24 As noted in chapter 2, Shinkyō established Taima Dōjō as his center for proliferating his teaching to the eastern populace. When Chitoku died, a resident of Taima Dōjō, Nai’amidabutsu Shinkō (1280–1333), claimed succession and took the name Ta’amidabutsu. The Yugyō hijiri Donkai disputed this succession, asserting that Shinkō, who had not practiced yugyō, was not eligible to carry on the name Ta’amidabutsu. Asserting that the defining characteristic of the order was yugyō, Donkai created another headquarters, Fujisawa Dōjō, twenty kilo­meters south of Taima Dōjō. Shinkō, along with several jishū, continued to reside in Taima Dōjō, which maintained its position as an Ippen school of Pure Land Buddhism ­until it was fi­nally amalgamated with the Yugyō school in the seventeenth ­century as Ji-­sect. Donkai was a charismatic figure with a network of power­f ul connections. He had been a disciple of Shinkyō and had been granted the right to distribute amulets in the Kinai region. In addition, he was the founder of the Fourth Ave­nue Practice Hall (Shichijō Dōjō or Konkōji) in Kyoto. The dispute over the right of succession with Shinkō led Donkai to seek help from his ­brother Matano Gorō Kagehira, an estate steward of the Matano area of Sagami Province. This connection allowed him to lobby the power­ ful warriors in Kamakura and to build Fujisawa Dōjō—­today known as Shōjōkōji or Yugyōji—as an official opposition to the Taima Dōjō. Although Shinkyō’s line was split in two, in time it was Donkai’s group that emerged as the dominant Ippen school of Pure Land Buddhism. Donkai’s efforts ensured that the yugyō remained the identifying characteristic in what eventually became the Ji-­sect. 25 Kan Tatsuto, ed., Ashū komonjo 5, no. 1888 (Tokyo: Kanagawa kyoiku inkai, 1971), 96. The order was sealed by Hosokawa Mitsumoto. An example of a ­f uture order by the Ashikaga shogun can be found in Ashikaga Yoshimochi Shogun onkyojosho, in Jishū chūsei monjo shirōshū, ed. Takano Osamu (Tokyo: Shirogin gyosho, 1991), 18, document 29. 26 Fugai, Yugyō nijū yon sō onshūgyō ki, in Teihon Jishū shūten, 2:483–506. 27 Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation, 128. 28 Takano Osamu, Jishū kyōdanshi (Tokyo: Iwata shonin, 2003), 134. 29 Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation, 28. 30 Ibid., 134. 31 Ibid., 134–135. 32 Oda Nobunaga even received the thirty-­first Yogyō hijiri Dōnen in Kyoto. Dōnen’s chronicler noted how Nobunaga’s control of Kyoto and suppression of the Nichiren groups made their propagation easier. For more, see Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation, 138–140. 182

Notes to Pages 110–112 33 Helen Hardacre, Religion and Society in Nineteenth-­Century Japan (Ann Arbor: Center for Japa­nese Studies, University of Michigan, 2002), 43. 34 Kanai Kiyomitsu, “Mikan kinsei yugyō sogei shiryo kaisetsu 4,” Jishu kyōgaku nenpō 32 (2004): 179–180. Rec­ord by a man named Sawazu Tadazaemon. 35 ­There are several plays and tales from the fifteenth ­century depicting jishū. Among the Noh plays are Seiganji, Yugyō yanagi, Sanemori, and Tōgankoji (誓願寺, 遊行柳, 実盛, and 東岸居士); from the comedy drama Kyōgen are Nyakuichi, Imoarahi, and Gakuami (若市, いもあらひ, and 楽阿弥). ­There is also the narrative tale Oguri (also known as Ogurihangan 小栗判官 or Okuri をくり), believed to be based on a historical figure named Oguri Hangan Daisukeshige (1398–1464). The initial spread of Okuri (tale of a hero’s rise, fall, and rebirth) is believed to have started with itinerants. It became especially popu­lar during the seventeenth and eigh­teenth centuries. For a discussion and translation of the Noh play Seiganji, see James H. Foard, “Seiganji: The Buddhist Orientation of a Noh Play,” Monumenta Nipponica 35, no. 4 (1980): 437–456. For the tale of Oguri, see R. Keller Kimbrough, Wondrous Brutal Fictions (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013), 123–160. For a discussion of the legend, see Susan Matisoff, “The Log Cabin Emperor,” Cahiers d’Extreme-­Asie 13, no. 1 (2002): 361–377. 36 In Chiren, Betsuji sahō montō, in Teihon Jishū shūten, vol. 2 (Fujisawa: Jishū Shūmusho, 1979), 749. It is estimated to be recorded between the years 1497 and 1513. 37 Ibid., 754. 38 Ibid. 39 For a study of Ippen in En­g lish, see Dennis Hirota, No Abode: The Rec­ord of Ippen (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1997). 40 Goodwin, Alms and Vagabonds, 102. 41 Genshū, document Jishū tōyōhen 時宗統要篇 (A summary of pertinent aspects of the Ji-­sect), Jishū tōyōhen 4, in Teihon Jishū shūten, vol. 2 (Fujisawa: Jishū Shūmusho, 1979), 1062. Evidence of this is found in the Jishū kakochō. See Jishū kakochō, ed. Ōhashi Shunnō (Fujisawa: Jishū Kyōgaku kenkyūjo, 1964), 67 (monks), 169 (nuns). 42 The Chinese character they used was 一, not 弌, as seen throughout the kakochō entries and in the original letters by the leaders. 43 This was Jōjō gyōgi hōsoku. 44 Takuga, Jōjō gyōgi hōsoku, 251. 45 Chiren, Shinshū yōhōki, 995, entry number 29. A translation of the first twelve entries of this document is in the appendix. 46 Nomura Ikuyo, Bukkyo to onna no seishin shi, chap. 2, sec. 2. Meeks, Hokkeji, 18. 183

Notes to Pages 113–115 47 Nomura, Bukkyo to onna no seishin shi, 160. Meeks, Hokkeji, 308. 48 Wakita, “The Japa­nese ­Women in the Premodern Merchant House­hold,” 278. 49 This oath of obedience was termed kimyō 帰命. 50 Chiren, Shinshū yōhōki, 991. See entry 6. 51 Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation, 47, 97. 52 Kōsetsudera 光摂寺, in current Kanazawa; ­there are numerous entries in the kakochō for Umeda for both monks and nuns. 53 On this point, see Kanda, “Chūsei no dōjō ni okeru shi to shukke,” 26. See also Hayashi Yuzuru, “Ikkō ikki izen: Kaga noto no jishū,” Kano shiryō kenkū, no. 10 (1998): 19–20. He mentions a few examples of ­those close to death being sent to practice halls. In one example, to avoid the taboo of death in the ­house, the jishū members pretended the individual was still alive as they escorted the body to a practice hall. 54 Kanda, “Chūsei no dōjō ni okeru shi to shukke,” 26. 55 This kakochō is referred to as Oudo no kakochō 往古過去帳 within the Ji-­sect ­today. This Jishū kakochō had separate registers for monks and nuns. Not all the surviving jishū practice hall kakochō divided the entries by gender. 56 The practice of recording names of ­those who achieved rebirth in a register originated with the hijiri practice. ­These registers served to represent and create a community of the saved. 57 The two nuns ­were Nōbutsubō 能佛房 and Tōbutsubō 当佛房. See Ōhashi Shunnō, ed. Jishū kakochō (Fujisawa: Kyogaku kenkyujo, 1964), 174–175. 58 Ishida Yoshihito, Ippen to jishū (Kyoto: Hōzōkan, 1996), 154. He offers that while the “official” jishū of the dōjō would be recorded in the Jishū kakochō, the clan members w ­ ere recorded separately in their own t­ emple kakochō. 59 For example, ­there are Tōtakusan kakochō 藤沢山過去帳, Ichirenji kakochō 一 蓮寺過去帳, Rengeji kakochō 蓮華寺過去帳, Kontaiji kakochō 金台寺過去帳, and Shōrinji kakochō 照林寺過去帳. 60 In Ashiya ­city, Fukuoka. It is believed that one of Takuga’s disciples converted this ­temple to a Yugyō school jishū dōjō. See Jishū jiten, 128. 61 For more on Taruma Dōjō, see Kawazoe Shōji, Kyushu chūsei shi no kenkyū (Tokyo: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 1983). Common names for the females are Myōichibō 妙一房 and Myōbutsubō 妙佛房. 62 For more on Shōrinji, see Kanai Kiyomitsu, “Jishū jiin sanmō ki,” Jishū bunka 2 (October 2000): 127–131; Kanai Kiyomitsu, Sunagawa Hiroshi, and Nakajima Yōko, “Shōrinji gyakushū ichiketsushū kagen myōchō ni tsuite,” Jishū bunka 3 (April 2001): 63–76. 63 Kanai, Sunagawa, and Nakajima, “Shōrinji,” 75. 184

Notes to Pages 115–117 64 Such as Taira Kiyomori 平清盛 (1118–1181) and Emperor Antoku 安徳天皇 (1178–1185). 65 Ōhashi, ed. Jishū kakochō,6. The introduction to the photocopy edition of the Jishū kakochō has a similar but dif­fer­ent number count. Jishū kakochō (Fujisawa: Shojokoji, 1969), 16–17. 66 Ōhashi, ed. Jishū kakochō, 6. A sample of the Jishū kakochō entries is in the appendix. Of note is the occasional use of -­amidabutsu for nuns, as well as -­ichibō for monks. 67 Entries by the 25th, 26th and 27th leaders are particularly diligent in recording the locations or positions of the members. See Ōhashi, Jishū kakochō, pages 224–226 for the nuns and pages 145–148 for the monks. 68 Ibid. ­These entries can be found throughout; for example, several bikuni appear on page 198. For a giba nun, see pages 215, 217; for a giba monk, see 104; for kaizoku, see page  109; for sarugaku members, see page  105. ­There ­were also saka-­ya (sake brewers) found on page 87, and ­those who sold medicine, kusuri-­ya, on page 99. 69 Also referred to as 紙本墨書陸波羅南北過去帳 Shihonbokusho Rokuhara nanboku. 70 The Taiheiki describes this scene: “Their blood smeared their bodies and ran as if it ­were the stream of the Yellow River. The corpses filled the yard, and the scene was no dif­fer­ent from carcasses in a slaughter­house.” See “The Suicide of Nakatoki and His Warriors” in Helen Craig McCullough, trans., The Taiheiki: A Chronicle of Medieval Japan (New York: Columbia University Press, 1959), 9:266. The leader of Banba Dōjō at the time provided ­these fallen men with a religious designation and entered the names in the death registry; this registry is currently designated as an Im­por­tant Cultural Property. 71 Rennyo, Shinshū jōgai ofumi, 4:108, 4:138. Electronically available at the Japan National Diet Library. 72 Scholars such as Hayashi Yuzuru have theorized that the success and intense spread of Rennyo’s teachings in the Northern region was due to the already existing foundation and community set by the jishū. Hayashi, “Ikkō ikki izen.” 73 Ikkō propagated the belief that ­human life, similar to that of plants, repeats the cycle of birth, old age, sickness, and death. The only eternal truth is the name, Na-­mu-­a-­mi-­da-­butsu. His itinerant journey was to keep and preserve this name within this world. It is not known if Ikkō distributed amulets like Ippen. In 1274, ­after receiving divine sanction from the god of the Hachiman shrine in current Kagoshima prefecture, he began the nembutsu dance. During his travel through current Shiga prefecture, Ikkō was asked by the military governor of the area—­Dohi Motoyori—to reestablish 185

Notes to Pages 117–121 Rengeji in Banba, currently Maibara city. Banba was located on the route connecting travelers from the capital to the east, and it was ­here in 1284 that Ikkō created Banba Dōjō. He chose his successor, Reichi’amidabutsu 礼智阿弥陀佛 (or Reichi’a 礼智阿), to continue on with the itinerant journey while he, Ikkō, stayed to live and preach from Banba Dōjō ­until his death in 1287. Both Ikkō’s school of Pure Land Buddhism and the itinerancy continued for several de­cades. Its influence spread widely, particularly in the northern region, concentrating in places such as current Yamagata prefecture and Shiga prefecture, where Banba Dōjō was located. See Ōhashi Shunnō, Rengeji (Shiga: Rengeji, 1999). Onozawa also devotes a chapter to Ikkō jishū in Onozawa, Chūsei jishūshi no kenkyū, chap. 5. 74 For a collection of Ikkō’s biography, see Ogawa Jun’ichi, ed., Ikkō Shōnin no Odenshūsei (Shiga: Rengeji, 1986). 75 Ōhashi Shunnō, Banba dōjō no ayumi (Tokyo: Jodōshushi kenkyukai, 1963), 34. He does not provide the names of ­those who claim Ikkō to be fictitious. 76 Ōhashi, Banba dōjō, 34–35; Ōhashi, Rengeji, 31. For a color print of the picture, see Jishū no bijutsu to bungei, 61. 77 Their doctrinal studies differed. Ippen studied the Seizan Pure Land Buddhism; Ikkō studied the Chinzei Pure Land Buddhism. 78 The Ikkō school attempted to separate itself, but it was not ­until 1897 that Ikkō Shunshō was officially recognized as the founder of the school. Although it was unable to attain the in­de­pen­dent religious authority it hoped for, forty-­five years ­later, in 1942, the Ikkō school fi­n ally achieved the second-­best choice: being accepted as part of the Jōdo shū, Pure Land school. Ōhashi, Banba dōjō. For the conflict and assertion of rights during the Tokugawa period, see page 66; for the Meiji period, see page 107; and for the Showa period, see pages 115–120. 79 Fukoku, Jishū Yōryakufu, 1217–1231. Fukoku (1656–1711), also known as Donyō, was the forty-­eighth Yugyō hijiri. He wrote this document in 1697. 80 For a history and discussion of Mantokuji in En­glish, see Diana Wright, “Severing the Karmic Ties That Bind: The ‘Divorce ­Temple’ Mantokuji,” Monumenta Nipponica 52, no. 3 (Autumn 1997): 357–380. See also Diana Wright, “Mantokuji: More Than a ‘Divorce ­Temple,’” and Anna Dutton, “­Temple Divorce in Tokugawa Japan,” both in Engendering Faith, ed. Barbara Ruch (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2002).

Conclusion 1 James Dobbins, Letters of the Nun Eshinni. See, for example, his discussion in the afterword, 152–155. 2 Bernard Faure, The Red Thread, 14.


Notes to Pages 121–125 3 Even the special exhibits held or sponsored by the Yugyōji are often based around Ippen.   4 A list from the Yugyō school in 1788 showing the names of ­temples and the number of branches now assigned u ­ nder their jurisdiction indicated that the Ikkō school (combined with the Tenryū school) had ninety-­eight branch ­temples, the Fourth Ave­nue school had sixty-­four, the Koku’a school had eight, and the Mieidō school had twenty-­t wo. Additionally, the list included Gei school, Ichiya school, and Reisan school. See Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation, 26 (translated from Kakuha betsu honmatsu shōjōkaku). 5 Takuga refers to the school as Jōdo-­shū or Shin-­shū; Chiren refers to the Yugyō school as Shin-­shū and Amidakyō-­shū. For Takuga, see entry for him in Jishū jiten, 237. For Chiren, see Shin­shū yōhōki. 6 Kamakura Hōjō Kudaiki 鎌倉北条九代記 (A chronicle of nine generations of the Kamakura Hōjō) (Tokyo: Shiseido, 1884), 343. This twelve-volume collection of tales was first published in 1675. The author is believed to be Asai Ryōi (1612? –1691). Susan Matisoff discusses this story in relation to the Karukaya-­ themed plays performed from the eigh­teenth ­century. See Matisoff, “Barred from Paradise? Mount Kōya and the Karukaya Legend,” in Engendering Faith, ed. Barbara Ruch (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2002), 486–487. 7 For example, Imai Masaharu, in Ippen to chūsei no jishū, cites this account without qualifications as another example of Ippen’s motivation for pursuing a religious life. See page 27. 8 Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation, 28. 9 Paula Arai, ­Women Living Zen, 10. 10 William Bodiford, Sōtō Zen in Medieval Japan. 11 See Engi-­e, 80. The section describes Shinkyō and his jishū’s visit to Ise Shrine, a sacred place that forbade any kegare (pollution) to enter its space. Shinkyō, however, dismisses any hesitation by ­those concerned over the nuns who ­were menstruating, and they all enter the shrine without concern or consequences. 12 Murai Yasuhiko, for example, has promoted the role of jishū as a conduit for social mobility. See Murai, Buke bunka to dōbōshū; and “Jishū to bungei,” Chōrakuji zō. 13 The following discussion of Bukkōji and Ryōmyō is based on Endō Hajime’s research. See Endō Hajime, “The Original Bōmori,” in Engendering Faith, ed. Barbara Ruch (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2002); Endō Hajime, “Ekeizu no seiritsu to Bukkōji,” in Hotoke to Onna, ed. Nishiguchi Junko (Tokyo: Yoshikawa kobunkan, 1997); and Endō Hajime, Chūsei nihon no bukkyō to genda (Tokyo: Akashi shoten, 2007). For a discussion of Shin Buddhism, see


Notes to Pages 126–135 James Dobbins, Jōdo Shinshū: Shin Buddhism in Medieval Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2002). 14 For color plates of ­these ekeizu, see Endō, “The Original Bōmori,” 520–525. ­These portraits also included power­ful members and benefactors of the practice halls, and sometimes even c­ hildren. 15 Dobbins, Jōdo Shinshū, 115. 16 Ibid., 116. 17 Ibid., 115. 18 The document from 1792 states that she held the position ­until their son Genran 源鸞 (1318–1347) was of an appropriate age to take over as head of the school. Her son’s early death, however, brought her back into the position of leader. Endō, however, cautions us of the historical accuracy of this document’s claim. He uses visual sources commissioned during the lifetime of Ryōmyō that demonstrate that her succession as leader of the congregation was without conditions or hesitation. See Endō, “Ekeizu no seiritsu to Bukkōji,” 118–120. 19 Endō discusses the “destruction of Bukkōji” incident by the members of the Tendai school in 1352. Endō, “Ekeizu no seiritsu to Bukkōji,” 124–126. The Honganji branch was administered by Shinran’s grand­son Kakunyō 覺如 at the time, who also expressed his contempt ­toward Bukkōji in his Gaijashō 改邪鈔. 20 Ama gozan 尼五山: modeled in parallel to the Five Mountains of the Zen gozan (五山) school for monks. The Ama gozan w ­ ere Keiaiji, Tsūgenji, Danrinji, Keirinji, and Gonenji. The monastic ­temples ­were Nanzenji, Tenryūji, Shōkokuji, Tōgukuji, and Manjuji. ­There was also Kamakura gozan and Kamakura Ama gozan.

Appendix 1 See Shinkyō, Shōsoku hōgo, 420. 2 Shinkyō, Ta’a shōnin hōgō, 135. 3 Chitoku, Yugyō sandai Chitoku shōnin shōjo, 392. See also Chōrakuji no Meihō (Trea­sures of Choraku-ji ­Temple): Special Display, 700th Anniversary of the Foundation of Shichijo-­dojo Konko-ji ­Temple, ed. Kyoto National Museum (Kyoto: Kyoto National Museum, 2000), 22–23. 4 Kai’amidabutsu, Bōhishō, 720–729. Written in 1341. 5 The following four entries can be found on Bōhishō, p. 722. 6 The small font h ­ ere represents the smaller font in the original text. 7 The next two entries are from Bōhishō, p. 723. 8 This entry is from Bōhishō, p. 727. 188

Notes to Pages 135–143 9 The next two entries are from Bōhishō, page 729. 10 Takuga, Jōjō gyōgi hōsoku, 250–251. 11 Takuga, Tōzai sayō shō, 733–741. I have added the numbers for con­ve­nience; they are not in the original document. 12 Jūyō bunka zai, Jishū kakochō, 104. Also in Ōhashi, ed. Jishū kakochō, 169. Entries ­were recorded top-­down, from the right to the left of the sheet. Entries here are by the tenth leader, Gangu (1324–1387). ­Here, the 1st entry is of Kyōbutsubō who is recorded to have passed away on the 6th month of the 11th day in the year 1367. The 4th entry, Zen’ichibō, passed away on the 4th month, 22nd day in the year 1368. The brackets next to her name identify the location of her residence as Kushige. Information pertaining to the individual’s location, profession, or positions within the Yugyō school was recorded on the reverse side of the sheet. 13 Chiren, Shinshū yōhōki, in Teihon Jishū shūten, vol. 2, ed. Jishū Shūten Hensan Iinkai (Fujisawa: Jishū shūmusho, 1979), 990–992. A copy of this translation with an introduction and supplementary notes was published in Jishū kyogaku nenpō 32 (2004): 50–70. 14 See Chiren, Shinshū yōhōki, 997, entry 34. 15 The Chinese and Japa­nese chants in the original text are raisan 禮讃 and izan 居讃, short for rokuji raisan and rokuji izan: the activity of singing texts based on Chinese characters (raisan) or Japa­nese characters (izan) during the six special hours (rokuji 六時). The special hours, rokuji, are early morning, midday, sundown, early eve­ning, mideve­ning, and late eve­ning. Rokuji izan was a type of wasan 和讃: a stylistic hymn composed in 5/7 meter and read or sang as a worship chant. Many—­especially from Ippen to the seventh Yugyō hijiri, Takuga—­composed their wasan with an underlining theme of mujō 無常 (impermanence). ­These wasan ­were rhythmical, comprehensive, and easy to follow. Ji-­shū wasan ­were collected and compiled into a three-­volume text titled Jōgō wasan 浄業和讃 in 1825. Jishū no bijutsu to bungeiten jikkōinkai, ed. Jishū no bijutsu to bungei, 154, 161. Ippen’s wasan are titled Hyakurikugo 百利 口語 and Betsugan wasan 別願和讃. For an En­g lish translation, see Dennis Hirota. No Abode: The Rec­ord of Ippen (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1997). 16 The full name given is Kamakura Nikaidō shikibu daiyū nyūdō Shuamidabutsu. This is Nikaido Sadamune 二階堂貞宗 (1301–1384), also known as Ton’a 頓阿. Famous as a poet, he held the title of Shikibu daiyū 式部太輔 and the name Shuamidabutsu 珠阿弥陀佛. On this point, see Thornton, Charisma and Community Formation, 203. 17 Ashikaga Mochiuji 足利持氏 (1409–1439). The title provided in the text is 鎌倉 将軍長春院. 18 The ­fourteenth Yugyō shōnin, Daiku 太空 (1374–1439). 189

Notes to Pages 143–146 19 According to Ōhashi, by the fifteenth ­century the odori nembutsu (dancing nembutsu) had become a theatrical per­for­mance rather than a religious cele­bration. Ōhashi, Odori nembutsu (Tokyo: Daizō shuppan, 1974), 291. Also see Gorai Shigeru, Odori nembutsu (Tokyo: Heibonsha, 1998), 117–132. 20 This text, Yōjin no daikō 用心大綱 (Basic princi­ples to keep in mind), was written by Shinkyō in 1298, titled Ta’amidabutsu dōgō yōjin no daikō 他阿弥陀仏同行 用心大綱. Takuga, the seventh Yugyō hijiri, wrote an edition of this in 1345. 21 A comment in the original notes: “The three [regulation] garments [of a monk are]: first, the assembly robe, second, the upper garment in nine-­ patches, and third, the vest of five-­patches.”


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Index Abutsu-ni, 34, 60 ama, use of term, 5, 60 Amida Buddha, chanting name of, 1, 2–3, 125; in nembutsu practice (See nembutsu practice); in six periods of day, 1, 7, 17, 150n.5, 156n.2 Amino Yoshihiko, 32, 65, 71 Ami-robe, 19, 20, 156n.9 ancestor worship, 74 androcentric bias, 4, 5, 6, 112, 123, 127 Ankoku, 39 Arai, Paula, 123 arukimiko (walking miko), 12–13, 32, 154n.39 Ashikaga Takauji, 20, 26–27, 79 Ashikaga Yoshihisa, 97 Ashikaga Yoshikazu, 95 Ashikaga Yoshimochi, 108–109, 116 Ashikaga Yoshitane, 109 Banba Dōjō, 116, 117, 185n.70 basara style of warriors, 78 bathing, 4, 96, 98, 111, 166n.54 battles. See military campaigns betsuji rituals, 85, 110–111, 174n.23 birth, four modes of, 21, 156n.11 biwahōshi, 32, 160n.8 Blood Bowl Sutra (Ketsubonkyō), 112 Bōhishō (Notes on preventing misconducts), 28–29, 38, 80, 81–83, 133–136, 173n.10 Bo’ichibō, 69 box of twelve lights ( jūnikōbako), 25, 27, 158n.29, 159n.44 bridge building, 32, 160n.4 Bukkōji, 125–126, 187n.13, 188n.19 burial practices. See funeral and burial services

celibacy, 6, 16, 22, 24–25, 46–47, 61 chaperones for monks and nuns, Bōhishō requirement for, 82–83, 134, 135–136 childbirth, 54, 55, 94, 167n.78, 168nn.85–86 Chin’ichibō, 1, 4, 122, 150n.1; death register listing of, 18, 116; as leader of Okunotani Dōjō, 17–19, 20, 28, 92, 126–127; Takuga visit with, 18–19, 28, 42, 84, 136–137, 155n.1 Chiren, 110–111, 113, 121, 141–147 Chishiki (religious teacher): Shinkyō on, 64–65; Takuga on, 84 Chitoku, 46, 47–53, 166n.61; letters to Donkai, 47–49, 52, 53, 130–133; and Myōichibō, 50–52, 104–105 Chōichi, 44 Chōni, 44 clothing, 34–35, 67–68; Ami-robe, 19, 20, 156n.9 conduct regulations, 100–108; Bōhishō text on, 81–83, 133–136; for obedience (See obedience); pardon requests in violation of, 100–106; of Shinkyō, 24–25, 28, 74–75, 106, 181n.13; of Taikū, 106–107; of Takuga, 19–21, 80, 83–88, 136–141 Dai’ichibō of Nakajō Dōjō, 68, 69; Shinkyō criticism of, 68, 69, 82, 129–130 Dai’ichibō of Nanyō’s itinerant group, 101, 103, 105 Dai’ichibō of Onomichi Dōjō: as leader of Onomichi Dōjō, 26, 28, 43, 158–159n.38 dancing, 2, 4, 8–9, 54, 56; ecstatic, 7, 45; by miko, 8–9, 63, 170n.23; in nembutsu practice, 19, 29, 45–46, 96, 97, 178n.76; ritualized, 23, 24, 25, 29; by traveling performers, 32, 33 Deal, William, 11


Index death and dying, 58, 113–114, 128, 184n.53; and beliefs in spirits of dead, 12, 13, 32, 101–106, 180n.8; funeral and burial services in (See funeral and burial services); nembutsu practices in, 10–11, 39–41, 54, 56, 58–59, 90; in ritual suicide, 116, 185n.70; Yugyō school concept of, 58, 113–114, 184n.53 death registers, 18, 31, 113, 114–116, 126, 141, 184n.55 divorce temples, 118, 186n.80 Dobbins, James, 120, 126, 154n43 dōbōshū, 179n.83 Dōgo Onsen, 20, 156n.8 dōgyō (fellow practitioners), 65, 72 dōjō. See practice halls Dōjō seimon (Regulations for the dōjō), 24, 46 Donkai, 182n.24; letters of Chitoku to, 47–49, 52, 53, 130–133; and Myōichibō, 51, 52, 132 drowning accident involving jishū, 100–106

Farris, William, 52, 155n53, 171n48 Faure, Bernard, 6, 120 festivals, 8–9, 63, 152n.24, 170n.23 Fifth Avenue Practice Hall jishū, 96 fires at practice halls, 88, 90, 95, 175n.36, 175n.47, 176–177n.61 first aid to warriors, 38–39, 42 Foard, James, 8 food shortages, 52–53, 166n.73 Fourth Avenue Practice Hall, 54, 79, 92–93, 94–96, 176–177n.61, 177n.65 Fujisawa Dōjō, xv, 108, 182n.24 Fukoku, 121, 174n.18 fund-raising, x, xi–xii, 4, 8, 32, 36, 149n.4, 162n.19; kanjin campaigns in, 7, 12, 32 funeral and burial services, 56, 89, 90, 91–93, 97, 175n.40; and abandonment of I’a, 101, 105; for men and women, differences in, 92, 176n.53; of Mieidō, 96 fuseya (establishment to help those in need), 115

economic growth, 70–71 Eighth Avenue Practice Hall, 97 Eighty-Eight Temple Pilgrimage, 128 Eison, 62–63 Engendering Faith: Women and Buddhism in Premodern Japan (Ruch), 4 Engi-e scroll (Illustrated biography of the traveling saint), 15, 24, 44, 45, 46, 155n.49, 157n.25; bathing scene in, 166n.54; compared to Hijiri-e scroll, 45–46; food and eating depicted in, 167n.76; role of women in, 123; separation of nuns and monks in, 46; on suna mochi, 36–37 entertainers and performers, 9, 32–33, 63, 98, 152n.24, 170n.23 etoki, xi–xii, 32, 46 existence, twenty-five states of, 21, 156n.11 extraordinary visitors, 36–40, 56, 97, 162n.18

Gen’amidabutsu, 47–48 Gendered Spaces (Spain), 22 Gen’ichibō, 52, 53, 67, 68, 71–72 Genshin, 10 Go-Daigo, 78, 79 Go Fukakusa, 33 Go-Fukakusain no Nijō (Lady Nijō), 33–35, 161–162n.13 Go-Fushimi, 54 Gokurakuji, medical facility at, 163n.27 Goodwin, Janet, 115, 162n18 goze, 32, 160n.8 Great Wisdom Sutra (Daihannya haramitta kyō), 12 gugutsu, 32

family, abandonment of attachment to, 25, 36, 64, 74 fans, Mieidō, 4, 96, 178n.72, 178n.74


Hachijō Dōjō (Eighth Avenue Practice Hall), 97 hachijūhakkasho-meguri (Eighty-Eight Temple Pilgrimage), 128 Hashimoto Dōjō, 67, 68, 70 Hayashi Yuzuru, 93, 151n18, 184n53, 185n72 healing, 37–39, 156n.8; medical care for (See medical care)

Index Hi’amidabutsu, 69 Higashiyama Dōjō, 97 hijiri: expected talents of, 37; as extraordinary visitors, 36–40, 162n.18; fund-raising by, 7, 12, 32, 36, 162n.19; Ippen as, 7, 43; roles of, 32; travel of, 31, 32, 36–40; use of term, 11–12, 14, 153–154n.34 Hijiri-e scroll (Painting of the Holy Man Ippen), 3, 7–8, 14, 36, 43–46, 155n.49; compared to Engi-e scroll, 45–46; dancing nembutsu scenes in, 178n.76; equal status of jishū in, 111–112; food and eating depicted in, 167n.76; Ippen as healer in, 37; marketplaces depicted in, 71; miko performance depicted in, 170n.23; role of women in, 123; stored at Sixth Avenue Practice Hall, 88; travelers depicted in, 31 himitsu nembutsu, 10 Hō‘butsubō, 68, 69 Hōgonji, 18. See also Okunotani Dōjō Hōjō Nakatoki, 116, 185n.70 Hokkeji, 13, 62–63, 76, 104, 170n.21 Hōnen, 11, 121, 122 hot springs at Dōgo Onsen, 20, 156n.8 I’a, 100–102, 103, 105, 106 Ichijō Dōjō, 4 Ichiya Dōjō, 96–97, 98 Ihon odawara-ki (Variant chronicles of Odawara), 39, 42 Ikkō school of jishū, 116–117, 118, 186n.78, 187n.4 Ikkō Shunshō, 117, 121, 185–186n.73, 186n.78 Imai Masaharu, 4, 151n.11 Ippen, 3, 4, 6, 7–9, 14, 20, 151n.11; death of, 170n.24; Engi-e scroll on, 15; equal status in jishū group of, 111–112; as founder of Ji-sect, 7, 93; as healer, 37–38; as hijiri, 7, 43; Hijiri-e scroll on (See Hijiri-e scroll); Ikkō compared to, 117, 185n.73; legends and narratives created on, 121–122; nembutsu practice of, 11, 43; nuns depicted collecting urine of, 6, 37–38; return to secular

life, 60; Shinkyō as successor of, 15, 44–46, 155n.49; Shōichibō traveling with, 35–36; as sute-hijiri, 36; Tenguzōshi emaki scroll on, 37–38; travel of, 3, 7, 43–44; at Zenkōji, 35 Ippen Hijiri-e. See Hijiri-e scroll Ise Shrine, 124, 187n.11 itinerancy. See travel Itō Nobuo, 27, 159n.45 Jikū, 40–42, 43 Jikū shōnin shojō (Letter from priest Jikū), 40 Ji-sect, 3, 4, 5, 93, 150n.4; creation of, 121; denouncing mixed-gender practice halls, 118; historical materials preserved by, 5–6; Ippen as founder of, 7, 93 jishū, 4–5, 6; accompanying warriors in battles, 40–43, 54–55; behavior outside of practice halls, 86–87; Bōhishō text on conduct of, 28, 38, 80, 81–83, 133–136; changing attitudes toward women as, 99, 100, 118–119; compared to dōgyō, 65; death registers of, 114; and dōbōshū, 179n.83; drowning accident involving, 100–106; government sanction of travel of, 109–110; Ikkō school of, 116–117; and Ji-sect, 3, 5, 7, 93; in Kyoto, 5, 80–84, 96; medical aid provided by, 42, 54–55, 164–165n.42; nembutsu practice of (See nembutsu practice); pardon requests in misconduct of, 101–106; with personal attendants in practice halls, 73; plays and tales depicting, 183n.35; practice halls established by (See practice halls); pregnancy of, 106–107; prohibited from holding weapons, 41; rise in popularity of, 124–125; in social hierarchy, 125, 187n.12; sources of information on, 5–6, 120–121, 122–124; Takuga rules on conduct of, 19–21, 80, 83–88; travel of, 4–5, 31–55 (See also travel); use of term, 1–2, 3, 5, 7, 57–58, 150n.4; warriors as, 80; and Yugyō school (See Yugyō school) Ji-shū, 3, 117, 118, 121, 150n.4; Ippen legends and narratives in, 121–122


Index Jishū kakochō, 114, 115, 116, 141, 184n.55, 185nn.65–66 Jizen, 76 Jō‘amidabutsu Shinkan, 12, 54, 94–96 Jō’a shōnin den (Biography of priest Jō’a), 94 Jō‘a shōnin eden (Illustrated biography of the priest Jō‘a), 95 Jōjō gyōgi hōsoku (Articles of the rule of deportment), 19, 136–138, 156n.4 jūnen (ten nembutsu), 40, 58 jūnikōbako (box of twelve lights), 25, 27, 158n.29, 159n.44 Kai’amidabutsu, 28, 38; Bōhishō text attributed to, 28–29, 38, 80, 81–83, 133–136 Kaibutsubō, 72–74, 172n.59 Kaiganji, 95, 177nn.66–67 kakochō (death registers), 18, 31, 113, 114–116, 126, 141, 184n.55 Kakuban, 10 kami (gods or spirits), 3, 6, 56, 63, 74; malignant, 104, 180n.8; and musical skills, 2; Shinkyō blessed by, 37; unknown visitors representing, 162n.18; women communicating with, 104 Kamigyō district of Kyoto, 78, 173n.4 Kaminokawa Dōjō, 71–72 Kanai Kiyomitsu, 71, 160n47 kanjin, 7, 12, 32 kanjin hijiri, 32, 154n.35, 162n.19 Katsuura Noriko, 60, 169n.8 Keibutsubō, 89–92 Ken’a, 54, 167n.79 Kenshin, 90, 92, 93 kinsōi, 42, 55, 164–165nn.40–42, 168n.86 Kōbō Daishi, 9, 152n.26 Kōgimon’in, 54 Kōgon, Emperor, 94 Ko’ichibō, 59, 168n.3 Kōichibō of Nanyō’s itinerant group, 101–105 Kō‘ichibō of Sixth Avenue Practice Hall, 89–90, 91 Koku’amidabutsu Zuishin, 96, 97, 121 Konrenji, 94 Kontaiji kakochō, 114–115 kugutsu, 32


Kujō Tadanori, 88 Kuroda Hideo, 13 Kūya, 2–3, 9, 97 Kyō‘amidabutsu, 67, 68 Kyoto, 5; planning layout of, 78, 173n.3; turbulence in 1330s era, 78–80; warriors in, 79, 86, 174–175n.28 Kyoto practice halls, xiv, 4, 77–99, 109; Eighth Avenue, 97; Fifth Avenue, 96; Fourth Avenue, 54, 79, 94–96, 176–177n.61, 177n.65; Seventh Avenue, xv, 20, 79, 83–88, 96–97, 98, 108; Sixth Avenue, 44, 79, 88–93, 98, 175n.36, 175n.47 leadership role of women, 28–30, 70–76, 122–124; of Chin’ichibō, 17–19, 20, 28, 92, 122, 126–127; of Dai’ichibō, 26, 28, 43, 103, 158–159n.38; of Gen’ichibō, 71–72; of Kaibutsubō, 72–74; of Ryōmyō, 125–127; of Shu’ichibō, 66; of Son’ichibō, 66 leaf talisman of Koku’amidabutsu, 97 literacy skills in practice halls, 65, 67 Lotus Sutra, 10, 11, 33, 133, 146 Mantokuji, 118, 122, 186n.80 Masuda Dōjō, xvi, 22, 27, 159n.42 medical care, 38–39, 163n.27; Bōhishō regulations on, 38, 81, 135; by kinsōi, 42, 164–165nn.40–42; in pregnancy and childbirth, 54, 55, 168nn.85–86; for warriors, 38–39, 42, 54–55, 164–165nn.40–42, 168nn.85–86 Meeks, Lori, 13, 29, 62, 63, 176n52 Meitokuki, 39, 164n.31 menstrual cycle, 113, 123, 167n.78, 187n.11 merchants, 70–71, 99, 179n.85 metal specialists included in death registry, 115 midwifery practices, 54, 55 Mieidō, 121, 178n.71; fans sold by, 4, 96, 178n.72, 178n.74 miko, 2, 12–14, 32, 122, 150–151n.7, 154n.38, 160n.6; activities and performances of, 63, 170n.23; arukimiko, 12–13, 32, 154n.39; in contact with spirits, 12, 13,

Index 32, 104; included in death registers, 116; performing at festivals, 8–9 military campaigns, 31, 38–43; involvement of nuns in, 42–43, 54–55, 165n.44; medical care of warriors in, 38–39, 42, 54–55, 164–165nn.40–42, 168nn.85–86; nembutsu chanting in, 39–41, 163–164n.31; roles and duties of jishū in, 40–43, 54–55 mixed-gender practice halls, 6, 15–16, 17–30; Bōhishō document on conduct in, 28–29, 81–83, 133–136; Engi-e scroll on, 24, 157n.25; female leadership of, 1, 4, 17–19, 20, 26, 28–30, 66, 70–76; gradual expulsion of nuns from, 83; Ji-sect denouncing, 118; in Kyoto, 77–99; nuns entering before monks, 19–20, 21–22; separation of monks and nuns in, 22, 24–25, 75, 81–82, 87, 88, 107; sexual conduct in, 106–108 (See also sexual activity); Shinkyō on conduct in, 24–25, 46–47, 74–75; spatial organization of, 16, 22–28, 159n.45; Takuga on conduct in, 19–21, 80, 83–88, 136–141 monasteries, establishment of, 118 monzeki, 62, 73 Moromori (Nakahara Moromori), 88–93, 98 Moromori-ki (Record of Moromori), 89, 91, 93, 94 Morosuke (Nakahara Morosuke) 92–93 mortuary services, 89, 91, 93, 175n.40 Mount Hiei, 62, 76, 99, 122 Mount Kōya, 9, 32, 44, 62, 76 Mugai Nyodai, 76 musical skills, 2 myōchō (salvation registers), 126 Myōichibō, 50–52, 53, 94, 104–105, 132 Nakahara household, 89–93, 94 Nakajō Dōjō, 68, 69, 82, 129 naming conventions: for nuns and monks, 5, 21, 112; for practice hall leaders, 113; shōnin title in, 79, 94, 95, 108, 110, 153–154n.34; Ta’amidabutsu title in, 15, 108, 181n.20, 181n.22, 182n.24 Nanyō, 100–102, 103, 104, 105 Nasu, honorable elderly nun of, 72, 172n.53

nembutsu practice, 1–2, 3, 7, 9–11, 151–152n.18; all-night chanting in, 89, 91, 92, 175n.42; in childbirth, 54; contemplative form of, 20, 153n.28; dancing in, 19, 29, 45–46, 96, 97, 178n.76; deathbed, 10–11, 39–41, 54, 56, 58–59, 90; Hijiri-e and Engi-e scrolls on, 45; of Ippen, 11, 43; in military battles, 39–41, 163–164n.31; practice halls established for, 14–16 (See also practice halls); for rebirth in Pure Land, 9, 10, 11, 14, 17, 21, 39–40, 58–59, 66, 90; Takuga on, 19, 21; vocal form of, 10, 153n.28; of women, 12, 21, 99, 156n.12 Nenbutsubō, 44 Nichiren, 121, 122 Nijō, Lady, 33–35, 53, 161–162n.13. See also Go-Fukakusain no Nijō Nikki Yoshinaga, 42–43, 54 Nin’ichibō (Shōbutsubō), 101–102, 103, 105, 106 Nishiguchi Junko, 60 Nomori no kagami (Mirror of the watchman of the fields), 6, 45 nunneries, 61–63, 118, 169n.16, 170n.21 obedience: oath of, 13, 64, 65, 66, 73, 113, 184n.49; pardon requests for violations of, 101–106; to patrons, 68–69; to Shinkyō, 35, 36, 64–65, 66, 68–69, 73, 113 Oda Nobunaga, 110, 182n.32 ōhara-me (ladies of Ōhara), 32 Ōjō yōshū (Essentials of salvation), 10 Okuichibō, 67, 68 Okunotani Dōjō, 1, 4, 15; Chin’ichibō as leader of, 17–19, 20, 28, 92, 126–127; conversion to Yugyō school, 19, 21; Takuga on protocol in, 19–20, 21 Ōmiya Dōjō, 98 Onomichi Dōjō, 22–27, 28, 43, 113, 158–159n.38 Onomichi-shi (History of Onomichi), 26 Ōtō monogatari, 39, 164n.31 pardon requests for misconduct, 101–106, 114 patrons. See sponsors and patrons


Index personal possessions, 67–68 pilgrimages, 28–29, 31, 34–35, 127–128 practice halls, 3, 5, 56–76, 150n2; auspicious death in, 114, 184n.53; communication and travel between, 53; functions of, 59, 74, 88, 98; in Kyoto, xiv, 4, 77–99, 109; literacy in, 65, 67; location along major transportation routes, 27–28, 53, 57, 71, 160n.47; map of, xiii; mixed-gender (See mixedgender practice halls); personal attendants in, 73; religious names for leaders of, 113; Shinkyō encouraging establishment of, 14–15, 16, 45, 46, 64; sponsors and patrons of, 57 (See also sponsors and patrons); unapproved relocation of members, 82 pregnancy, 54, 106–108, 167n.84 Pure Land, rebirth in. See rebirth in Pure Land Pure Land School, 9, 11, 76, 141–147 rai as punishment, 81, 82, 83, 133, 134 rebirth in Pure Land, 58–59, 64–65, 112, 113, 114; of Chin’ichibō, 19, 20; nembutsu chant for, 9, 10, 11, 14, 17, 21, 39–40, 58–59, 66, 90; obedience required for, 64; obstacles for women in, 62; pardon requests for, 101–106, 114; register of jishū achieving, 114, 184n.56; separation of nuns and monks required for, 25, 75; Shinkyō on, 25, 66, 67, 68, 73, 75; Takuga on, 21, 84; of warriors, 39–40 religious names. See naming conventions Ren’amidabutsu, 69–70 Rennyo, 117, 185n.72 Rin’a, 100–101, 103, 105 Ritsu sect, 62–63, 170n.21 Rokuhara nanbokuchō, 116 Rokujō Dōjō (Sixth Avenue Practice Hall), 44, 79, 88–93, 98, 175n.36, 175n.47 Ruch, Barbara, x, 4, 149n6 Ryō‘amidabutsu, 58 Ryōgen, 125–127 Ryōichibō, 52 Ryōmyō, 125–127, 187n.13, 188n.18


Ryōnin, 3, 9, 152n.25 Ryū‘ichibō, 68, 69 sallekhanā practices, 128 salvation registers (myōchō), 126 Sansei yuijū shō (Ken’a), 54 scheduled itinerant missions, 47–49 Sei’ichibō, 95 Sen’a, 1, 19, 20, 127 Senchaku hongan nembutsu shū (Hōnen), 11 Sesshū, 27 Seventh Avenue Practice Hall, xv, 20, 79, 96–97, 98, 108; Takuga rules on conduct in, 83–88 sexual activity, 34; Bōhishō document on misconduct in, 28–29, 81–82, 83; conception of child in, 106–108; and expectations for celibacy, 6, 16, 22; pardon requests for misconduct in, 105, 106; same-sex, 181n.13; Shinkyō prohibiting, 24–25, 46–47, 106, 181n.13 shamans, 2, 7, 12, 13, 32, 54, 104 Shi’amidabutsu, 75 Shichijō Dōjō (Seventh Avenue Practice Hall), 20, 79, 182n.24 Shijō Dōjō (Fourth Avenue Practice Hall), 54, 79, 92–93, 94–96, 176–177n.61, 177n.65 Shikoku Pilgrimage, 128 Shimogyō district of Kyoto, 78, 79, 86, 173n.4, 174–175n.28 Shimojō Dōjō, 69–70 Shin Buddhism, 125–126 Shinkyō, 14, 39, 58, 72, 77; conduct regulations of, 24–25, 28, 74–75, 106, 181n.13; Dai’ichibō criticized by, 68, 69, 82, 129–130; on deathbed nembutsu, 58–59; death of, 47, 49, 130; displeasure toward Shōichibō, 35, 36; Engi-e scroll on, 15, 36–37, 44, 45, 46, 155n.49; as extraordinary visitor, 37; at Ise Shrine, 124, 187n.11; and Jō‘amidabutsu, 94–95; Kaibutsubō correspondence with, 72–74; Myōichibō criticized by, 50–51; obedience expected by, 35, 36, 64–65, 66, 68–69, 73, 113; practice halls established and encouraged by, 14–15,

Index 16, 45, 46, 64; on Shimojō Dōjō, 69–70; Shu’ichibō correspondence with, 66–67; Son’ichibō correspondence with, 66; as successor of Ippen, 15, 24, 44–46, 155n.49; and suna mochi, 36–37; at Taima Dōjō, 14, 15, 46, 47, 49, 67, 181n.20, 182n.24; travel of, 15, 36–37, 44 Shinran, 121, 122 Shinshū yōhō ki (Record of important teachings of the Pure Land School), 141–147 Shiokōji Dōjō, 98 shira bikuni (white nun), 33, 161n.12 Shōamidabutsu, 59, 172n.59 Shō’amidabutsu, 98 Shōbutsubō (Nin’ichibō), 101–102, 103, 105, 106 Shōhōji, 97, 178–179n.79 Shōichibō, 35–36 Shōkai, 44, 45, 88 Shokunin utaawase (Poetry competition among people of various occupations), 71, 171n.49 shōmonji, 32–33 shōnin title, 79, 94, 95, 108, 110, 153–154n.34 Shōrinji (Kodera Dōjō), 115 Shu’ichibō, 66–67 Sixth Avenue Practice Hall, 44, 79, 88–93, 98, 175n.36, 175n.47 social hierarchy, 61–62, 73, 125, 187n.12 Song Hŭi-gyŏ, 107, 108, 164n84 Son’ichibō, 66 Son’ne, 116 Sono’amidabutsu, 26, 113, 158n38 Sōtō Zen, 123 Spain, Daphne, 22, 25, 26 spirits: malignant, 104, 180n.8; women as mediums for, 12, 13, 32, 101–105 sponsors and patrons, 17, 18, 27, 70–71; benefits for, 57, 58; importance of relationship with, 82; obedience expected to wishes of, 68–69; warriors as, 65, 69, 70, 74; women as, 3, 4, 5, 70, 72 suffering, twelve conditions responsible for, 106, 180–181n.12 suicide, ritual, 116, 185n.70

suna mochi (practice of carrying sand blocks), 36–37 sute-hijiri (holy man who discarded everything), 36 Ta’amidabutsu, title of, 15, 108, 181n.20, 181n.22, 182n.24 Taiheiki war tale, 39, 116, 163–164n.31, 185n.70 Taikū, 106–107, 116 Taima Dōjō, xv; Chitoku at, 47, 48, 49; Shinkyō at, 14, 15, 46, 47, 49, 67, 181n.20, 182n.24 Takajin shrine, 8–9 Takuga, 18–22, 181n.22; conduct regulations of, 19–21, 80, 83–88, 136–141; death register recordings of, 115–116; encounter with Chin’ichibō, 18–19, 28, 42, 84, 136–137, 155n.1; letter to Nikki Yoshinaga, 42–43, 54; on religious naming conventions, 21, 112 Tengu-zōshi emaki (Picture scroll of the Tengu story), 6, 37–38, 45, 151n.17 Thornton, Sybil, 15, 39, 109, 110, 149n4, 151n18 Tōichibō, 67, 68 Ton’ishō (Notes of a simple physician), 38, 54 tonsure, taking the, 61, 72, 125, 169n.8, 169n.10; reasons for, 60, 92; Shinkyō on, 25, 68, 75 Towazugatari (Unrequested tales, or Confessions of Lady Nijō), 33, 161–162n.13 Tōzai sayō shō (Summary of conduct at all times and places), 80, 83–88, 138–141, 174nn.20–21 travel, 1, 2–3, 4–5, 11–14, 31–55, 161– 162nn.11–13; of arukimiko, 12–13; Bōhishō document on conduct in, 28–29, 135–136; Chitoku on importance of, 49, 50; of entertainers and performers, 32–33; of extraordinary visitors, 36–40, 56, 97, 162n.18; food shortages in, 52–53; of Gen’ichibō, 52, 53; government sanction of, 109–110; growth of entourage in, 110, 113;


Index travel (cont.) Hijiri-e scroll on, 3, 31; of Ippen, 3, 7, 43–44; of Jō‘amidabutsu, 94, 95; of Lady Nijō, 33–35, 53, 161–162n.13; for military campaigns, 31, 38–43; of Myōichibō, 50–52, 53; to Onomichi Dōjō, 26; to provincial practice halls, 66; retirement of jishū from, 48, 50; roles of hijiri in, 32, 36–40; for scheduled itinerant missions, 47–49; of Shinkyō, 15, 36–37, 44; of Shōichibō, 35–36; Takuga encounter with Chin’ichibō in, 18–19, 42, 84 True Pure Land Buddhism, 117 tsumado jishū, x, 3, 149n.4 twelve conditions causing human suffering, 106, 180–181n.12 Umeda Dōjō, 113 urban jishū nuns in Kyoto practice halls, 77–99 Wakita Haruko, 5, 113 warriors, 65, 78, 79, 80; death register listings of, 116, 185n.70; in Kyoto, 79, 86, 174–175n.28; medical care for, 38–39, 42, 54–55, 164–165nn.40–42, 168nn.85–86; as practice hall sponsors, 65, 69, 70, 74 weapons, jishū prohibited from holding, 41 women: change in attitudes toward, 99, 100, 110–113, 118–119, 122; conduct regulations, 106–108 (See also conduct regulations); direct access to leaders, 104–105, 106; evil nature of, 20, 21; five obstacles for, 62, 169n.19; gradual expulsion from practice halls, 83; impurity of, 112–113; inferior status of, 20, 21, 62, 169n.19; leadership role of (See


leadership role of women); menstrual cycle of, 113, 123, 167n.78, 187n.11; as merchants, 71, 99, 179n.85; in mixedgender practice halls (See mixed-gender practice halls); nembutsu practice of, 12, 21, 99, 156n, 156n.12; religious names as nuns, 5, 21, 112; return to secular life, 60; as shamans, 2, 7, 12, 13, 32, 104; in Shin Buddhism, 125; in social hierarchy, 61–62, 73; sources of information on roles of, 4, 5–6, 120–121, 122–124; as sponsors and patrons, 3, 4, 5, 72; travel of, 31–36, 161–162nn.11–13; way of life as nuns, 60–63 Yamamoto, Lord, 72–74, 172n.59 Yo’amidabutsu, 71–72 Yugyō school, xv, 100–119; acceptance by elites, 28; changing attitude toward women in, 110–113, 118–119, 122; compared to Shin Buddhism, 126; death concept in, 58, 113–114, 184n.53; denouncement of mixed-gender practice halls, 118; forced conversions to, 95, 96, 176–177n.61; government sanction of, 108–110, 116; historical materials preserved by, 5–6; Ippen as founder of, 3; Okunotani Dōjō joining, 19, 21; practice halls of (See practice halls); religious naming conventions in, 21, 112, 113; Shinkyō in formation of, 14, 15, 58; suna mochi in, 36–37; Takuga as leader of, 18, 20 Yugyō shōnin engi-e. See Engi-e scroll yūzū nembutsu, 9 Zenkōji, x, 3, 34–35, 149n.4 Zen’nenji, 107, 108, 181n.18

About the Author Caitilin J. Griffiths teaches premodern Japa­nese history and culture at the University of Toronto, where she obtained her PhD. She has also taught at Ryerson University and has held research positions at the Historiographical Institute, University of Tokyo, and Kyoto University.