1st Edition

Daoism in Japan Chinese traditions and their influence on Japanese religious culture

Edited By Jeffrey L. Richey Copyright 2015
    284 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    282 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Like an ancient river, Daoist traditions introduced from China once flowed powerfully through the Japanese religious landscape, forever altering its topography and ecology. Daoism’s presence in Japan still may be discerned in its abiding influence on astrology, divination, festivals, literature, politics, and popular culture, not to mention Buddhism and Shintō. Despite this legacy, few English-language studies of Daoism’s influence on Japanese religious culture have been published.

    Daoism in Japan provides an exploration of the particular pathways by which Daoist traditions entered Japan from continental East Asia. After addressing basic issues in both Daoist Studies and the study of Japanese religions, including the problems of defining ‘Daoism’ and ‘Japanese,’ the book looks at the influence of Daoism on ancient, medieval and modern Japan in turn. To do so, the volume is arranged both chronologically and topically, according to the following three broad divisions: "Arrivals" (c. 5th-8th centuries CE), "Assimilations" (794-1868), and "Apparitions" (1600s-present). The book demonstrates how Chinese influence on Japanese religious culture ironically proved to be crucial in establishing traditions that usually are seen as authentically, even quintessentially, Japanese.

    Touching on multiple facets of Japanese cultural history and religious traditions, this book is a fascinating contribution for students and scholars of Japanese Culture, History and Religions, as well as Daoist Studies.

    Introduction Conjuring Cultures: Daoism in Japan Jeffrey L. Richey Part 1: Arrivals 1. Pleiades Retrieved: A Chinese Asterism’s Journey to Japan Jonathan Smith 2. Daoist Deities in Ancient Japan: Household Deities, Jade Women and Popular Religious Practice Michael Como 3. Framing Daoist Fragments, 670-750 Herman Ooms 4. Daoist Resonance in a "Perfected Immortal": A Case Study of Awata no Ason Mahito N. Harry Rothschild and Kristen Knapp Part 2: Assimilations 5. Onmyōdō Divination Techniques and Daoism Kunio Miura (trans. Stephen Eskildsen) 6. The Laŏzĭ and the Emergence of Shintō at Ise Mark Teeuwen 7. Demarcation from Daoism in Shinran’s Kyōgyōshinshō Michael Conway 8. Kōshin: Expelling Daoist Demons with Buddhist Means Livia Kohn Part 3: Apparitions 9. The Zhuāngzĭ, Haikai, and the Poetry of Bashō Peipei Qiu 10. The Eight Trigrams and Their Changes: Divination in Early Modern Japan Matthias Hayek 11. Crossing the Borders: The Magical Practices of Izanagi-ryū Carolyn Pang


    Jeffrey L. Richey is Associate Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Berea College, USA, and the author of Confucius in East Asia: Confucianism’s History in China, Korea, Japan, and Viet Nam (2013), among other works on East Asian religious history.