Pu Yin Lecture Series: 'Buddhism and Protest in Early Modern Japan'
Join the University of Arizona Center for Buddhist Studies for our Pu Yin Lecture Series for spring 2021, co-sponsored by the Pu Yin Education Center, China.
"Buddhism and Protest in Early Modern Japan: Buddhist Priests as Arbiters of Conflicts in Local Communities" | Thursday, April 8, 4 p.m.
Takashi Miura, Associate Professor, Department of East Asian Studies
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Buddhist priests were frequent participants in peasant protests in Tokugawa Japan (1603–1867). In many cases, local priests served as mediators between villagers and authorities, and their contributions are highlighted in extant records (both written and oral) that portray them as competent negotiators who pressured government officials to embody the ideal of “benevolent governance” (jinsei). Yet, some records also present Buddhist priests as lazy and corrupt, neglecting to perform their mediating duties and failing to protect the interests of local communities. This presentation examines the complex positionality of Buddhist institutions and their representatives in local communities in early modern Japan utilizing resources traditionally reserved for the study of peasant protests.
These lecture series are made possible thanks to the generous support from Pu Yin Education Center and Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou, China. For more information about our lecture series, please visit our website, linked below.