Dōji, Saichō, and the Post–Nihon Shoki Shōtoku Cult
The monk Dōji was one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his day and quite possibly an editor of the Nihon shoki. In addition to being one of the chief architects of Buddhist-state relations of the Nara period, Dōji also played a central role in the reconstruction of Hōryūji and the establishment of Shōtoku as Dharma King and guardian deity of the court. Spurred in part by Dōji's emphasis upon Chinese models of Buddhist kingship, the Shōtoku legend corpus continued to grow throughout the Nara period as the pre-eminent sage of the Japanese islands was identified as an incarnation of the Chinese T'ien-t'ai patriarch Hui-ssu. By the beginning of the Heian period, this process was in full swing as Shōtoku cum Hui-ssu was enshrined as a core element in the emerging Tendai tradition's self-definition and as a cornerstone of early Heian conceptions of the broader Buddhist tradition.
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