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Against HarmonyProgressive and Radical Buddhism in Modern Japan$
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James Mark Shields

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190664008

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190664008.001.0001

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Zen and the Art of Treason

Zen and the Art of Treason

Renegade Priests of Late Meiji

(p.137) 4 Zen and the Art of Treason
Against Harmony

James Mark Shields

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4, “Zen and the Art of Treason: Renegade Priests of Late Meiji,” explores the rise and eventual fall of so-called radical Buddhism in the closing decade of the Meiji period—a time marked by the Russo-Japanese War and its aftermath. Radical Buddhism is defined here as the self-conscious use of Buddhist doctrines, ideas, or principles to foment resistance to the imperial state, and it takes on various forms during this tumultuous period. This chapter examines and explores the life and work of two “renegade” monks—Takagi Kenmyō and Uchiyama Gudō—in order to explore the underlying assumptions, problems, and possibilities of Buddhist-inspired radical politics in late Meiji and subsequent decades.

Keywords:   radicalism, anarchism, socialism, Zen, Pure Land Buddhism

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