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Zen RitualStudies of Zen Theory in Practice$
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Steven Heine and Dale S. Wright

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304671

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304671.001.0001

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 Invocation of the Sage: The Ritual to Glorify the Emperor

 Invocation of the Sage: The Ritual to Glorify the Emperor

Chapter:
(p.205) 7 Invocation of the Sage: The Ritual to Glorify the Emperor
Source:
Zen Ritual
Author(s):

Michel Mohr

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304671.003.0008

Chapter 7 describes the history and contemporary standing of a political ritual practiced in most Japanese Zen monasteries and temples today. This hour long ritual—Shukushin (Invoking the Sage)—is performed at least twenty‐six times each year throughout Japan. The concept of the sage can be traced back from classical Daoism and the practice of rituals on behalf of the well‐being and long life of the emperor through early Chinese Buddhist sources up through the Sung dynasty Ch'an school. Describing the ritual as it is performed today in Japan, the essay shows how continuity of ritual tradition is maintained in Zen even into the postwar era in which the emperor's role in maintaining the prosperity and well‐being of the nation is minimal.

Keywords:   political ritual, Shukushin, Invoking the Sage, Japanese Emperor Worship, Ch'an Buddhism

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