Τρίτη 12 Δεκεμβρίου 2017

Buddism and Law in Japan

"The Ritsuryo code of 718, patterned partially on Tang legal codes, issued a set of specific guidelines for the behavior of Buddhist monks and nuns in its seventh section entitled "Laws for Monks and Nuns" (soniryo). While prohibiting acts not directly discussed by the Buddhist precepts, such as military training or action, the code also clearly intersected at points with the Vinaya, such as subjecting those who make false claims of enlightenment to civil law. In each temple, three monk administrators (sango) were to keep the monastic register and oversee any changes in status, such as a monk's or nun's decision to return to lay life as well as other petitions, most of which required record keeping and government notification; they were, moreover, required to mete out the punishment for infractions - typically, labor on monastery grounds."

"The creation of extensive rules within temples seems to have coincided with the gradual weakening of the Ritsuryo state form and, by extension, the weakening of any effective aspects of the soniryo codes. At the same time, ..., monks and nuns were extremely free figures even at the height of the presumed use of the soniryo codes. So it is difficult - at least in the ninth century - to conclude that the production of temple rules was directly related to the general demise of the Ritsuryo system and the soniryo within it, which is thought to have occured significantly from the tenth century onward."

"Research on the relationship between Buddhism and law in the Tokugawa period remains limited in its scope, given that few studies have addressed the distinction between "[doctrinal] school of law" (shuha ho), specific temple law (kobetsu jiho). and shogunal temple law (bakufu jiho), despite the fact that extant manuscripts are plentiful. We do know, though, that the shogunate gave the leadership of the relevant doctrinal schools, which it had strengthened in the process of constructing a more centralized system of governance over temples, responsibility for handling lawsuits and only intervened if the temple's leaders could not decide."

Brian Ruppert, Buddhism and Law in Japan, in: Buddhism and Law. An Introduction (R. Redwood French and M.A. Nathan, eds.), Cambridge University Press, 2014, pp. 273, 274, 286.

Οι φωτογραφίες είναι από το Kyoto, 2005.

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