This study addresses the relationship between the veneration of Buddha relics and the appropriation of power in early medieval Japan. Focusing on the ninth to the 14th centuries, it analyses the ways in which relics functioned as material media for the interactions of Buddhist clerics, the imperial family, lay aristocrats, and warrior society and explores the multi-vocality of relics by dealing with specific historical examples. Brian Ruppert argues that relics offered means for reinforcing or subverting hierarchical relations. The author's critical literary and anthropological analyses attest to the prominence of relic veneration in government, in lay practice associated with the maintenance of the imperial line and warrior houses, and in the promotion of specific Buddhist sects in Japan.
Buy Jewel in the Ashes book by Brian D. Ruppert from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(229mm x 152mm x 41mm)
Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
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