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Hokkeji and the Reemergence of Female Monastic Orders in Premodern Japan$
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Lori R. Meeks

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824833947

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824833947.001.0001

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date: 18 December 2017

Representations of Women and Gender in Ritsu Literature

Representations of Women and Gender in Ritsu Literature

Chapter:
(p.250) 7 Representations of Women and Gender in Ritsu Literature
Source:
Hokkeji and the Reemergence of Female Monastic Orders in Premodern Japan
Author(s):

Lori Meeks

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824833947.003.0008

This chapter examines representations of the nuns' order and its place in the Ritsu hierarchy, paying particular attention to the degree to which monks and nuns employed different language when describing the place of women in the order. While the members of the monks' order made it clear that they envisioned themselves as the stewards of the nuns' order, Hokkeji nuns barely mentioned Ritsu monks. Their texts hold Queen-Consort Kōmyō—and not any monk or group of monks—to be the leader of the nuns' order. Moreover, while monks tended to ground their views in scholarly and doctrinal texts, the nuns of Hokkeji chose to preserve a less doctrinal, more lay-oriented approach to salvation that downplayed soteriological obstacles related to the female body and focused instead on the saving power of their venerated patron goddess.

Keywords:   Ritsu hierarchy, Hokkeji nuns, Ritsu monks, Kōmyō, female body

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