Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Miidera 三井寺 and the Revolving Canon 輪藏

We are glad to visit the Tendai monastery Miidera 三井寺 or Onjoji園城寺, which is one of the most famous temples in Japan. It was burnt down and rebuilt several times and the current structure was built in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century.  What attracted me is the device of the Revolving Canon 輪藏 which was moved here in 1602. It is supposed to hold the entire Goryeo Canon or Tripitaka Koreana but can not revolve. The device was invented by Fudashi 傅大士 in China in the sixth century. The altar for him and his two sons has disappeared. I have a discussion about this device in my paper collected in Spreading Buddha's Word in East Asian: The Formation and Transformation of the Chinese Buddhist Canon.
Here is the full reference:
From the "Cult of the Book" to the "Cult of the Canon": A Neglected Tradition in Chinese Buddhism, by Jiang Wu
In Wu, Jiang and Lucille Chia. 2015. Spreading buddha's word in east asia: The formation and transformation of the chinese buddhist canon. New York: Columbia University Press.
Photo by Jiang Wu

Photo by Jiang Wu

Photo by Jiang Wu

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