Ryôgen and Mount Hieifocuses on the transformation of the Tendai School from a small and impoverished group of monks in the early ninth century to its emergence as the most powerful and influential school in Japanese Buddhism in the last half of the tenth century-a position it would maintain throughout the medieval period. This is the first study in a Western language of the institutional factors that lay behind the school's success. At its core is a biography of a major figure behind this transformation, Ryôgen (912-985). The discussion, however, extends well beyond a simple biography as Ryôgen's activities are placed in their historical and institutional context.
The study concludes with a discussion of the ordinations and roles of nuns during the early Heian period. An examination of Ryôgen's close relation with his mother helps define the ambiguities of a school that prohibited women from the precincts of its temple yet performed rituals to insure safe childbirth and frequently attracted their patronage. A number of primary sources are translated in the appendices.
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