The Gates of Power: Monks, Courtiers, and Warriors in Premodern Japan

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9780824822637: The Gates of Power: Monks, Courtiers, and Warriors in Premodern Japan

The political influence of temples in premodern Japan, most clearly manifested in divine demonstrations―where rowdy monks and shrine servants brought holy symbols to the capital to exert pressure on courtiers―has traditionally been condemned and is poorly understood. In an impressive examination of this intriguing aspect of medieval Japan, the author employs a wide range of previously neglected sources to argue that religious protest was a symptom of political factionalism in the capital rather than its cause. It is his contention that religious violence can be traced primarily to attempts by secular leaders to rearrange religious and political hierarchies to their own advantage, thereby leaving disfavored religious institutions to fend for their accustomed rights and status. In this context, divine demonstrations became the preferred negotiating tool for monastic complexes. For almost three centuries, such strategies allowed a handful of elite temples to maintain enough of an equilibrium to sustain and defend the old style of rulership even against the efforts of the Ashikaga Shogunate in the mid-fourteenth century.

By acknowledging temples and monks as legitimate co-rulers, The Gates of Power provides a new synthesis of Japanese rulership from the late Heian (794–1185) to the early Muromachi (1336–1573) eras, offering a unique and comprehensive analysis that brings together the spheres of art, religion, ideas, and politics in medieval Japan.

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About the Author:

Mikael S. Adolphson is associate professor of Japanese cultural studies at the University of Alberta.

Review:

A judicious, detailed, and highly informative account of a complicated history. Relations between the court and the religious elite are extremely confusing, and Adolphson has done an admirable job of sorting out the conflicts and guiding us through them. (Journal of Japanese Studies)

An impressive contribution on many levels (The Journal of Religion)

Without question, one of the most thought-provoking non-Japanese works to be written on Japanese medieval history in years (Japanese Journal of Religious Studies)

[Adolphson’s] ideas are often very interesting and deserve to be considered by those who teach survey courses in Japanese and East Asian history as well as by ... specialists (American Historical Review)

Valuable ... This book is worth considering for advanced undergraduates. (Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies)

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Book Description University of Hawai i Press, United States, 2000. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The political influences of temples in pre-modern Japan, most clearly manifested in divine demonstrations - where rowdy monks and shrine servants brought holy symbols to the capital to exert pressure on courtiers - has traditionally been condemned and is poorly understood. In his examination of this intriguing aspect of mediaeval Japan, the author employs a wide range of sources to argue that religious protest was a symptom of political factionalism and capital rather than its cause. It is his contention that religious violence can be traced primarily to attempts by secular leaders to re-arrange religious and political hierarchies to their own advantage, thereby leaving disfavoured religious institutions to fend for their accustomed rights and status. In this context, divine demonstrations became the preferred negotiating tool for monastic complexities. For almost three centuries, such strategies allowed a handful of elite temples to sustain and defend the old style of rulership. By acknowledging temples and monks as legitimate co-rulers, this text provides a synthesis of Japanese rulership from the late Heian (794-1185) to the early Muromachi (1336-1573) eras, offering a comprehensive analysis that brings together the spheres of art, religion, ideas and politics in mediaeval Japan. Bookseller Inventory # TNP9780824822637

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Book Description University of Hawai i Press, United States, 2000. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The political influences of temples in pre-modern Japan, most clearly manifested in divine demonstrations - where rowdy monks and shrine servants brought holy symbols to the capital to exert pressure on courtiers - has traditionally been condemned and is poorly understood. In his examination of this intriguing aspect of mediaeval Japan, the author employs a wide range of sources to argue that religious protest was a symptom of political factionalism and capital rather than its cause. It is his contention that religious violence can be traced primarily to attempts by secular leaders to re-arrange religious and political hierarchies to their own advantage, thereby leaving disfavoured religious institutions to fend for their accustomed rights and status. In this context, divine demonstrations became the preferred negotiating tool for monastic complexities. For almost three centuries, such strategies allowed a handful of elite temples to sustain and defend the old style of rulership. By acknowledging temples and monks as legitimate co-rulers, this text provides a synthesis of Japanese rulership from the late Heian (794-1185) to the early Muromachi (1336-1573) eras, offering a comprehensive analysis that brings together the spheres of art, religion, ideas and politics in mediaeval Japan. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780824822637

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Book Description University of Hawai i Press, United States, 2000. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The political influences of temples in pre-modern Japan, most clearly manifested in divine demonstrations - where rowdy monks and shrine servants brought holy symbols to the capital to exert pressure on courtiers - has traditionally been condemned and is poorly understood. In his examination of this intriguing aspect of mediaeval Japan, the author employs a wide range of sources to argue that religious protest was a symptom of political factionalism and capital rather than its cause. It is his contention that religious violence can be traced primarily to attempts by secular leaders to re-arrange religious and political hierarchies to their own advantage, thereby leaving disfavoured religious institutions to fend for their accustomed rights and status. In this context, divine demonstrations became the preferred negotiating tool for monastic complexities. For almost three centuries, such strategies allowed a handful of elite temples to sustain and defend the old style of rulership. By acknowledging temples and monks as legitimate co-rulers, this text provides a synthesis of Japanese rulership from the late Heian (794-1185) to the early Muromachi (1336-1573) eras, offering a comprehensive analysis that brings together the spheres of art, religion, ideas and politics in mediaeval Japan. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780824822637

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Book Description University of Hawaii Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 472 pages. Dimensions: 9.3in. x 6.5in. x 1.5in.The political influences of temples in pre-modern Japan, most clearly manifested in divine demonstrations - where rowdy monks and shrine servants brought holy symbols to the capital to exert pressure on courtiers - has traditionally been condemned and is poorly understood. In his examination of this intriguing aspect of mediaeval Japan, the author employs a wide range of sources to argue that religious protest was a symptom of political factionalism and capital rather than its cause. It is his contention that religious violence can be traced primarily to attempts by secular leaders to re-arrange religious and political hierarchies to their own advantage, thereby leaving disfavoured religious institutions to fend for their accustomed rights and status. In this context, divine demonstrations became the preferred negotiating tool for monastic complexities. For almost three centuries, such strategies allowed a handful of elite temples to sustain and defend the old style of rulership. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Bookseller Inventory # 9780824822637

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