Book: Exploring Shinto
Chapter: 5. Conceptions of Kami in the Writings of Tendai Monk Jien
The historic and poetic writings of the Tendai monk Jien (1155–1255) express complex philosophical and religious concepts, among them Jien’s views on deities or kami. Jien shared his contemporaries’ doctrine of honji suijaku (‘original nature and provisional manifestation’) and built the complicated hierarchy of kami with Amaterasu at the top of it. Thus what Jien said about Japan as a country can be understood in terms of the concept of “the divine land”.