Book: Exploring Shinto
Chapter: 11. Multiple Divinities in Shin Buddhist Temples
In this paper, the author discusses the connection between Shintō and Shin Buddhism by examining the development of the Shin Buddhist head temple Kinshokuji. Through an analysis of different sources (tales and precinct-layouts), the author seeks to reconsider two views on Buddhism. First, he shows that while the sectarian boundaries of a temple are significant for understanding its structure, the individual local conditions (history or customs) are to no small extent crucial factors in the formation of a temple’s identity. Kinshokuji's local conditions led to the appearance of a Shintō shrine within the precincts. The author proposes an approach that can elucidate this unique example of a Shin Buddhist head temple. He shows, secondly, that the contacts between Buddhism and Shintō were not only based on a unidirectional Buddhist interest. On the other hand, it enabled Shintō itself to benefit from a many Buddhist strengths.