Book: The Religious Body Imagined
Chapter: 11. Political and Social Functions of Japanese ‘Buddhist’ Goddesses
This paper highlights some of the major female deities in the hybrid Indo-Sino-Japanese Buddhist pantheon who derive from non-Buddhist goddess traditions in Asia. By historically tracing the genealogies of some key female exemplars, and by showcasing their political and social roles, this chapter focuses scholarly attention on, and analyzes critically, the varied yet ubiquitous roles that the mythic female has played in the Japanese state throughout history.