Pearl in the Shrine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study attempts to re-imagine early Japanese sovereignty through an examination of the relationship between the so-called "three regalia " of the ruler and Buddhism. Based on an analysis of relevant primary sources in printed, and archival collections as well as drawing on the recent research of Japanese scholars such as Abe Yasurō, Shirayama Yoshitarō and Satō Hiroo, this paper Jocuses especially on. the connection between the jewel among the regalia and the wish-fulfilling jewel of esoteric Buddhism to argue that Shinto as we know it is inexorably linked with Buddhism. Clerics of Kenmitsu Buddhist traditions, together with the sovereigns who patronized them, constituted by the fourteenth century a milieu that assumed possession of the regalia guaranteed royal sovereignty - a view that was produced primarily within and through the theories and practices of esoteric Buddhism. This conclusion enables us not only to reenvision the Buddhist character of Japanese sovereignty, but also to embark on a. renewed examination of the Buddhist roots of royal Shinto discourse and ideology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-33
Number of pages33
JournalJapanese Journal of Religious Studies
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Ise
  • Kitabatake chikafusa
  • Nyoi hōju
  • Regalia
  • Relics
  • Shinto
  • Tsūkai

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Pearl in the Shrine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this