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Medieval Japan’s Unique Interpretation of Monastic Discipline and the Precepts

May 30, 2016. By Professor Paul Groner, University of Virginia.
Medieval Japanese Buddhism was dominated by the Tendai School, but Tendai monks often were not celibate, drank alcohol, and ate meat, behaviors that were strikingly different from their Chinese and Korean counterparts. In this lecture, Professor Paul Groner, a world authority on Japanese Tendai Buddhism and East Asian vinaya (Buddhist precepts) traditions, will look at some of the doctrinal defenses Japanese monks used for these striking differences.

Como: Angry Spirits and Urban Soundscapes in Ancient Japan

April 5, 2016. By Prof. Michael Como of Columbia University
From the late seventh to the late eighth centuries, Japanese rulers built no fewer than six capitals, with the largest housing as many as 70,000 to 100,000 residents. In this paper, I will suggest that the buildings, roads and tools of these capitals functioned not simply as inert matter, but also as active forces that reshaped the ritual means by which urban residents mediated their relationship with their physical environment and with the superhuman world.