Women Living Zen: Japanese Soto Buddhist Nuns

Hardcover | July 15, 1999

byPaula Kane Robinson Arai

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In this study, based on both historical evidence and ethnographic data, Paula Arai shows that nuns were central agents in the foundation of Buddhism in Japan in the sixth century. They were active participants in the Soto Zen sect, and have continued to contribute to the advancement of thesect to the present day. Drawing on her fieldwork among the Soto nuns, Arai demonstrates that the lives of many of these women embody classical Buddhist ideals. They have chosen to lead a strictly disciplined monastic life over against successful careers and the unconstrained contemporary secularlifestyle. In this, and other respects, they can be shown to stand in stark contrast to their male counterparts.

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In this study, based on both historical evidence and ethnographic data, Paula Arai shows that nuns were central agents in the foundation of Buddhism in Japan in the sixth century. They were active participants in the Soto Zen sect, and have continued to contribute to the advancement of thesect to the present day. Drawing on her fieldwo...

Paula Kane Robinson Arai is at Vanderbilt University.

other books by Paula Kane Robinson Arai

Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.29 × 6.3 × 1.1 inPublished:July 15, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019512393X

ISBN - 13:9780195123937

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Table of Contents

Prologue1. Introduction2. Historical Background3. Twentieth-Century Leadership4. The Monastic Practices of Zen Nuns5. Motivations, Commitments, and Self-Perceptions6. Conclusion: Innovators for the Sake of TraditionEndnotesAppendix A. QuestionnaireAppendix B. Glossary of Japanese Terms

Editorial Reviews

"This is an anthropological study, carried out with love, care, and attention to detail...By the end of the journey, readers will find themselves moved, their humanity reassured and refreshed."--Journal of Asian Studies