The Flower of Chinese Buddhism

The Flower of Chinese Buddhism

The Flower of Chinese Buddhism

The Flower of Chinese Buddhism

Synopsis

Continuing the story begun in The Living Buddha, the author traces the history of Buddhism, as this philosophy passes from India over the Silk Road to China.

Excerpt

Ever since I was a child I have felt deeply attracted to China. We Japanese have strong feelings of affinity with China, and I believe this is due not merely to China's geographical proximity, but to the fact that the two nations have been bound by cultural ties over a period of many centuries, and in particular to the fact that Japan received its knowledge of the Buddhist religion primarily from China, a gift for which it owes a debt of gratitude. For the past twenty years or more I have been doing what I could in my small way to bring about the normalization of Sino-Japanese relations and to promote friendship between the peoples of our two countries, and these activities of mine too may in a sense be seen as expressions of the historical ties that link China and Japan.

Speaking from the standpoint of a contemporary Buddhist believer, I have tried in the present work to describe the way in which Buddhism was transmitted from India to China, and how it developed thereafter, outlining the facts and focusing in particular on the personalities involved. I have not attempted to cover the entire history of Chinese Buddhism, however, but have paid special attention to the teachings and translation activities associated with the Lotus Sutra because of the connections these have with the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin.

In addition to the so-called northern tradition of Buddhism that was transmitted from India to China, and from there to the Korean Peninsula and Japan, there is a second branch of Buddhism, the . . .

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