Buddhas and Kami in Japan
Honji Suijaku as a Combinatory Paradigm
This volume offers a multidisciplinary approach to the combinatory tradition that dominated premodern and early modern Japanese religion, known as honji suijaku (originals and their traces). It questions received, simplified accounts of the interactions between Shinto and Japanese Buddhism, and presents a more dynamic and variegated religious world, one in which the deities' Buddhist originals and local traces did not constitute one-to-one associations, but complex combinations of multiple deities based on semiotic operations, doctrines, myths, and legends. The book's essays, all based on specific case studies, discuss the honji suijaku paradigm from a number of different perspectives, always integrating historical and doctrinal analysis with interpretive insights.