5. Conceptions of Kami in the Writings of Tendai Monk Jien
Exploring Shinto - Michael Pye
Vladlena Fedianiya [+]
Moscow City University
Fedianina Vladlena is Chair of the Japanese Language Department of Moscow City University. She holds a doctorate in Japanese History (of Japan) from Moscow State University (2006), translated the Kitano Tenjin Engi into Russian, and has published widely in the field of the history of Japanese religions.
The historic and poetic writings of the Tendai monk Jien (1155–1255) express complex philosophical and religious concepts, among them Jien’s views on deities or kami. Jien shared his contemporaries’ doctrine of honji suijaku (‘original nature and provisional manifestation’) and built the complicated hierarchy of kami with Amaterasu at the top of it. Thus what Jien said about Japan as a country can be understood in terms of the concept of “the divine land”.