Gumei hosshinshu [Awakening the Mind from Delusion]. JOKEI GEDATSU.
Gumei hosshinshu [Awakening the Mind from Delusion].
Gumei hosshinshu [Awakening the Mind from Delusion].

An Apparently Unrecorded Movable Type Edition

Gumei hosshinshu [Awakening the Mind from Delusion].

Eight columns, 17 characters per column. 19 folding leaves. 8vo (268 x 190 mm.), orig. wrappers bound in somewhat later brown wrappers (wrappers rather rubbed), title label in manuscript on upper cover, new stitching. [Japan]: “mid-Kan’ei” (ca. 1634).

An extremely rare movable type edition: it was unknown to Kawase, and there is no copy listed in the Union Catalogue of Early Japanese Books or in WorldCat.

Jokei (1155-1213), was an early Kamakura period monk of the Hosso school, the most influential of the six Nara schools of Buddhism up until that time. One of the prominent clerics of his age and a member of the still-powerful Fujiwara clan, he was the preeminent Hosso scholar of his generation, writing numerous works on the school’s doctrines and Buddhist logic, including the Jo yuishiki ron dogaku sho, a massive compendium of Hosso teachings. He also composed a number of koshiki, liturgical works addressed to various Buddhas and bodhisattvas, testifying to the breadth and richness of his faith. Moreover, towards the end of his life, Jokei devoted himself to reviving the strict observance of the precepts among the monks of Nara, a movement that subsequently came to full flower with the establishment of the Shingon Ritsu school under the leadership of Eison (1201–90), Ninsho (1217–1303), and others. Finally, he is most famous as the author of the Kofukuji sojo of 1205, a petition to the court calling for a ban on Honen’s rapidly spreading exclusive (senju) nenbutsu movement; Jokei believed this movement was undermining the inherited 2000-year-old Buddhist tradition. This petition served as a catalyst for the eventual suppression of the movement and Honen’s banishment to Tosa province.

This devotional work was written after 1192 when Jokei unexpectedly left the famous Kofuku-ji Temple and moved to a remote temple named Kasagidera, a well-known center of Shugendo, or mountain ascetic practice, northeast of Nara. We believe this text was first published in 1260.

In very good condition, preserved in a chitsu. There is some worming throughout, sometimes well-repaired and sometimes not repaired at all. The worming touches the text, but all characters are completely legible. The final leaf is lightly stained.

❧ Richard Bowring, The Religious Traditions of Japan 500-1600, p. 250. James L. Ford, Jokei and Buddhist Devotion in Early Medieval Japan.

Price: $16,500.00

Item ID: 7032

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