Ten columns per page, 20 characters per column. 71 folding leaves. Two parts in one vol. 8vo (270 x 180 mm.), orig. wrappers stained dark brown with fermented persimmon juice to prevent worming (nevertheless wrappers a little wormed), new stitching. [Japan]: ca. 1600-40.
A rare movable type edition, unrecorded by Kawase or Sorimachi and not in WorldCat. The copies at the National Diet Library and Bukkyo University Library are different movable type editions. We learn from the final paragraph on the last leaf that this edition is an exact copy of the Chinese printed edition
Zhili (960-1028), was a Chinese monk of the Tiantai tradition. “In 991, he became the abbot of Ganfusi, and four years later he began his residence at the monastery Bao’enyuan on Mt. Siming, whence his toponym…Zhili later found himself at the center of the Shanjia Shanwai or ‘Home-Mountain/Off-Mountain’ debate that racked the Song-dynasty Tiantai school.”–Buswell & Lopez, The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, p. 825.
This is his commentary, written in 1004, on The Essentials of the Ten Gates of Non-Duality, by Jingxi Zhanran (711-82), the putative ninth patriarch of the Tiantai zong and one of the great revitalizers of the Tiantai tradition. “From the Song forward, orthodox Tiantai doctrine has been based upon Zhili’s doctrinal elaborations on Tiantai teachings. Zhili was best known for his interpretation of the thought of Zhanran…who commanded great respect and imperial patronage in the Tang Dynasty…
“Zhili’s doctorial elaboration on Zhanran’s teachings was generated during debates with other Tiantai monk-scholars over Zhanran’s works. The victorious faction, led by Zhili, was retrospectively known as the Home Mountain (shanjia) Teaching in contrast to their opponents, labeled the Off Mountain (shanwai) Teaching. In [the present work], Zhili criticized his opponents’ interpolation of Huayan and Chan thought in Tiantai doctrine…
“Zhili’s interpretation was canonized, other interpretations were left in oblivion. Tiantai orthodoxy for the following centuries was defined during the Song Dynasty.”–Shin-yi Chao, “Chinese Religion in the Song and Alien Dynasties,” in Nadeau, ed., The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Chinese Religions, pp. 106-07.
Zhili’s text is preceded by a Preface by his friend and fellow priest, Zunshi (964-1032), who was the other pivotal figure in the Tiantai revival.
A very good and crisp copy, preserved in a most attractive chitsu. With some worming, mostly confined to the gutter or lower margins, occasionally touching a few characters. A few of the final leaves have some worming.
Item ID: 7555