Thursday, December 18, 2014

The place Yinyuan stayed in Xiamen

Immortal Cliff (Xianyan) in Xiamen, photo by Jiang Wu

Before leaving for Japan, Yinyuan first arrived in Xiamen 厦门(Amoy) from Fuqing in 1654. He didn't meet Zheng Chenggong there. But he met his brother Zheng Cai  鄭彩, who used to control Xiamen before Zheng Chenggong took it. In July 2012, when I had conference at Taipingyansi 太平巖寺, I came across Tianjiesi 天界寺, where Yinyuan stayed while waiting for the ship to Japan. It is referred to as Immortal Cliff 仙岩 in Yinyuan's record.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ryokei's Dharma Transmission Certificate

Ryokei's transmission certificate
 In the recent conference on Buddhism After Mao in Paris, an interesting question has been raised about the continuous use of dharma transmission certificate as a way to authenticate a Buddhist lineage in China. It is interesting to note that this practice is still alive in China today. In the Song time, the certificate was called “sishu” 嗣書, in the late Ming and early Qing, it became "yuanliu" 源流, and the late Qing and Republican era, "fajuan" 法卷 as Homles Welch has studied extensively. Today, it is still called "fajuan." I discussed its use in my Enlightenment in Dispute. Also, Yinyuan brought this practice to Japan as well. He wrote a yuanliu to his Japanese disciple Ryōkei 龍溪, who was the retired emperor Gomizunoo's 後水尾 teacher. This one looks like exactly the one Yinyuan received from his teacher Feiyin Tongrong. Compare with Figure 5.1 (page 139) in Enlightenment in Dispute.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Wei Zhiyan 魏之琰 and Weishi yuepu 魏氏乐谱

Wei Zhiyan 魏之琰 , a Chinese silk merchant between Vietnam and Nagasaki who also hailed from Fuqing where Yinyuan was born, kept a family music band and had presented a concert of Chinese music to the retired Gomizunoo. Weishi yuepu 魏氏乐谱 was compiled by his son Gi Shimei 魏子明(魏皓).

He was one of the Fuqing patrons who welcomed Yinyuan to Japan. His brother was the famous One-eye (Itchien) Chinese merchant in the Dutch sources. For Wei's life, Anthony Reid's student Iioka Naoko 飯崗直子 has a wonderful dissertation on him. See also her article in Offshore Asia (2013). I have a paragraph about him in chapter 3, page 107.

Plaque dedicated to Sofukuji by Wei Zhiyan © Jiang Wu

 See also