Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Comparative Religion

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


This thesis examines the Tokugawa (1603-1868) and Meiji (1868-1912) era Buddhist redactive strategies in construction of the figure of Kukai (774-835) in Kukai Major Works. The thesis argues that this arrives at a minimalist portrait which inaccurately portrays what this figure has meant in the history of religion in Japan. The thesis concludes by suggesting that this perspective be combined with a concomitant treatment of the large body of extant hagiography concerning Kukai, and that the field of Japanese Buddhist studies extend this examination to other major figures of Japanese Buddhist history.