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Jianzhen background: Persistent, devoted and erudite monk

11-25-2010 08:56 BJT

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Whether in China or Japan, Jianzhen is revered not only as a persistent man and a Buddhism master, but also an ambassador. From religion to architecture, from medicine to art, Jianzhen spent his last ten years in Japan introducing the advanced technology and culture of the Tang Dynasty to Japan.

Nara, the ancient capital of Japan, is where monk Jianzhen lived his last decade some 12 hundred years ago. The governor of Nara Prefecture, Shogo Arai says the changes the master brought impacts even today.

Shogo Arai, Covernor of Nara Prefecture, Japan, said, "Jianzhen did not only bring Vinaya to Japan, but also political reforms. He brought the top achievement of religion back then. For Japan, it's a big honor. He had a big impact on profound changes in Japan's society. We can still feel it even today."

Whether in China or Japan, Jianzhen is revered
not only as a persistent man and a Buddhism master,
but also an ambassador.(File Photo)

Born in 688, Jianzhen became a monk at 14 and left his hometown Yangzhou to study in Luoyang and Xi'an, two ancient metropolises back in the Tang Dynasty. He not only was conversant with, Vinaya but also mastered abundant knowledge of medicine, architecture, sculpture, music, painting and calligraphy.

At 40, Jianzhen returned home and took charge of Daming Temple. He constructed many temples and Buddha statues, wrote three works of Tripitaka and was devoted to beneficence.

At the invitation of Japanese monks studying in China, Jianzhen decided to go to Japan to spread Vinaya in 742. And nothing could stop the determined mind. He didn't stop after five failures. He didn't stop even when he was stricken blind due to the tough journey.

At age 66, the great monk finally landed in Japan.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: CNTV.CN

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