Jiun, Onko (or Sonja)
(1718-1804)
   Also known as Katsuragi-sanjin. A Shingon Buddhist monk of the mid-Edo period, born in Osaka. He studied Confucianism, was converted to a form of Shingon Buddhism that emphasised vinaya (monastic discipline), practised Soto Zen and, remarkably for his time, acquired a thorough knowledge of Sanskrit in order to recapture the shobo ('true law') of the time of the Indian Buddha Shakyamuni. Jiun's philological interest in the earliest Buddhist manuscripts may be compared with the kogaku study of the classics by Confucians (whom he criticised as sophists) and kokugaku scholars' reverence for the ancient Japanese myths. Disillusioned with the laxity of many Buddhists, in 1771 he moved with his followers to the Amida-dera temple in Kyoto, concentrating on the 'ten rules of discipline'. Towards the end of his life he moved to Mt. Katsuragi in Kawachi where in response to the revival of interest in Shinto he developed his own unique interpretation of Shinto based on the sincerity of the heart, later known as Jiun Shinto or Unden Shinto (the Shinto transmitted by Jiun) on which he wrote a number of works.

A Popular Dictionary of Shinto. .

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