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Old 03-30-2011, 10:07 AM   #18
Demetrio Cereijo
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,247
Re: Zen in the Art of Aikido

Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Regarding more on-topic discussion. When did the meaning of "zen" change (as indicated by Nicholas)? I get it with regard to the 20th century imperialism. But was this word really "abused" already in the 19th century too? (Or should I just read the references?) Thanks all!
Hi Jonathan,

It is a bit complex, but here you can get the gist of it

...analysis of how Meiji Buddhists successfully appropriated the ideological strategies mobilized against them, countered the charges against their tradition as fabricated, foreign, and socially unproductive, and reconfigured it as "modern Buddhism." With considerable insight, Ketelaar concludes by pointing out the "tragic irony" of their success: in their very attempt to dispel the vision of Buddhism as foreign and heretical, they wound up supporting the state ideological apparatus whose control they had earlier sought to escape. By late Meiji, the figuration of "modern Buddhism" as socially relevant and a paradigmatic expression of Japanese culture increasingly meant support for national policies of imperialist expansion, even war, while Buddhism's transcendent, "universal" status was invoked only seldom as a ground for critique of such policies.

Meiji era... interesting times.
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