▪ Japanese Buddhist priestdied 772, Shimotsuke province [modern Tochigi prefecture], JapanJapanese Buddhist priest who attempted to usurp the Japanese imperial throne.In 761 Dōkyō won the confidence of the former empress Kōken (who had occupied the throne from 749 to 758) and, according to some accounts, became her lover. With the empress's aid he began to exercise a dominant influence within the government. In 764 Dōkyō succeeded in eliminating his major political rival, the minister Oshikatsu, who was the favourite of the emperor Junnin.In the ensuing coup, the emperor was deposed, and the former empress reascended the throne, ruling as the empress Shōtoku (764–770). Within a year Dōkyō was named prime minister, and in 766 he also was made high priest of state. Not content with virtually ruling the country, he persuaded an oracle to predict his succession to the throne, a pretension that angered many important members of the government, especially those of the powerful Fujiwara Family. When the empress died in 770, the Fujiwara had Dōkyō banished from the capital. As a result of this episode, no woman was allowed to succeed to the Japanese throne for nearly a thousand years.▪ Japanese religion(from Chinese Tao-chiao, “Teaching of the Way”), popular or religious Taoism, as distinguished from philosophical Taoism, as introduced into Japan from China. It was the source of many widespread Japanese folk beliefs and practices of divination and magic, some of which persist into modern times.Popular Taoism found its way into Japan (1) via philosophical texts such as the Tao-te Ching (“The Classic of the Way of Power”) and other literary texts, (2) as an integral part of Buddhism and Chinese culture, and (3) informally, through court festivals and popular festivals and beliefs. A government department of divination, the On-myō-ryō (“Bureau of On-myō” [Chinese: Yin-Yang]), patterned after the Chinese practice, existed as early as 675 AD but later died out. One of the duties of the bureau, in keeping with the Yin-Yang theory of the balance of complementary forces, was to regulate the calendar in order to maintain a balance between the social order and the cosmic order. The introduction of the Chinese calendar had a lasting impact on Japanese religious history (even Shintō shrines hold their festivals in accordance with the Chinese calendar).
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