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Seeing like monks : strife and order at Kōyasan temple, Japan, fourteenth to seventeenth centuries Okawa, Eiji 2016

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Seeing like Monks: Strife and Order at Kōyasan Temple, Japan,  Fourteenth to Seventeenth Centuries  by    Eiji Okawa M.A., The University of British Columbia, 2009   A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Asian Studies)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  November 2016  © Eiji Okawa, 2016   ii  Abstract  This study reassesses the politics of religious institutions from the late medieval to the early Tokugawa era in Japan. It suggests that the dominant discourse on the topic has been constrained by a theoretical tension between religion and the state as the main framing device. What has been overlooked is the interplay between geographical manifestations of religion and politics. This study examines documents of the Kōyasan Buddhist temple, to learn how monks overcame tensions at the contested space of the temple from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. It was found that in the late medieval period (fourteenth to the late sixteenth centuries), the numinous power of the temple was exploited by monks to transform themselves into regional overlords. Monks controlled land through the medium of a sacred landscape and governed the region in unison with deities.  This changed with the emergence in the late sixteenth century of the unified state of early modern Japan. The state curtailed the potential of the sacred to give rise to autonomous power, all the while consolidating its hold by ritually tapping the numinous power of a national landscape. It also entrenched its power at the heart of the temple society by issuing land grants.  Accompanying this shift was an epochal change in the manner by which the temple space was organized. In the medieval period, monks forged a ritualized unity to overcome conflict and impose order. The unitive impulse was broken inadvertently by the state with its land grants. Internal divisions hardened and it no longer became possible to overcome differences. Divided groups then tapped the state’s judicature to rebuild their society.  From the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries, the source of order at the temple shifted from the sacred to the state. For monks, both authorities were higher powers that they needed to contain the fluidity of their contested space.    iii  Preface  This dissertation is an original, independent and unpublished work by the author, Eiji Okawa.   iv  Table of Contents   Abstract ..................................................................................................................................................... ii Preface ..................................................................................................................................................... iii Table of Contents ..................................................................................................................................... iv List of Figures .......................................................................................................................................... vii List of Abbreviations .............................................................................................................................. viii Introduction .............................................................................................................................................. 1 Temples in the Narrative of the Unification ......................................................................................... 2 Place, Space and Power ........................................................................................................................ 6 Place ...................................................................................................................................................... 6 Space ..................................................................................................................................................... 7 Temple Documents ............................................................................................................................... 9 Performative Construction of Power .................................................................................................. 13 The Era of Ikki ...................................................................................................................................... 14 The Demise of the Ikki......................................................................................................................... 18 Chapter Outline ................................................................................................................................... 21 Sources ................................................................................................................................................ 23 Part I: Engi Polity ........................................................................................................................... 28 One: The Mountain ................................................................................................................................. 33 1.1 Engi Landscape .............................................................................................................................. 35 1.2 The Portrait Hall ............................................................................................................................ 37 1.3 The Shrine ..................................................................................................................................... 40 1.4 Nature, Land and Space ................................................................................................................ 44 1.5 Medieval Property ........................................................................................................................ 46 1.6 Kōbō Daishi’s Hand-Print Legend .................................................................................................. 48 1.7 The Portrait Hall, Documents, and the Liminal Threshold ............................................................ 50 1.8 The “Entire Mountain” .................................................................................................................. 52 1.9 The Kongōbuji Clerics and Ichimi .................................................................................................. 55 1.10 The Assembly System .................................................................................................................. 58 1.11 The “Entire Mountain” of 1348................................................................................................... 60 v  1.12 The Sacred and the Politics of Space in Late Medieval Kōyasan ................................................ 65 Two: The Medieval Codifier .................................................................................................................... 68 2.1 The Land Surveys .......................................................................................................................... 72 2.2 The Hidden Struggle of Peasants .................................................................................................. 77 2.3 Peasants, Landlords and the Temple at the Tomobuchi Estate .................................................... 79 2.4 Entering the Temple ...................................................................................................................... 85 2.5 The Ascetics and Historiography ................................................................................................... 86 2.6 The Estate-Managing Mountain Ascetics ..................................................................................... 88 2.7 The Late Medieval Structure of Regional Space under Kōyasan .................................................. 90 2.8 Landholders’ Temple ..................................................................................................................... 92 2.9 The Small-Assembly ...................................................................................................................... 94 2.10 Conflict and Order ....................................................................................................................... 97 2.11 The Mountain and Order ............................................................................................................ 99 Three: Kōyasan in the Sixteenth Century ............................................................................................. 103 3.1 The Ascetics as Usurpers? ........................................................................................................... 104 3.2 The Sōbun .................................................................................................................................... 109 3.3 The “Eight Fortunes” Seal ........................................................................................................... 111 3.4 Sōbun, Temple Duties and Laws ................................................................................................. 113 3.5 Sōbun and Arbitration ................................................................................................................. 115 3.6 Sōbun, Force and Deities ............................................................................................................. 119 3.7 The Proclamation on a Late Sixteenth Century Danjō Garan Signboard .................................... 125 3.8 The Small-Assembly Monks in the Late Sixteenth Century ........................................................ 127 3.8 Kōbō Daishi and the Estate Officials ........................................................................................... 130 3.9 Sōbun and the Estate Officials .................................................................................................... 132 3.10 Kōyasan in the Sixteenth Century ............................................................................................. 133 Part II: The Rupture of Unification .............................................................................................. 137 Four: The Hideyoshi Rupture ................................................................................................................ 147 4.1 The Hideyoshi Pressure ............................................................................................................... 148 4.2 The End of the Hand-Print Legend and the Domestication of the “Entire Mountain” ............... 153 4.3 Mokujiki Ōgo and Hideyoshi’s Ritual Politics .............................................................................. 156 4.4 Hideyoshi and Sacred Sites ......................................................................................................... 159 4.5 Ōgo and the Kōyasan Space ........................................................................................................ 166 4.6 Ōgo and Temple Laws ................................................................................................................. 167 vi  4.7 Ōgo and Sōbun ............................................................................................................................ 169 4.8 Ōgo’s Burden ............................................................................................................................... 172 4.9 Post-Hideyoshi (Dis)order at Kōyasan ......................................................................................... 177 4.10 Hideyoshi’s Legacy .................................................................................................................... 178 Five: Ieyasu and the “Higher Will” ........................................................................................................ 181 5.1 Kōyasan in 1600 .......................................................................................................................... 185 5.2 Entering the Tokugawa Orbit ...................................................................................................... 186 5. 3 The Ieyasu Decree of 1601 ......................................................................................................... 191 5. 4 Hideyoshi’s Mother, Monks and Ieyasu ..................................................................................... 193 5.5 The Significance of the Ieyasu Decree ........................................................................................ 195 5.6 The “Higher Will” and Kōyasan Monks in the Early 1600s ......................................................... 197 5. 7 The Law of 1609 ......................................................................................................................... 198 5.8 The “Higher Will” and the Small-Assembly Monks ..................................................................... 200 5.9 The “Higher Will” in Kōyasan’s Inner Sanctuary ......................................................................... 202 5. 10 Muen monks at Goma Hall ....................................................................................................... 203 5.11 Konchi-in Sūden, Renjō-in and the Goma Hall .......................................................................... 206 5.12 The Contentious Inner Sanctuary ............................................................................................. 210 5.13 Renjō-in’s Early Modern Makeover .......................................................................................... 212 5.14 Kōyasan’s Tokugawa Transformation ....................................................................................... 213 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................. 217 Bibliography .......................................................................................................................................... 224     vii  List of Figures  Figure 1. The Portrait Hall at Kōyasan…………………………………………………………………………………………...39 Figure 2. The Shrine at Kōyasan…………………………………………………………………………………………………….41 Figure 3. Danjō Garan in the Early Nineteenth Century……………………………………………….………………. 42 Figure 4. The Tomobuchi Hashiman Shrine…………………………………………………………………………………..80 Figure 5. The Goma Hall at Inner Sanctuary………………………………………………………………………………..205  viii  List of Abbreviations  KM Kōyasan monjo [Documents of Kōyasan]. 1904-1907. Dai Nihon komonjo, iewake I. Tokyo teikoku daigaku shiryō hensanjo, ed. 8 vols. KMK Kōyasan monjo [Documents of Kōyasan]. 1973. Sōhonzan Kongōbuji, ed. Tokyo: Rekishi toshokan. 7 vols. (Orig. pub. 1937-39). Tokyo: Rekishi toshokan. KSF Kii shoku fudoki [New Gazetteer of Kii Province].1911(Orig. comp. 1806-1836). Wakayama ken shinshoku torishimarisho, comp. Kyoto: Teikoku chihō gyōseigakkai shuppan bu.    1  Introduction  This dissertation is a social history of the Kōyasan Buddhist temple in Japan. It examines the politics that shaped and reshaped the temple society from the fourteenth through the seventeenth centuries. During this period, the temple transformed from an autonomous regional polity in the late medieval era (fourteenth to late sixteenth centuries) to a politically weakened yet religiously powerful temple under the unified state that emerged in the late sixteenth century. The study analyzes the changing pattern, amidst this broad change, in the way in which people organized themselves at the temple, negotiated interests and tried to overcome conflicts in their efforts to impose order.  My goal is to reassess and refocus the discussion of the history of temples and shrines in late medieval and early modern Japan in two ways.  First, we must reframe the analysis of the politics of religious institutions from a paradigm that is centred upon a theoretical structural relation between religion and the state to one that looks at the political practice and ritual life at religious institutions. In other words, rather than assessing the politics of temples and shrines through the lens of state-level politics, I consider the temple space as worthy of analysis in its own right and examine the political contests that shaped that space over time. But considering the religious nature of the temple, politics was never separate from the deities and the numinous powers that manifested themselves to the world at ritual sites. For that reason, the study will examine the politics at the temple dialectically with the “interactive relations,” to borrow from Julia Shaw, between social groups and the sacred landscape of the temple.1  Second, I analyze the political dynamics of the temple space in the late medieval era, which corresponds to the Nanbokuchō (1333-1392), Muromachi (1336-1573) and the Sengoku (1467-1573) periods. I then explore the transformation of the temple society in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The method of organization that the temple society had developed                                                           1 Shaw uses the term to describe “archaeology of action,” which is an approach in archaeology that focuses on the “interactive relation between people and buildings” in order to consider the “experiential ways in which people interacted with their environment.” See Shaw 2000, 27. Shaw emphasizes the importance of seeing sacred objects in the religious culture of ancient India. According to her, stupa sites were designed in such a way so that they could be seen from other stupa sites, enabling senior monks to gaze on multiple stupas to pay homage to the Buddha and Arhats that were understood to be present there. By contrast, this study will pay attention to the role of sacred landscape in constructing political power as I will discuss later in this introduction. 2  through its medieval experiences was shattered during the emergence of the unified state of early modern Japan (1600-1867). Surprisingly, this is a topic that has received little attention. Yet, narratives that have been focused almost entirely upon state action have held a dominant influence, as I shall demonstrate later. A state-centric approach has marginalized temples and shrines and is constraining our understanding of the social change that accompanied the state formation. Through a close reading of temple documents, this study reassesses the significance of the early modern transition from the perspective of monks. It adds depth to the discussion of the impact of the unification of the country on temples and shrines in Japan.  The temple that I will focus on is Kōyasan高野山. It is situated in a basin in the mountains at an altitude of approximately 900 metres. Today it is located in Wakayama prefecture in western Japan. In the medieval and early modern periods (late twelfth to late nineteenth century) it was a massive monastery. It is a temple of the esoteric Buddhist sect called Shingon真言 (True Words) and is known for the charismatic founder, Kūkai空海 or Kōbō Daishi弘法大師 (774-835). In a nutshell, Kōyasan is a sacred site.  The temple was thought of as a Buddhist Pure Land on earth and a site of the living presence of the deified founder. It is surrounded by a circle of mountains that were interpreted as special “eight peaks” that resembled a lotus flower, which was interpreted as an earthly manifestation of the Buddhist cosmos of the mandala.  During the late medieval period, this Buddhist temple controlled sizable estates in the plains below and presided as the overlord of the region. In the early modern era, it was a renowned sacred site with patrons and worshippers from around the country. One seventeenth century source tells us that over 7,000 monks, acolytes and servants lived there.2 With a large population and religious and political powers centred at the temple, Kōyasan was rife with social energies and tensions. Fortuitously, it also contains a large body of historical documents that tell us how the medieval denizens organized their society.  Temples in the Narrative of the Unification There are important studies that examine how the unification of the country by three successive warlords, Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582), Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598) and                                                           2 See Fujikawa 2006, 107. 3  Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616) impacted the temples.3 Neil McMullin’s study surveys the historic relationship between Buddhism and the state in Japan from ancient times through the medieval era. He focuses on the late sixteenth century when Nobunaga took radical measures to oppress and subjugate temples in his bid to unify the country.4 In the medieval era (late twelfth to late sixteenth centuries), there were many Buddhist temples that boasted not only religious power, but also political, economic, social and cultural influence. Kuroda Toshio discussed how temples and shrines were among the ruling elites of the early medieval era of the late Heian and Kamakura periods.5 According to Kuroda, central to their power was what he called the medieval orthodoxy, the kenmitsu or exoteric-and-esoteric system (kenmitsu taisei 顕密体制). This was an ideology that stressed the concept of the mutual dependency of the Buddhist and kingly laws. Rulers needed the ritual support of Buddhism, hence, they supported temples. The latter amassed power and influence.  The late sixteenth century was a crucible for the political life of powerful temples and Buddhist organizations. As McMullin concludes, “Nobunaga implemented policies that were designed to eradicate the military power of the temples, to suppress or at least take control of their economic power and to subject them to the authority of the central administration. By the end of the sixteenth century, the temples were weak and docile, Nobunaga having largely achieved his goal.”6 This is an important point, but there is a notable limit to his study. That is, though his two “protagonists” are “Buddhist temples” and the state, he does not really examine the historical record of the temples. His focus is on the structural relation between the Buddhist law (buppō 仏法) and the kingly law (ōbō 王法) and his main primary sources are Nobunaga’s documents.7 These sources may provide invaluable data on the ruler’s bid for hegemony, but have little to say about temples and the experiences of their members. Then, to argue for the post-Buddhist era under the Tokugawa rule (1600-1867), he draws on studies of intellectual history, which have argued for a this-worldly turn in the mindset and attitude of people. This                                                           3 For example, McMullin 1984; Itō 2003; Somada 2003; Tamamuro 1971, 1987; Yoshii 1984.  4 McMullin 1984. 5 Kuroda 1975a, 413-547; Kuroda 1975b. 6 McMullin 1984, 4-5. 7 They are: 1) Oda Nobunaga monjo no kenkyū (Research on the Documents of Oda Nobunaga), edited by OkunoTakahiro, which contains almost 1,000 documents issued by Nobunaga; and 2) Shichō-kō ki (Chronicle of Lord Nobunaga), which is a biography of Nobunaga written by Ōta Gyūichi, who had served Nobunaga. These sources are discussed in McMullin 1984, 9-12.  4  kind of broad analysis of the changing pattern in how people thought is important, but curiously, McMullin pronounced the end of temples without examining their documents.  Somada Yoshio and Itō Shinshō have criticized McMullin’s line of interpretation. According to them, the understanding of the actual relationship between the unified state and temples and shrines has been constrained by what Somada calls “the historiography of the control of religion” (shūkyō tōsei shikan宗教統制史観).8 Similarly, Itō discusses how “the discourse of the defeat of temples and shrines” (jisha seiryku haibokuron寺社勢力敗北論) by the state has given little voice for temples.9 These refer to the dominant narrative which is predicated upon the assumption of the unilateral and pre-determined control of religion and temples by the state.  According to Somada and Itō, influential studies by Tsuji Zennosuke, Tamamuro Fumio, Tamamuro Taijō and Fujiki Manabu have posited such a narrative and little progress has been made to reassess or enhance the understanding of the significance of the early modern state formation on temples and shrines. Though Somada focuses on the seventeenth century and Itō on the late sixteenth, they both show that the relationship between temples and the unified state has been discussed too simplistically, lacking a careful analysis of documents or consideration for the problems specific to the time. For instance, Itō points out that the Toyotomi regime’s measures on temples in Kyoto had been misinterpreted as active intervention by the regime in the internal affairs of temple societies. However, a careful reading of the available documents tells us that the primary measures in question were related to adjudication. Disputes between competing groups within temples were settled by agents of the regime.10 Similarly, Somada points out that temples had fallen into a state of disorder in the seventeenth century and they tried to rebuild themselves by using state power.11 Not surprisingly, temples were complex and have important stories to tell us about the experiences of the period.  However, Kawauchi Masayoshi has observed that there has been no serious empirical study of religious organizations across the early modern transition.12                                                            8 Somada 2003, 3-4, 121-22. 9 Itō 2003, 3-5. 10 Itō 2003, 215-39. According to Itō, Asaho Naohiro argued in his essay in the book, Kyoto no rekishi, that the Toyotomi regime had proactively intervened in the internal affairs of the temple. Itō’s analysis suggests that was not the case.  11 Somada 2003, 8. 12 Kawauchi 2004, 283. 5  The academic neglect of temples has been caused by both historiographical and historical factors. Historiographically, the period of the late sixteenth and seventeenth century is regarded as the juncture between the medieval and the early modern epochs. Thus it falls in between what have become the established fields of medieval and early modern studies. It tends to be treated as either an end of a period or the beginning of a new age without critically examining the various forces that propelled complex historical processes that involved change as well as continuity.  Historically, there remains a problem with sources. Temple documents have yielded a wealth of historical data. The scholarly examination of these documents in the twentieth century has greatly informed our knowledge of Japan’s medieval history. However, as Yoshii Toshiyuki has pointed out, while large and powerful temples have preserved an impressive body of medieval documents, which have been made available to historians, the very bulk of documents has militated against close study of material from the early modern era. Not only have these masses of documents not been sorted, they have yet to be released to historians.13  The temples have had the time to deal with the rupture of the early modern transition; they were able to organize records from the preceding era. But the changes wrought during the Meiji era (1868-1912) were too great; the bulk of records from the early modern era have piled up in temples’ vaults and storages without having been archived and catalogued. But there is another critical issue here. Empirical studies of temples and shrines tend to have a narrow focus of time, which prevents a more judicious assessment of change across long spans of time. They also tend to neglect the most obvious function of temples and shrines. Namely, they were sanctuaries dedicated to deities. Deities were there. That was both the reason for their existence and the basis of the social formation.  What is lacking, then, is consideration for the geographical and material manifestations of religious phenomena. I suggest that religion transformed nature and environment and set the foundation for the politics which occurred. As Durkheim has pointed out, nature and the supra-natural were not conceived as being separate from one another before the advent of empirical science in the modern era.14 It follows that the presence of deities at temples and shrines were embedded in geography and the environment. The ineffable power of deities was considered to                                                           13 Yoshii 1984, 46-47. 14 According to Durkheim, “The idea of the supernatural, as we understand it, is of recent vintage,” and that before the “triumph of the empirical sciences,” the idea that the environment operated strictly in accordance with the natural law did not exist. In other words, what we might call supernatural and religious were understood to be part of nature and the environment was understood to be animated with various kinds of divine forces and entities. Durkheim 2001, 28. 6  be part of natural phenomena, activated and exploited by ritual practices. Geography transformed by divine beings informed the actions and practices that shaped history.   Place, Space and Power With that in mind, I use place and space as guiding concepts in the present study. By place, I mean land and nature transformed culturally and ritually. The focus of this study will be the landscape of Kōyasan and its surrounding region. Space, on the other hand, is the arena of action and relations. It is the social world where power is asserted and interests negotiated. Place and space were not separate, but intertwined and informed one another. Space did not exist apart from place, but represented a three-dimensional sphere of action that developed upon place. This study examines how the relationship between the two changed over time.  Place Let me here substantiate the concepts of place and space by referencing ideas and debates in pilgrimage studies and theories of space and geographies that have influenced my approach. In his study of the pilgrimage site of Hardwar in northern India, James Lochtefeld articulates that “place is an idea—consciously and deliberately constructed, propagated, ascribed to and imposed upon the physical landscape...of a space.”15 In India, as Lochtefeld discusses, sacred sites are often called tirthas, meaning “crossing place.” These are recognized as “gateways or passages through which humans can cross over to make contact with some deeper realty. In many cases, such places are believed to have some resident power (e.g., a presiding deity) or to be more efficacious channels for transmitting such power.”16 This characterization of place applies to sacred sites in other cultural and historical contexts as well. Even if the term, tirthas, has no direct correlate in the Japanese language, temples and shrines functioned as access points to the realm of deities and ritual practices connected groups and individuals to their awesome power.  Landscapes of temples and shrines included both the features of the natural environment, such as mountains, rocks and trees, as well as the artifices of buildings and objects that housed the deities and create liminal spaces that were used for ritual interaction with the power of divine                                                           15 Lochtefeld 2010, 4. Here, Lochtefeld is drawing on the deliberation of place by Anne Feldhaus in her study of pilgrimage and geographical imagination in Maharashtra, India. While I find their ideas about “place” useful, I do not subscribe to their notion that space is abstract, unmarked and undifferentiated.  16 Lochtefeld 2010, 5. 7  entities. As Ian Reader points out, narratives and legends were important to “suffuse and give meaning” to place and landscape and create an “atmospheric or emotional power that permeates and enhances the meanings of the physical terrains.”17  The presence of sacred entities and their otherworldly powers were a visceral phenomenological reality for worshippers and members of religious communities. On this, Diana Eck has observed that the way devout pilgrims see the icons of the sacred site of Banaras in India is different from how objective observers see them.18 This applies to sacred sites in other historical and cultural contexts. I would argue that the purpose of temples and shrines was to turn the presence of deities into a visible, tangible and a felt reality on a plot of land deemed to be a hierophanic site in the Eliadean sense, or made into such through sustained ritual practices.19 The calendric rituals that occupied the routinized life of prelates were designed to maintain and rejuvenate the powers of numinous beings and to generate merit and thaumaturgical boons.  The question is, how did people organize social relations at such a place?   Space Temples were not merely objects of imagination and devotional practices, but places where people made a living and formed social and power relations. This then leads us to the dimension of space. In thinking of space, I am following Doreen Massey’s conceptualization that space is a complex of power relations that is diverse, political and always under construction.20  This is another way of thinking about the social world and it is the dimension that makes relations and politics possible. Space does not so much exist as it is made and remade on an on-going basis. It is made or produced by networks, links, relations and territories that are not rigid or fixed but in flux, shifting as they are through practices of power and negotiation of interests. As the legal geographer, Nicholas Blomley, puts it, “spaces matter (because)…(t)hey are constituted by and are constitutive of social life, practice and experience and shot through with power and possibility.”21                                                            17 Reader 2005, 39. 18 Eck 1983, 6. 19 My thinking of place in this manner is inspired by David Bialock’s argument that “worldviews or ideology cannot easily be separated from geopolitical or other realities,” and that worldviews or “imaginaries” are brought into “tangible presence” through “textual, ritual, and spatial practices.” Bialock 2007, 11. 20 Massey 2009, 16-17. 21 Blomley 2014, 229. 8  Such a conceptualization of space offers a lens through which to analyze historical societies. Our understanding of temples and shrines benefits from such a perspective. Here, let me note Kuroda’s insight that powerful temples and shrines, in the final analysis, were social organizations and nodes of a special type of social solidarity.22  What, then, was temple space? For large temples like Kōyasan, we are looking at a complex society of monks, semi-monks as well as a large contingent of menial labourers—more than 3,000 in the medieval era. But that only constituted a fraction of the space over which the temples presided. The monks controlled large estates, and temples served as the centre of various economic and entrepreneurial activities. We would be mistaken to think that the richness of the space simply vanished in the early modern era. Far from it; Kōyasan reached its golden age during the period ruled by the Tokugawa shogun. According to Fujikawa Masaki, a record from 1645 states that there were 7,301 monks and their servants who lived in 1,941 subtemples in the precinct. The precinct was organized into twelve valleys that were akin to wards of neighbourhoods.23 That figure excludes merchants, artisans and labourers, such as those at the shops in the busy Odawara valley that catered to pilgrims from around the country. This was a massive population centre, deep in the mountains.  Temples in sacred places were at the epicentre of complex spaces that were a critical part of medieval and early modern society. However, the temple space was not secular, even as its participants carried out activities that we might be inclined to call as such. For instance, monks controlled land and taxed peasants. But these activities did not exist apart from the numinous landscapes of temples that were sustained by the living presence of various deities. Space was never apart from place, but emerged and developed in intimate relation to it.  This begs the question: what power structured and organized the temple space? Were there schemes of power that dominated and regulated social relations at the temple, or was the temple a chaotic aggregate of random relations and schemes to assume authority? Here, Blomley’s point that space represents an emergent arena of “social life, practice and experience” that is “shot through with power and possibility” offers a compelling point of reference. For Blomley, it is law and legal apparatus that pervade space and imbue it with power relations.                                                           22 Kuroda 1975b, 290. 23 The source that he cites is the Kōyasan kyūki, held at the Historiographical Institute of Tokyo University. Fujikawa 2006, 107. The number of the subtemples is probably fairly accurate. A map that was presented to the Tokugawa shogunate in 1646 show a total of 1,865 subtemples. Yamakage 2006b, 44. 9  Massey, on the other hand, speaks of “power geometry” which postulates that there are foci of condensed power relations that imbricate larger space through economic, cultural and political influence. Was the space of the medieval and early modern temple “shot through” with power and if so, how? Moreover, how did the sacred and liminal features of the temple’s place influence the power that structured its space?   Temple Documents Old and powerful temples and shrines have preserved large collections of historical documents (or more accurately, manuscripts). And it is not by chance that the documents have been preserved. Documents have their own history and temples had highly developed manuscript systems in the medieval and early modern eras. It was only in the modern era when these systems lost their purpose that they were released to historians. As such, to examine the history of temples critically, it is not only necessary to analyze the content of documents, but account for how they were produced, copied, used and stored and how they have become available to modern historians for research.  What are temple documents? Kawane Yoshiyasu’s observation is illuminating.24 According to him, elite temples and shrines preserved documents over a long span of time and across regime changes. This itself is remarkable and a result of a systematic effort on the part of the temples. But they did not keep just any document. They chose to retain only those documents that were deemed to be necessary to protect their properties and prerogatives from future challenges and threats that they anticipated.25 Documents, in other words, are nothing but the embodiments of the power relations of the past, which were wielded by members of temple societies to assert their property and authority. Broadly speaking, temple documents include those that were issued to them by governments and rulers, those issued by the temples to the residents and officials of the estates that they controlled and those that were produced and submitted by those residents and officials.  But documents were never “documents” until modern historians began to consider them as such. As Uejima Yū notes, regarding the documents of the Tōji temple in Kyoto, documents                                                           24 Kawane 1996. 25 Kawane 1996, 63. 10  were treated as “temple treasures.”26 Like images, portraits and ritual implements, documents were produced, preserved and transmitted for the purpose of maintaining the temples. Hence, by taking them simply as source of historical information, we deflate the rich significance that they commanded in the operation of temples in the past.  According to Uejima’s account, the most important administrative documents of the temple were housed in the scripture storage (kyōzō 経蔵) of the Portrait Hall, which was dedicated to the patriarch of the temple.27 This storage of critical documents was a medieval phenomenon that emerged soon after the construction of the hall in 1240. There was also the Treasure Storage (hōzō宝蔵) building, which housed important documents from the Heian period (794-1192). Inside the Portrait Hall, the documents were stored in “archives” and the “sacred room,” located in the inner cloister (naijin 内陣). Also stored there were its treasures, such as the portrait of the patriarch and images of the Amida Buddha. They were handled by designated temple officials, but these documents were selected from the quotidien administrative documents held by secretariats of the various monastic functionaries. The latter category of documents were later stored in what are known as the “hundred boxes” (hyakugō 百合) that were donated to the temple by the daimyo of Kaga domain, Maeda Tsunanori, in 1685. They have become the famous hyōkugō documents (hyakugō monjo百合文書) of Tōji, which have been designated as the Unesco Memory of the World in 2015.28 The documents in the Portrait Hall constitute a separate collection, and they were moved to the Sacred Treasure Storage (Reihōzō 霊宝蔵) that was built at the start of the early modern era.  A turning point of Tōji’s medieval manuscript system, Uejima observes, was the land surveys that were carried out by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the late sixteenth century. These ended the estate system which had been vital to the economy of the temple. With that, the treasure documents lost their power and became “dead” documents.29 Needless to say, the control of land was the prime purpose of the manuscript system.  Documents of Kōyasan have a history similar to the Tōji documents. Since the thirteenth century, the most important documents of the temple were stored in the Portrait Hall. The                                                           26 Uejima 1998, 11. 27 Uejima 1998, 18-21. 28 Remarkably, the hyakugō documents have recently been fully digitized and made freely accessible online by Kyoto furitsu sōgō shiryōkan (Kyoto Prefectural Library and Archives). See  29 Uejima 1998, 21. 11  temple’s traditional manuscript system affects what historical analysis we can undertake today of the temple in the pre- and early modern eras. But we must be cautious, since the documents reflect the perspective of the dominant monks.  Kōyasan monjo 高野山文書 (Documents of Kōyasan), edited and published by the Historiographical Institute of Tokyo University, may have been the first collection of temple documents that was systematically released to historians in the modern era. The eight volume set was published from 1904-1907 and this was the first of the “house-based” (iewake 家わけ) historic documents that the institute has been publishing under the series entitled, Historical Documents of Great Japan, by house (Dainihon komonjo, iewake大日本古文書  家わけ). The Kōyasan monjo of the Historiographical Institute is a transcription of the collections of documents that were compiled in the early modern era under the title “Treasure Manuscripts Series” (Hōkanshū宝簡集). These were placed in the treasure storage (hōzō 宝蔵) attached to the Portrait Hall (Miedō 御影堂) and its compilation began in the seventeenth century.30 During that period there was a bitter and lingering conflict between two status groups that had been sharing the temple space for centuries, the shuto 衆徒 or the clerics and the gyōnin 行人 or the ascetics. As such, this handwritten material consists mostly of medieval documents that were held by the clerics, who eventually prevailed over the ascetics via the ruling of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1691. As Yoshii has commented, temple documents we have today are those that were kept by the elite of the early modern temples.31 Indeed, our understanding of medieval temples is deeply conditioned by the inner fissures that ravaged temples during their early modern transformation. Why, then, are the documents of Kōyasan classified as “house” documents? This is because temples were understood as a variation of a house and called the temple-house (jike 寺家). But the temple-house was one of the many houses that formed the complex temple space. The temple-house acted as a “public” house that represented the temples as a whole, though there were many smaller and “private” houses of the subtemples. These were typically called “child cloister” (shin 子院), “cloister house” (inge 院家), “stupa” (tacchū 塔頭), or hermitage (bō 坊). These, too, had their own documents. But what does it mean that temples were houses and that                                                           30 Kubota 1956. 31 Yoshii 1984. 12  the documents that we examine are house documents? This hints at a structural feature of temples that might be overlooked when we think of them as “religious” institutions. That is, like other types of house, the main agenda of temples was to exist and prosper in perpetuity. In practice, this meant the preservation of property. Like any other house, members of the temple houses were prepared to fight to defend their property from challenges and predation as well as to seek ways to expand their assets and prerogatives. Temple documents record the human struggle that took place at sacred edifices.  From the perspective of the members of the temple houses, temples were repositories of property and prerogative.32 It follows that people often entered or used temples in pursuit of power and wealth. Kuroda had pointed out that temples in the medieval era became nothing more than aggregates of private rights (shiteki na kenri no shūgō-tai私的な権利の集合体), rights here being property and socioeconomic prerogatives rather than modern civil and political rights.33 Such rights were often institutionalized by shiki職, which typically meant the right to a certain amount of income from land that was attached to formal functions, duties or status.34 The operation of temples thus was a matter of managing an aggregate of property (shiki no taikei職の体系), which were allocated to the various members of the temple society, based on their formal duties and functions.  At the same time, temple documents were not merely about land and property. Takeuchi Rizō’s synopsis of Kōyasan monjo is elucidating.35 According to him, many of the 3,502 documents in the Treasure Manuscripts Series fall into the categories of: 1) rules and laws for the temple society; 2) the administration of land, which is most abundant and 3) rules for rituals. Indeed, the purpose of the “treasure documents” was to codify property and social relations within the space controlled by the temple.36                                                            32 Koyama Yasunori argues that local magnates (dogō土豪) in the sixteenth century in the northern Kii and southern Izumi provinces used the Negoro-dera temple, not far from Kōyasan, to store assets. Koyama 1998, 132. 33 Kuroda 1975a, 111; 1975b, 268-69. 34 As Nakata Kaoru defined it in the early-twentieth century, shiki was a form of landed property. For debates by medieval historians on the concept of shiki, see Amino and Yokoi 2003, 51-54. Jeffrey Mass defines shiki as “rights and responsibilities packaged as “named entitlements,” heritable and transferable within limits. Mass 1997, 19.  35 Takeuchi 1968. 36 The idea that the ruling power codifies social relations is drawn from David Sneath’s discussion of state power. Citing the political historian, Neera Chandhoke, Sneath argues that the state should not be conceived as an extra-social bastion of power, but social relations themselves. Sneath 2007, 5-10. Importantly, Sneath challenges the normative conceptualization of the state, based on a Eurocentric model that uses the nation-state, centralized administration, and territorial boundaries as universal marks of statehood. Sneath counters that nomadic polities of Inner Asia had long been mischaracterized as kinship society. Though they may have lacked the Eurocentric attributes, they demonstrated the robust power to formalize and arbitrate social relations and to institutionalize legal personhood. He argues persuasively that they should be treated as bona fide states as well.  13  Seen from this perspective, we must approach these documents with an open mind. Documents are not mere sources of information, but relics and remnants of the power struggles of the past. They were once the very power that “shot through” temple spaces to codify social relations and property allocations. Moreover, they were not documents as we understand them, but sacred objects that were embedded in the numinous landscape of temples and shrines. It may be said that the contents of documents must be taken with a grain of salt. But what is important is to learn how documents were produced and used and the consequence of their use.  Performative Construction of Power The embedding of documents in the sacred landscape of temples suggests that we need to account for the practice of power. Power did not simply exist. It was created and contested. Similarly, social relations were not static and rigid but created, negotiated and imposed upon by schemes of power. We must explore the practices and processes that led to the codification of social relations. What role did the sacred play in that process and how did that change over time?  Victor Turner’s ideas provide a guiding light. From the anthropological perspective, Turner argues that pilgrimage facilitated a change in the mode of social existence. His interest was the ritual process of pilgrimage. His ideas were developed upon Arnold van Gennep’s three-part model of the rites of passage. In Gennep’s model, the participants of a ritual pass through three transitory stages in relation to the structures of their society: 1) separation, 2) liminality or marginality and 3) reaggregation. Turner explored the symbolic richness of the liminal state of existence that was facilitated by pilgrimage and argued that the social relations in that state were characterized by egalitarianism, equality, harmony and wholesomeness that was achieved by the leveling of the distinctions and differentiations, which are created and reinforced by formal structures. He called that liminal state of existence the communitas and considered it to be the ambivalent and potent antithesis to the normative structures that defined social life.37  Such a characterization of pilgrimage has been criticized by scholars who have noted that this interpretation over-simplifies the complex experiences of pilgrimage, which is often rife with tension, contention and difference.38 Yet, his insight on the transformative power of pilgrimage or direct encounter with a potent “other” remains compelling. Turner was interested                                                           37 Turner 1974, 231. 38 For example, Pfaffenberger 1979; Sallnow 1981; Naquin and Yü; Reader 2005. 14  in the “dialectical relationship over time between communitas and structure,”39 and argued that communitas facilitated by liminal settings was “the fons et origo of all structures and, at the same time, their critique.”40  The generative power of ritual that he argued for can be explored in a variety of different contexts. In particular, I am interested in the notion that a liminal social mode facilitated by ritual intercession gives rise to “all structures.” This aspect of communitas was not discussed in detail by Turner, who focused more on the ephemeral and anti-structural aspects. I would say that this reflects the modern intellectual milieu that informed his thought. Liberation from the strictures of the normative order is exciting and attractive to the modern mind; we live in a world that is pervaded with various schemes of power and hegemony.  But the premodern world was different. Stated generally, normative structures were weaker or less comprehensive than what they are in our modern society, governed by the nation state. Combined with the holistic understanding of the world, the liminal and the sacred had a much richer power and influence in past societies than what we might imagine from the prisms of our time. While Turner approaches his examination from the modern side of the diachronic spectrum, temple documents, with their rich information from the past, permit us to take the opposite approach and examine the evolving modes of ritual process and their political implications from the premodern to modern.  My hypothesis is that the sacred and the deities were a source of order at Kōyasan in the medieval era. The power to overcome contradictions and structure and to organize space was exercised by a group of people who transformed themselves through the ritual intercession of deities. But something happened with the state formation around the turn of the seventeenth century. It was no longer possible to tap the power of deities to create a local order.41   The Era of Ikki  Of course, Kōyasan did not exist in a social vacuum. And there is much merit in considering the hypothesis in light of a broader pattern of social organization in the late medieval era. In fact, my hypothesis is informed by studies of the medieval phenomenon known as ikki 一                                                          39 Turner 1974, 235. 40 Turner 1974, 202. 41 Here, I am inspired by the thoughts of the intellectual historian, Yasumaru Yoshio, who advanced that during the early modern transition, the core components of Japanese society as a whole were rebuilt upon this worldly principle. Yasumaru 2007, 85. 15  揆. Ikki means “one mind,” and was the primary method of social organization that was used by a variety of social groups. Ikki was formed by a group of people who forged a ritual unity in order to overcome common problems. Because of the ubiquity of ikki in the late medieval era, some historians call that period the era of ikki (ikki no jidai 一揆の時代).42 At the highest level, a group of the ruling warlords of the Muromachi shogunate was called ikki.43 Provincial landholding warriors formed kokujin ikki to establish regional hegemony.44 Peasants formed self-sufficient communes (sō 惣 or sōson 惣村) that used the method of ikki to organize and defend themselves, and temple societies created collectives that were called the “entire temple” (sōji 惣寺, manji 満寺) or “entire mountain” (manzan 満山). These, too, were organized by a similar unitive practice.  As Minegishi Sumio puts it, temples and shrines were “placentas of ikki” (ikki no taiban 一揆の胎盤).45 However, the term that they typically used was not ikki but ichimi 一味. According to Nihon kokugo daijiten, ichimi is a Buddhist term that means that all are the same and equal under the absolute truth. In practice, temple collectives often evoked the related concepts “one mind and same heart” (ichimi dōshin 一味同心), and “one mind in harmony” (ichimi wagō 一味和合). However, there is an important difference between these two terms.  Ichimi wagō was one of the translations of the Sanskrit term, sangha or monastic community as I will discuss later.46 Sangha is often translated as sōgya 僧伽 or simply as sō 僧, but these referred to a Buddhist community that valorized the ideal of ichimi wagō. They were also rendered as wagōshū 和合衆, or “group in harmony.”47 Indeed, the spirit of harmony was critical to temple communities; this was rooted in the tradition of the Buddhist sangha that originated in ancient India. However, as Katsumata Shizuo argues, in the late Heian and early Kamakura periods (ca. twelfth and thirteenth centuries), temple societies in Japan adopted a similar yet genealogically different principle of ichimi dōshin, which was analogous to ikki.48                                                           42 Katsumata Shizuo notes that the fourteenth to sixteenth century is typically called the “era of ikki” (ikki no jidai一揆の時代). Kurushima Noriko, on the other hand, suggests that ikki is a keyword to understand the Warring States period (1467-1573). Kurushima 2001, 8. Ebara Masaharu entitled his edited volume on political, economic, diplomatic, and cultural history of the years from 1379 to 1493 the “era of ikki.” Ebara 2003. 43 Ebara 2003, 9.   44 Nagahara 1974, 189-204. 45 Minegishi 1981, 36. 46 See page 60.  47 Kuroda 1980, 12. 48 Katsumata 2015, 12-18. 16  Indeed, as we shall see, Kōyasan’s culture of ichimi was similar to the widespread ikki practice as described below.  Ichimi and ikki comprised an organizational mode in which members of a group held a discussion (hyōjō 評定 or hyōgi 評議) to weigh in on a problem, make decisions based on majority rule (tabun no gi 多分の儀, tabun no dōshin 多分の同心) and perform a ritual to confirm the unity of all under the decision. In short, there were three steps involved: discussion, consent and ritualized unity. The ritual is described by Carol Tsang as follows:   Ikki were groups of people bound together by ritual for a specific purpose. Although some ikki had long-term aims, in most cases, once the purpose had been achieved, the ikki dissolved. The process began when a group assembled to discuss possible responses to problems or concerns outside the patterns of everyday life, such as a major crop failure or a looming battle. The discussion concluded when the majority of attendees agreed on a course of action. The group then created a document, a kind of contract in which the attendees vowed to follow the joint decision. The document usually invited the punishment of the gods and Buddhas to fall on anyone who failed to pursue the action. All the attendees signed it, then burned the document and mixed its ashes with water, which all of them drank in turn. The group was bound by the vow, the shared experience of the ritual and the shared ingestion of the document, which made the same document physically a part of their bodies. The assembly was typically held at a shrine or temple, so that the gods or Buddhas could witness the deliberation and the vows. As part of the ceremony, some kind of metal, like a bell or even a sword, was struck, probably to alert the god and the ikki formation was complete.49   Ikki was performative. Through the ritual, members of a group overcame their differences to unite the willpower of all in order to address problems that threatened them all. Once the unity was forged and the decision reached on the course of collective action to take, everyone was bound to that decision. The binding force was reinforced through the medium of deities. Each one vowed to swear absolute commitment to the decision of the ikki and it was understood that                                                           49 Tsang 2007, 36-37.  17  the deities would punish anyone who contravened with divine wrath. The consuming of the consecrated water and the ashes of the vow-document was called ichimi-shinsui一味神水, literally “ichimi of divine water.” It was vital to ichimi and ikki formations. Tsang suggests that the prominent role of deities in the ritual should be understood in light of the fact that people at the time “saw the world as filled with spirits of all kinds,” hence the divine vow was “potent and meaningful.”50  I would emphasize the transformative effect of the ikki ritual in relation to the spatial setting of its performance. The temple or shrine where ikki acts were performed was a liminal threshold to the realm of deities. The ringing of bells and other facets of the performance did not merely alert the deities to witness the act, but brought participants face-to-face with them in a visceral phenomenological sense.51 The unity with the numinous beings was needed to level the differences within the group and to facilitate a psychological and qualitative leap into a subliminal collective that was endowed with the power to make the decisions on which their fate depended. The ikki was a quasi-communitas in which members created a tight unity through a ritual process. However, its purpose was to achieve social and political goals, and the unity was not voluntary, but coerced and imposed upon by the united willpower of all the members, in addition to the threat of divine wrath. It was a forced harmony where differences were not tolerated. But decisions were made through discussions and majority rule was the basis of reaching the decision. But once made, the decision was absolute and all were required to submit.  Importantly however, as Turner noted of the communitas, ikki rituals were performed both to resist authority, structures and constraints as well as to generate them.52 All in all, ikki and ichimi were intended to create structures. Sakai Kimi cogently observed that what gave rise to laws in the medieval era was ikki.53 The most famous of such laws is the Jōei code (also known as goseibai shikimoku 御成敗式目) of the Kamakura government that was promulgated in 1232. At that time, thirteen members of the judicial board (hyōjōshū 評定衆) at Kamakura pledged an oath to deities to adjudicate disputes in a fair manner and according to just principles (dōri 道理), without regards for family relations, personal preference, thoughts of the other                                                           50 Tsang 2007, 37. 51 On the ringing of bells during ikki or ichimi ceremony, see Minegishi 1981, 43-44; Katsumata 2015, 34-37. 52 According to Kurushima Noriko, ikki were forged to assert ruling power as well as to resist it. It also created checks and balance among competing ruling powers. Kurushima 2001, 9. 53 As Sakai Kimi observes. See Sakai 2004, 223. 18  members of the board, and authority and pressures of established powerholders (kenmon 権門). They also vowed to support verdicts in a full unity of ichimi.54 Indeed, the famed judicature of Kamakura was underpinned by the spirit of ikki.55  Ikki has been simplistically associated with peasants’ uprisings due to the way in which it was represented in the early modern era. In the medieval era, it was a much richer concept with pervasive influence. Rather than treating it as a socially disruptive force, ikki is better understood as one of the mainstream driving forces of the political formation in medieval Japan.  The pervasive nature of the ikki in the late medieval era should be understood in relation to the political condition of the time. For much of the period, there was no effective central administration. Power became highly localized, and the political space of the country was divided and diffused. Multiple and competing powers administered regional societies in a highly self-sufficient manner and they were not bound to an integrative power structure that spanned the country. The warrior regime of the Muromachi shogunate may have held considerable ruling power during its apogee around the turn of the fifteenth century, but even then its power often did not penetrate into the provinces. The tension inherent to the divided political space of the country caused many wars. Open conflict became especially pronounced in the latter phase of the Warring States period when provincial warlords waged nearly incessant wars to stake out their territory and power. In such a divided political environment, the politics of the day was dictated by “self-realization” (jiriki kyūsai 自力救済). As Gomi Fumihiko points out, in the absence of political authorities that assured peoples’ life and rights, people had to defend themselves from predation and resolve problems on their own.56 The means for them to do that was ikki.   The Demise of the Ikki On the broad shift within the political space of Japan across the early modern transition, Fukaya Katsumi offers an elucidating synopsis.57 The gist of his argument is that medieval order was structured by an overlay of multiple ikki. For Fukaya, ikki was a non-state social force that                                                           54 For a discussion of the ritual processes behind the promulgation of the codes, see Katsumata 2015, 4-1. The vow is featured in Ishii 1972, 35-38. 2. 55 For the justice system of Kamakura, see for example Mass 1977. 56 Gomi 2004, 32-33. 57 Fukaya 1981, 100-106. 19  nonetheless wielded the power to demand obedience within a regional society or class.58 A rupture to the structural overlays of ikki occurred when the country was unified under the warrior state in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. According to Fukaya, the new order was created by the denial of ikki. To that end, the architects of the unified state dismantled the ikki leagues and integrated them into their system of domination. It then prevented the possibility of further ikki formation by displacing warriors from the land and disarming peasants in the policy known as the “separation of warriors and peasants.”  How does the experience of Kōyasan from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries fit in to the narrative of the era of ikki and its demise? The benefit of focusing on temples as nodes of ikki or ichimi formation is that it enables us to examine the dynamic practice of power that shaped and reshaped temple spaces in relation to changing historical conditions. With their rich trove of documents, temples can provide a wealth of data to enrich our understanding, not only of temples, but the larger sociopolitical history of the period.  At the same time, temples were special cases. They were Buddhist institutions and established temples like Kōyasan benefitted a great deal from their formal role in providing prayer ritual to protect rulers and the country. And they were, first and foremost, sacred spaces dedicated to deities and their subliminal powers. It follows that rituals were intrinsic to their social and political lives. There are documents to tell us of the interplay between the subliminal qualities of the temples’ landscape and the social groups that organized their space.  For that reason, this study will focus on the changing organizational structure and practice of power at Kōyasan in relation to its landscape and cultural geography. We will endeavour to feature a more three-dimension portrait of the social experiences of the past. We begin with the understanding that temple societies developed themselves in intimate connection with the ineffable power of deities that animated their space. To articulate this approach from a different angle, I cite Conrad Totman’s premise in his work on early modern Japan:  Like all human history, that of early modern Japan emerged from the interaction of accumulated historical precedent, conditions of the moment and geographical context. Put differently, that history was the product of what was within the minds of human                                                           58 According to Fukaya, there were two broad types of ikki. One related to the warriors; this was the basis for the mobilization of force and domination. The other pertained to the peasants, who formed ikki to defend themselves from predation. Ibid. 20  actors at any given moment, the social context that impinged on those actors and the larger ecological context within which those internal and external factors interacted.59  Here, Totman identifies “accumulated historical precedent” with something that happened in the “mind,” and by that, he seems to be referring to what might be categorized broadly as “culture,” or the realm of meanings and symbolism including religion, ideas and thought. Totman suggests that this existed on a level that was different from a geographical or ecological context. The assumption informing the distinction that he is making seems to be that geography, ecology or nature and environment constitute an objective and material realm that functions based on natural law and composed of inert elements. This is a “rationalized” understanding of the world that can get us out of touch from the richness and complexities of traditional societies that were organized with a more holistic understanding of the world. To apply these categorical assumptions uncritically to explain the past obscures historical experiences and subjects history to the excessive influence of modern reason.  To complicate our engagement with the past and attempt to come closer to historical experiences, I propose to consider that culture imbued itself on geography and environment. They could not be separated. Culture transformed nature and the environment. Religion, ideas and thought occurred not simply in the minds but manifested in visible, material and spatialized or geographical forms. That, in turn, influenced how people organized their society. The societal and political formations developed synergistically with a culturally transformed nature and environment. Historical actors were not simply impinged by objective social and power relations alone. They were somatic, thinking, scheming and affective actors who navigated a meshwork of social relations that developed upon a geography replete with meaning that accumulated over time.60  What political roles did deities, their narratives and powers play in their space in late medieval Kōyasan? What was the relationship between Kōyasan’s late medieval political formation and its sacred landscape? How was power constructed? How were power relations                                                           59 Totman 1993, 1. 60 The idea that Kōyasan was a place with accumulated meaning dovetails Max Moerman’s study of Kumano shrines. Moerman treats Kumano as “a site of accumulated and overdetermined meanings, a place at once real and imaginary.” See Moerman 2005, 2. However, my approach and methods differs from Moerman’s in that my principal sources are temple documents, whereas Moerman’s are visual and literary sources. My focus, moreover, is on the evolving meshwork of social and power relationships that developed through the medium of Kōyasan’s landscape, while Moerman’s is the complexity of Kumano’s landscape and ritual practices associated with it.  21  negotiated and imposed? What contradictions and tensions informed the political life of the temple in the late medieval era and how were they resolved? What happened to the temple and its pattern of organization when it was subjected to the unified state in the late sixteenth century? What did new rulers change and what did they leave in place? What was the relationship between the ruling power of the unified state and religious attributes of geography? How did the politics at the temple change across the early modern transition? And what might the exploration of these questions tell us about the social change that unfolded in relation to the establishment of a unified political order under the early modern state?   Chapter Outline With the foregoing in mind, in part one, I examine the formation and evolution of Kōyasan’s late medieal political system from the fourteenth to the late sixteenth centuries. Chapter one discusses the consolidation of the late medieval order at Kōyasan with a focus on its ritual interaction with landscape and the performative construction of power in the fourteenth century. How did narratives and legends influence the temple’s political formations? How was the understanding of nature, land and deities related to its consolidated control of land? What kind of power did the temple exercise? How did it develop that power? How did people organize themselves at the temple? As I will argue, monks exploited deities and legends to take control of land and ritually transform themselves into a subliminal collective called the “entire mountain” to dominate the plains.  Chapter two looks at how the temple codified power relations in the region to take control of the regional society from the mid fourteenth to the early fifteenth century. The focus will be on the intricate relation between the political forces in the plains and the temple on the mountain. I shall argue that the temple acted as a mechanism to codify property allocation in the region. It entrenched its power in the plains by absorbing the social contradictions in the region and administered a self-contained regional space under the authority of the Kōyasan ichimi.  The changes and continuities at Kōyasan from the fifteenth century to the late sixteenth will be discussed in chapter three. How was the temple affected by the fluid social dynamics of the age? I discuss how the inner structure of the temple society was changed as monks with lower status took over the central administration of the temple from higher-ranked monks. This represents a gekokujō 下剋上, or the “low conquering the high,” which is a hallmark of the 22  social upheaval of the period. All the same, as I argue, the new collective was dedicated to the maintenance of order and gekokujō was not necessarily chaos. There was a robust scheme for order under the new group, which had preserved the apparatus of power from the previous era. Deities, landscape and ichimi practice remained at the core of Kōyasan’s power.  Part two will examine how the temple and its space were affected by the emergence of a new political order under the unified state in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Chapter four looks at the relationship between the temple and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who subjected the temple to his ruling system in 1585. What new constraints did Hideyoshi impose upon the temple and how did that affect it? What problems and tensions arose from within the temple in relation to Hideyoshi’s measures? What roles did the deities, traditions and landscape of the temple play in the temple’s relation to Hideyoshi’s power? As we will see, in spite of the unprecedented power that Hideyoshi exercised over the temple, his schemes of domination and control were naturalized and absorbed by the hallowed landscape of the temple. And this was related to Hideyoshi’s ritual domination of the country. Chapter five’s central topic will be the breakdown of internal order at Kōyasan at the turn of the seventeenth century. Hideyoshi’s land surveys disrupted the temple’s mechanism of order, and inner fissures among different groups reached a boiling point when the temple was brought into Tokugawa Ieyasu’s political orbit at the start of the seventeenth century. I focus on the relationship between the contradictions within the temple and the judicial power of the Tokugawa state. I discuss how the “higher will” of the Tokugawa shogun replaced the ichimi as the source of order for monks.  My argument is that in the medieval period, the sacred and liminal power of the landscape of the temple was cultivated through cultural exploitation of nature. This created a repository of landholding and a locus of regional political order on the mountain. Ruling power was constructed through ritual activation of the liminal power vested in landscape; the temple became a focal point of regional politics. This changed with the emergence of the early modern state.  The hegemonic warriors who established the early modern state integrated the temple within their ruling systems and suppressed the potential of the sacred to produce order outside of its system of rule. Then, by displacing the sacred as the source of landholding, state power inserted itself into the core of the temple society.  23  Accompanying this structural shift of power at the temple was an epochal change in the mode of organization and practice of power at the temple. In the medieval era, the temple society constructed the power to demand obedience and maintain order by forging a ritual unity through the intercession of deities. Members, “united in mind,” presided as the highest ruling authority of the temple and its land. With the penetration of state power into their society, however, the unitive impulse was broken. Internal divisions hardened and it no longer became possible to overcome differences to forge unity. Divided groups thus tapped state power to rebuild their society and order was created through litigation at a court set up by the state.  All in all, the source of power and order at the temple shifted from deities and the sacred to the state. But as different as the two were, for monks, both constituted a higher power that they needed, to overcome contradictions and impose order upon the chaos of their space.   Sources I have relied on three main groups of documents in this study. The first two are document collections that have been published under the same title, Kōyasan monjo. The content and archival history of the two are different. The Kōyasan monjo, edited and published by the Historiographical Institute of Tokyo University in 1904 to 1907 features documents that were compiled and catalogued at Kōyasan in the early modern era under the title, Treasure Manuscripts Series (Hōkanshū宝簡集). Consisting of 3,502 documents, these were documents that were stored in the Treasure Storage of the Portrait Hall. According to Takeuchi Rizō, 3,309 of the 3,502 documents in the collection derive from the period before 1615.61  With only 136 documents originating before 1185, the great majority of the documents in the collection are from the medieval era. In the medieval era, the documents were held by the temple-house of Kongōbuji, which was the main organization of Kōyasan. However, the Portrait Hall and its documents were held by a status group known as the shuto, or clerics (also gakuryo学侶=scholar monks). That was the elite group within Kōyasan, but in the early modern era, they did not represent the temple collective as a whole. Documents in the collection include rules and laws for the temple and the estates, decrees issued to the temple by rulers and administrative                                                           61 Takeuchi 1968, 260-64. 24  documents for managing land. Documents from this collection will be cited with the abbreviation KM. The second Kōyasan monjo collection was originally edited and published between 1937 and 1939 by Kongōbuji. The chief editor and compiler of this series was Nakata Hōju. This collection differed with the Treasure Manuscripts Series since its documents include those that had been stored in subtemples, administrative temples within Kōyasan and temples, shrines and families in the plains. Documents from this collection will be cited with the abbreviation KMK.  As a side note, the documents featured in these collections constitute only a fraction of documents held by the temple. According to Nakata Hōju, there are about 200,000 documents preserved at Kōyasan from the Kamakura era to the beginning of the Meiji period. Documents of the subtemple Kangaku-in alone number over 80,000 and of those, only 194 have been featured in the Kongōbuji version of Kōyasan monjo.62 There is no doubt that the release of these documents for historical inquiries is welcome, but there remains much more work to be done with the documents that have been released. The 1973 reprint of KMK that I referenced features a total of 2,656 documents.  The third collection of primary sources that I have studied are the manuscripts of the subtemple Takamuro-in高室院, the Takamuro-in documents (Takamuroin monjo高室院文書) Microfilm copies of these manuscripts are held in the Samukawa Library & Archives (Samukawa bushokan寒川文書館) in Kanagawa prefecture. There were many patrons of Takamuro-in and another Kōyasan subtemple called Jigen-in in the vicinity of Samukawa city in the early modern era. Hence, with the effort of local historians, the manuscripts of Takamuro-in that had yet to be catalogued were catalogued and microfilm copies were taken by a team of researchers from Samukawa city over the period of three years, from 1989 to 1991.63 Included in this collection are documents that originally belonged to a subtemple called (Minami or south) Renjō-in蓮上院. This was an influential subtemple in the medieval era, but it closed down in the Meiji era and came to be absorbed by Takamuro-in. Proof documents and records of litigation of Renjō-in in the seventeenth century were used in my research to examine the temple’s transformations in the seventeenth century under the rule of the Tokugaw shogunate.                                                            62 Nakata 1973, 515-17. 63 Tamamuro 1992, 4. Among the members of the team was the specialist of the history of early modern Buddhism in Japan, Tamamuro Fumio. 25  Aside from these collections, there are two other sources that I will be referencing frequently in the study. The first is the early nineteenth century The New Gazetteer of Kii Province (Kii shoku fudoki紀伊続風土記). This is a highly informative gazetteer that features countless historical documents, geographical and ethnographical data, detailed explanations of temples and shrines and so on. Its compilation began in 1806 by the order of the Tokugawa bakufu. And under the supervision of a Confucian scholar, Niita Yoshifuru, it was completed in 1839.64 The version I referenced was re-compiled under the auspices of the prefectural office for Shintō clerics under the Meiji government in 1911. In that version, there are two volumes dedicated to Kōyasan. But because Kōyasan was sharply divided along status line in the early modern era, the content of the gazetteer was compiled separately along the status lines. Of the eighty-two “scrolls,” sixty were compiled by the clerics, twenty-one by the ascetics and one by holy-men or hijiri, which comprised a different status group.65  Kōya shunjū高野春秋 (The Spring and Autumn Annals of Kōya) is also a valuable historical account of the temple that features countless historical documents. It was compiled by the monk, Kaiei 懐英, and deals with the history of the temple from its beginnings in 816 to 1719 when Kaiei completed the work. However, as Wada Shujō points out, this source has to be used with care.66 Kaiei had privileged access to the documents in the Portrait Hall. The reason for that was the devastating litigation between the clerics and ascetics that embroiled the temple in the seventeenth century. Kaiei needed to sort the old documents and bring those that confirmed his group’s prerogatives to Edo for the purpose of the litigation.  Indeed, Kaiei’s stated purpose of writing Kōya shunjū was to celebrate the decisive victory of the clerics over the ascetics via the shogunal ruling in 1691. His group of monks believed that the proper order at Kōyasan would be restored, at long last. Indeed, the conflict between the two groups was part of the difficult early modern transformation of the temple. The contents of early modern sources, including the Kōya shunjū and the gazetteer, cannot be taken at face value, for they are often coloured by the bitter resentment toward the other status groups.                                                           64 Suzuki 1985, 772. 65 The term “scroll” in the original is “kan”巻. The version of the gazetteer that I referenced was printed in a bound book, and did not come in the form of scrolls. According to Nihon kokugo daijiten, kan literally means scroll, but it also referred to sections within a bound book. The original gazetteer may have been produced in a scroll format. However, it is quite possible and likely that it was also compiled into a book prior to the Meiji era (1868-1912), which is when the version that I consulted was printed. At any rate, the term kan was used to organize the contents of the gazetteer. As such, it is nearly equivalent to chapter or section.  66 Wada 1999, 316. 26  This study will look at aspects of Kōyasan’s difficult transition, but the status politics of the seventeenth century is a topic that will need to be explored further in a separate study.  With its rich sources, the original documents of Kōyasan represent a motherlode of source material for historical inquiry from a variety of approaches. Since this study focuses on a limited aspect of its social history, many issues will be left for further inquiry. Here, I wish to make note of two such issues. The first issue is the long tradition of prohibiting women from the precinct, known as nyonin kinsei 女人禁制. The temple space was an exclusively male space. Living women were prohibited from entering that space due to patriarchal assumptions about the dangerously seductive power of the female body as well as notions about the polluting effect of their blood.67  However, women and female elements played a crucial role in undergirding the temple’s power and economy. I will note two occasions in which women influenced the historical trajectory of the temple in a profound manner.  The second issue this study will not be dealing with involves the sectarian aspect of Kōyasan’s religion. The formal sect of Kōyasan’s Buddhism is a strand of esoteric Buddhism called Shingon真言, or True Words. Shingon emphasizes rituals because it is understood that the ultimate reality transcends words. As the current abbot of Kōyasan, Matsunaga Yūkei, describes the practice, it teaches that one can become a Buddha in the bodily existence in the here and now. The “three secrets” of the body, mouth and mind facilitate a wholesome ritual unity between practitioner and buddhas and the ultimate reality that is personified by the Great Sun Buddha or Mahavairocana (Dainichi nyorai大日如来).68  Kōbō Daishi transmitted the Shingon teaching and practice from master Huiguo 恵果 (746-805) in the Tang capital of Chang’an in China. This transmission of the dharma is symbolized in the legendary account that Kōbō Daishi threw the Shingon ritual implement of the Trident Vajra, embodying the truth and the wisdom of the Buddha, from the shore in China toward Japan. It landed on a certain pine tree in the mountains of Kii province. That is where Kōbō Daishi built Kōyasan in 816 to provide ritual protection to the country and to save sentient                                                           67 Suzuki 2002; Faure 2003. 68 Matsunaga 1984, 12-18. 27  beings.69 The Vajra is a sacred treasure that is housed in the Portrait Hall and the Pine Tree still stands beside the hall to confirm the legend in space.  Lastly, the title “seeing like monks” evokes James Scott’s Seeing like a State, a study on the failure of the policies of modern states to improve society.70 An explanation is due. Indeed, I am using Scott’s work as a point of reference to situate my study. However, my focus is quite removed from Scott’s and my aim is not to promulgate about how rulers and monks may have seen things differently with respect to the social life at Kōyasan. Nor do I explore the visual culture of the religious practice at the temple, which is an important topic that requires methods that are different from those applied in the present study. Rather, my usage of the term “seeing” stems from my intent to explain the history of the temple from the perspective of its monks, based on factors that had immediacy for them. As I see it, there is a parallel between this study and Scott’s. Scott stresses that actual social lives of people were informed by a “complex, functioning order” that is elided and mutilated by states’ projects to simplify society and make it “legible.”71 At the same time, he argues that, in the final analysis, it is quite impossible to understand how such complex orders work, because they are constituted by diverse, fluid and informal practices and ideas.  Following Scott’s logic, historiographical narratives that privilege state actors and institutions have limits in recovering the actual historical experiences and processes on the ground-level. Is it possible, then, to do a history that brings to life those ground-level experiences and dynamics? Can we capture the significance of historical trends, watershed policies, and state formation from the perspective of those who lived through them? Is it viable to explore how the “complex, functioning order” on a local level developed, evolved and changed over time?  Yes is my answer, so long as there are relevant sources. The following is my attempt with the documents of Kōyasan.                                                               69 Matsunaga 1984, 21-22. 70 Scott 1998. 71 Scott 1998, 1-7. 28  Part I: Engi Polity  Beyond Izumi province lays Kii, a province devoted to devil worship. In Kii, there are four or five religious organizations, and each is like a republic. Devil worship has thrived there from long ago; no war has tamed it. Not only that, massive flocks of pilgrims headed for these sites never cease.  One of these is called Kōya. It has three to four thousand monks. The patriarch is Kōbō Daishi. 700 years ago, he ordered to be buried alive. Their sect is called the Shingon sect, and monks gather at a large plain in the mountain. Each year, there are massive flocks of pilgrims who go there. But no woman is allowed to climb the mountain, and things related to women are strictly prohibited.72   With those words, the Jesuit, Luis Frois (1532-2597) described the Kii province in 1585. Even with biases rooted in his own faith, Frois captured the gist of the religio-political features of Kōyasan and the Kii province at the time. Kōyasan was a place where a large number of men, who were Buddhist monks and devotees of Kōbō Daishi, assembled at a temple on the mountain to run their “religious republic.” Kōbō Daishi was the patriarch of the temple who died over 700 years ago, yet was believed to be “alive” at his grave in the precinct. This sanctum was the headquarters of this “republic.”  Frois’s characterization of Kōyasan as a republic is apt, if we define republic as a polity without monarchy that is run by an assembly, which made political decisions through discussion and consent. In the late medieval era of the fourteenth to the late sixteenth century when Frois penned the above account, Kōyasan was a de facto temple state on a regional scale. It controlled land, taxed peasants and sake rice wine, rewarded warriors for their services, mobilized force to repel invaders, settled disputes, and maintained order in the regional society. As Frois noted, Kii province was formed by numerous similar religious polities. Notable among them were the Negoro-dera (also Negoro-ji 根来寺), which was known for its prowess in making muskets as well as competent fighting men. The powerful Pure Land league also had its regional headquarters in Saika 雑賀. In the larger scheme of things, these were among the numerous                                                           72 Historia de Iapan, 154. 29  regional polities that governed regional spaces. At this juncture, Japan was a country divided and diffused, lacking a strong central state. This was rapidly changing when Frois penned his account, as the hegemonic warriors, Oda Nobunaga and his successor, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, were paving the way toward unification by subjecting regional powers to their brand of domination. The religious republics of Kii were the last of the religious powers to resist Hideyoshi. Indeed, Frois was aware of the mounting tension between the two, and astutely observed that monks knew that if Hideyoshi were to invade, their “lives, land and assets would be threatened.”73 The temples were systems of managing property and maintaining order and their members were prepared to fight to the death to defend that.  A contrasting yet evocative account of Kōyasan is found in the medieval epic, Tales of the Heike.74 There, Kōyasan appears as a hallowed sanctum surrounded by the “eight peaks” of the Buddhist mandala. Located over 200 ri from the capital and deep in the mountains, at Kōyasan, there was not a human voice to be heard. In the Heike, Kōyasan appears as a realm of renouncers dejected from the suffering of the world, a place to leave behind the pains and vanity of the worldly realm in pursuit of salvation. This is contradicted in the Frois’s account. But the Heike, too, captures a celebrated cultural feature of the place when it tells the story of the monk, Kangen 観賢, (d. 925) who went to present a new robe to Kōbō Daishi in his mausoleum in the Inner Sanctuary (Oku-no-in 奥院) of Kōyasan. Though it was nearly a century after Kōbō Daishi’s death, Kangen found the monk’s body in a living state. He reverently shaved the hair that had overgrown and changed his robe. Known as the legend of nyūjō 入定 or “entry into a state of eternal meditation,” the idea of the living presence of the deified patriarch was, and still is, a defining feature of Kōyasan’s sacred landscape.  Kōbō Daishi’s legend of nyūjō was part of the hallowed narrative of the beginning of the temple. It belongs to a genre of tales called engi 縁起. Literally meaning “karmic rise,” engi is ubiquitous. Perhaps all temples and shrines have them. Engi tales typically narrate the miraculous powers of deities that were revealed when temples and shrines were first founded. Max Moerman defines engi as “territorial legends, (and) genealogies of places.”75 This definition is apt for Kōyasan’s engi as we will see.                                                            73 Historia de Iapan, 157. 74 The Tales of Heike, scroll 10, Kōya no maki (Takano-bon, or Kakuichi betsu-bon), 301. 75 Moerman 2005, 59. 30  The Heike also points to the notable geographical features of the place. To be sure, the distance of 200 ri or roughly 780 kilometres is an exaggeration of the distance between the temple from Kyoto by over seven-fold. Nonetheless, the temple was situated deep in the mountains. Even with the convenience of modern transportation, it still takes over an hour to reach it from a population centre in the plains.  Such a remote temple in the mountains was the locus of a regional political order that controlled sizable estates that spanned roughly forty-two kilometres from east to west on the fertile plains along the Ki River.76 Common sense should tell us that it would be impractical for a political centre to be located in such a remote place. Yet it seems that for Kōyasan monks, it made perfect sense that the mountain ruled the plains.  Why was this so? Given the prominence of Kōbō Daishi and the engi, we can suspect that they had roles to play in the making of Kōyasan’s ruling system. What, then, was the relationship between Kōbō Daishi, Kōyasan’s hallowed origin tale, with its sacred landscape, and the political power of the temple?  These questions have not been explored. One of the reasons relates to the nature of the disciplinary divisions in academia. Stories and legends are relegated to ethnographical history and literary studies, but studies in these fields rarely deal with the political life of the temple or its documents.77  A purely political history of the temple, based on empirical temple documents, on the other hand, examines objective social and political organizations of the temple without giving sufficient consideration to the narratives and deities that animated the landscape in which politics occurred.78 This is partly because these documents being pored over were produced for specific utilitarian administrative purposes. They rarely mention the deep layers of meaning that resonated through the landscape and spaces they occupied. The sacred site has had no voice that captured the true gestalt of its rich space.  However, the invisibility of legends and landscape reflects the dominant paradigm of the political history of temples and shrines.                                                           76 The distance from the Fuki estate near the border to the Yamato province and the Kishi estate on the eastern end of the land that was controlled by Kōyasan in the late medieval era. According to a study of Kōyasan’s estates, there were forty-two estates controlled by the temple in the medieval era. Toyoda 1977, 502. 77 For instance, Abe 1989; Gorai 1975, 1989; Faure 2003. 78 For example, Adolphson 2000; Yamakage 1997, 2006a; Wada 1959; Hongō 1986; Nakamura 2001; Kuroda 1975a, 1975b. 31  Kuroda Toshio is arguably the most influential historian of the medieval politics of religion.79 In his kenmitsu system theory (kenmitsu taisei 顕密体制), or exoteric and esoteric system, Kuroda suggested that in the medieval period, religion in Japan was dominated by esoteric Buddhism.80 This was because the philosophical formulation of esoteric Buddhism offered a schema that grasped the totality of the world. It subsumed other strands of Buddhism, indigenous religious traditions, and even politics as it became intricately connected with state power with the ideological premise of the mutual dependency of the Buddhist and kingly laws. Kenmitsu system, as Kuroda puts it, was the medieval political orthodoxy. Kuroda’s approach and interest are evident in the introductory paragraph of his analysis of the kenmitsu system.   …the following single point shall serve as the axis of analysis in this study. How the religious ism or the ideological system that should be called the kenmitsu system developed, and became completely united with state power.81  As we see here, Kuroda privileged ideology and abstract ideas, but tended to overlook myths, deities, and practices. It is true that he pointed out the importance of deities and legends at temples and shrines.82 However, with the emphasis on ideology and the structural relation between Buddhist and kingly laws, his model does not enlighten us as to how the numinous beings, manifest at temples and shrines, informed ritual life and the political process.  We need to re-embed the politics of religious institutions in the spatial and material settings in which it took place.  For that reason, in the three chapters to follow, I examine how the numinous powers at the temple influenced Kōyasan’s exercise of power in the late medieval period from the fourteenth to the late sixteenth century. A point of reference to bear in mind is Mikael Adolphson’s observation that Kōyasan in the thirteenth and fourteenth century made a notable departure from the established pattern of temple proprietors in the estate system of the medieval                                                           79 Kuroda 1975a, 1975b, 1980. 80 Kuroda 1975a, 413-547. 81 “Ism” here is Kuroda’s own rendering of the term shugi 主義, which may be rendered as ideology or principle. According to Nihon kokugo daijiten, the term was used to translate the English word, “principle.” Kuroda marked the characters 主義 with the Japanese syllabaries イズム or izumu, which is a Japanized reading of “ism.” Kuroda 1975a, 415. 82 Kuroda 1980, 44-48; 1975a, 447-52, 531-33. 32  era.83 Powerful temples, Kōyasan included, had typically acted as absentee landlords of estates in distant places. But this model was failing by the thirteenth century. Local estate managers were taking more income from land at the expense of their proprietors. Kōyasan, however, concentrated on land in the region that it could control directly. As a result, while its control of estates in distant provinces slipped, by the mid-fourteenth century, it had transformed itself into an autonomous regional ruler amidst the political turmoil that followed the fall of the Kamakura shogunate in 1333.  I suggest we consider late medieval Kōyasan as an engi polity. The edifices on the mountain functioned as political institutions to control space. The aforementioned transformation of the temple was achieved through a dynamic ritual interaction between monks, narratives of the engi, and the ineffable power of deities that were enacted in space through the temple’s sacred landscape. The temple’s landholding was based on legends and monks organized themselves through the ritual intercession of deities. The liminal power of deities facilitated the monks’ transformation into a collective that called itself the “entire mountain,” which ruled the region in unison with deities. The temple’s political power was ritually constructed, and its substance was to codify property allocation and structure the regional society under its authority. This is how Kōyasan ruled the region from the mid fourteenth century until the late sixteenth century.                                                                83 Adolphson 2000, 233-37; 325-27. 33  One: The Mountain  There are some events in the history of Kōyasan that could be called seminal. These pertain to how the place began. Kōyasan was seeded with legends and myths. At its heart was the tale of how the place began long ago when the monk, Kūkai, founded it. This is the engi of Kōyasan, which was never forgotten.  Two related events warrant our interest here. The first is Kūkai’s founding of the monastery, and the second is his subsequent death there. These were actual historic events that occurred in the early ninth century. But, as George Tanabe has pointed out, they were mixed with mythical elements after the fact by the followers of Kūkai from generations later.84 As such, the engi blurred history and fiction. It is not objectively true, but represents how the beginning of the place was remembered and canonized.  Here is an excerpt from a succinct version of the engi found in the twelfth century Konjaku monogatari-shū今昔物語集.  Long ago, after Kōbō Daishi spread the Shingon teachings far and wide, he had aged and bequeathed the various temples [that he had] to his disciples. He thought, “I shall find the place where the Trident Vajra that I had had thrown from China landed.” Thus in the sixth month of the year of Kōnin (816), he left the capital and arrived in the Uchi county of Yamato province. There, he met a hunter whose face was red and whose height about eight feet. [The hunter] wore a blue short-sleeve. He was tall and well-built, and had bow and arrows. He had two black dogs, one large and the other small. As he saw Kōbō Daishi passing by, he said, “Which holy person would this be?” Kōbō Daishi replied, “In China I had thrown a Trident Vajra with a prayer ‘let this land at a sacred cave for meditation.’ Now I am looking for that place.” The hunter said, “I am the dog-keeper of the Southern Mountain. I know that place. I shall promptly tell you where it is.” Then he let his dogs run and they disappeared (to lead Kōbō Daishi toward the place).  Kōbō Daishi stayed the night on a bank of a great river on the border to the Kii province. There, he met a mountain person. Kōbō Daishi asked about the place, and the latter                                                           84 Tanabe 1999. 34  replied “To the south, there is a swampy flatland. That is the place.” The next morning, as they walked together, the mountain person secretly said, “I am the king of this mountain. I shall give you my land.” [Kōbō Daishi then] went into the mountain [from the swampy plain] for about 100 chō.85 [The place in the] mountain resembled perfect bowls that were turned upside down. It was surrounded by eight peaks. Cypress trees were larger than words could describe them, and they stood together [in great number] like bamboo forests. One of the cypress trees was split. The Trident Vajra had struck it. Seeing this, Kōbō Daishi felt an immeasurable compassion arise in him, and he thought, “Indeed, this is the sacred cave of meditation.” He asked, “Who is this mountain person?” The latter replied, “I am Niu myōjin (明神 luminous deity)” This is [the goddess of] what is today called the Amano shrine. “The dog-keeper is called the Kōya myōjin,” said the mountain person and disappeared…86   The key elements of the legend are the Vajra and the deities, Niu and Kōya. The Vajra, a ritual implement in Shingon Buddhism that symbolizes the wisdom of the Buddha, signifies the transmission of the esoteric doctrine from China. For the current analysis, the most important event in the legend is the conferment of land to Kōbō Daishi by the Niu deity, which was a female deity. Because the account in the Konjaku is not intended to be explicitly political, it does not mention anything specific about the land. In some other documents, the land is specified with its “four corners” (shiishi 四至). According to Shirai Yūko, the corners changed over time, and these likely reflected the land disputes that the monastery had had with other claimants of land.87 Interestingly, in one of the “will-injunctions” apocryphally attributed to Kōbō Daishi (Yuikō Shinzen daitoku tō遺告真然大徳等), we see the Niu deity driving in “divine-curse spikes” (sic. in tsue 忌杖) into the earth at several specified sites to mark her land.88 Clearly, establishing boundaries of the temple land was of utmost importance, and the goddess acted out the monks’ territorial aspirations.                                                            85 One chō is roughly 109 metric metres. 86 Konjaku monogatari-shū, scroll 11, story 25, 70-71. 87 Shirai 1986. 88 Wada 1976a, 88-89; Kōbō Daishi zenshū, vol. 7, 284. 35  The narrative of divine conferment was connected to the genealogy of the royal house. The Niu goddess was identified as the child of Japan’s creator gods of Izanagi and Izanami.89 And it was claimed that the land that she held was given to her by Emperor Honda (Honda tennō 品田天皇, also Honda wake no mikoto誉田別尊). This is Ōjin 応神, the legendary fifteenth emperor who appears in the eighth century royal chronicles of Kojiki and Nihon Shoki as one of the hallowed ancestors of the divine royal lineage.90 He was also considered to be the deity, Hachiman. As such, the temple rooted its landholding rights in the mythical tale of the beginning of the Japanese state.  Added to this was the claim that Emperor Saga (r. 809-823), who reigned during the time of the founding of the temple, recognized Kōbō Daishi’s miraculous encounter with the Niu, and issued a land grant to formalize the temple’s entitlement of the land that was bestowed by the goddess. With that, the temple expanded and consolidated its landholding in the medieval period with the notion that it was recovering its “old land” (kyūryō 旧領).91  But was the temple’s landholding really based on a mythical account of the divine conferment of land? If so, how was that possible?  Kuroda pointed out that landlord deities were used by Hieizan, Kōyasan, and Kasuga to control land. However, he did not follow the thread and discuss practices related to landlord deities and their myths.92 What needs to be examined are the institutional practices associated with myths, deities and the control of land. That is the topic we shall explore in the remainder of the chapter.   1.1 Engi Landscape We should never underestimate the power of stories to shape reality. At Kōyasan, the engi was a reality. It could be said that the landscape of the temple was a mechanism that turned the legend into reality and ensured that it never be forgotten. There were three sites in the precinct that enacted the engi in space. One is the Inner Sanctuary where Kōbō Daishi’s                                                           89 The identification of the “landlord mountain king Niu great illuminating deity” (jinushi sannō Niu daimyōjin地主山王丹生大明神) as the child of Izanami and Izanagi is seen in Kōya kōhaiki 高野興廃記 (The Rise and Fall of Kōya). The version of this text in volume 120 of Dainihon bukkyō zensho has a note at the end. According to it, the original was written in 1411, then it was copied in 1686, and again by the monks of the Kōyasan subtemples, Kitamuro-in and Hōki-in in 1836. The 1836 version, moreover, was stored in the subtemple of the temple official, the annual custodian of the time. Kōya kōhaiki, 117, 136.  90 This is seen in the most authoritative version of the engi, known as the otein-engi (also goshuin engi) or “hand-print legend” which will be discussed later. Kōbō Daishi zenshū, 241; Koyama 1998, 47. 91 Koyama 1998. 92 Kuroda 1975a, 266. 36  Mausoleum was located. As Frois and the Heike mentioned, that was where the patriarch remained seated in meditation. The Inner Sanctuary is located at the eastern end of the precinct. When the powerful courtier, Fujiwara Michinaga, made his pilgrimage to Kōyasan in 1023, he worshipped Kōbō Daishi at the Inner Sanctuary, and sponsored the expansion of the Worship Hall (Haiden 拝殿) that was situated in front of the Mausoleum.93 As the name implies, the purpose of that hall was to worship the deified patriarch, for the Mausoleum itself was a restricted space. The Inner Sanctuary was the considered to be Pure Land on Earth, and a focal point of Kōyasan worship.  But it is two other sites with close association with the engi that were more important for the political life of Kōyasan monks: the Portrait Hall (Miedō 御影堂) and the Shrine (Miyashiro 御社). Both of these were situated in the area called Danjō Garan 檀上伽藍, which was the main ritual space of the temple where formal rituals were performed to protect rulers and the country. Danjō Garan is located about three kilometres to the west of the Inner Sanctuary and in it were the most imposing ritual edifices of the Golden Hall (Kondō 金堂) and the Great Stupa (Daitō 大塔). Both of these were part of Kōbō Daishi’s original design of the temple, though they were completed decades after his death. The Golden Hall was the main hall of the entire temple, and the Great Stupa was the centre of the eight-peak mandala or Buddhist cosmic representation that morphed onto the landscape of the mountain. The sanctum of Danjō Garan was demarcated with the Middle Gate (Chūmon 中門).  While the Golden Hall and Great Stupa were important engines of the Buddhist law, the Portrait Hall and the Shrine were intimately connected to the organization of Kōyasan monks. At Kōyasan, each New Year begins at the Shrine, and it likely has for a long time. On the eve of the New Year, a great pine torch is brought to the Shrine in the ceremonial offering of votive slips (gohei osame 御幣納め). According to Hinonishi Shinjō, the purpose of this rite is to present the fire to the main deities of the Shrine, the Niu and Kōya deities that protect the temple.94  In fact, offerings to the Shrine and the Portrait Hall in the New Year were an intricate part of Kōyasan’s ritual and economic life. A journal of various expenditures of Kōyasan’s head priest dated Tenbun 14 (1545) shows the allocation of ritual stipends for New Year. According to                                                           93 KSF, vol.4, scroll 7 (clerics), 140. 94 Fujita 2006, 52. 37  it, 500 mon of copper coins were allocated each to the Great Stupa , Golden Hall, and the Inner Sanctuary, while the Shrine and the Portrait Hall were allotted double that amount with one kanmon each.95 Sizable amounts of food offerings were made to the two sites in New Year as well. To the Shrine, one to and three shō of white rice, which corresponds to roughly 23.4 litres, was presented while the Portrait Hall received one to and two shō or 21.6 litres of the same. Other food offerings included 300 to 400 daikon radish, kelp, sweets, oranges, and persimmons. Evidently, there was a morning worship service (chōhai 朝拝) at the Shrine, and we can assume that there was a communion of the offerings afterward by the member of the monastic community. The kelp was likely used to make stock with which to cook meals.  But of course, the offerings were made to the deities that dwelled at the respective buildings. The Shrine housed the tutelary deities of the temple, including the landlord deities. The Portrait Hall, on the other hand, was dedicated to Kōbō Daishi.  First, allow me here briefly flesh out the architectural and spatial features of the two buildings before discussing their significance for the political life of Kōyasan in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.  1.2 The Portrait Hall Compared to the Golden Hall and the Great Stupa, the Portrait Hall is unpretentious. As the name suggests, its main object of worship was a special portrait of the patriarch. It is said that the origin of the Portrait Hall was a hall where Kōbō Daishi dwelled when he was at Kōyasan. He had enshrined a sculpture of the bodhisattva Kannon (Avalokitesvara) in that hall, and he offered his esoteric rites to it.96 As Akamatsu Toshihide points out, Kōyasan claims that the portrait was painted by Kōbō Daishi himself. This is likely related to the narrative that the portrait was actually painted by Prince Takaoka (799-865, also known as Shinnyo Shinnō 真如親王, a more common appellation at Kōyasan), who took tonsure and became a close disciple of Kōbō Daishi. It is said that Takaoka painted the portrait shortly before Kōbō Daishi’s death, but to complete it, the master drew in the eyes himself.97 This subtle subliminal notion hinted that he was still “watching” through the portrait. It is said that the patriarch had the portrait painted so                                                           95 Kudoyama chōshi, shiryō, 357 (doc. 7). 96 KSF, vol.4, scroll 3 (clerics), 57; Akamatsu 1959, 344; Wakayama-ken no chimei, 69. 97 As seen in the nineteenth century gazetteer of Kii province. KSF, vol.4, scroll 3 (clerics), 58. 38  that his followers in later generations would not lament the fact that they could not see their master. Given that the portrait was repaired in 1079, it is possible that it was actually painted during or shortly after Kōbō Daishi’s lifetime.98  Today, there is a special pine tree in front of the Portrait Hall that is protected with a red wooden fence. Called the Pine of the Trident Vajra (sanko no matsu 三鈷の松), the pine is said to be the very pine on which the Vajra that Kōbō Daishi had thrown from China landed. The current tree is the seventh generation of the original. It is not known just when this tradition began. But the pine does appear in the painting of Danjō Garan in the Illustrated Scrolls of the High Priest Ippen (Ippen shōnin eden 一遍上人絵伝), painted ca. 1300.99 By that time, the Vajra was housed in the inner cloister of the hall. Interestingly, the Vajra was returned to Kōyasan in 1252 by a certain monk named Tankū from the Sagano area in Kyoto. It symbolized not only the transmission of esoteric Buddhism from China, but also the founding legend of the temple. Later, it became known as the “Flying Vajra” (higyō no sanko 飛行之三鈷). It was placed in a raised China chest (karabitsu唐櫃) that was ritually sealed by imperial order, and stored in the sacred cabinet (zushi厨子) in the inner cloister of the Portrait Hall together with the portrait.100  The original Portrait Hall was destroyed by fire in 1521. But as Yamagishi Tsuneto points out, the architectural design of the original hall had the outer cloister (gejin 外陣) that was situated in front of the inner cloister (naijin内陣).101 That layout was retained in the hall rebuilt after that fire, and also after the fires of 1620 and 1843.102                                                            98 Akamatsu 1959, 344. 99 The illustration is seen in Hinonishi 1983, 44. 100 As we see in the inventory of the treasures of the Portrait Hall from 1619. Zokuhōkanshū 11-250 [KM2]. 101 Yamagishi 1992, 204-205. 102 Wakayama-ken no chimei, 70. 39   Figure 1. The Portrait Hall. The current hall was completed in 1848 after it was destroyed by fire in 1843. Photographed by author, June, 2014.  With the portrait, the Vajra, and the hand-print legend, the Portrait Hall combined to enshrine the hallowed founding story of the temple. But there was more to the hall than the materiality of these objects. The exceptional quality of the hall is apparent in the painting in the Ippen scrolls. Notably, the painting shows two halls placed next to the pine; this differs from the known arrangement of the Portrait Hall. What is interesting, however, is that one of the halls has the sliding doors opened to reveal a beaming yellow Buddhist robe. The painter, who may never have seen the hall himself, was likely thinking of a famous robe. There is a ritual at Kōyasan, which involves the changing of Kōbō Daishi’s robe annually, which traces itself to Kangen’s initial changing of the robe mentioned above. Called the mieku 御影供, or offering to the portrait, it involves the presentation of a specially-made robe to Kōbō Daishi at the Inner Sanctuary. It has been performed annually on the twenty-first day of the third month. This is the 40  anniversary of Kōbō Daishi’s death, or his entry into the state of eternal meditation as it was understood. In the current form, monks chant Buddhist sūtra  as the robe is presented to the patriarch in his Mausoleum, though that is not where the robe is kept.103 After the ritual robe-offering to Kōbō Daishi at the Mausoleum, the robe is taken from the Inner Sanctuary to the Danjō Garan. It is then carried into the inner cloister of the Portrait Hall where it stays beside the portrait until it is replaced by a new one in the following year. As Hinonishi Shinjō has observed, the mieku served to rejuvenate the energies of the hall.104 But it also transformed the Portrait Hall into a space animated with the living presence of the patriarch, who continues to watch over his monks in perpetuity as their supreme leader.  According to the temple tradition, the mieku began at Kōyasan in 1149. A pot that is used to cook a massive amount of rice to be offered to the patriarch was inscribed with the year, Kenkyū 8 (1197), along with the note that it was donated by an itinerant fundraising monk (kanjin 勧進) specifically for the mieku.105 What we can assume is that the mieku in one form or another was performed during the medieval and early modern era. In fact, the 1545 journal of Kōyasan’s head priest states that the mieku was performed on the 21st day of the third month. A brief note mentions that the special robe made by the subtemple Hōki-in was taken to the Inner Sanctuary by two ascetics (gyōnin 行人), then brought into the Portrait Hall in the evening.106   1.3 The Shrine The Shrine, on the other hand, is what would be called a Shinto shrine by modern convention. It is located on the western end of the Danjō Garan, on the foot of a lushly forested mound known as the Miyashiro Mountain (or the Venerable Shrine Mountain), which is one of the eight petals that forms the lotus mandala on the mountain. The Shrine stands apart from the rest of the edifices in the Danjō Garan with its forest. The rest of the Danjō Garan is cleared, and this basic spatial feature was perhaps similar in the medieval era. At the least, an early nineteenth century illustration shows the Shrine with the forest, though the trees are much smaller in the illustration that focuses on buildings.107 But the large sanctum of the Shrine is also demarcated                                                           103 For a discussion of the mieku as it is performed today, see Nicoloff 2007, 250-52. 104 Fujita 2006, 54. 105 That kanjin monk likely carried out a campaign to solicit donations in order to make the pot. KSF vol.4, scroll 3 (clerics), 61. 106 Kudoyama chōshi, shiryō, 357-62 (doc# 7). 107 See figure 3 below, taken from the Kii no kuni meisho zue, vol. 3-4, 16. This is an illustrated guide to the famous places of Kii province, originally published in 1811 or 1838. See Suzuki 1985, 770.  41  with the torii, a Shinto gate, from the rest of the Danjō Garan. Approaching it from the central area of the Danjō Garan, one passes through the “outer torii” toward the Mountain King Hall, which served as the worship hall that faced the abode of the deities on the mountain. The landlord deities were also known as Mountain Kings (sannō 山王).108 The actual Shrine is on the foot of the Miyashiro Mountain, which, too, is marked off with another torii.  Today, the Shrine in the forested mound consists of three buildings as it did in the early modern period. One on the northern end is the abode of the Niu goddess, and the middle shrine of the Kōya hunter deity. The third one is dedicated to the Twelve-Prince deities and One-Hundred-and-Twenty-deities. The exact layout of the Shrine in the medieval era is unknown, but what is certain is that there was the “outer torii” and the Mountain King hall. All but the Twelve-Princely deities were there by the early fifteenth century.109   Figure 2. The Shrine at Kōyasan. The front building is the Mountain King Hall. The buildings behind it are the shrines that house the tutelary deities of Kōyasan including the landlord deities. Photographed by author in June 2014.                                                           108 KSF, vol.4, scroll 4 (clerics), 76. 109 The deities were invoked in the early fifteenth century Kōya kōhaiki. The outer torii is mentioned in the Rites of the Four Seasons that I will discuss below.  42    Figure 3. An illustration of the Danjō Garan from the early nineteenth century Kii no kuni meisho zue, or the Illustrated Guide of the Famous Places of Kii Province. The highlighted circle is the Shrine. Note the outer torii gate on the right beside trees. The long hall to the left of the gate is the Mountain King Hall and the three smaller buildings on raised platforms at the foot of the Miyashiro Mountain are the abodes of the tutelary deities. Of those, one to the right houses the Niu deity and in the middle one you will find the Kōya deity. In the square highlighted box is the Portrait Hall. The smaller building behind that hall is the Treasure Storage (hōzō宝蔵), and that is where many of the documents in the Treasure Manuscripts Series were kept in the early modern era. The lone tree in front of the hall is the Pine of the Trident Vajra, which in legend caught the Vajra that Kōbō Daishi had thrown from China.110  The Shrine was the tutelary shrine of the temple that was dedicated to the guardian deities of the mountain. In fact, the main shrine for these deities was the Amano shrine located in the fertile basin below the temple. But according to the temple’s tradition, Kōbō Daishi performed a ritual to invite the deities to their other abode on the mountain and built the Shrine in 819.111                                                            110 Kii no kuni meisho zue, vol. 3-4, 16. 111 KSF, vol. 4 scroll 4 (clerics), 77. 43  In all likelihood, Kūkai probably did not build the Shrine. It is quite possible that he never even knew of the so-called landlord deities. According to Wada Akio, there is no mention of the Niu and the Kōya deities in the writings that can reasonably be attributed to Kūkai.112  However, the narrative of Niu’s conferment was evidently well-established in 1088, when Retired Emperor Shirakawa (1053-1129) made his pilgrimage to Kōyasan. He offered talismans to the “landlord deities” (jinushi myōjin 地主明神) of Niu and Kōya myōjin before worshipping at the Mausoleum. There he was told the story of how Emperor Honda long ago established the “four corners” of the land which in turn was given to Kūkai.113 The Shrine must have been a fixture in the temple’s landscape then. According to the nineteenth century gazetteer of Kii province, it was customary to perform a roof-changing ceremony (fukikae 葺替) every twenty-one years. That served to restore the shrine and purify the sanctum. It involved the relocation of the deities to a temporary shelter in a ceremony known as sengū 遷宮 for the duration of the repair.114  The Portrait Hall and the Shrine transformed the geographical terrain of the mountain to reflect the presence of the deities in space. They created a dynamic link between monks and the hallowed engi of their temple that was never allowed to be forgotten.  What was the point of this? Can we expect that these liminal spaces had a wider role to play than only places of worship and veneration? Why did monks have to perform the mieku, and what role did the liminal quality of the hall play? And how could the identity of the deities of the Shrine as “landlords” relate to the temple’s transformation into an autonomous landholding ruler? Before addressing these questions, let us situate Kōyasan’s mythical landholding in the premodern worldview and the cultural understanding of land and environment.                                                             112 Wada 1976a, 86, 98 113 Koyama 1998, 38. 114 KSF, vol. 4, scroll 4 (clerics), 78-79. In the same gazetteer, we learn that among the routine rituals at the Shrine were those of perpetual ritual and the relic confraternity. Fifteen newly-initiated monks assemble at the Mountain King Hall to perform their service, the speed-reading (tendoku 転読) of the Mahāprajñāpāramitā sūtra. This tradition began in 1108; and is performed on the first day of each month to purify the shrine and to pray for the peace and stability of the mountain. The prayer ritual to protect the country was initiated by the retired emperor Goshirakawa in 1173. 44  1.4 Nature, Land and Space Takagi Shōsaku offers thought-provoking ideas that help to elucidate the cultural logic behind the temple’s use of legends and deities to control land.115 According to him, in a traditional worldview, land, nature, deities, and the ineffable powers of deities were understood to be a seamless whole, while humans and their collectives situated themselves in a holistic space. Takagi points out that communities established themselves by occupying nature, but since nature was being occupied by deities and spirits with dangerous powers, it was essential to placate those beings. Through rituals, people pacified nature and transformed the primordial wilderness into habitable spaces where they settled and carried out economic activity, such as cultivating crops, to generate wealth and sustain themselves. Without ritual interaction with deities and numinous beings, communities could not form and reproduce themselves; the relations of production as well as property could not be institutionalized. Ritual was never separate from economics and politics, for nature was divine. It was controlled not by humans but deities and divine forces.  Takagi suggests that when the state emerged, property bifurcated. Local-level land rights and relations of production were retained, but the state presided as the ultimate proprietor of the land that it ruled.116 Japan’s ancient state, which emerged in the Asuka (592-710) and Nara (710-784) periods, was headed by the emperor, who had the priestly function to placate the deities of the land. But, as Takagi points out, the traditional worldview that saw nature suffused with deities and spirits influenced politics and policies throughout the medieval era and beyond. The early modern state, too, established itself upon such a spirit-infused world. Hideyoshi used the ritual authority of the emperor to lay claim to all the land in the sixty-odd provinces in the Japanese archipelago. His land surveys clarified and reorganized the relations of production on the ground-level, and codified the landholdings of the warlord vassals who submitted to him.  However, the links between deities and nature or geography is an elusive dimension of the social experience of the bygone era that was not developed into systematized doctrines or tenets. Kuroda’s observation of the shinkoku thought (shinkoku shisō 神国思想) should be recalled. Shinkoku, or the “country of gods,” referred to the idea that Japan was a country protected by myriad deities. According to Kuroda, this idea was pervasive in the medieval era,                                                           115 Takagi 1990, 15-16. 116 Takagi 1990, 35-36. 45  yet it represented an “ambiguous and hazy orientation of thought and beliefs” (shisō ya shinkō no isshu bakuzen taru keikō ya yōshiki思想や信仰の一種漠然たる傾向や様式) rather than a rationalized body of thought.117 Moreover, it was first and foremost a “conceptualization of land” (kokudo ni tsuite no kannen国土についての観念).118  Indeed, deities’ presence on land was regarded as part of nature, but this supernatural nature as we might call it influenced social life in a pervasive manner. As Thomas Conlan argues, in his study of warfare in fourteenth century Japan, deities were vital elements of space in and out of their formal sanctuaries of the precincts. According to him, “Not only did ‘religious’ beliefs—that is, the responsibility to mediate with the ‘otherworld’—underpin the power of religious institutions, but they also propelled behaviour in the seemingly unrelated arenas of political legitimacy and war…The battledfield was conceived as a realm where gods and buddhas mingled with men.”119 Consider the following words uttered by Minamoto Yoritomo 源頼朝 (1147-1199) in 1191 as he reflected on his success in establishing his warrior regime in Kamakura. It alludes to an implicit understanding that land was held by deities in the medieval religious imaginary, and such an understanding was primarily political:  There is no land for even a single needle to stand on in the sixty-odd provinces of our country that is not owned by the Great Shrine of Ise (waga chō rokujū yoshū wa risshin no chi tari to iedomo Ise daijingū no goryō naranu tokoro arubekarazu吾朝六十余州は、雖為立針之地伊勢太神宮の御領ならぬ所あるへからず). When Taira Shōkoku (Kiyomori) disrupted the world, I prayed earnestly at (or to) that shrine, and received a divine oracle from Hachiman that could not be ignored. It said to summarily destroy the traitors. Hence [I followed] and the realm is now at peace.120   Religion was not simply a matter of belief and worship. It permeated broad aspects of social and political life. If land was seen not as objective entity governed by the “natural” law, but as the home of deities, the temple’s land claim, based on divine conferment was not                                                           117 Kuroda 1975a, 257. 118 Ibid., 527. 119 Conlan 2003, 166. 120 Cited in Kuroda 1975a, 313. 46  outlandish, but logical. The narrative of divine conferment with the landlord deities driving their spikes into the four corners then was a form of colonization of land by those who claimed ritual mastery over surrounding space. Takagi’s notion of the bifurcation of property under the state is compelling. It is applicable to Kōyasan's political power. The temple was the ultimate proprietor of the regional land, a status it attained and maintained through the medium of the Niu and Kōya deities. Monks did not actually hold the land directly, but through the deities that were made to manifest at the temple. Then, they controlled regional society by codifying property allocation in the region under their authority.   1.5 Medieval Property  The indirect rule of land was related to the systematization of property in the medieval estate system known as shōen. In the estate system, people did not own land on an exclusive basis, but held specified rights to it. The system was based on the institution of shiki 職, which is often translated as “rights to income from land.”121 The shiki holder did not retain full ownership of the land. It was normal for a single estate to have multiple overlapping shiki held by different individuals and groups. Some of the common shiki included guarantor (honke), proprietor (ryōke), steward (jitō), estate official (shōkan), lower estate officials (gesu), even-lower estate officials who handled documents (kumon), and peasants or cultivator (saku).122  Land rights in Kōyasan’s estates were structured in such a way that each parcel of land in each village in each estate had a “landlord” (jinushi or jishu) and “cultivator” (saku), whose names and rights were recorded in the land registers that monks produced by conducting land surveys.123 Indeed, recording and codifying land rights was the prime purpose of the land surveys that the monks conducted in the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Monks referred to that process as “retying” (yuinaoshi 結直) of land rights. Once that was done, Kōyasan was poised at the pinnacle as the aggregator of land rights in the region.  Indeed, the temple functioned as a local state that codified relations of production and exploitation, all the while collecting taxes. That was the principle of the temple’s administrative                                                           121 According to Amino Yoshihiko and Yokoi Kiyoshi, the legal historian, Nakata Kaoru was the first to define shiki as “real property” and “conceptually almost the same as what we call ‘rights’” in the early twentieth century. Amino and Yokoi 2003, 51. 122 Amino and Yokoi 2003, 45-57. 123 Atsuta 1986, 68-74. 47  practice and the fuel that allowed it to dominate the region. That power is expressed succinctly in Retired Emperor Kōgon’s decree in 1336.  With regards to the various shiki of the lands of the subtemples and of the temple as a whole, violations must be ended [and the shiki] shall be controlled by the temple-house.124   Here, “control” in the original is shinshi 進止. According to the dictionary, Nihon kokugo daijiten, this referred to the power to appoint and revoke shiki and landholding. The decree thus recognized the authority of the temple-house as the controller of the aggregate of property of the land held by its subtemples and the monastery as a whole (jiryō 寺領).  But it was not only Kōgon who recognized Kōyasan’s land claim. Kōgon was the regent to the throne on the Northern court that was used by the warrior, Ashikaga Takauji (1305-1358) in his bid to oust the Southern court headed by Emperor Godaigo (1288-1339). Godaigo had toppled the Kamakura shogunate in 1333 by mobilizing none other than Takauji. Godaigo, too, had fully recognized Kōyasan’s land claim in his 1333 imperial decree. That was the watershed moment for Kōyasan’s consolidation of its estates in the nearby area.125  After that time, both sides of the competing courts sanctioned Kōyasan’s status as a local state. Why was this?  On one level, the reason was the pragmatism of power politics. As Adolphson discusses, both the Southern and Northern courts wanted to bring Kōyasan to their side of the struggle.126 To be sure, the fall of the Kamakura heralded a period of political turmoil when powerholders in the country allied themselves with either side of the two courts to wage wars that lingered for six decades—until the divided court was unified under the third Ashikaga shogun, Iemitsu, in 1392. Amid the turmoil, Kōyasan remained neutral. It capitalized on the attempts by the competing rulers to solicit its support. To be sure, the rulers wanted Kōyasan on their side because it had troops to deploy. At the same time, the ritual support provided by the temple was deemed to be an important political factor. As Kuroda discussed, with the ideology of the mutual dependency                                                           124 Hōkanshū 14-196 [KM1]. 125 Koyama 1998, 68-71; Adolphson 2000, 297-98. 126 Adolphson 2000, 303-307. 48  of the Buddhist and the kingly laws, rulers could not rule except by harnessing the ritual support of Buddhism. Indeed, one logical tenet buttressing Kōyasan’s landholding was that land was needed to fulfill the venerable wish (gogan 御願) of emperors and rulers to have rituals performed for them.  Such an explanation is useful to place Kōyasan in the broad political and religious milieu of the fourteenth century. However, it does not tell us how the temple worked, or how the Buddhist law and the temple’s political power were generated. The temple-land that Kōgon spoke of, and what Godaigo approved, was Kōyasan’s land claim based on its engi. Godaigo’s decree specifically mentioned that the land in the “four corners” belonged to Kōyasan, and this was based on the most authoritative version of Kōyasan’s engi known as the “hand-print legend” (otein-engi 御手印縁起, also goshuin engi). According to Akamatsu, in 1332 the “hand-print legend” was taken from Kōyasan to Kyoto where it was inspected by Godaigo.127 On that occasion, a copy was produced. Godaigo then wrote with his own hand a note on the back of the copy stating that it was to be treated as the original, and that it shall never be taken out of the temple. He then sealed it with his hand-print and had it returned to the temple.   1.6 Kōbō Daishi’s Hand-Print Legend Indeed, the hand-print legend was the basis of Kōyasan’s medieval landholding. According to Kaizu Ichirō, the text was used nineteen times in land disputes from 1004 to 1343.128 And it was even used in 1585 to shield the temple’s land from Toyotomi Hideyoshi, as we will later see. The hand-print legend is a set of documents that includes maps and documents. Among the items are illustrated maps of the temple’s land, three statements of the “four corners” of land that the temple was entitled to hold, Kōbō Daishi’s “final injunction” (or will, yuikō 遺告) that addressed his disciples in which he explained the genealogy of the land tracing back to Emperor Honda and its conferment to him by the Niu goddess, and a formal land grant issued by Emperor Saga in 816 that confirmed the temple’s right to hold the land.129 It is called hand-print (tein 手印) because it is sealed with Kōbō Daishi’s hand-print to vest it with inviolable authority. Objective historians, starting with the pioneer of medieval Japanese history in the English                                                           127 Akamatsu 1984, 143-44. 128 Kaizu 2002, 103-105. 129 Zokuhōkanshū 2-11 [KM1]. For the specific items of the hand-print legend, see Koyama 1998, 25-28.  49  language, Asakawa Kan’ichi, have determined the hand-print legend to be a forged document.130 There can be little doubt about that. But that is almost beside the point, because it was treated and functioned as the true venerable document. If we do not consider the power of this text, we are out of touch with the world of medieval Kōyasan.  The hand-print legend was “returned” to Kōyasan in 1159 by Empress Bifukumon-in, or Fujiwara Tokushi (1117-1160).  She was a devout worshipper of Kōyasan who deeded to the temple the Arakawa estate in the vicinity of Kōyasan in the same year as an offering for the salvation of the late Retired Emperor Toba, who had loved her dearly.131 She discovered the text in Toba’s treasury. Startled by the clear “hand-print” of Kōbō Daishi, she donated it to Kōyasan to make merit. Her decision to do so changed the fate of the temple forever.  To understand how this text asserted power, let us note how it was treated. Bifukumon-in did not return it to the temple herself. That task was assigned to the monk named Kanben 寛遍 (1100-1166), the abbot of the powerful Tōji temple in Kyoto which acted as the head temple of Kōyasan at the time. The discovery of the hand-print legend was a great joy for Kanben who, along with eight other monks, deposited the text to the inner cloister of the Portrait Hall. In doing so, he established the rules for handling the text.132 In it, we read that the hand-print legend, “as the secret and eternal treasure, shall never be taken out of its chest in the Portrait Hall.” When the head priest changed, he was to be allowed to view it only in the presence of monastic officials. In fact, not even the abbot of Tōji or the head priest of Kōyasan was permitted to access the inner cloister of the hall on his own. Kanben’s vow says that the original was to be housed in the hall at all times and if the emperor wished to view it, a copy (anmon 案文) should be presented. Needless to say, Kanben was thinking of its future use in land disputes. He went on to state that only when courtiers (that is, arbiters of land disputes) deemed the copy to be suspicious, the matter was to be taken to the abbot of Tōji, who in turn would instruct temple officials to take the original to the court. After the litigation was resolved, it was to be returned quickly to the Portrait Hall.                                                            130 Akamatsu Toshihide, for instance, argued that the hand-print legend was likely produced in or shortly before 1004 when there is a record of a land dispute between Kōyasan and provincial officials. Akamatsu 1984, 146-151. 131 Toyoda 1977, 465. 132 The storage of the hand-print legend in the Portrait Hall is discussed by Yamagishi Tsuneto in Yamagishi 1992, 199-200. Kanben’s rules are seen in Zokuhōkanshū 2-11 [KM1]. 50  The rule was established through a vow that Kanben and the eight monks made to deities including the “landlord Niu myōjin” (jinushi Niu myōjin地主丹生明神). Indeed, Kanben’s rule has been followed. An inventory of the treasures of the Portrait Hall from 1222 shows the hand-print legend being stored in a black lacquered box, placed inside another decorated box that was contained in a raised China chest (karabitsu唐櫃).133 And the engi has been held in the Portrait Hall to this day.134   1.7 The Portrait Hall, Documents, and the Liminal Threshold The placement of the hand-print legend in the Portrait Hall was a highly symbolic act. But it was not the only document that was stored in the Portrait Hall. The hall began to function as a sacred vault that held important administrative documents of the temple from the late thirteenth century onward. As Yamagishi has noted, Kōyasan monks deposited a large body of documents in the Portrait Hall in the late thirteenth century. In so doing, they moved documents from a separate Treasure Storage (hōzō宝蔵).135  The following are some of the major types of documents that were stored in the Portrait Hall as seen in an inventory of its treasures dated Kagen 3 (1305):   documents of land disputes;   rules and laws for the monastery and its estates;   documents on the allocation of duties among temple members;   drafts and copies of documents that the temple issued to its estates;   land registers and ledgers for the administration of estates;   ledgers of the allocation of tax income from estates among temple members (bunden haubun sōchō分田配分惣帳, shihaichō支配帳);   documents submitted by estate officials (shōkan荘官); and so on.136  What was the significance of storing these documents in the Portrait Hall? According to Yamagishi, from the twelfth century onward, it became fairly common for temples to use halls                                                           133 Zokuhōkanshū 12-252 [KM2]. 134 As a side note, Kanben’s instruction, which also outlines the items of the hand-print legend, was included in the Treasure Manuscripts Series in the early modern era, but it was likely treated as a temple treasure from the medieval era. However, the hand-print legend was too precious to be included in that series. 135 Yamagishi 1992, 201-203. 136 Zokuhōkanshū 62-512, 513[KM3]. For a discussion of the inventory, see Yamagishi 1992, 202-203; Yamakage 1997, 36-37.  51  that were dedicated to buddhas and patriarchs to store important documents.137 One reason for that, as Kasamatsu Hiroshi has suggested, was that buddhas represented the temple-house, which was a public authority that stood above and beyond the different groups that cohabited the temple.138 Yamagishi points out that some documents were marked with a note indicating their storage site, suggesting the idea that once documents were placed in the hall, they attained a higher status and became sacrosanct. The control of documents was tightly regulated as indicated by Kanben’s instructions on the hand-print legend, and at Kōyasan, monastic officials known as the three secretariats were in charge of depositing and withdrawing documents from the hall.139 The secretariats, as we will see, represented the temple collective as a whole, hence the public interest of the temple.  But what remains unexplored is the link between the exceptional quality of the space of the halls dedicated to buddhas and patriarchs and manuscript systems. For instance, Yamagishi points out that the use of the Portrait Hall was related to the emphasis in the Shingon tradition on the transmission of the dharma from the patriarch, and that there was the well-developed manuscript system that assured the safe storage and use of documents.140 On the other hand, Yamakage Kazuo provides a detailed analysis of Kōyasan’s manuscript system from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries, and uses the parable of the bank vault to describe the role of the Portrait Hall.141 The parable might suffice to explain the objective function of the hall. The documents that were stored there undergirded the operation of the temple, and were stored in the hall with the intent to preserve and venerate them in eternity. But when we consider the purpose of the hall was to enact Kōbō Daishi’s living presence, these explanations are inadequate. Yet, how do we account for the role that the liminal quality of the hall played in Kōyasan’s manuscript system?  Let us consider the hall as a threshold to the realm of deities. With the hand-print legend and various documents that codified land rights, such as land registers and ledgers of the allocation of tax income, the Portrait Hall functioned as the seat of the aggregation of land rights. Monks stored documents that codified property rights at the temple and in the estates on the other side of that threshold. It was important for monks to do that. They needed the sacred power                                                           137 Yamagishi 1992, 195-226. 138 Yamagishi 1992, 194. 139 Wada 1959. 140 Yamagishi 1992, 228-30. 141 Yamakage 1997, 60. 52  of Kōbō Daishi to control the legendary land and maintain order at the temple with various rules and regulations. The Portrait Hall was the sacred locus from which the power of the temple to codify social relations “shot through” the space constituted by the temple and its estates.   1.8 The “Entire Mountain” However, the Portrait Hall was not a stand-alone site but part of the complex landscape of the temple that linked the monks to the numinous realm of deities. There is a literary text that helps to situate the power of the hall in relation to the landlord deities and the Shrine. The Kōya kōhaiki 高野興廃記 (The Rise and Fall of Kōyasan) is recorded as being written in 1411.142 It recounts Kōyasan’s bitter land dispute with the temple Kinpusen in Yoshino, located in the mountains about fifty kilometres to the northeast of Kōyasan. The conflict with Yoshino, which broke out in the early thirteenth century, is known as an early instance of Kōyasan’s mobilization of the hand-print legend. When the conflict arose, Kōyasan monks took their case to the imperial court, and brought with them the hand-print legend to support their claims. However, the court was hesitant to buy into Kōyasan’s claims. Such was the backdrop of the account of the Kōya kōhaiki.  Being a storytelling text, the Kōya kōhaiki expresses the assumptions and mentality that informed monks’ institutional practices that are rarely mentioned in administrative documents. It describes the process by which monks dealt with problems and threats. It indicates the rationale for the monks’ forging of a ritual unity among themselves and with deities to transform themselves into an entity that called itself the “entire mountain” (manzan 満山), which acted as the highest political authority at the temple.  After narrating the familiar engi episodes of the Vajra and Niu’s conferment of land to Kōbō Daishi, the Kōya kōhaiki tells us how the stifling response of the court distressed the monks. It says that investigators were sent to examine the disputed area in the mountain. And surely, there were stone stele that was inscribed with Niu’s name.143 Yet, the court was hesitant to issue a ruling against Kinpusen. For the monks, this was an urgent matter that threatened the Buddhist law, demolished the karma of Kōyasan monks, and sealed the fate of the country. To discuss whether or not stop the “large and small Buddhist rituals” to protect the state and                                                           142 See footnote 89 on page 35 for the dating of this text.  143 Kōya kōhaiki, 4-6. 53  “descend the mountain,” a “mass assembly of the entire mountain” (manzan daishūgi 満山大衆議) was held. That included 3,000 monks who dwelled in some 300 subtemples of the monastery, which in turn was described as the “sacred cave beyond compare in the Japanese realm” that was their temple (niche-iki musō no reikutsu日域無双之霊崛). An elder monk sought out the Niu’s oracle at the Shrine. The goddess was evidently infuriated, and delivered the following oracle: “The Buddhist law on my mountain shall thrive after the decline of the court.” Ominously, the palace was burnt down, and Retired Emperor Gotoba’s rebellion against the Kamakura shogunate failed miserably in the Jōkyū disturbance of 1221. The monks interpreted these events as the fallout of the curse of their goddess.  The decision was reached. The monks were to shut down the temple in order to threaten the courtiers with the withdrawal of the ritual support that they were taking for granted. The text describes the action of the assembly as follows.   On the fifth day of the eight month, Jōkyū 1 (1219), the mass assembly arose. The gates of the halls and cloisters of the mountain were closed. The 3,000 members of the clerics drank the divine water of ichimi, and made the following vow. “The Buddhism guarding good deities of our mountain are the Niu deity, the Kōya deity, and the Hundred-Twenty deities. May their power be united with that of the buddhas, bodhisattvas, the heavenly beings and the like. And by harmonizing the mind of the 3,000 monks, may the hated enemy be destroyed, and may the Buddhist law thrive once again.” Nails were driven to the gates [to the halls and cloisters]. The old and young and the high and low from the cloisters and other places144 all assembled in front of the Great Stupa. There was not a single person who did not have his sleeves rolled up.145  Apparently, because the head priest, who was old and nearing death, lamented the loss of Kōbō Daishi’s Buddhist law, the actual descend was delayed for three days. But revealed here is the performative construction of the ichimi of the “entire mountain.” All monks united their will-                                                          144 Other places (bessho別所) here refers to the dwellings of hijiri itinerants who settled outside the main precinct. The implication is that everyone at the mountain was there. 145 Kōya kōhaiki, 119-20. 54  power through the ichimi ritual that involved the drinking of the sacred water.146 Niu’s oracle was a key behind that decision. It was in accordance with the will of the deities that the monks staged a massive revolt to descend the mountain. The “entire mountain” was a subliminal collective that consisted of both monks and deities.  There are three points that I wish to establish before advancing the discussion. First, the use of the Shrine to seek the oracle of the Niu deity is indicative of the role that the Shrine played in the political life of Kōyasan monks. If the Portrait Hall was the administrative centre of the temple, the Shrine was the place of action. Evidently, monks were holding mass assemblies into the dead of night at the Shrine during the conflict with Kinpusen, because a 1239 law issued by the Tōji prohibited such a practice.147 The rationale for such an assembly was probably not unlike what the Kōya kōhaiki tells us. That is, to seek out the oracle of the landlord deities, and discuss and decide on the course of action to take to overcome the problem that confronted the temple. For the monks, it was important to make critical political decision at the interface to the realm of deities, and in unison with them.  Second, Buddhist law was geographically determined. The shut-down of the temple was a threat to the courtier-rulers because the Buddhist law had to be generated at the sacred mountain. The assumption was that the thaumaturgic power that Kōyasan monks created could not be replaced by rituals conducted elsewhere, and rulers who failed to support this scheme risked divine retribution by the deities of the mountain. The Buddhist law and the deities of the mountain were inseparable and the sustenance of the former was predicated by the latter’s goodwill.  Interestingly, the Kōya kōhaiki tells us that when the hand-print legend was in Kyoto for the litigation, rituals at Tōji generated no power.148 Suggested here is the notion that the hand-print legend had to be in its proper place, otherwise the Buddhist law was undermined. But the underlying assumption seems to have been that the ritual power of the temple was embedded in the numinous power of the mountain and its deities. The Portrait Hall was organically linked with that power.                                                            146 In accordance with the standard ichimi practice, we can assume that the water would have contained the ashes of the vow that they made to commit to the decision. See for example Katsumata 2015, 27-30. 147 Hōkanshū 2-685 [KM2]; Wada 1959. 148 Kōya kōhaiki, 6. 55  And third, the “entire mountain” was mobilized to influence the adjudication of the dispute at hand. Hence, in the early thirteenth century, monks were relying on the judicature of rulers in the capital to protect their property. As we shall see, that was to change in the fourteenth century.   1.9 The Kongōbuji Clerics and Ichimi But Kōyasan was complex, and some description is needed of its organizational structure in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. As Yamakage Kazuo observes, Kōyasan in the thirteenth century had three major temples.149 One was Kongōbuji金剛峯寺, the oldest temple that traced itself to Kōbō Daishi. Another was Kongōsanmai-in金剛三昧院, a Zen temple that served the role of the prayer temple for the Kamakura and later the Muromachi shogunate. Yet another was Denpō-in伝法院 (also Daidenpō-in) which was founded by the monk called Kakuban (1095-1143), who synthesized nenbutsu and Shingon doctrines. Denpō-in gained much power and influence with the robust patronage of powerful retired emperors. Aside from that, there were many hijiri聖, or holy men. These were highly mobile aspirants, who built their hermitages and settled in what were called the “other places” (bessho 別所) that were situated on the fringes of the precinct. But additionally, Kongōbuji was under the authority of the Tōji temple in Kyoto, which is why it was the abbot of Tōji, Kanben who had deposited the hand-print legend in the Portrait Hall. But out of this complex structure, it was Kongōbuji that muscled its way to take over many of the prerogatives that were vested at the temple. In so doing, it forced its arch-rival, Denpō-in out of the precinct, and weakened Tōji’s influence to attain autonomy.  The means by which the Kongōbuji achieved autonomy was through the unitive impulse of ichimi. According to Yamakage, the Kongōbuji organization began to invoke the notion of the “entire temple” (sōji惣寺) sometime between 1264 and 1288. This referred to all the members of Kongōbuji. Hijiri or the affiliates of Kongōsanmai-in and Denpō-in do not appear to have been part of the “entire temple.” Within the Kongōbuji organization, there were a group called the clerics (shuto 衆徒). Consisting of about 500 members, this was the elite group of Kongōbuji that held the prerogative over its administration as well as the performance of rituals. While the                                                           149 Yamakage 2006a, 95-96. 56  clerics were the core members of the “entire temple,” there were various other functional groups that are typically categorized under the status referent of ascetics (gyōnin 行人).150 They were inferior to the clerics in status, but performed various menial duties for the temple. The power of ichimi, the “entire temple” was created by harmonizing the will of its different members to forge a tight unity. The rationale of ichimi is captured in the following excerpt from a “law” (okibumi 置文) that was promulgated by the clerics of Kongōbuji in 1277. The focal point of the law—the problem that confronted the collective at the time—was the tenure of Kongōbuji’s head priest (kengyō 検校). At the time, it had become customary for the post to be appointed by the abbot of Tōji (ichi no chōja一長者), but evidently, there was much competition for the post, and the control of the post by Tōji served to reinforce that temple’s oversight of Kongōbuji.  The goal of joining the temple and residing on the mountain is to take the post of the head priest for even a day, and establish a karmic connection with Kōbō Daishi. Hence, if a single person takes that post for long, how is the wish of the others to be realized?...Hence the post shall be limited to three years, and head priest must resign when that term is up…Residents of the temple are united in mind (ichimi). Long tenures cause troubles. If there are those who violate seniority and compete for the post, even if they are relatives, they shall be punished.151   As Yamakage suggests, expressed here is a seemingly contradictory emphasis on equality based upon the temple’s system of seniority (rasshi or rōji 臈次). Each member of the clerics was to have an equal opportunity to take up the post of the head priest, which entailed the making of the karmic connection with Kōbō Daishi. This was related to the prerogative of the head priest to hold the keys to the Portrait Hall’s inner cloister, and to receive the special robe in that hall when a new one replaced the previous one each year during the mieku.152 Needless to say, the short tenure of the head priest was intended to prevent ambitious individuals from amassing excessive power. The monks were so concerned, and placed it in the law to prevent the                                                           150 Yamakage 2006a, 131-34. 151 Cited in Yamakage 2006a, 133 152 KSF, vol. 4, scroll 11, 224; Yamakage 1997, 38, 41 57  “devouring of estates” (shōen o musaboru 庄園を貪る). It was the logic of ichimi that they used to codify the sharing of power and privilege.  How, then, did the monks understand ichimi? A formal definition of ichimi was in fact invoked in the same law, which mentioned the “will-injunction” (goyuikai 御遺誡) attributed to Kōbō Daishi. In that injunction, the Sanskrit term sangha (sōgya 僧伽) was equated with ichimi wagō一味和合, or unity and harmony:  [let me] speak to all the various disciples of the Vajra. Now, those who shave their head and don dyed robes are children of mine. You are called the sangha. Sangha is a Sanskrit term. Translated, it is called ichimi wagō (sōgya ha bonmyō nari. Honjite ichimi wagō to iu僧伽は梵名なり。翻じて一味和合と云う). The will [of all] shall be harmonized without contention between the high and the low. Like how milk and water cannot be separated, you shall protect the Buddhist law (in full unity)…Those who understands this well are the disciples of the Buddha. But those who contravene this principle are an evil league. My disciples are the disciples of the Buddha. Evil leagues are not my disciples…Those who are not the Buddha’s or my disciples are evil persons, and great enemies of the Buddhist law and the state.153   According to Kuroda, sangha was also translated as wagōshu 和合衆, or group in harmony, or simply shu 衆, and was understood to convey the “spirit of harmony” that was rooted in the Buddhist tradition of the vinaya that traced itself to the historical Buddha in ancient India.154 It reality, attaining full harmony was difficult. For instance, the first of the forty-five-item temple law that the monk, Mongaku, established for the Jingoji temple in 1185 begins with the emphasis on ichimi wago by citing the above will-injunction of Kōbō Daishi.155 Surely, such an emphasis would not have been necessary if monastic communities were actually harmonious. Yet for Kōyasan monks, harmony and unity were idealized principles that were sanctified by the founder’s words. And as we see in the above passage, “harmony” was constructed against the backdrop of the “evil” other who threatened them as a whole.                                                            153 Cited in Yamakage 2006a, 134. 154 Kuroda 1980, 12-13. 155 Kataumata 2015, 13. 58  Herein we observe the Janus face of ichimi. The other side of the “harmony” was the enemy who were relentlessly demonized and excluded. That was how the Kongōbuji eliminated the Denpō-in from the precinct in 1288. That year, the two clashed over the latter’s construction of the great bath house. From the Kongōbuji’s perspective, that was a violation of precedent and thus a crime.156 But behind their conflict was land. According to Kaizu Ichirō, Denpō-in held land rights in the legendary land. But after their removal from the precinct, Kongōbuji monopolized the legendary land.157   1.10 The Assembly System  The spirit of collective administration was firmly institutionalized in medieval Kōyasan through its assembly system (shue 集会). According to Wada Akio, the assembly system was commonly found in large temple societies in the medieval age, and rose against the backdrop of the control of those temples by the state in the late Heian era (ca. twelfth century). Its purpose was to handle the administration tasks of temple societies locally and autonomously without state interference. Notably, the assembly was the basis of the temples’ legislative power. The fact that it emerged just when the temples began to amass estates reflects its real purpose.158  According to the rules for mass assembly (dai shue 大集会) of Kōyasan dated Tokuji 1 (1308), assemblies were held three times a month, and conch horns or bells were used to gather monks.159 Attendance was mandatory. Those who were absent without notice were disciplined. A standard discipline was the duty to heat the water of the great bath house where the monks bathed, but fines were also collected. The purpose of the assembly was to discuss various matters and make decisions based on the principle of majority rule. The process of discussion and decision-making was typically called hyōjō 評定 or hyōgi 評議. In the discussions, monks were encouraged to speak their mind frankly, but once a decision was reached, it was deemed to be absolute. Those who spoke their private views to disrupt the harmony of the collective were punished. In theory, all members were “united in mind” (dōshin同心), and collective governance demanded absolute obedience to the united will of everyone.                                                            156 Koyama 1998, 124-25. 157 Kaizu 2002, 103-108. 158 Wada 1959, 18-20. 159 Ibid., 47-49. 59  Central to the assembly was the office known as nennyo 年預, literally meaning annual custodian. This post was a secretariat of the assembly. As the name suggests, it rotated annually, though the tenure of the post was later reduced to a half-year. Similar to the tenure of the head priest, the brief and rotational appointment to the position of power is indicative of the spirit of collective administration. In theory, under the assembly system, no one ruled but “everyone” did. Just the same, there were power differentials within the monastic society, as we will see.  According to Wada, the earliest surviving reference to the annual custodian of Kōyasan is a document dated Tenji 1 (1124).160 Aside from the annual custodian, there were important secretariat posts of custodian (azukari 預), and officiant (gyōji 行事). Together, they formed the three secretariats (san sata-nin 三沙汰人) of Kōyasan. As Wada discusses, the three secretariats organized assembly meetings, and documented the decisions reached through discussions. When such a document was signed by the three secretariats, it became law. Many of these laws pertained to the estates, because economy was a vital issue for the temple-house.161 The three secretariats were in charge of managing the treasures of the Portrait Hall, including manuscripts. They inventoried the treasures in the hall, and handled the withdrawing and depositing of manuscripts or other treasures from the hall which required their formal approval and signature.  Medieval Kongōbuji had multiple assemblies. There were at least twenty-five different assemblies that have left documentation of their “discussions” (hyōjō),162 meaning that all of these were assemblies that made decisions based on discussion and consent. Some of these assemblies held greater power than others. For instance, an assembly literally called the “small-assembly” (shō shue 小集会), formed by abbots of ten or so influential subtemples that were connected to local landholding magnates, dominated the temple from around the turn of the fifteenth century. In spite its stratified structure, the Kongōbuji collective maintained unity under the banner of the “entire temple” and “entire mountain.”163 Related to that was “everyone”                                                           160 Ibid., 19-21. 161 Ibid., 26. 162 Based on Kumagaya Masaru’s work. See Nakamura 2001, 57.  163 These terms are ambiguous and to my knowledge they are not explicitly defined. It is difficult to establish a precise and unequivocal difference between the two. For instance, a late sixteenth century document uses both terms interchangeably. (Jimyō-in documents [KMK3-199]). Both connote “everyone,” but in the thirteenth century, the “entire temple” referred to the Kongōbuji organization. “Entire mountain,” on the other hand, likely implied all residents of the mountain, including the affiliates of Kongōbuji, Kongōsanmai-in, possibly Denpō-in, the hijiri itinerants and, in my view, the deities. The Kōya kōhaiki says that the old and young and the high and low of the mountain, including the hijiri in the “other places” were part of the assembly of the “entire mountain.” From this perspective, it seems reasonable to say that the “entire mountain” was a larger collective than the “entire temple.” Later in this chapter, I will discuss how the “entire mountain” dominated Kōyasan and its estates. 60  (shoshū 諸衆). The will of “everyone” ran the temple, and some, like the small-assembly monks, had greater will than others.  But this complex social organization did not develop on a bland plot of land but, as monks themselves put it, at “the sacred cave beyond compare in the Japanese realm.” The numinous power of the temple that had become the second-nature of the mountain was instrumental in Kōyasan’s emergence as a hegemonic landlord of the region.   1.11 The “Entire Mountain” of 1348 In the third month of 1348, Kōyasan monks held an emergency assembly. What they discussed and decided on was recorded in a divine-vow ichimi covenant, or ichimi keijō 一味契状.164 Yamakage has discussed this document, and as he points out, the ichimi covenant spelled out the manifesto of the temple that was to define its political life in the late medieval era.165  To summarize its content, the clerics vowed to maintain neutrality amidst the power struggle that was being waged between the Southern and Northern courts and their affiliates. Both sides were demanding that Kōyasan provide troops, and threatened the temple with punishment for non-compliance. Monks rebuffed the demands, and stressed that the “will-injunction of the patriarch” (kōso no ikai 高祖之遺誡) prohibited them from taking up arms. Then they vowed to take full control of the legendary land, and to do so on their own. This was nothing but Kōyasan’s declaration of autonomy. The following are the third and fourth items of the seven-point covenant.   Item: The provincial “protector” (shugo 守護) as well as those under the court come into the province and villages to usurp various shiki and impose levies. Such acts are detrimental to the temple land and the venerable wish (of the emperor). In a concerted measure of the ikki of the entire mountain (manzan ikki ichidō no sata満山一揆一同之沙汰), those who carry out these acts will be expelled from the temple land and never be permitted to return.                                                           164 Kongōsanmai-in documents 356 [KMK2]. 165 Yamakage 1997, 148-53. 61  Item: The same applies to those who violate the land and shiki of sub-temples, as well as privately-held paddies and fields. Those who distress peasants by embellishing suspicious documents (of land rights), and by invoking vassalage or inheritance will be punished.166  The context of these decisions was as follows. Kōyasan’s legal basis to hold the land was assured by the sovereigns of both sides of the competing courts. Monks invoked the “venerable wish” because the usurpation of property (shiki) undermined the emperors’ wish to have Kōyasan perform rituals for them. But the political condition of the time was such that formal entitlements granted by rulers did not directly change ground-level power relations. Kōyasan had to achieve the control of land through its own effort, and to do so, monks needed to eliminate contending powerholders in the region by themselves. They vowed that they would do that. Not least of their enemies were local warriors who had established vassalage under shugo, the provincial “protector,” which was a warrior office that had been institutionalized under the Kamakura shogunate to maintain regional order.  All the same, the items allude to the inner mechanism of Kōyasan’s power. The substance of the temple’s power was to control land rights of the shiki, which was consonant with the stipulation of Kōgon’s 1336 decree.167 In other words, the temple was the master of property allocation within the regional space, and did not tolerate anyone who either held property within its land, but outside of its system, or those who exploited peasants and thereby undermined the temple’s own ability to tax. The entity that held that power was the “ikki of the entire mountain.”  According to Yamakage, from this period onward, this collective began to perform the kendan function of policing and adjudication to punish criminals and enforce order. What, then, was the “ikki of the entire mountain”? Above, I suggested that the “entire mountain” was a performatively constructed subliminal collective that fused monks with the deities. But that was based on the Kōya kōhaiki, which was written two centuries after the event it described. The ichimi covenant, on the other hand, was produced amidst the raw politics that reverberated through the mountains and the plains in the mid-fourteenth century. What can it tell us about the performative aspect of ichimi power in practice?  The covenant itself gives us hints:                                                            166 Kongōsanmai-in documents 356 [KMK2]. 167 Hōkanshū 14-196 [KM1]. 62     Item: This covenant is a law established by everyone in the entire temple (manji満寺) through a fair discussion (為満寺一同之沙汰致法令公平之評議上者). Hence, there should not be anyone who makes claims to the contrary. If there are those who postulate unfounded claims and create troubles, they shall not be tolerated. Item: The importance of this matter to the temple-house shall be well-understood, and selfish discussion is prohibited. Even if there are other thoughts, the decision of the majority (tabun no hyōgi多分之評議) must be followed strictly.… 168  As we see, the spirit of collective decision-making was functioning in the making of the covenant which was intended to be a permanent law of the mountain. It was a product of a discussion in which “everyone” participated, and the process of “fair discussion” created an absolute authority that demanded obedience from all. We see here that ichimi was a method of creating a public power that transcended private interests. And the unity of everyone was essential to make law. However, being a divine vow, it involved deities. And the vows to the deities were necessary to reinforce the decision made by all.   The items to the above have been established through a discussion by everyone in full unity (shoshū ichidō hyōgi 諸衆一同評議). If even a single item is violated, starting venerably with Brahma, Indra, the Great Heavenly Kings of the Four Directions; the middle, great, and small heavenly and earthly deities of all of Japan; the Great Luminous Avatars of the Royal Capital; the various Great myōjin and especially the Landlord Mountain Kings the two Great myōjin; Twelve-Princely deities, One-Hundred-and-Twenty deities…the Great Saints of the Three Lands, the Venerable deities of the Two Mandala Realms, Vajra Heavenly-sattas, and Dharma Protecting good deities shall punish the offender with divine retributions that would befall upon him through the eighty-four-thousand pores of the offender’s body, causing him to suffer in this life from the curse of white and black leprosies to die without mingling with others, and in the                                                           168 Kongōsanmai-in documents 356 [KMK2]. 63  next, fall into the great hell castle from which he shall never come out. Such is the content of this divine oath covenant.169   The Landlord Mountain Kings are the Niu and Koya deities, and the ichimi invoked a host of other deities to formalize its law. Everyone was equally bound by the awesome power of the deities. It is almost certain that the historic ichimi of 1348 drank the holy water of their vow to produce the document. In that manner, the ichimi that gave rise to the covenant was a subliminal collective that was fused with the deities. Monks had to transform themselves into an exceptional mode to establish the guiding principles of their temple polity.   Therefore, where the ichimi ritual was performed mattered. For the participants, it was a transformative experience wherein they reached a different state through a somatic union with the deities. Let us take a look at the decision that the 1348 ichimi made with respect to how the covenant was to be handled and used.   Though there have been many ichimi covenants in the past, with the passing of time they have naturally fallen into oblivion...the original [of this covenant] shall be stored in the Portrait Hall, and a copy (anmon 案文) displayed (hiro 披露) during the Prayer Rites of the Four Seasons.170   There were two places that vested the material text of the covenant with ritual authority. The original was to be housed at the Portrait Hall, and its presence in the founder’s sanctum was intended to validate the covenant in perpetuity. The second was a place where the Rites of the Four Seasons was performed. In fact, the ichimi covenant came in a set with a manual for those Rites, which was launched by the Kongōbuji clerics a year before the ichimi covenant.171 The purpose of the Rites of the Four Seasons was twofold: 1) to offer ritual support for emperors and shogun; and 2) to curse residents in the estates who neglected their tax dues.  It is interesting that the manual for the Rites of the Four Seasons makes no mention of where it was to be performed. Nor does it mention which Buddha image was to be brought into the ritual stage, though a certain Buddha image was to be moved from its home temple to that                                                           169 Kongōsanmai-in documents 356 [KMK2]. 170 Kongōsanmai-in documents 356 [KMK2]. 171 Kongōsanmai-in documents 355 [KMK2]; Yamakage 1997, 145-47. 64  stage for the duration of the ritual. The only thing it mentions with respect to place is the “outer torii gate.” Over the course of the ritual, names of those who failed to pay taxes were to be written on a talisman, then offered to the Buddha to be cursed. Then, at the end of the ritual, the talismans were to be taken to the outside of the outer torii, where they were burnt. It is quite certain then that this ritual was performed at the Shrine, just as it was in the early modern time, and indeed continues to this day in a revised form.172  As the name suggests, the Rites of the Four Seasons was performed seasonally. It was held at the start of the second, fifth, eighth, and eleventh months for a period of four days. Participation was mandatory. Only sixteen ritualists who attended to rituals that could not be suspended were excused from attendance. In the early modern era, the Rites of the Four Seasons were held at the Mountain King Hall at the Shrine, and that is most likely where it was performed in the medieval era, too.173  What was the significance of displaying the 1348 ichimi covenant during the Rites of the Four Seasons? Here, displayed meant being read out loud for all to hear. For that reason, a copy of the ichimi covenant, copied in 1661 by the three secretariats because the older copy had become worn out, is marked with diacritics and Japanese syllabaries that are written in between the main text in sinographs to facilitate a smoother vocalization. The ichimi covenant was enacted exactly four times a year, and each time, everyone vowed to take control of all land rights in the plains. And it could not have been a coincidence that the regular enactment of the ichimi took place in the sanctum of the landlord deities. The temple sat on their land, and the land that monks vowed to control was theirs, too. To the monks, they did not actually hold the land directly but through the medium of deities. But since the deities made themselves manifest through the hallowed landscape of the temple, we can say that land was vested in that landscape, and monks managed all that property that was rooted in the sacred.  It was also not a coincidence that the ichimi covenant had its “performative loci,” to borrow a phrase from Ross Bender, at the Portrait Hall and the Shrine.174 These two sites were the key loci of Kōyasan’s political formation, and both were thresholds to the realm of deities. The Shrine was not only an abode of the landlord deities, but a potent interface to the other                                                           172 For the Rites of the Four Seasons in the early modern times, see KSF, vol.5, scroll 47 (clerics), 80-81. For a brief account of the ritual in contemporary form, see Fujita 2006, 56.  173 Yamakage 1997, 172-73. 174 Bender 2009.  65  realm. There, monks fused with the deities to transform themselves into a subliminal collective. The Portrait Hall and the Shrine provided the monks with the indispensable liminal resources to create political power.   1.12 The Sacred and the Politics of Space in Late Medieval Kōyasan As seen above, Kōyasan was sustained by rituals. By seeing the temple in terms of the ritual interaction between its sacred landscape and the people who occupied it, we can recover the rich roles that sacred and liminal attributes of the place played in Kōyasan’s medieval political formation.  The basis of the monks’ landholding was the hallowed narrative of its beginning, the engi. The legend of the divine conferment of land by the landlord goddess served to ritually colonize land and reconstitute the space in which monks carried out their political activity. Related to that was the worldview in which land and nature were seen as being animated with deities and divine forces. Hence, the intricacy of ritual and the control of land was a given. Kōyasan monks exploited their privileged access to divine powers that were made to manifest at their temple to amass and assert power.  At Kōyasan, the engi was not simply a story but a tangible reality. The two key sites where monks organized themselves were the Portrait Hall and the Shrine. These were enshrinements of the engi, filled with the visceral power of the deities that occupied them. The most authoritative version of the engi, the hand-print legend, could be traced to the founder and his miraculous encounter with the landlord deities when the mountain was opened. This most-treasured artefact had to be housed in the Portrait Hall. There, the continued presence of the deified patriarch was sustained through his portrait and a newly consecrated robe that was presented to him every year. But there were other documents necessary to sustain the temple and its authority over the surrounding land. Those were also respectfully stored in that sanctum. Behind this praxis was the understanding that land was held not by monks, but by deities. And their ritual mastery of land entitled the monks to manage the aggregate of properties that derived from the divine land. It follows that the threshold to the realm of deities was the lifeline of the monks’ political power. That threshold, signified by the Portrait Hall and the Shrine, was not simply an interface to the realm of deities that existed “out there” in paradise, as it were, but intricately connected with the geography over which monks asserted authority. Monks could not 66  control land without the sacred landscape of the temple where landlords resided. The sanctum of the Portrait Hall metamorphosed the contents of its documents into permanent laws that bound everyone in the here and now.  The threshold was also necessary to facilitate the transformation of monks into a subliminal collective of the ichimi. The highest political authority at the temple was the entity that called itself the “entire mountain.” This was a united front of the social groups and the numinous beings that dwelled on the mountain. Without the support of the deities, monks did not have the power to control land or govern the temple. In essence, this was a method of making decisions that bound everyone. It was a way of creating a public power that stood above and beyond different groups at the mountain, and demanded everyone’s obedience. Deities were an indispensable element of this power.  From the thirteenth century to the mid-fourteenth century the temple transformed itself into an autonomous regional ruler. Amid the political instability of a period with the divided court, monks vowed to take full control of the legendary land on their own. Prior to that, they had relied on the courts of the governments in the capitals to protect their property. But now there was a legal vacuum and in the absence of a reliable higher tribunal system, it was inevitable that monks find a way to protect their properties. They realized their political aspirations through better organizing their own efforts. The means to achieve that was by transforming themselves into the subliminal ichimi of the “entire mountain.” The Rites of the Four Seasons, in which the ichimi covenant of 1348 was recited at the Shrine, was important to that end, for it established the ritual enactment of the subliminal collective that ruled the plains through the sanctum of the landlord deities.  Our investigations lead us to the conclusion that the ultimate purpose of that ichimi was to assert ownership of the surrounding territory. The monks had converted their connection to the deities to their dominance over the land. This is how they ascended to the pinnacle of power and socioeconomic relations in that legendary land.  But before the monks could control the plains through assertion of their divine ownership, they needed to bring the mountain to heel. Hidden within the mantra of the “entire mountain,” monks in power forced unity by bludgeoning potential temple dissidents with the threat of divine enmity. By embodying the collective resolve of everyone, deities included, the “entire mountain” asserted a hegemonic authority over the temple space and homogenized it. 67  They did not tolerate anyone who did not share the will of the cowed collective. At the heart of the “entire mountain” in the fourteenth century were the Kongōbuji clerics. The consolidation of the power of the “entire mountain” was achieved in part by demonizing the clerics’ arch rival, Denpō-in, and expelling them from the precinct. In the minds of the temple authorities, such a cleansing was required to create the exclusive, homogeneous communitas they envisioned. These steps were needed to attain and protect their autonomy in the socio-political context of the time.  However, we must recall what compelled the monks to produce the ichimi covenant of 1348. It was the reality that the temple did not have control over land rights in the region. Because of this lack of control, they needed to eliminate contenders who threatened their scheme of controlling the regional space. As much as the monks asserted their ritual mastery over the plains, the temple was being driven by the forces from the plains.  How real was the temple’s control over the land in the plains? How did its power to rule the plains actually work amidst the fluid political milieu of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries? The answers to these questions cannot be found by looking at the mountain. It is essential to look at the dynamics in the plains, and the interplay between the ruling power of the temple and the political forces from the plains. That is the topic we shall delve into next.   68  Two: The Medieval Codifier In the previous chapter, I suggested that monks of Kōyasan leveraged the sacred power of the temple to take control of land in the plains through the ritual practice of ichimi. If that were the case, how did that power work in practice? This chapter expands the focus from the precinct to the space of the estates that monks controlled. It examines the power of the temple in relation to the political dynamics of the regional society in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. I argue that the temple on the mountain was a focal point of regional politics; it served as a mechanism to codify socioeconomic relations. The hallowed landscape of the temple and the mountain absorbed the contradictions of the regional space and the ichimi of the entire mountain presided as the highest political authority of the region.  There are ideas and interpretations offered in existing studies that provide points of reference for the discussion to follow. The first is the concept of “ceremonial centre.” This notion was originally posited by Eric Wolf and was adopted by Allan Grapard in his historical study of the Kasuga-Kōfukuji temple-shrine complex in Nara.175 Among the core themes in Grapard’s study were the links between political power, legitimacy and ritual systems. This problem lies within the scope of this study. Grapard adopted Wolf’s definition of the ceremonial centre as follows:   Operationally, ceremonial centres were instruments for the generation of political, social, economic, sacred (and other) spaces, at the same time as they were symbols of cosmic, social, political and moral order…Above all, they embodied the aspirations of brittle, pyramidal societies in which, typically, a sacerdotal elite, controlling a corps of officials and palace guards, ruled over a peasantry whose business it was to produce a fund or rent which could be absorbed into the reservoir of resources controlled by the master of the ceremonial centre.176   The merit of this definition is that it highlights the dimension of many temples and shrines in medieval Japan as systems that institutionalized the exploitation of peasant labour. Societies of temples and shrines thus administered as ruling elites. Ritual systems were                                                           175 Grapard 1992. 176 Grapard 1992, 45. 69  inextricably linked with the the legitimacy and power of the ceremonial centre to fill its coffers with the wealth extracted from producers. This wealth was distributed to its privileged members. Such a notion captures an aspect of the structural features of temples like Kōyasan, but it also obscures the dynamics of power that imbricated the temple and the regional society in the medieval context. With the ichimi of the entire mountain, the power structure of the temple resembled less an acute pyramid and more a plateau with a broad peak. Such a collective exercise of power was common in medieval temples and shrines.  More significantly, however, the model only attributes agency to the few elites at the top. This assumption may be apt in describing the social role of the Kasuga-Kōfukuji in the ancient era, when it was established by the super-elite of the Fujiwara courtier house. Doubtless, that is the period Grapard is alluding to in his arguments.  However, Grapard only touches lightly on the political dynamics of the medieval era. This topic begs for a more flexible definition of the ceremonial centre.  By the twelfth century, regional landholders became an integral part of the Kasuga-Kōfukuji. They took on such status identities as the shuto衆徒, which formed the main clerical organization of the Kōfukuji and jinin神人, or divine persons, who performed various menial duties for the Kasuga shrine.177  Can we interpret the entry of the local elites into the institutions simply as their acts of subservience to the “sacerdotal elites” sitting on top of a “brittle pyramid”? Or was there something else for them? They did not function as a state-level ruling class but more as local powerholders who had their own agendas and schemes of domination.  The Kasuga-Kōfukuji had the noble-cloister-subtemples known as the monzeki 門跡, which were controlled on a hereditary basis by the lineages of the Fujiwara house. Two monzeki subtemples at Kōfukuji asserted unparalleled power and authority within the temple-shrine organization. Even with that, how do we account for the active participation by local elites in the politics of the ceremonial centre in the medieval age?                                                            177 Grapard 1992, 100-14. Kuroda Toshio has examined the shuto and jinin of Kasuga-Kōfukuji and the jinin of Iwashimizu shrine in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. He suggests that these men constituted the “middle layer” between the ruler and the ruled, and were from the local landholding strata and powerful peasants. According to Kuroda, these men had notable influence within the elite institutions with which they were affiliated, and used those institutions in their local water and land disputes. However, Kuroda’s analysis is centred upon the category of class with the argument that the middle layer, after all, were unable to become full overlords. Combined with his emphasis on his theory of the kenmon system, his study provides limited perspectives on the rich and dynamic relations of temples and shrines with the politics of space on the regional level. See Kuroda 1975a, 73-141. 70  A recent study by Philip Garrett offers a compelling perspective on the role of Kōyasan in the regional society in the late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Garrett has examined the divine vows that Kōyasan extracted from the local warrior strata who often took on the role of the estate officials to manage land under the temple’s authority. He argues that Kōyasan, “as an economic and religious centre” of the region, functioned as “a fount of authority which created the fundamental underpinning of local social structures.”178 It did so with divine vows, which outlined “the rights and responsibilities of the shōen (estate) elite as agent of Kōyasan” to “establish new direct working relationships” between “power-holders in the area” and the temple proprietor.179 The vows, in Garrett’s words, were “a formalization and regularization of the society of northern Kii.”  Garrett reveals the role of the temple as the locus of the societal formation in the region. To that extent, my understanding of Kōyasan vis-à-vis the regional society is similar to his. However, he seems to assume that the temple simply had authority, which was deployed to control social relations in the region. But as we saw, monks had to create authority through the ritual practice of ichimi. The documents and historical records warrant a reassessment of Garrett’s interpretation of the divine vow. In his view, the vows were used by the temple as an instrument of control. This is true, but the fact remains that monks had to resort to divine vows to empower themselves to rule the plains as well as to regulate themselves, to subject everyone to the will of the “entire mountain.”  The whole system was built upon the practice of divine vows and, apart from the reflected divine authority of the deities, the monks had little power.  Garrett’s interpretation seems to be couched on the presumed tension between the temple as the proprietor and the ruled in the plains. While that tension was important, it elides the complex interrelations between the temple on the mountain and the plains. The boundary between the temple and society was fluid and porous. In reality, people from the region were essential members of the temple society itself. The presumed boundary between temples and society is also shared in Grapard’s work. When we think of temples as religious institutions, it seems natural to draw that boundary, perhaps even more for Buddhist temples, which, after all, were staffed by “renouncers.”                                                            178 Garrett 2013, 96. 179 Garrett 2013, 102. 71  But we are loath to predicate our analysis upon such a boundary. To do so is to overlook the fundamentally social nature of temples: namely, how do they reproduce themselves? To the extent that no one is born a renouncer, temples are, by default, nodes of sociability. They are places and organizations that people enter to transform their identity and to access resources and merits that are otherwise unobtainable. From this perspective, we must focus on the more dynamic interactions between temples and society.180  Drawing on Michel Foucault’s theory on discourse and language, Garrett argues that the temple regularized society through the control of language, as spelled out in the divine vows.181 It was language, to be sure, that articulated the “social position and responsibilities” of the estate officials as well as other groups in the regional space. But what lay beneath the expressions? The power of language could not have been divorced from geography. It should be recalled that some of the divine vows that the temple extracted from estate officials were stored in the sanctum of the Portrait Hall on the mountain.182  What was the significance of this? Power did not exist but had to be generated through the medium of the sacred. The temple was not static and politics unfolded on legendary land. To understand the politics of medieval Kōyasan, we must consider the armature of power alongside the tensions and contradiction that informed the political process.  With this in mind, I will discuss the relationship between Kōyasan and the regional space, including the evolving complex of power relations in the region. I will also explore the interplay between the temple and the tensions within that space. Because the temple was a hub of a regional agrarian polity, conflict over production and exploitation is critical to bear in mind.  The temple’s power in substance was to institutionalize and codify property as well as socioeconomic relations among the diverse social groups that occupied that space. These groups included peasants and local magnates in the estates, such as estate officials. I will examine the role of the temple in structuring the regional space from three perspectives. The first is the temple’s control of socioeconomic and power relations through policies. The second is the temple’s adjudication of disputes among competing groups in the region. And lastly, we look at how the temple, which became a deity-infused mechanism to institutionalize property, was used                                                           180 This follows Timothy Brook’s approach in his study of Buddhism and gentry society in sixteenth and seventeenth century China. Brook 1993. 181 Garrett 2013, 96. 182 Zokuhōkanshū 62-512, 513 [KM3]. 72  by groups in their pursuit of power and wealth. Through these lenses, I will discuss how the temple’s power imbricated into the regional space and how the temple functioned as a locus of the regional political contest.  The temple had two roles to play. On the one hand, it was the key exploitive force in the region that sought to preside over the regional society as the ultimate and sole tax-collecting overlord. But in reality, there were rival forces in the local landholding strata, or the “middle layer,” that, at times, undermined its interest with their own schemes to exploit peasants. Peasants, on the other hand, held considerable power and autonomy as they organized themselves in communes (sōson 惣村) and resisted arbitrary exploitation by absconding and even using force. In other words, the regional space was highly charged with tension and conflict among competing groups and the position of the temple was relatively weak.  In that context, the temple needed to balance the interests and territories of competing groups, all the while maintaining its status as the paramount tax collecting authority of the region. The second facet of the temple’s power, therefore, was to transcend the competing groups and preside over them as the public power that arbitrated disputes and conflicts. Through these facets of power, Kōyasan entrenched its power in the regional space and integrated social groups into its system of hegemony.  The question is, what was the basis of Kōyasan’s power to codify socioeconomic relations? And how did the temple collective act as the public power that stood above and beyond competing groups in the region? What roles did the sacred and the numinous power of deities play in the workings of the temple’s political power? By what means did monks create the power to overcome the tensions of the regional space and impose order? As we shall see, it was the power of ichimi constructed through the medium of the sacred landscape that empowered the temple to rule the plains.   2.1 The Land Surveys  Let us first look at the temple’s active effort to control and codify socioeconomic relations on the ground. The most illustrative example of Kōyasan’s power to take control of land was the land surveys that it conducted in its estates. As Koyama Yasunori points out, Kōyasan carried out land surveys in many of its estates around the turn of the fifteenth century, when the turmoil in the mid-fourteenth century had settled with the consolidation of the 73  Muromachi shogunate.183 There are land registers from six estates that were produced as a result of those surveys. They were carried out from 1394 to 1432.  These facts beg the questions: how did the surveys work and how did the temple come to carry out the surveys? The surveys, which subjected land to the temple’s rule, was an expression of the temple’s mastery over land. How did the temple come to hold that power? How did they decide to commence the surveys?  In a word, the answer is ichimi. In 1384, the Kongōbuji clerics held a mass assembly to discuss the principles and rules for the surveys at the Kanshōfu estate, which was its main estate. To finalize the decisions made, they forged an ichimi and produced an ichimi-covenant which included the following items:   Item (1): …after the last land surveys, there have been many uncultivated land due to damages caused by the river…(and) to the selfish schemes (shikyoku私曲) of deputies on the mountain and cultivators on the plains. [As a result,] taxes have been neglected and income exists in name only. Funds for the monks on the mountain have diminished year by year, undermining the venerable wish (of the emperor or rulers to have us perform ritual for them) and the temple-house itself. How is this not to be lamented? Hence, all the various members in full unity (shoshū ichidō諸衆一同) shall be mindful of the importance of the matter and examine and match the details of the land in our estates. Then we shall thoroughly retie (land rights). Item (2): When surveying the land, officials shall take land rosters of each village, stand at each field with landlords and cultivators and clarify (the land’s measurements, type, yield, etc.) Even if land is barren and uncultivated and even if it is a new paddy or dry field, every parcel of land must thoroughly be recorded. If there are those who resist the surveys and do not cooperate, the officials shall discard the surveys and return to the mountain immediately. The names (of those who do not cooperate) shall be displayed to the various members (everyone at the monastery) and report will be made to public persons (kubō公方). We shall be resolved to suspend [rituals to fulfill] the venerable wish.184                                                            183 Koyama 1998, 103-104. 184 Yūzokuhōkanshū 90-1636 [KM7]; Atsuta 1986, 62-63; Kudoyama chōshi hensan iinkai 2009, 194-96. 74  We note that monks used the term “retie” (yuinoshi 結直) to describe the purpose of the surveys. This referred to the retying of land rights. At the Kanshōfu estate, surveys were conducted in 1336, but the turmoil of the era disrupted the region for decades; the data from the earlier surveys became irrelevant.  The second item, above, described land rights and types of land that were to be recorded and confirmed, including those plots that were not cultivated. This same method was employed in Hideyoshi’s surveys that were carried out two centuries later.185 Not only that, the incrimination of those who refused to co-operate, and the divine vow by which peasants and survey officials vowed to record data accurately, were shared between Kōyasan’s surveys and Hideyoshi’s. In that respect, Kōyasan’s surveys were highly developed for its time. But of course, the raison d’être of the surveys is encapsulated in the first item, to fulfill the venerable wish and to perpetuate the temple-house. This would set the Kōyasan surveys apart from Hideyoshi’s. This demonstrates how potent the power of the Buddhist laws as an ideological weapon that empowered the monks. And as we see in the second item, in case there were those who refused to cooperate, monks were to suspend their ritual support of the rulers and pressure the “public persons,” referring to the Muromachi shogunate, to support Kōyasan’s project.  However, the reliance on the Muromachi was intended only for reinforcement. The actual surveys were administered independently. What empowered the temple to carry out the surveys was the ritual unity of every member of the collective.  As seen in the first item, the retying of the land rights was to be conducted by “all the various members in unity.” Part of the blame for the failure of the last surveys were the “selfish schemes” of none other than the members of the temple collective who, we can imagine, were holding property outside the public system of the temple-house. It must be recognized how formidable was the task of uniting everyone at the Kongōbuji collective to make its public tax system work. The private interests of individual members had to be overcome and a means developed to bind them all under a collectivized system. The only viable strategy for them to achieve that was through the performance of the ritual unity of ichimi.                                                            185 Ikagami 2004, 117-18 75  Item (14): The matter (decided hereby) have been discussed in assembly (hyōjō) for days and critical documents (have been written to record the decisions). Those who violate (the decisions) are enemy of the Daishi and the myōjin.  Item (15): There should be no one who objects the present measure to revive (the temple and its land). To restore the funds for those residing on the mountain and perpetuate the Buddhist law, the present law (kenpō憲法) has been set by scrutinizing matters with all parties. There should be no aspirations for self-gain (shikyoku私曲). Matters shall be discussed thoroughly from the bottom of the heart (shinsoko 心底) without holding anything back. Even if evil words are spoken, no grudge shall be held.186   All members of the assembly were to speak their mind without hesitation and reach a collective decision that everyone endorsed. In the decision-making culture of the temple, this process was required. This was the basis of making laws. The collective decision transcended private interests. Once decisions were reached, they were absolute; no exceptions were permitted. Those who violated the decisions were labeled the enemy of Kōbō Daishi and the myōjin, the latter referring to the landlord deities Needless to say, the decision was reached through the intercession of deities.  The items above...are laws of utmost fairness as established by the covenant of the various members in unity, hence even as years and months pass they shall never be neglected. Still, if anyone violates these decisions: The venerable Brahma, Indra, the Great Heavenly Kings of the Four Directions and especially the Great Luminous Avatars of the Royal Capital, the great and small Earthly Deities of the entire country of Japan especially the two Great Luminous Avatars of Niu and Kōya, Twelve-Princely deities, One-Hundred-and-Twenty deities, the Great Sacred All Luminous Vajra-satta of the three lands, the various deities, sacred beings and Vajra-deities of the Two Mandala Realms shall inflict divine retribution upon the violator’s body through all of its eighty-four-thousand pores. Violator, moreover, will be withhold                                                           186 Yūzokuhōkanshū 90-1636 [KM7]; Atsuta 1986, 62-63; Kudoyama chōshi hensan iinkai 2009, 194-96. 76  from the numinous blessings of these deities in this life and the next. Such is the substance of this ichimi covenant.187   Did they miss any deity? Here is the medieval construction of the power to demand obedience in the context of Kōyasan. The surviving copy of the vow, which is damaged, shows the signatures of about 180 monks who made the vow, but it is likely that many more were involved. They discussed the matter in the presence of deities and devised the covenant in a trance-like state of ichimi. In 1394, peasants of twenty villages of the Kanshōfu estate were forced to vow to the deities that they would not conceal any land before the surveys were carried out. For that, they performed the divine vow complete with the drinking of the consecrated water containing the ashes of their vow at the main shrine for the landlord deities in Amano.188 For Kōyasan monks, the ichimi ritual was needed to overcome internal differences and private interests and resolve the financial crisis of the temple as a whole. Land rights could not be “retied” without the activation of the ichimi power.  The surveys made possible the land registers that confirmed property rights and served as the basis for the temple’s collection of taxes. For each plot of land, be they paddies or dry fields, the register recorded “landlord” (jinushi or jishu地主) and “cultivator” (saku作). These were land rights on the ground-level.  The landlord held the right to collect rent and levies from “cultivators,” who, in turn, held the right to cultivate. In reality, cultivators often had tenants work the land. The following is an excerpt from a roster of a survey conducted in 1394 in the Kechienji-village in the Kanshōfu estate.189   Kubota west  North, first   superior 30 bu190   Landlord Inner Sanctuary  Cultivator Sakintarō  Superior, to the south   80 bu   Landlord Henjōson-in Cultivator Kakuzen                                                            187 Ibid.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    188 Kudoyma chōshi, shiryō, 201 (chūsei doc. 92). 189 Kudoyma chōshi, shiryō, 201-202 (chūsei doc. 93). 190 Bu歩 refers to the size of the plot. One bu is roughly 1.8 metres. 77   Superior, to the east  small 20 bu   Landlord Jison-in  Cultivator Hikotarō…  Superior, to the east  small 30 bu Landlord Ōno   Cultivator Magogorō…   Here, the Inner Sanctuary and Henjōson-in were subtemples and functionaries of Kōyasan. In addition, they were often landlords. But temples such as the Jison-in were located in the plains, too. The Ōno, on the other hand, was probably a warrior-like local landlord. Cultivators, as can be inferred from their names, were often peasants. However, they were likely privileged among the peasants. Some cultivators were members of a religious community, such as Kakuzen. In this manner, Kōyasan recognized and codified land titles through land surveys. The legality of the rights was undergirded by the temple which enjoyed its position as the ultimate landlord. In this respect, property was bifurcated (or trifurcated) under the temple. The cultivators were responsible for remitting taxes to the public coffers of the temple, not individually, but village-by-village. The duty to remit the taxes was borne by the village head (myōshu or nanushi名主), whose status was confirmed by the surveys. The tax income was then allocated to the members of the temple collective.  It is important to note is that land registers were stored in the sanctum of the Portrait Hall, which suggests the notion that by entrusting the record under the authority of the founder on the other side of the liminal threshold, the property relations became permanent and sacrosanct.191   2.2 The Hidden Struggle of Peasants The land surveys normalized and codified the temple’s systemic exploitation of peasants. However, it is not accurate to say that monks dominated peasants unilaterally or without resistance. The political environment was rife with tension and monks could not easily impose arbitrary levies or even easily carry out the surveys, for that matter. In that regard, it is important to note that the first survey at the Kanshōfu estate was not performed for ten years after the ichimi covenant of 1384.                                                           191 Zokuhōkanshū 62-512 [KM3]. 78  Peasants were not passive. As the producers, they had some leverage to press their agenda against the overlord. If they fled because of unfair conditions, there was no income to pay taxes. This leverage is demonstrated in a petition by the peasants of the Kanshōfu estate, addressing the annual custodian of the Kongōbuji clerics.192 The petition was written in the sixth month of 1396, hence was written when the surveys were nearly or already complete, but it likely reflects the negotiation that took place between peasants and monks prior to that.  In the petition, the peasants condemned the “unprecedented deeds” (hirei 非例, read “evil deeds”) of the estate officials who imposed numerous levies in labour and money. These included labour for the construction of their mansions (tono殿), digging moats, providing sake, cleaning, and a corvée called kyōjōfu 京上夫, which referred to their duties to serve the estate officials when they went to Kyoto to fulfill their military duty (gun-yaku 軍役, also “provincial duties” kuni-yaku 国役). These levies were connected to the policies of the Muromachi shogunate through the shugo. It empowered the estate officials who were vassals of the shugo. To shield themselves from the estate officials, peasants took their grievances to Kōyasan, urging the temple to intervene. They asserted that the novel levies of the estate officials prevented them from fulfilling their tax obligation to the temple. The forty-five-item petition includes the following evocative statement:  If the detail of the items stated above were to be displayed (to the assembly of the clerics), the peasants shall be at peace. Please order us to attend diligently to public duties (taxes). We have heard that with the land surveys being conducted, the various matters from antiquity would be restored. If unprecedented deeds (hirei非例) are ended at once and for all, peasants shall be at peace. That would be auspicious for the venerable mountain (oyama 御山)….193   It is interesting to note that the peasants called the temple the “venerable mountain,” and their petition addressed the annual custodian, who represented the mountain. In the mind of the peasants, the temple was as much a geographical entity as a social organization; they were                                                           192 The petition, held by a local family, was first discussed by Takahashi Osamu. See Kudoyama chōshi hensan iinkai 2009, 191-92. The petition is included in Kudoyama chōshi shiryō 255-28 (doc. 109). 193 Kudoyama chōshi shiryō, 257-58 (doc. 109). 79  consonant with the monks’ invocation of the “entire mountain.” We note that rather than resisting the mountain, the peasants needed it to constrain the predations of the more threatening and avaricious estate officials. The mountain, on the other hand, was unable to conduct the surveys of the plains without the consent of the peasants; it was fully aware what some estate officials were up to. That is why, in the second item of the ichimi covenant cited above, monks had vowed to take the case to the Muromachi shogunate (kubō 公方) if anyone resisted the surveys. The Muromachi authority was used to keep the local warriors—acting under the shogunal policy—in check.    2.3 Peasants, Landlords and the Temple at the Tomobuchi Estate How did the tension between the temple, local landholding class, and peasants play itself out? Are there examples that speak to the active roles that peasants played in shaping the political space of the region?  Among the estates that Kōyasan quickly took over with Godaigo’s decree in 1336 was Tomobuchi鞆淵. The Tomobuchi estate is located about twenty kilometres to the west of Kōyasan. Prior to Kōyasan’s takeover, it had been held by the Iwashimizu shrine in Kyoto. The Tomobuchi shrine that houses the Hachiman deity as the main deity sits on a hill among the paddies. The Tomobuchi is well-known and studied as the home of the late medieval peasant commune called the sō惣. The sō functioned as a political unit as well as a community of agricultural producers. Based on Hideyoshi’s land surveys in 1591, Tomobuchi sō’s annual productive yield was 1,053 koku.194 Of course, we can only know about the political experiences of the Tomobuchi because of its documents. To that end, the ninety historical documents that were housed in the shrine provide a rich trove of records delineating the medieval experience of the Tomobuchi peasants.195 The documents include those that were issued by the overlord, Kōyasan, as well as those written by the members of the sō.                                                            194 Renjō-in documents [KMK 3-178]. 195 Atsuta 2004, 181. 80   Figure 4. The Tomobuchi Hachiman Shrine. Photographed by author, June 2014.  The integration of the Tomobuchi into Kōyasan’s landholding was soon followed by violent conflicts between the peasants and local magnates of the Tomobuchi house who held the estate official title of the geshi 下司. Indeed, there had been conflict between the geshi and peasants since at least 1306, as documents of the Tomobushi shrine reveal. This was when the estate was under the proprietorship of the Iwashimizu shrines.196  A trigger for the renewed tension in the mid fourteenth century was the imposition of new corvée duties upon the peasants by the geshi in 1347.197 Peasants called their clashes with the geshi the “Tomobuchi disturbance” (Tomobuchi dōran 鞆淵動乱). For them it was war against the geshi and his league that imposed various corvée and harassed them with threats and violence. Rather than resorting to the typical method of peasant-resistance by absconding and                                                           196 Atsuta 2004, 187. 197 Kuroda 1985, 9. 81  going into hiding, the peasants of the Tomobuchi sō took up arms and fought the geshi and his league. Battles were fought at a hill between the peasants’ organizational locus of the Tomobuchi shrines and the geshi’s fortress. The geshi’s house was torched and peasants were killed. An account of the event by the Kōyasan monks related that dead bodies from both sides of the conflict lay on the roadside, the result of guerrilla-like battles.198  The situation in the Tomobuchi sō must have caused much distress for the monks of Kōyasan who were doubtless seeking ways to impose their own system of exploitation upon the peasants. Kōyasan sent officials to survey the land in the sō. But the peasants did not let that happen. The surveys being a symbol of exploitation, the peasants cut the ropes that were being used to measure land. According to the claim made by the geshi, peasants tied up the surveyors, confined them in the shrine and threatened to kill them. This may have been an exaggerated account, but there is no doubt that the peasants prevented the surveys. The monks could not carry out the surveys until 1429.199  Nevertheless, the peasants relied on Kōyasan to put a check on the geshi. They ran into the temple “without a written statement of dispute” to seek mediation, which suggests that it was typical at this time for peasants to formally present petitions. They demanded that the corvée remain frozen at a rate it had been when the estate was under the control of Iwashimizu. The peasants called this the “precedent of the Hachiman.”  Aware of the peasants’ roles in the conflict and their resistance to the surveys, the response from Kōyasan was mixed. It captured the leaders of the peasants’ collective, who were deemed “eight troublemakers,” and held them hostage until peasants paid a hefty sum of forty kanmon of copper in return for their release.200 But with the instability in the estate undermining its control of land, Kōyasan monks held a “discussion of everyone in the entire temple” (manji ichidō hyōgi 満寺一同評議) and ruled that “before the land surveys,” the levies and dues were to follow the “precedent of the Hachiman” just as the peasants had demanded.201 In adjudicating the dispute, it can be known that Kōyasan first issued a three-item memorandum (kotogaki 事書) that outlined the decisions reached by the large assembly of the temple on the twenty-ninth day                                                           198 Kuroda 1985, 10-11. 199 Atsuta 2004, 194-95. 200 Kuroda 1985, 11-12. 201 Zokuhōkanshū 24-313 [KM2], items one and three. 82  of the first month, 1351,202 then followed up with a more detailed thirteen-item law (okibumi 置文) after extracting divine vows from each side to abide by its decisions on the twelfth day of the following month.203 The memorandum includes the following item:  Since [the case has been] mediated by the discussion of all of the various members (of the monastery, shoshū ichidō hyōjō 諸衆一同評定), the geshi and the peasants shall recognize the reconciliation and harbour no rancour toward one another. From now on, (both the geshi and peasants) must dwell in the mind of restraint and humbleness and reflect deeply on milk and water…those who violate the ruling and disrupt harmony shall be deemed the enemy of the temple-house. Hence they will be severely and summarily punished by a measure taken by the ikki of the old and the young of the entire temple…204   As we can see, the decision was reached through discussion with all of the various members of the Kongōbuji clerics. This vested insuperable authority in the ruling group with respect to the mediation of conflict. To violate the decision was to become the enemy of the entire monastery. In order to pressure both the geshi and the peasants to comply with the decision thus reached, Kōyasan threatened them with the following consequences for defiance:   Item: If the geshi violates the ruling (sic. the decisions reached through the discussion of all the various members, shoshū hyōgi no mune 諸衆評議之旨) and imposes unprecedented and unlawful deeds on peasants and disrupts harmony, he shall be the enemy of the temple house. Hence, his shiki shall be summarily confiscated (kaieki 改易) and he will be expelled from the estate and never allowed to return... Item: If the peasants violate the ruling and…neglect their public duties (kuji 公事=taxes and corvées), or…start fights and disruptions to violate harmony, they shall be expelled                                                           202 Yūzokuhōkanshū 73-1337 [KM6]. 203 Zokuhōkanshū 24-313 [KM2]. 204 Yūzokuhōkanshū 73-1337 [KM6]. 83  from the estates without exception. They shall be prohibited from staying in the temple land (and if they stay they will be punished.)205   Outlined here is the power of the Kōyasan ichimi as arbiter of conflicts within its jurisdiction, the “old land” or the legendary land of the hand-print (旧領 kyūryō). The struggle here was over the allocation of prerogatives and duties. Note that the extraction of taxes and corvée by the monastery was a given; no one could question that. What was contestable and changeable was how much and by whom. The geshi’s attempt to expand his share failed and the monks’ attempt to do the same had in fact also failed when the sō members cut the ropes to prevent the surveys of their land. The temple was the key exploitive force in the local political contest that was underway, but at the same time, it transcended the sō and the geshi with its judicial authority that settled the configuration of duties and prerogatives.  The document codified the legal power of the monastery itself. The original memorandum was held by the temple and it could have been stored at the Portrait Hall. Yamakage points out that the original was delivered to the estate and stored by the sō in their sacred vault of the shrine along with other critical documents of the sō.206 For the peasants, the document, which embodied the power of the monastery and the collective will of all of its members, was the only legal assurance that shielded them from the predation of the geshi and his associates. They needed it to survive the hostile political environment; it was their sacred treasure.  The tension at the Tomobuchi estate did not cease. The next eruption occurred in 1423.207 By then, the geshi and also the estate official of the kumon 公文 had become vassals of the provincial “protector” of the shugo, the powerful Hatakeyama house. This was the house of the kanrei (deputy or vice-shogun), who were among the core members of the Muromachi shogunate that had consolidated its power.208  Not surprisingly, the geshi and the kumon tried to impose new levies to fulfil their “military duties” (gun yaku 軍役) and “provincial duties” (kuni-yaku 国役) as warrior officials.                                                           205 Zokuhōkanshū 24-313 [KM2]. 206 Yamakage 1997, 109-15. 207 Kuroda 1985, 26-31; Atsuta 2004, 201-210. 208 When the dispute broke out in 1426, the Hatakeyama was the shugo but they resided in Kyoto. The deputy shugo (shugo-dai) was the Yusa house, and the geshi and kumon organized themselves under the Yusa. Kuroda 1985, 28. 84  This was part of the move to extend the power of the shugo into the provinces by the Muromachi shogunate. But the attempts by the geshi and kumon to extract further dues from peasants failed dramatically in the face of a fierce resistance staged by the peasants, and a concerted effort by Kōyasan monks to contain their advances. Peasants of the sō sent a petition to the monastery and then absconded. The petition outlined a total of twenty-four items of “unprecedented deeds” (hirei非例) of the geshi and the kumon. The peasants were determined to have the kyōjōfu terminated. The monastery, in turn, pressured the geshi and the kumon to renounce all the new levies.  The geshi responded by agreeing to give up all but the kyōjōfu, which was unacceptable to the peasants who refused to return to the fields. Kōyasan monks then forged an “ichimi of the entire mountain that was “united in mind” (issan ichimi dōshin 一山一味同心) on the nineteenth day of the first month in 1424. As a consequence, the geshi was condemned as the “enemy of the temple” and the monks vowed to expel him summarily from the temple land.209  Despite the ruling, it would not be easy to displace the geshi, due to his formal status as a warrior under the shugo. The monks then pressed the Hatakeyama to remove the geshi of his shiki and acquiesce to his expulsion. The Hatakeyama gave in to the monks’ pressure to withdraw their ritual support. The monks then mobilized their own estate officials, who wielded “divine trees” (shinboku 神木) of the Amano shrine, to drive the geshi off the temple land. The geshi fled and the house and mountain of his vassal were torched.  The expulsion of the geshi marked a milestone in Kōyasan’s control of the Tomobuchi estate. We note that the peasants merely demanded the ending of the new levies, but the monks went much further than that. This can be understood in light of the territorial politics between the monastery and the geshi. They were competing over the labour of the same peasants. Kōyasan eventually achieved a full victory in that contest and at the same time, prevented the infiltration of the shugo’s influence on its land.210  These results were achieved by harnessing the sacred powers of the mountain and its landscape. The wielding of the “divine trees” of Amano was a highly symbolic act. The branch, taken from a tree growing on the shrine land, was a lodging site of the landlord deities. Thus, as far as Kōyasan monks were concerned, their enemies were driven out by none other than the                                                           209 Zokuhōkanshū 25-314 [KM2]. 210 Atsuta 2004, 210. 85  divine landlord. In selecting the representatives of Kōyasan to negotiate with the shugo, they made a draw at the Amano shrine, signifying that they were chosen by the landlord deities. When they vowed to expel the geshi, their ichimi covenant began with the line “reflecting on the old records of this mountain, the land is controlled (shinshi 進止) by the Niu avatar and the estate has been arranged by the Kōya myōjin….” and ended with the names of the 375 members of the collective who shared the same goal.211 It was the power of their collective will, sanctified by the hallowed landscape of their mountain that empowered the monks to be the ultimate landlord of the region.  By persuading the shugo to side with them, the Kōyasan ichimi appears to have fully integrated the Tomobuchi estate under its singular authority when the land surveys it had long sought finally commenced in 1429. This was part of the trend observed by Nakamura Naoto that Kōyasan’s control of its local estates reached a state of stability during the Ōei era (1394-1428).212  2.4 Entering the Temple Kōyasan thus established a regional hegemony. But did that mean that tensions were contained? Did the power relations become set in stone? Did the regional space become static and stable under the mountain?  That was hardly the case. But given the intensity of the politics of the regional space, how were power and interest asserted and negotiated? Let us now turn to how the temple and the mountain were used by groups to expand their influence. We will look at two groups that increased their power just as Kōyasan consolidated its control of the estates. The first is the so-called gyōnin 行人 or ascetics, which referred to the lower-rung affiliates of Kongōbuji. They were not part of the clerics but performed various administrative task for Kongōbuji. They are known to have come from humble social backgrounds of the peasant strata. The other is a group known as the shō-shue小集会, which literally meant “small-assembly.” Unlike the ascetics, they were local landholding elites and members of the clerics. In spite of their different class backgrounds, both specialized in the administration of land and become indispensable to the temple.                                                            211 Zokuhōkanshū 25-314 [KM2]. 212 Nakamura 2001. 86  2.5 The Ascetics and Historiography A caveat is necessary here. The social history of Kōyasan has been forever skewed by the intense conflict between the clerics and ascetics in the seventeenth century. The bitter strife lingered for much of that century until a decisive ruling by the Tokugawa shogun in favor of the clerics in 1691. The historical narrative that was developed by the clerics to contain their rival has been influential. Known as the “three factions of Kōyasan,” or Kōya sankata, there were three distinct status groups. First were the gakuryo or “scholar monks,” a term often used interchangeably with the shuto or the clerics. Next came the ascetics and lastly were the hijiri or holy men.213  The narrative of Kōya sankata emphasizes that the ascetics were monks and quasi-monks of humble origin who were supposed to be subordinate to the clerics. However, they subverted the old order to gain influence in the medieval period. They eventually eclipsed the influence of their superiors at the turn of the seventeenth century when Tokugawa Ieyasu gave his personal support of a prominent ascetic. But this proved a Pyrrhic victory. In the end, after a great deal of litigation at the court of the Tokugawa state, the shogunate eventually ruled in favor of the clerics. This restored the proper order of things at the temple. This argument was the main topic of the influential early eighteenth century chronicle of the history of Kōyasan, Kōya shunjū, which was compiled by none other than a man who was closely involved in the litigation on the side of the clerics.214  Birth, it appears, was the main criterion that set the ascetics apart from the clerics. Status differences of the secular world also structured the temple society. The ascetics are said to have been from peasant backgrounds, while the clerics derived from warriors and notable families.215 A term that was used to highlight the qualitative difference of peoples based on birth was shushō 種姓, which was a translation of varna, which was the basis of the caste system in South Asia.216 A poignant example of the perceived qualitative human difference based on this criteria is seen in the description of a group known as the “sixers” (rokubanshū 六番衆), which was among the twenty-one sub-groups of the ascetics as mentioned in the clerics’ version of the nineteenth                                                           213 For a succinct summary of the Kōya sankata, see Takeuchi 1999.  214 Wada 1999. 215 Kuroda 1975b, 254. 216 Takahashi 1984, 309. 87  century gazetteer of Kii province.217 The number indicates when the group was allowed to use the great bath at the temple in a monthly bathing of the temple members. The sixers are listed in the gazetteer as the last ones to bathe. The first ones to bath were the head priest and elite scholars and boys of good birth (shushō shikarubeki 種姓然るべき). Then the monks among the clerics, according to their monastic rank. After the fivers, who specialized in the kendan function of policing, the sixers were able to bathe. The gazetteer says that the sixers were “lowly renouncers” (shimobōshi 下法師) who were children of “humble servants” (koshō 扈従, simobe 僕) and “people of the land” (or peasants, domin 土民). The bathing order reflects the underlining notions that degrees of purity and pollution were determined by birth and social background.  The conflict between the ascetics and the clerics in the seventeenth century has tainted virtually all attempts to analyze the pre-1600 history of Kōyasan, because the historical sources that have been preserved have been affected by it. Aside from one volume in the Kōyasan monjo compiled by Kongōbuji, most historical documents of Kōyasan, including the Treasure Manuscripts Series, are documents that were held by the early modern clerics. The data on the ascetics is limited, and often skewed by the clerics’ damning attitudes toward them.  As Hirase Naoki has pointed out, the “three-faction” model is based on the organizational structure of early modern Kōyasan and should only be applied with much care to explain the medieval conditions of the temple.218 In fact, it may be problematic to use the category of ascetics for the medieval era, as it was a blanket status category that the clerics used in the early modern era to refer to numerous status and occupational groups that were not part of the clerics.  However, what is certain is that the sub-groups of the ascetics existed in the medieval period. These include the “hall-group” (dōshu 堂衆), “mountain ascetics” (nagatoko 長床, yamabushi 山伏), “flower league” (geshu 夏衆),219 and the “sixers.” These are some of the groups that are classified under the blanket category of the ascetics in the sankata model. It remains to be seen if these groups had organized themselves together into a collective of the ascetics that was separate from the clerics prior to the turn of the seventeenth century. Yet, these                                                           217 The description of the various groups within the ascetics is seen in the gyōnin jiraku, in KSF, vol. 5, scroll 44 (clerics), 1-19. 218 Hirase 1988. 219 Note that “flower-group” (geshu) is written not with the conventional sinograph for flower花・華 but a homophonic character 夏, meaning summer. 88  groups actually existed from at least the thirteenth century. Though they were on the margins of the Kongōbuji order, the ascetics had tasks to perform within the temple’s aggregate of duties and prerogatives.  Therefore, in this study, I will use the ascetics as a status category of monks who belonged to these functional groups. The focus in the following will be the mountain ascetics.  We shall come back to the ascetics-clerics strife during the dawning stage of the Tokugawa era when they were remade into formal status groups that were recognized by the Tokugawa state. For now, let us focus on the activities of the mountain ascetics of Kōyasan in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.   2.6 The Estate-Managing Mountain Ascetics It is again to the Tomobuchi estate that we turn to learn how the so-called ascetics maneuvered the social environment of the medieval estates to gain power and influence. After the expulsion of the geshi in 1424, Kōyasan’s influence dominated the Tomobuchi estate. The geshi pleaded to be permitted to return. He received permission after the monks of Kōyasan had extracted a divine blood oath of fealty. They then re-appointed him to his post. Everyone knew who was boss in this new arrangement.  But interestingly, in 1426, the kumon transferred that shiki to the Kangaku-in 勧学院, which was a Buddhist academy set up by the Kamakura government at Kōyasan. The reason for the transfer was financial.  The kumon, a certain Hikotarō, was neglecting his payment of “rent” (kajishi 加地子) to Kangaku-in and placed the shiki as security. But because he was unable to pay the principal or the interest, the shiki was taken by the latter.220 It is not entirely certain what the arrangements were between Kangaku-in and Hikotarō was, but speculation suggests that Kangaku-in may have been lending money at high-interest rates to bankrupt the kumon. However, Kangaku-in’s hold of the shiki was brief. As Kuroda Hiroko demonstrates, the mountain ascetics wrote to the Tomobuchi commune the following notice, which was held in the sanctum of the Hachiman shrine.221 Unlike documents issued by the clerics, the notice was written in kana, Japanese syllabaries:                                                            220 Kuroda 1985, 34. 221 Kuroda 1985, 34-35; Yamakage 2006a, 288-89. 89   …in regards to the kumon shiki of Tomobuchi, those on land (jige地下, peasants of Tomobuchi) despise Kangaku-in Rinchōhō, hence the mountain ascetics…donated it to the Great myōjin of Amano. And it has been decided that the mountain ascetics be the deputy of the avatar. In order to have this matter displayed to the commune of the estate, this letter is presented…222  The notice is damaged and undated, but Yamakage thinks it was written between 1430 and 1464. Remarkable is the statement that peasants despised Rinchōhō, the abbot of Kangaku-in. That gave the mountain ascetics the rationale to take over the shiki. But they did not, or could not, hold the shiki directly. Rather they had it donated to the deity of Amano, the landlord deity, that is. They then assumed control of it in their capacity as the deputy of the deity. Kuroda Hiroko suggests that what likely happened was the peasants resisted Kangaku-in and staged a protest or dispute and the mountain ascetics mediated the conflict and in so doing, took hold of the shiki.223 Yamakage has located a letter written by the deputy geshi, the heir of the geshi who had been expelled. He evidently blew the whistle on Kangaku-in and informed the temple officials that Kangaku-in had “usurped” the shiki, “deceived” the temple house to siphon income for himself and was distributing tax income to his associates at his own discretion.224 In other words, Rinchōhō was acting upon his private aspirations to compromise the public interest of the temple as a whole. With that accusation, he had no choice but to let go of the shiki.  Why was the shiki donated to the Amano shrine? Kuroda Hiroko reasons that the steps taken here must have been similar to what the mountain ascetics had done when they took control of the kumon shiki in the Ishibashiri village nearly two centuries earlier in 1258. On that occasion, they wrote as follows: “Though the Amano shrine and Kōyasan temple are not the same, they both fall in the land of held by the myōjin. There are many shrine priests and temple monks, but they are all nurtured by the avatars (gongen権現, that is, the myōjin). Is it not the most logical for temple land to be donated to the shrine house?”225                                                            222 Cited in Kuroda 1985, 34-35. 223 Kuroda 1985, 35-36. 224 Yamakage 2006a, 289-91, 297 n38. 225 Cited in Kuroda 1985, 35. 90  Clearly, the idea that the land was held by the Niu and Kōya myōjin (myōjin kanryō no chi 明神管領之地) was the basis for the actions of the mountain ascetics, just as the same assumption was the basis for the Kōyasan ichimi’s expulsion of the geshi in 1424.  The donation of the shiki to the Amano myōjin reveals the role that landscape played in holding Kōyasan’s land system together. As I argued with the Rites of the Four Seasons, the system of land rights was premised on the logic that land was held through the medium of deities. The edifices on the mountain were sacred mediums for landholding for the Kongōbuji clerics. The mountain ascetics, on the other hand, were not part of the clerics, but they, too, had their footing firmly in the legendary landscape. They based their activity at the Amano shrine and served as deputies of the landlord deities at their main shrine. They took control of the shiki without disrupting the system.  2.7 The Late Medieval Structure of Regional Space under Kōyasan Kuroda argues that the use of the Amano deities by the mountain ascetics reflects the ideological basis of Kōyasan’s ruling system.226 She argues that it was in the early fifteenth century that the Amano shrine was transformed into a tutelary shrine of Kōyasan’s estates in its entirety. Levies were imposed across the estates to finance rituals at the shrine. Thus were the deities of Amano conscripted into the control of land. The temple’s dominance had become firmly institutionalized.  However, ideology can be a limiting concept to describe the phenomena, to the extent it can lead us to imagine ideas that exist on the level of abstract reason, divorced from the material, visionary and phenomenological realities of the world. The roles of deities and their attendant narratives in politics and society can be complicated by thinking of the dimensions of place and space. Deities and their narrative of the engi were braided into the land so much so that by the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, they seem to have preconditioned the political struggle in the regional society. This is not to say that deities and narratives were timeless, but the engi themes were tenacious in their hold of the regional landscape. Edifices that linked the social world to the realm of deities, such as the Shrine and Portrait Hall on the mountain and the Amano shrine down below, helped to merge the two worlds. These institutions were the loci of forging the                                                           226 Kuroda 1985, 84-100. 91  political relations. Just as monks on the mountain forged an ichimi at the Shrine to consolidate their power, the mountain ascetics formed their own ichimi at Amano and organized themselves to protect their property and spaces as they astutely navigated the tensions of the regional society. Peasant communes, too, were ichimi that organized themselves at their tutelary shrines.  From this perspective, the regional space was an aggregate of spaces held by diverse ichimi groups, which were semi-autonomous social units, each with its own locus. The mountain sat atop all of them and integrated them into its system of rule. In so doing, it balanced the allocation of duties and prerogatives among them to codify their spaces within the aggregate. But to achieve that, the mountain did not simply impose its will from above. Rather, there was a mutual imbrication of power between the mountain and the plains. By adjudicating conflicts on the plains, and by integrating new groups into its system, the mountain entrenched its power in the regional space and contained the diverse groups into its system of order.  While the mountain ascetics kept this basic structure intact, they expanded their space within the system. They did so by arbitrating conflicts and navigating the tension that revolved around the exploitation of peasants’ labour. But they went further. There is a document produced in 1434 that was co-signed by four ascetics and three peasant-representatives of reclaimed land.227 They signed in the capacity of “adjudicators of the time” (toki no sata-nin時之沙汰人), indicating their marginal status in the officialdom. Evidently, peasants working the land were being heavily taxed by collectors from the mountain. The peasants, in turn, had been grieving to temple officials but to no avail. Under the leadership of a certain Ryōchi良智, the ascetics intervened in the situation and brought the case to the mountain. They knew the annual custodian, and held an assembly with sixty-four members to discuss the issue. Then, the decision to reduce the tax was reached.228 Additionally, the document states that cups that were used to measure grains given up in tax were lost during the political disturbance in the previous year. The four persons, likely the same ascetics who co-signed the document, produced replacement cups, and validated them with their signature. Notably, the document was treated as follows:                                                             227 Kangaku-in documents 1-45 [KMK1]. Kuroda Hiroko discusses this document. See Kuroda 1985, 79-85. 228 The reduction was the ending of a practice known as mushiro-tsuki 莚付. According to Masaki Kisaburō, this was a method of measuring tax grain in which heaps of grain that overflowed from measuring cups were taken by collectors (Kokushi daijiten). The new tax law outlined in the co-signed document stipulated the end of this practice once and for all; scrapers (tokaki斗掻) were to be used to measure grains more accurately. However, collectors were entitled to take ten percent in excess of the set-rate. But that must have been a sizable reduction in the amount collected from peasants.  92  Item: In case disruptions arise on the mountain or the plains, this document shall serve as proof (shishō支証) of the decision reached herein. For that, a copy is stored on the mountain and another copy is stored in the plains. The one in the plains bears the seal of the mountain.229  The assumption revealed here is that the mountain codified tax laws and the mountain ascetics used that power-geometry to arbitrate the conflict between peasants in distress and collectors on the mountain. In spite of their relative marginal status, the mountain ascetics were becoming a notable public power in the region and their influence was becoming indispensable for the maintenance of the system. They also ran their own subtemples in Kōyasan. Even as the ichimi of the “entire mountain” dominated the temple space, it remained open to different groups. Later, the ascetics became seamlessly subsumed under the mantra of the “entire temple,” and began to control it, as we shall see.   2.8 Landholders’ Temple The temple influenced social groups across class lines. However, given that the myth of the landlord deity was a leitmotif of its landscape, it reflected the will of the landholding strata. That myth, it may be said, mirrored the capturing of the mountain by the landed class, who transformed it into an institution that undergirded their properties and prerogatives.  Kōyasan in the late medieval era was a “confederation of landlords.”230 From our discussion, using the example of Tomobuchi, we might assume that the relationship between the temple and local landholding class in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries was hostile. But in reality, the tension between the two had lessened considerably from the conflicts in the thirteenth century. Rival powerholders in the late thirteenth century were often labeled “evil leagues” (akutō 悪党) as the temple sought to eliminate their influence through litigation, but at other times, the temple forged a tenuous alliance with them to fight off rival common foes.231 But by and large, by the turn of the fifteenth century, Kōyasan had achieved mastery over the regional                                                           229 The version of the document that I referenced was held by Kangaku-in at Kōyasan. It is probable that it is the document that Ryōchi left on the mountain. Kangaku-in documents 1-45 [KMK1].  230 Atsuta 1992, 126. 231 Takahashi 2000, 97-101; Adolphson 2000, 234-35; Yamakage 2006a, 145-75; Yamakage 1997, 261-67. 93  space and those who continued to resist it, like the kumon at Tomobuchi, succumbed to the unrelenting power of ichimi.  But that did not mean that the local landed elites were weakened. Rather, they themselves entered the temple to take advantage of the system. According to Hongō Kazuto, the strata of local landholders that were often called tonobara殿原 in the area, faced pressure from peasants that undermined their prerogatives. Their challenge derived not only from the material strength of the peasants, but also the pattern of the land rights.  Examining Kōyasan’s land registers of the Nate estate, which was surveyed by Kōyasan in 1432, Hongō observes that both the shiki of “cultivator” and “landlord” were often scattered and crisscrossed beyond village boundaries.232 Cultivators, then, held their rights in land that belonged to different landlords. But no village fell under a single landlord. Landlords, including Kōyasan’s monks, subtemples and functionaries held their titles in different villages. The tonobara, who were also the typical landlords, tended to have titles in a certain village, but the plots they owned were cultivated by different cultivators. In crisscrossed arrangements of property and cultivation rights, landlords had to be careful. If they imposed excessive pressure on cultivators (not necessarily the holder of cultivation shiki, but also the actual tenant under those cultivators), other landlords would be agitated. But working with other landlords to consolidate their power—as the kokujin-landholding strata often did in other areas233—would surely trigger a concerted attack by the Kōyasan ichimi. Becoming a vassal of the shugo, likewise, would have been a viable option in other areas. But as we saw with the example of the kumon of Tomobuchi, the duties and levies that entailed the vassalage could be detrimental to their power. However, by joining the temple, the landholding strata could make use of its system of recirculation of the peasants’ surplus produce. In particular, Hongō points out that the system known as bunden shihai 分田支配 or “allocation of paddies (and fields),” allowed them to decouple themselves from the ground-level relation of production and exploitation without losing income from land. In this system, taxes in grain and money were collected from villages and went into the public coffer of the temple. Then it was allocated to the members of the temple society.234 For that, the temple issued “allocation tickets” (bunden kippu 分田切符) to the formal                                                           232 Hongō 1986, 80. 233 Nagahara 1974. 234 Atsuta 1986; Hongō 1986, 74. Note that Atsuta’s original work on the bunden system of Kōyasan’s estate was first published in 1959, in Hisutoria 24. 94  members of the Kongōbuji’s system of land control including, of course, the members of the clerics. In this system, ticket holders received income from land with which they had no connection. Their land-based income was held through the medium of the temple, which bifurcated property rights. This was what was meant by the “retying” of land rights, which was achieved through the surveys.  But how were the surveys carried out? We have looked at the principles behind the surveys that were outlined in the 1384 ichimi-covenant. In practice, it seems that pragmatic factors dictated the implementation of policies. Hongō suggests that the group that carried out the surveys, called the “paddy allocators” (bunden-shu分田衆), were formed by a group of influential Kōyasan monks who were locally prominent landholders. The group was called the small-assembly, which was a formal institution within the clerics. As Hongō points out, other monks had asked them to carry out the surveys in the early fifteenth century. They held the power to record land on the registry–or not. They were the ones who carried out the surveys and issued the allocation tickets.235   2.9 The Small-Assembly   The small-assembly was formed by approximately ten prominent subtemples at Kōyasan. The abbacy of these subtemples were held by local elite houses on a hereditary basis.236 The small-assembly seems to have appeared alongside the large-assembly, which referred to the assembly of the entire mass of clerics in the fourteenth century. At the onset, the small-assembly was intended to serve as an administrative body under the large-assembly, but as Wada Akio reminds us, the former soon took over the control of the temple as a whole.237 The late fourteenth and the early fifteenth century was likely a turning point in their ascension to power. By that time, the scope of their influence at the temple was far-reaching.  According to Nakamura Naoto, they controlled:   the adjudication of disputes;  policing and punishment of criminals;   taxation;                                                           235 Hongō 1986, 77. 236 These houses sent their second sons to the mountain to run their subtemples, as will be mentioned later. 237 Wada 1959, 28-30. 95   land surveys;   rituals and   handling of documents.238  In short, they were at the core of the temple’s power and governed the regional space.  Where, then, did the small-assembly fit into the temple society? Their place in the temple needs to be considered in light of the rhetoric of the “entire mountain” that was at the forefront of the temple’s political power. In spite of the ritualized unity of everyone at the mountain, the temple collective in reality was a complex organization. And the small-assembly was among the many ichimi-units that formed the Kongōbuji organization. How were they able to hold the power to run the temple polity?  Simply put, the temple could not rule the plains without the leverage of the regional elites. Tax income sustained the temple and force was needed to impose order. The small-assembly monks and their families made that possible with their influence. With that, the interests of the temple and local elites were one. The small-assembly monks penetrated the kernel of the temple’s power and subsumed themselves under the ichimi of the “entire mountain.” On this, Hongō’s interpretation is compelling. For him, the small-assembly imposed their will upon the temple as a whole. That is, the ichimi of the “entire mountain” was not a wholehearted and harmonious ichimi, but a coerced unity under the sway of a league of powerful landlords.  We can discover more about who the small-assembly monks were and how they became part of the temple society through the following helpful account. Note that this is a genealogical narrative of the small-assembly that was likely written long after their rise to prominence. But it reflects the organic link between local powerholders and the temple in the late medieval era.   The period under the reign of Emperor Gomurakami (of the Southern Court, r. 1339-1368) was tumultuous. Bandits attacked and looted the temple, which caused great dismay for the clerics. To protect the temple, the clerics consulted twenty-five warlords of the province and asked them to send their second sons to Kōyasan. Large mansions were given to them at the temple and myriad matters of the mountain were entrusted to them. Then, with “the power of the ichimi of the mountain and the plains,” bandits and                                                           238 Nakamura 2001, 64. 96  evil deeds were suppressed. Because the shue (or small-assembly members) handled the administrative duties of the mountain and the plains, each of their subtemples was given a landholding of 1,000 koku.239   As we see here, the shue or small-assembly members were cognizant of their identity as sons of locally prominent warriors who enforced order and protected the temple. For that, the ichimi unity of the mountain and the plains was necessary. And that unity entailed the handling of “myriad matters of the mountain,” which came with a sizable reward in the form of land rights that were granted to the mansions on the mountain, or the subtemple that they occupied. In other words, they entrenched themselves in the aggregate of duties and prerogatives at the temple, but their prerogative was considerably more than what other member of the temple society were entitled to. And this was due to the critical nature of their functions, which sustained the temple.  Significantly, “second sons” were sent to the mountain. What this tells is that first sons inherited and ran the houses in the plains, just as the houses secured property through the subtemples on the mountain. This kind of intimate connection between houses and subtemples was part of a durable relationship that was found in many temples in Japan. In the case of Kōfukuji in the late medieval and early modern era, the system was called satomoto 里元 and teramoto 寺元, which can be rendered as “base-house.”240 At the Negoro-dera, for instance, it is known that local elite houses built subtemples which, in turn, were used for lucrative money-lending activities in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.241 At Kōyasan, it is likely that the subtemples were used for moneylending as well, but this aspect requires more examination.  What is certain is that the subtemples were used by local elites in their pursuit of power and wealth. In that regard, subtemples were essential to the operation of the household enterprises. Hatakama Kazuhiro has observed with the case of Kōfukuji in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, base-houses asserted great influence over the temple during that time, and the subtemples and halls that they held within Kōfukuji were regarded as the property of those houses.242 A similar point could be made with Kōyasan. In the late medieval period, the temple was sustained through an organic link with the structures of regional society. Just as the temple                                                           239 KSF vol.4 scroll 43, 904. Note koku is a unit of rice. One koku is roughly 180 metric litres.  240 Hatakama 1994. For the intricacy of local houses and temples in medieval and early modern period, see Yoshii 1984. 241 Miura 1981, 355-64. 242 Hatakama 1994. 97  extended its control of the plains, it was embraced by the powerholders in the plains and could not exist without them.   2.10 Conflict and Order In this manner, the temple was a focal point of the regional political contest. It is not surprising then that open conflict erupted at the precinct. In 1433, in an incident known as the “disturbance of Eikyō 5,” a group of sixers, along with “people of the land” and “mountain people,” launched a massive attack on the temple that left major sections of the precinct in ashes and dozens dead.243 Demands for Tokusei or debt cancellation were invoked by the sixers; usurious moneylending terms by privileged monks must have been a factor.244  When things settled, it was the clerics who prevailed. They held an ichimi assembly in 1439 which formalized the return to the mountain of rebels. Condemning the sixers for staging their revolt just when warriors in the province were mobilized for duties in other provinces, the covenant states that they were permitted to return because they vowed never to disobey the clerics. But it also reinstated other rules. Estate officials who disobeyed temple orders were to be punished impartially; the same penalty applied to peasants who neglected their tax dues. Moreover, in accordance with the “great law of the realm” (tenka no taihō 天下之大法), vendetta by the master of a victim was endorsed. This was intended to prevent the harbouring of rancor, for pent-up vengeance was more disruptive than straight revenge.  The rule on the vendetta warrants a comment, both to imagine the kind of society Kōyasan ruled and to consider the significance of the clerics’ power as the entity that proclaimed the covenant which in effect was law.  Katsumata Shizuo suggests that duelling to resolve fights was commonly sanctioned in laws issued by the so-called Sengoku daimyo who ruled regional polities in the late medieval era.245 Importantly, as Katsumata elucidates, such a law should be understood not as rulers’ assent to violence that was originally prohibited.246                                                            243 Kuroda 1985, 68-71. 244 For the hawkish moneylending practices, and the so-called tokusei-ikki in which those who suffered from mounting debt demanded debt cancellation and launched an attack on moneylenders in Kyoto in the fifteenth century, see Gay 2001; Tanaka 1981.  245 Katsumata 1976. 246 Ibid., 197. 98  On the contrary, it was a measure to control the scale of violence which was commonplace on the local level. Rulers did not monopolize violence. We must account for the socio-psychological context of the time. According to Katsumata, private revenge ruled in the medieval era; this was related to the widespread ethos of self-realization. Actions of the people of the time can bewilder the modern mind with their “hypersensitivity to personal insult, their potential for explosive anger,” and their impulse to act upon “instinct for violent conflict.”247 To be sure, rulers had judicial systems to arbitrate conflicts, but those represented one of the viable avenues to resolve conflicts. The use of force, by and large, was deemed to be a legitimate means to resolve conflicts and protect one’s rights and honour. Additionally, social collectives of the time were tightly bound by intense cameraderie. Offence to a member was tantamount to offence to his or her cohort. Therefore, it was not unusual for a fight to escalate into a cycle of revenge between the members of the collectives to which the original adversaries belonged, or even wars between warlords.  Like the practice of duelling, the legalization of vendetta was intended to curb the vicious spiral of violence. Interestingly, the clerics’ law stated that when death occurred as a result of a fight, there would be no investigation of its cause. In other words, the clerics, as the rulers of the region, vowed to abstain from arbitrating fights. Instead, they codified the formal procedure for restoring normalcy after the disruption caused by a brawl-related death. The killing of the enemy was the preferred method. But if the enemy had fled, then the victim’s comrades were to find the family of the enemy and do something with their head—that something being indecipherable due to the damage on the document. But if the enemy had no family or relatives, then a surrogate called geshinin下手人 (also written 解死人 or 下死人) was to be sent by the enemy’s collective. The practice of handing over a geshinin was fairly standard from the Kamakura period.248 In this respect, Kōyasan’s law on the vendetta was not unusual in the broad social context of the time. The clerics were presiding over a society in which “blood could only be cleansed by blood,” and governed like any other ruler in the period.249                                                            247 The quotes are taken from a translation of a section of Katsumata 1976 in de Bary, et al. 2001, 422.  248 On the geshinin, see Katsumata 1976, 171. 249 The assumption behind this was that conflicts were settled when two sides suffered equally. Eventually, the Sengoku daimyo used this logic to ban private fights altogether in the law known as kenka-ryōseibai 喧嘩両成敗. Under it, both parties of fights were punished equally, regardless of their cause, normally by death. The purpose of this law was not simply to prevent fights, but to enforce the resolution of conflicts of interest through warlord rulers’ judicature. This, precisely, was the logic that Toyotomi Hideyoshi used to demand total peace under his hegemonic authority as he unified the country in the late sixteenth century. Takagi 1990, 14.  99  How, then, did the clerics’ establish such a law? Not surprisingly, the covenant concluded by evoking myriad deities, including “all the great and small deities of Japan,” “Kōbō Daishi,” and “especially the two landlord myōjin.” They were sure to punish anyone who violated the decisions outlined in the covenant. But notably, it included the following items:  Item (5): Those who inherit the clerics’ subtemples must add their signature to this covenant and follow the rules in perpetuity.  Item (6): The original of this covenant shall be deposited in the Portrait Hall. A copy (anmon) shall be displayed during the Rites of the Four Seasons.250   At the end of the day, the hallowed landscape of the temple, based on the engi, underpinned the power of the Kōyasan ichimi to rule the region.   2.11 The Mountain and Order From the mid fourteenth to early fifteenth centuries, Kōyasan reproduced itself by absorbing the contradictions of the regional society. Being a site of deities where monks ruled through rituals, it was a ceremonial centre, but the role that it played in influencing the social relations of the region was complex. The temple reinforced the interests of the landed class. Yet it was shaped by the aspirations of various groups to survive and prosper. With relations over land being “tied” at the mountain, the mountain presided at the pinnacle of regional space. But the force to “tie” those relations did not come down from the mountain alone. Instead, there was a mutual imbrication of power from the temple above and the plains below to co-produce order in the region under the higher authority of the mountain. As the temple’s power based upon the legend was established, an orthopraxis of power dictated that no one held power or land in the region without the mediation of the temple.  This was a period of social volatility and documents that we perused are vestiges of the systematic efforts to keep the social disruption and chaos at bay. As we saw in the previous chapter, the will of the “entire mountain” was to take a full control of land rights in the region. To that end, monks carried out their land surveys that codified the relationship between production and exploitation. They recorded on the land register the names of landlords and                                                           250 Hōkanshū 37-443 [KM1]. 100  cultivators for each plot of land in the estates, each of whom had his or her prerogative and or duty guaranteed by the temple’s legal power.  But for decades they could not carry out the surveys due to their relative weakness. When the temple’s agents did finally survey the land, it was a result of conflicts between peasants and local warrior magnates. The latter tried to secure their prerogatives with ties to the Muromachi government, and bled peasants dry with levies and corvée. The peasants, in turn, fought back. But a better strategy was to seek the temple’s intervention to check their opponents’ influence. The principal concern for the temple, on the other hand, was that peasants paid their dues and that estate officials remained loyal to the temple and did not overstep their bounds.  The means to achieve that was by adjudicating the conflicts between them. This, in turn, allowed the temple to establish its status as the public power that held the regional society together through its legal authority. It also collected taxes from the peasants to operate the temple and allocate the material boons to its members.  The estate officials who threatened the temple came from the same strata as those who benefitted the most from it. Landlords’ right to collect from peasants was assured by the surveys, but prominent families in the region sent their sons to the mountain and took over the temple’s administration. In other areas, it was typical for local landed warriors to forge an ikki league among themselves and establish a regional hegemony. But in the region near Kōyasan, they assembled at the temple on the mountain to secure their shared interests. It would have been dangerous for them to forge an ikki league apart from the temple. However, entering the temple allowed them to overcome the threats posed to their land rights by peasants. The land surveys bifurcated property and landlords could divorce themselves from the ground-level relations of production without losing the prerogative to collect by becoming part of the highest landlord of the region. Those in the lower-echelon of the stratified society also benefitted from taking part in the temple’s system. The so-called ascetics were of peasant origin and adroitly navigated the tension over land and peasants’ labour to consolidate their own property and influence. All this made the mountain’s authority unshakable and the temple’s power pervaded the regional space to codify property allocation.  In assessing the historical significance of the fourteenth century, the medieval historian, Jeffrey Mass, has suggested that it was this century, not the late twelfth, that marked a break 101  from the past to usher in the medieval.251 Mass argued that the Kamakura shogunate had an agenda similar to that of the courtiers in Kyoto. They both sought to maintain the existing social system that was built upon the “scaffolding” of the shiki.252 But in the fourteenth century, economic development, social mobility, and that century’s war, coupled with the growing prominence of the use of force to resolve conflicts shattered assumptions and existing systems. The new era was characterized by uncertainty and disorder. For Mass, the monetization of the economy and the commodification of shiki were critical factors that eroded order. His is an exciting schema to consider the broad pattern of social change at the time. Mass’s observation highlights a widespread socio-political trend on the national level; the underlining message speaks to the decline of the estate system. In the face of that trend, however, Kōyasan had a robust system of order which had been painstakingly built upon the “scaffolding” of shiki and property.  The temple retained its estates and consolidated power as a regional agrarian polity. How was that possible?  What we have witnessed is a period of dynamic social intercourse with the environment, suffused as it was with numinous power. Underneath the scaffolding of shiki and property at Kōyasan was the geographical entity of the mountain, which absorbed the tensions of the regional society and churned out order. Society had to organize itself around land. Once the engi-based proprietorship was established, there was nothing apart from the mountain that could serve as the linchpin for the regional societal formation. The regional society, with all of its contradictions, had come to form a systematized whole under the authority of the mountain.  The rebellion of the sixers was no religious conflict, but a cry from those distressed by overbearing and systematic inequality. They defied those who reaped wealth from it. And when things settled down, they had to return to the mountain because only it assured their space, as constrained as it may have been. They were not resisting the mountain, but the ways in which social relations were established—much to their detriment.  The documents that we examined provided some of the figurative frames and joints that reveal the structure for the highly pressurized space that emerged in an organic relationship with the regional landscape. The documents issued by the mountain codified the spaces and territories                                                           251 Mass 1997. 252 Mass 1997, 19. 102  that were held by various groups across class lines. This co-produced a three-dimensional zone that emerged atop a geography steeped in legends. The contests that converged at the mountain centred on the allocation of property and space. What empowered the temple to take control of that allocation was the social interaction with the sacred. The “entire mountain” was a highly institutionalized yet ephemeral entity that fused monks and deities. At its core was a group of privileged men who forged a tight unity through the medium of deities on the mountain to take control of the regional space.  Interestingly, the social tensions in the region, including the one between the temple and local landholding class that had competed with one another, did not undermine the grip of the plains by the mountain. By resolving conflict, the monks codified territorial allocation between different groups to embed their power into the political life of the plains. Their authority over the land was backstopped by legal pronouncements from rulers in the capital. Thus they could assert a comprehensive proprietorship of the land. It paved the way for those in the plains to take full advantage of the system for their own ends. The mountain and the plains dynamically embraced one another to make the hegemony of the temple unshakable. The temple could not carry out the land surveys without the consent of peasants and the support of powerful landlords. By absorbing such a paramount contradiction in its sacred landscape, the mountain entrenched its power in the region to establish a late medieval social system that was to endure until the emergence of the early modern state.  How, then, did the fluid power dynamics of the region, evinced by the expanding influence of the ascetics, influence the political development of Kōyasan and the regional space in the subsequent era? Is my assessment of the mountain ascetics tenable over a longer span of history? And how did the fraught and contentious nature of the regional space develop itself at the tail end of the medieval era? These are the questions that we shall explore next.     103  Three: Kōyasan in the Sixteenth Century This chapter looks at the structure of Kōyasan’s space in the sixteenth century, prior to 1585. That was the year when the temple submitted to the unified regime of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. This brought fundamental changes to the temple and the regional space. Needless to say, to understand that change, it is essential to grapple with what had preceded it. Without grasping the logics and dynamics at the temple and the region in the pre-Hideyoshi era, it would be impossible to assess the impacts of the unification. Yet, to my knowledge, there is no study that examines the dynamics of power at Kōyasan in the sixteenth century, prior to 1585.  But certainly, the period is rich and important enough to warrant a full exploration in its own right. Fortuitously, Kōyasan’s documents can shed light on some of the complexities of the period. These documents offer glimpses of how people strove to manage power relations and organize their space at a politically powerful temple during the closing phase of Japan’s medieval era, known as the Sengoku era (ca. 1467-1573). For that reason, this chapter addresses some key questions. Given the political volatility of the period when competing power-blocs of warriors and religious and regional leagues staked out their power and territory against one another, how did the temple maintain its power and the control of the region? What had changed in Kōyasan from the early fifteenth century to the late sixteenth century? And what had not? Did the unity of ichimi and the construction of authority through discussion and unanimous consent of the temple collective still prevail as the ruling force? What diversity and tensions affected the power structure at Kōyasan? Did the sacred landscape still serve as the source of divine authority and order for the regional space?  To answer these questions, I will examine the documents of two groups that we encountered in the previous chapter: the ascetics and the small-assembly monks. Allow me to highlight the key features of these groups. The small-assembly were abbots of approximately ten subtemples of the clerics. They were invariably the sons of prominent landholding warrior elites of the regional society. They had taken hold of the administrative function of the temple as a whole by the turn of the fifteenth century.253 The so-called ascetics, on the other hand, refers to a relatively humble status group that was situated below and outside the elite group of the clerics, yet were constitutive members of the Kongōbuji organization.254 There were various functional                                                           253 Wada 1959, 29; Hongō 1986. 254 Takeuchi 1999; KSF, vol. 4, scroll 43 (clerics). 104  groups within the status category of the ascetics, such as the mountain ascetics, hall-group and the sixers. We have seen how the mountain ascetics gained power and influence within Kōyasan’s political system in the fifteenth century, through their prowess in managing estates on the ground-level.   3.1 The Ascetics as Usurpers? As I mentioned earlier, there are critical historiographical issues to acknowledge when dealing with the ascetics. One of them is the scant historical sources of the ascetics.255 Second, the ascetics constitute an elusive group that has been reified based on the early modern structures of the temple society.256 And third, the conflict between the ascetics and clerics in the seventeenth century has conditioned the narrative of these status groups in profound ways. The so-called “three factions of Kōya,” which may be better rendered as “three status groups of Kōya,” is an analytical model of the social history of Kōyasan that is essentially based on the narrative developed by the clerics (or better known as “scholar monks”=gakuryo, in the early modern era), who eventually prevailed over the ascetics through the arbitration of the Tokugawa shogunate.257 In short, the model is an elite-centric account that frames the ascetics as usurpers who overstepped their bounds, only to be forced into their proper place after long legal battles in the seventeenth century. But because the clerics finally prevailed after a lengthy and bitter rivalry, there is scant documentation that has survived that represents the voices of the ascetics. Historical accounts of Kōyasan are largely centred upon the clerics.258 We must assume a profound bias in the description of the clerics’ perennial antagonists. Indeed, the historical inquiry of the ascetics is further confounded by the complex diachronic change of the temple, obscured by the status politics during the Tokugawa era that has irreversibly conditioned what research can be done at the temple. I will not get into the complexity of the issue, but it seems to me that at the core of the issue is the idea of usurpation, which, in medieval parlance, would be rendered as gekokujō 下剋上 or the “low overcoming the high.” In other words, the key to understanding the role and significance of the ascetics is                                                           255 I will touch on this later.  256 Hirase 1988. 257 Kaiei’s Kōya shunjū, printed in 1719, is a comprehensive history of Kōyasan up to his time. As Kaiei states it, the purpose of writing the book was to celebrate the clerics’ victory. 258 Notable exceptions are the studies of the hijiri by Gorai Shigeru and Murakami Hiroko. Gorai 1975; Murakami 2005. Kuroda Hiroko’s study focuses on peasants and the ascetics. Kuroda 1985. 105  couched in how we assess gekokujō. In the previous chapter, I suggested that the increasing influence of the mountain ascetics constituted a gekokujō, but that this did not necessarily mean chaos and disorder; they served to maintain order and the existing system. We shall explore this perspective further in this chapter, but in doing so, let us bear in mind that gekokujō, unsurprisingly, was a term used by the elites who were threatened by the growing influence of those deemed to be below them in the established social hiearchy.259 To be sure, I have not come across the term gekokujō in documents of Kōyasan, but this mentality was ingrained in the minds of the clerics by the turn of the seventeenth century. One clearly sees this attitude in the following passage from the clerics’ 1601 petition sent to the magistrates under Tokugawa Ieyasu:  …since eighty years ago, the mountain ascetics (yamabushi-kata) have been handling the various administrative matters of the mountain (yamano shosata 山の諸沙汰). Just which son of heaven or shogun bestowed upon them the various functions (shiki) of the mountain? None. But they killed off the envoy of venerable Nobunga and killed many samurai in the areas around the monastery and took their land. And on the mountain they rebelled against the clerics. They decimated the small-assembly and a group called the middle custodians (naka-gata azukari) to take their shiki. Is it not through these forceful means that they have come to hold the various shiki of the mountain?260   The image that looms large here is the association with chaos and violence. That is precisely how the clerics represented the ascetics to the Tokugawa authorities in the context of a pressing dispute. But it also reveals that in spite of the alleged usurpation, the mountain ascetics were apparently handling the administrative matters (sata 沙汰) of the mountain.  The passage, of course, must be taken with a grain of salt. It was produced in the context of the status politics of ca. 1600, for the sole purpose of discrediting the ascetics’ prerogatives in the context of a law suit. To understand the political dynamics of Kōyasan prior to its subjugation to the unified state, it is essential to examine the sources from that time and recover the administrative practice of the period. The question is, who or what operated the temple in the sixteenth century and how did they manage it?                                                            259 Ebara 2003, 9. 260 Yūzokuhōkanshū 118-1881 [KM8]. 106  These questions should be considered in light of Ike Susumu’s point on the ruling power of regional societies during the transition from the medieval to the early modern era which conventionally is marked by the unification in the late sixteenth century. His view, which echoes a recent trend in the history of regional society during the transitionasl period, is that regional powers should be considered as a form of “public” power in their own right. Previously, it was assumed that power simply dominated society in a top-down manner. Ike and other scholars were stimulated by Fujiki Hisashi’s reassessment of the relationship between power and society during the transitional era. He suggested that rulers had to attain consent and legitimacy to exercise their power. For that, Ike argues, it was especially important for regional rulers to maintain peace and order and resolve disputes.261 The ichimi of the clerics and the “entire mountain” that we saw in previous chapters can be said to have performed such a role in the regional society in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.  In sixteenth century Kōyasan, who or what exercised this kind of power? Clues to the answer might be found in Ike’s line of interpretation. We can bring into the conversation the records of Kōyasan to better situate Kōyasan’s experiences in the broader sociopolitical context of the time.  In the following, I will argue that the ascetics formed the public power at Kōyasan while acting as the masters of the regional space. This argument is premised on the understanding that the office that was called the sōbun administrative office of Kongōbuji (sōbun satasho 惣分沙汰所) was formed mainly or mostly by monks of the ascetic status. The sōbun may be translated as a “thing of the commune,” and it is assumed to be the ascetics’ office in existing works, but more critical reflection is required.262  I will discuss the viability of the sōbun’s link with the ascetics by examining the documents it issued. As I argue, the sōbun office replaced the clerics as the core of the temple’s power and it was not simply the administrative office of the ascetics as has been assumed, but of the entire temple and the regional society.263 In other words, the sōbun stood above and beyond the different status groups that co-existed in the regional space. The nature of the sōbun’s power was to manage the aggregate of duties and prerogatives that was institutionalized at the temple.                                                           261 Ike 2004, 1-2 262 For example, Ōta 2008; Wada 1976b; Kuroda 1985. 263 Ōta 2008; Wada 1976b.  107  They also codified socioeconomic relations in the region to create stability. The sōbun exercised power based on the principle of ichimi, but the role of deities and the sacred was weakened relative to the preceding century. Nevertheless, the deities remained at the core of the temple’s political power and the sacred landscape of the mountain remained the locus of regional social order.  At the same time, the power of the sōbun was not comprehensive; there was diffusion in the power structure of the temple’s space. Contrary to the clerics’claim in the above petition that the small-assembly had been decimated, small-assembly subtemples continued to assert considerable power and influence at the temple and the region; they existed alongside the sōbun as key nodes of power. Kōyasan’s space was diverse and marked by heterogeneity; there was likely little or no intent on the part of the sōbun to take control of all social relations at the temple. Before examining documents related to sōbun, a consideration of the following problem is due: if the sōbun was organized primarily by the ascetics as I am proposing, how did the ascetics rise to power? Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there is no record that tells us exactly when and how they took control of the temple. A possible turning point was the great fire of 1521 that destroyed much of the precinct.264 It is possible that the ascetics assumed greater roles in the temple society as it recovered from the ruins of the fire. That would correspond with the statement in the clerics’ 1601 petition that the ascetics had been taking control of administrative functions at the temple for eighty years. However, there is no document to attest to this. On the other hand, Ōta Naoyuki has suggested that the itinerant kanjin勧進 fundraising monks played crucial roles in the repair of the temple buildings in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.265 These kanjin monks were considered neither clerics nor ascetics.  Another factor to consider is the production and use of firearms. As we will see, the sōbun commanded force, and deployed sizable firepower. It is quite likely that the ascetics had an edge over the clerics in terms of coercive force. The nearby Negoro-dera was well-known for making effective muskets and according to Frois, the fighting men of Negoro were well-trained in the use of muskets and arrows.266 Similar to Kōyasan, local magnates entered the Negoro-dera. Koyama Yasunori has observed that in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the number                                                           264 KSF, vol. 4, scroll 3 (clerics), 63. 265 Ōta 2008, 288-316. 266 Historia de Iapan, 155. 108  of subtemples of Negoro increased markedly.267 Most of the new subtemples were built by local landholding magnates (dogō 土豪) who controlled the subtemples on a hereditary basis. Notably, the new subtemples belonged to the ascetics, not the gakushu 学衆 or scholar monks, who were Negoro’s counterpart to Kōyasan’s clerics.  Among those magnates was Tsuda who built the Sugi-no-bō 杉ノ坊 subtemple at Negoro. Tsuda specialized in the production of firearms. Their early modern genealogical tale (yuisho 由緒) says that their ancestor, named Jiyūsai, had a mysterious dream in 1544 which instructed him to go to Tanegashima. That is where musket is said to have been introduced to Japan by the Portuguese. He followed the dream, and sure enough, he acquired a musket at Tanegashima.268 That was how the Tsuda lineage of gunmaking began, according to the genealogy.  The case of the Tsuda and Sugi-no-gō is suggestive of the militant power of the ascetics of Negoro, which, no doubt, was sustained by local warrior-like elites.269 We can presume a similar link begtween ascetics and force at Kōyasan. However, I have not located any document that provides concrete data on the production of firearms at Kōyasan, or possible satomoto links between ascetics and warrior houses. It should be noted that martial power at Kōyasan was held not only by the ascetics but also the clerics. As we will see, some small-assembly monks were renowned for their martial prowess in the late sixteenth century, and it is quite possible that they had muskets as well.  In my view, the main factor for the ascetics’ rise to power was the nature of the clerics as an exclusive club of “noble men.” There was likely a cap in the size of its membership as well. However, those who did not meet the criteria to join the clerics could still be part of the Kōyasan society. They could be “ascetics,” though it remains to be seen if the ascetics organized themselves in a group that called itself the ascetics. It is quite possible that prior to the seventeenth century, the term, “ascetic” was more a broad category for a range of social groups than a named organization.                                                            267 Koyama 1998, 128-35. 268 Tsuda house documents [KMK7-336]. 269 However, we should not assume that the clerics (gakushu) of Negoro were powerless. Kaizu Ichirō suggests that the clerics were in control of the temple in the early fifteenth century. He also thinks that the tendency to assume a clear divide between the ascetics and the clerics, and to emphasize the dominant power of the former in late medieval Negoro, is related to the developments within the temple in the early modern era. This is when the clerics tried to organize the temple society under their authority. Indeed, it is quite possible that after the unification, the clerics condemned the ascetics for their warrior-like behaviour which resulted in the destruction of the monastery. See Kaizu 2013, 222-23, 233.  109  However, I would stress that being an ascetic was not disadvantageous in the sixteenth century. The clerics may have commanded more prestige, and they held prerogatives over ritual and scholastic matters. But with the ethos of “self-realization” that characterized the period, the criteria for power was not ritual, scholastic prowess or status, but ability on the administrative front. Being an ascetic posed no hindrance to power. As I discussed in the previous chapter, the ascetics gained power within the temple through their administrative skills. That trend likely continued into the latter part of the fifteenth century and the sixteenth, when they had taken hold of the administration of the temple as a whole. Kōyasan’s organizational structure and the inner distribution of power changed and diversified as it absorbed people of diverse backgrounds into its space.   3.2 The Sōbun  In 1584, Tokugawa Ieyasu sent a letter to Kōyasan.  [Should you] supply 500 muskets and display loyalty [to me], a 20,000 koku of land in the Izumi province shall be conferred [to you] and the holy men (hijiri) of your mountain shall [continue to wayfare] without problems.     Tenshō 12, ninth month, thirteenth day         Ieyasu (signature)  Kōyasan    Sōbun members  Kongōbuji   Sōbun members270  At the time, Ieyasu was at war against Toyotomi Hideyoshi at Nagakute and sought muskets from Kōyasan in return for land and the protection of its holy men on the road. In 1578, Oda Nobunaga carried out an atrocious mass murder of Kōya holy men when the temple refused to submit to his demands. One account has it that Nobunaga killed 1,383 holy men who were in the Kinai area.271 The document shows that the temple was among the players in the power struggles                                                           270 Kōzanji documents [KMK4-91]. 271 Gorai 1975, 268. 110  of the time. But our concern is the fact that the letter addressed an entity called the sōbun members (sōbun-chū 惣分中) of Kōyasan as well as that of Kongōbuji. Why did he address two sōbun? Were there two separate sōbun? The answer, I think, is that Ieyasu did not know who he was dealing with, but he knew that Kōyasan was governed by a sōbun. With the temple’s collective administration, its structure was opaque and ambiguous to outsiders.  Similarly, Nobunaga’s correspondence with Kōyasan addressed the sōbun.272 Needless to say, these warlords addressed the temple collective rather than individual monks, because the temple polity was governed by the collective. We can also establish that the sōbun played diplomatic functions with outside powers.  Atsuta Kō’s succinct sketch of the organizational structure of the temple organizations of the Kii province of Kōyasan, Negoro-dera and Kokawa-dera provides a useful point of reference to consider the place of sōbun in Kōyasan’s space.273 According to him, the temple organizations had two broad status groupings that specialized in 1) rituals and studies and 2) defence and the administration of land. The former was typically called gakushu or gakuryo, which meant scholar monks, and they were also known as shuto or clerics. The latter was called gyōnin or ascetics. But each of these was composed of multiple sub-groups that administered themselves through their own assemblies and which were organized under the assemblies of the two groupings as a whole. But above them was the “assembly of the entire temple” (manji shue満寺集会), which acted as the highest public power of the temple that embodied the “will of the entire mountain” (issan no ishi). There were leaders with influence, but because the lateral principle was robust, the temples were administered collectively and everyone was bound to the decision made by the assembly of the “entire temple.”274  At Kōyasan, the “entire mountain” and “entire temple” were used almost synonymously and as we saw, that represented the highest authority at the temple in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. But regarding the structure of the late medieval Negoro-dera, Atsuta and Koyama suggest that the sōbun of the Negoro-dera represented the ascetics, which held the military power. They further posit that there was a higher assembly called the “assembly of the entire temple” (manji small-assembly満寺集会) that stood above and beyond the ascetics and the                                                           272 Ekō-in documents [KMK4-548]. 273 Atsuta 1992, 124. 274 Atsuta 1992, 124. 111  clerics.275 In this vein, the sōbun of Kōyasan seems to be understood as the office on the ascetics’ side of a divided internal order.  Why is the sōbun understood as the office of the ascetics? It is because the early modern ascetics called themselves the sōbun and their office the sōbun administrative office.276 With that, the assumption seems to be that the sōbun before and after the temple’s transformation under the unified state referred to the same thing. I think this this assumption is mostly valid, but the problem is that the roles of the pre-unification sōbun have not been examined carefully. As a result, the power structure of Kōyasan in the late sixteenth century remains unclear, which has also obscured the transformation that followed in the subsequent decades.  But the ambiguity of the sōbun as an office derives from the meaning of the term itself. Literally, sōbun means the “thing of the sō,” and sō, according to Nihon kokugo daijiten, means “everything, all things and the whole” (subete no mono, arayuru mono, zentai すべてのもの。あらゆるもの。全体). Kuroda Hiroko, a medieval peasant specialist, defines sō as self-governing organizations that were recognized as public in the late medieval era.277 While the sō is most commonly associated with peasant communes (sōson惣村), wards, counties, provinces, temples and status groups administered themselves by forming sō organizations. All in all, sō was a grass-roots public entity that may have been more relatable and meaningful to medieval people than the other term for public, kō 公, which has received more historiographical attention.278   3.3 The “Eight Fortunes” Seal Fortunately, there is an unmistakable clue that allows us to confirm that certain documents were issued by the sōbun administrative office. A special seal can be seen in the microfilm copies of the manuscripts of the Kōyasan monjo edited by the Historiographical Institute of Tokyo University, which derives from the Treasure Manuscripts Series at Kōyasan. The seal was used by the office when it issued documents, and consisted of sinographs “eight” and “fortune” 八吉 enclosed in a double-line square borders. The seal is only seen in the                                                           275 Koyama 1998, 133. 276 KSF vol. 5 (ascetics). 277 Nihon rekishi daijiten.  278 For example, Ikegami 2005. 112  microfilm copies that are made available through the Historiographical Institute’s online database of historical documents.279 The book version of the Kōyasan monjo in which documents are transcribed shows the seal simply as “black seal” (kokuin黒印).280  Documents bearing this seal were issued by the sōbun office, which I suggest was organized principally by the ascetics for the following reasons: The first is that they lack the signature of the “three secretariats,” the distinctive mark of the clerics’ documents. Instead of those signatures, the seal served to authenticate the documents. These include documents that were issued to the annual custodian and the clerics. Given the nature of the documents bearing the seal, they were issued by a public office that stood above different status groups and there simply is no other viable organization that would have held that kind of power aside from the ascetics. This is not to suggest that the clerics were entirely excluded from the sōbun. Their role in the sōbun is uncertain, but it is clear enough that the sōbun was a separate office from the clerics, while the latter continue to operate their own collective.  The second reason for my assessment of the identity of the sōbun has to do with how the documents were preserved. There are very few sōbun documents bearing the seal and those that I have identified were kept not by the issuer but by the recipient as proof documents.281 It may sound odd to expect the issuer to keep copies of the documents it issued. But the clerics archived the documents they issued in their manuscript system since this was necessary for administrative purposes. If the “eight fortunes” documents were issued by the clerics, it is natural to assume that more of the type would be included in the Kōyasan monjo. Instead, the “eight fortunes” documents that have survived are those that were kept by the recipients. Given the temple’s manuscript culture, the sōbun (the ascetics), too, likely had a manuscript system in which the documents it issued were stored. Without it, the sōbun probably could not claim the legitimacy to rule. But the documents may have been lost or destroyed during the critical junctures of ascetics’ history. In 1692, when 627 ascetics were exiled by the Tokugawa shogunate for adamantly                                                           279 Historiographical Institute, The University of Tokyo, 280 Maeda Masaaki has made a note of this seal, but the sōbun documents bearing this seal do not appear to have been examined and discussed in existing studies. Maeda 2010. 281 It will be noted that there is a volume in the Kōyasan monjo edited by Kongōbuji that features documents related to ascetics: KMK4. But most of the 552 documents in that volume are those that ascetics received and kept, not documents that were issued by them. In fact, it only features one document that was issued by the sōbun. While it may appear to indicate that the ascetics did not keep the documents they issued, I would suggest otherwise. In my view, the lack of the sōbun-issued documents in that volume likely reflects both the preservation of the ascetics’ documents after the Meiji turn and/or the selection during the editing process of the aforementioned version of Kōyasan monjo.  113  refusing to kowtow to its ruling.282 Nearly two centuries later, in 1869, the Meiji government abolished the “three factions” system at Kōyasan and the head temples of the respective groups of the Seiganji and Kōzanji were forced to merge and become the Kongōbuji, the current head temple.283  With that in mind, let us turn to sōbun documents. Based on the documents that I examined, in the late sixteenth century, the sōbun-issued laws, controlled land in the plains, taxed peasants, commanded force, settled disputes and handled diplomacy with outside powers.   3.4 Sōbun, Temple Duties and Laws An early example of sōbun document is a five-item law (sadame 定) dated Bunmei 9 (1477).   Lamentably, the temple duties that have been established in ancient times are being neglected in recent years. In particular, the penalty for absence must be imposed in accordance with precedents, but this has not been the case. This is unpardonable. From here onward, the precedents of the temple-house must be followed without playing favourites.284    The document does not state to whom it was addressed, but it was likely a set of rules that monks established for themselves. The key phrase here is temple duties (jiyaku 寺役). Just what these duties entailed is not clarified, but they likely referred to rituals. More important is the logic behind it: the various groups that made up the temple collective were allotted formal duties to perform, which were vital to the maintenance of the temple-house. Apart from those duties, monks may have operated their own subtemples and pursued their own “private” endeavours, but to the extent that they were part of the formal organization of the temple-house, it was necessary that they attend dutifully to their formal roles. Here, the sōbun was acting as the authority that managed the aggregate of duties and prerogatives. It was demanding that groups not neglect their formal duties. The mention of the penalty tells us that duties were often neglected and there was                                                           282 Tsuji 1970c (kinsei 3), 59. 283 Koyachoshi hensan iinkai 2009,10. 284 Kangaku-in Documents 1-49 [KMK1]. 114  a need for a public authority that demanded obedience from all members. This was the role that the sōbun played.  In the same law, the sōbun stated that taxes (nengu 年貢) must be collected, ritual regimen at the Inner Sanctuary must be strictly followed, and matters pertaining to the sōbun office were to be determined by lottery (kujitori 鬮取). In addition, a set amount of fees must be collected when new monks were initiated. These were matters at the heart of the temple administration. The use of the lottery is interesting, but it was likely used to make appointments within the sōbun office. The lottery was a way of drawing out the will of deities.285 Furthermore, we see that the sōbun held authority over both “worldly” affairs of managing land and “religious” affairs of overseeing the transmission of the Shingon dharma. Let us observe how the law was established.   Above items have been in a state of negligence. Thus all the various members in unity (shoshū ichidō 諸衆一同) have established them as law. These shall be strictly followed.    Bunmei 9 (1477), ninth month, twelfth day    sōbun          Kaishun “eight fortunes” 286  The sōbun that (re)promulgated the law was an assembly of everyone and decisions were made through discussion and unanimous consent. Though the term, ichimi, is lacking, the process we see here is nothing but an ichimi formation. It also resembles the modus operandi of the clerics’ exercise of power, but with two important exceptions. First, the signatures of the three secretariats are missing. Instead, it was sealed with a “black seal” bearing “eight fortunes,” which is seen clearly in the microfilm copy held at the Historiographical Institute.287  Second, there was no divine vow. Did that mean that monks were no longer making vows to deities? We cannot make this conclusion from this document alone, but it presents an interesting case of the displacement of deities from administrative documents. At the same time, the use of the lottery indicates the continued importance of deities in making decisions. We shall return to this issue.                                                            285 Sakai 2004, 236. 286 Kangaku-in Documents 1-49 [KMK1]. 287 I examined the digitized version of the document on the Institute’s online database., accessed Dec. 2015. 115   3.5 Sōbun and Arbitration While the above document demonstrated the legislative power of the sōbun, there are other documents that show the sōbun in action to resolve problems. The following was issued by the sōbun to the “scholar monk faction” (gakuryo-kata 学侶方), which we can assume was part of the clerics.   Law; the old and young of the entire temple have discussed [and reached the following decision]. Twenty-five koku… [will be remitted from] toll stations….. The holy-men (hijiri) group shall remit ten koku. Disbursement to the hall-group (dōshu 堂衆) shall be one third. With that, various temple duties must be performed. This is the decision reached by discussion of the old and young of the entire temple. Scholar monk faction    Sata office of the entire temple (manji満寺) “eight fortunes”     Elders of the same    “eight fortunes” Tenshō 5 (1577), oxen – hinoto, intercalary seventh month, twelfth day288   This document does not include the word “sōbun.” But it was issued by the “sata office of the entire temple” (manji satasho 満寺沙汰所) and the “eight fortunes” seal was pressed below its two co-issuers; the “sata office of the entire temple” and the “elders and young” of the same office. What this suggests is that the term “entire temple” and “sōbun” was used interchangeably and the office that had the “eight fortunes” seal represented them both at the same time.  The document does not provide its context, but what is certain is that the “sata office” had the power to allocate funds and levies among the different groups of the temple society: the holy-men (hijiri), the “hall-group” (dōshu) and the scholar monks (gakuryo).  We are now encountering as yet another group of Kōyasan, the “hall-group.” Indeed, they were one of the sub-groups of the ascetics. At Kōyasan, they appear in documents from the late                                                            288 Zokuhōkanshū 51-467 [KM3]. 116  twelfth century.289 They performed policing duties for the temple. According to the early nineteenth century gazetteer of Kii province, there is a thirteenth century document that says that the hall-group was dispatched by the temple to expel from its land outlaws as well as peasants who neglected their taxes dues.290 In a recent study, Adolphson has analyzed the dōshu, which he translates as “hall clerics,” of Hieizan and Kōfukuji in the early medieval era of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.291 For the sake of consistency, I will call the dōshu “hall-group.” As Adolphson puts it, the hall-group was among the “voiceless groups” of complex medieval monastic societies. This is because records that were produced by them do not exist today, and what we can know about them is based on accounts of them by others. The “hall-group” performed a range of duties and functions that blur the conceptual boundary between the religious and secular. But Adolphson observes that the “hall-group” generally came from local families—in some cases from prominent ones. They often retained lay names. It was typical for them to serve as menial workers within the temple compound and act as tax collector and estate agents, but in some cases they attained religious ranks and performed ritual roles. But they were often armed, and constituted the militant element of temple organizations.  The “hall-group” of Kōyasan likely played similar roles to their counterparts at Kōfukuji and Hieizan. But at Kōyasan, they never had their own estates as Hieizan’s hall-group did. Hirase Naoki suggests that other similar groups of Kōyasan, such as the “flower-group” (geshu 夏衆), were organized independently under the clerics who were called “masters” (shishō 師匠). The former served the latter at their subtemples, and attended to policing functions in addition to their formal role to present flowers to buddhas and deities.292 The “hall-group,” too, may have been organized under the clerics in that manner. Indeed, categories such as “hall-group” and “flower-group” are ambiguous. With limited records, it is difficult to grasp their identity and duties, and how those might have shifted over time. Temple societies were complex, and the details of their inner stratification are difficult to recover with precision. Of course, it does not help that the descriptions of the ascetics’ sub-groups that are available to us are those that were produced by the clerics. It is uncertain if the “hall-group” ever considered their identity to be ascetic.                                                            289 Hirase 1988. 290 KSF, vol.5, scroll 44 (clerics). 291 Adolphson 2012. 292 Hirase 1988. 117  At any rate, what we can establish is that the “sata office” was situated above the three groups mentioned in the above document. Its main concern, moreover, was to ensure the continued performance of the “temple duties” by the scholar monks. What this suggests is that there was likely a dispute that involved the scholar monks and the hall-group, and they may have protested by refusing to perform their duties. Given that the solution to the problem was economic, they were likely protesting the lack of funds and they may have taken their grievance to the sata office. The office, in turn, had the duty to resolve problems that disrupted the operation of the temple. To that end, the “old and young of the entire temple” held a meeting to decide on the solution. It is notable that the sata office extracted funds from the holy-men (hijiri). The holy-men are thought to have been outside of the Kongōbuji organization, but the power of the sata office extended over them as well. Moreover, the “sata office” was evidently controlling toll stations (関 seki), which were a source of income for the temple.  A clearer role of the sōbun in resolving conflict is the following document that was issued to the Takeda warlord of Kai province. There was a conflict between two subtemples over the patronage of the Takeda and in particular, the prerogative as the “temple-lodge” (shukubō 宿坊) of the Takeda house when they came to Kōyasan on a pilgrimage. This conflict was arbitrated by the sōbun office and the document was sent to the magistrate of the Takeda’s domain to determine which of the two subtemples they were to patronize on an exclusive basis. The document does not provide the year, but it was likely produced shortly before 1582. That was the year the memorial services for Takeda Katsuyori were conducted at the subtemple that won the dispute, the Indō-in.293 Katsuyori was defeated by Oda Nobunaga in the famous battle of Nagashino in 1575.   With regard to the temple-lodge of the Takeda, it is clear to the entire mountain (manzan満山) that Indō-in has been, since antiquity, the Takeda’s temple-lodge. There is a proof document to attest this. Seikei-in has been making an unfounded claim to the contrary. In the previous year when Nobutora climbed the mountain, the matter was rectified and the decision was reached for him to stay at Indō-in. This is clear to everyone. Hence, the                                                           293 Jimyō-in documents [KMK3-200, 201]. 118  “entire temple”(manji満寺) has now carried out a discussion to adjudicate the matter and forged an ichimi to confirm that Indō-in shall be the Takeda’s temple-lodge forever…294  The document was issued by the monk, Seiyo, who represented the Kongōbuji sōbun administrative office. It was sealed with “eight fortunes.” What is interesting to note is that not only was the power of ichimi the basis for resolving conflicts among competing members of the temple society, but monks expected an outsider to accept as absolute the decision of the ichimi. Moreover, remember that this was a document issued to the Takeda. Members of the “entire temple” likely performed an ichimi ritual to fortify the decision before this letter was sent to the Takeda.  Then why was the document kept at Kōyasan? The reason, I think, is because a copy was kept by the Indō-in as a proof of its prerogative, meaning that the power of the sōbun as the codifier of prerogative was well-recognized.  Given the prominence of the Takeda, the dispute was likely related to the wealth and prestige that its patronage brought. It is interesting to note here that the subtemple Seikei-in, whose claims to the Takeda-patronage were thoroughly denied by the sōbun, was an ascetic, while Indō-in appears to have been a cleric.295 On the other hand, the monk, Seiyo, who represented the sōbun, was an ascetic and he became a key figure in the subsequent transformation of the temple under Tokugawa Ieyasu’s influence, as we shall see. The sōbun, then, transcended the divide between the ascetics and clerics and actually represented the will of the “entire mountain” in late sixteenth century Kōyasan.  That would be confirmed by the following document issued by the sōbun to the annual custodian, that is to say, the clerics. It also shows the sōbun’s control of land and taxation, for tax income was to be allocated to the clerics for the purpose of funding a special ritual to bring on the rain. The document is damaged and does not indicate the year. But what is visible in the microfilm copy is the top-left corner of the seal, which resembles the outline of the sōbun seal.                                                             294 Jimyō-in documents [KMK3-199]. Microfilm copy of the original on the online database of the Historiographical Institute, the University of Tokyo. 295 On Seikei-in’s affiliation with the ascetics, see Kangaku-in Documents 92 [KMK1]. As for Indō-in, the temple that held the sōbun document was Jimyō-in, a clerics’ subtemple, which may have been another name for Indō-in. 119  ... the severe drought this year is causing great difficulty for the growth of crops. It is urgent to perform a rain-making ritual…Ritual fees will be allocated from the temple-land based on tax yields. Please commence the ritual immediately. Respectfully.296   The use of the term “temple-land” (jiryō 寺領) suggests that the sōbun had control of the temple’s land as a whole. And given that it grasped the tax yields (takatsuji 高辻), it must have held the land registers and probably carried out the surveys as well. It also had the responsibility to address problems such as a drought that threatened crop growth. For that, the blessings generated by the rituals were needed, but the clerics had the prerogative to perform rituals. The sōbun was in a position to order the clerics to perform such rites and provide them the funds to do so by taxing peasants. With that, we can establish that the sōbun had the power to manipulate the public coffers of the temple to address problems.  As seen above, the sōbun was the regional public power that presided above the diverse social groups at the temple and the plains. It made decisions through discussions and acted upon the principle of ichimi. But the disappearance of the divine vow from its documents marks a notable departure from the administrative practice of the clerics in the previous two centuries. On this, Ikeda Hitoshi has argued that the ascetics did not use divine vows because they were highly pragmatic.297 Ikeda is suggesting that the ascetics overcame the spectre of the divine wraths with their rational approach to administration. Was this the case? This point requires further analysis, but the missing divine vows seems to indicate a relative decline in the role of deities in the administration of the temple. Are there documents that tell us of the role of the numinous landscape and deities in the production of the sōbun’ power?   3.6 Sōbun, Force and Deities The following document gives hints to address that question. The document relates to the use of force to defend the temple and the region. Like other temples in the region, Kōyasan was armed in the sixteenth century. Negoro-dera was well-known for its armed forces, as Frois had noted.298 The “religious republics” of Kii province, like many other religious organizations at the                                                           296 Zokuhōkanshū 51-466 [KM 3]. 297 Ikeda 1994. 298 Historia de Iapan. 120  time, had to be armed to defend their interests. At the same time, the force that Kōyasan mobilized was a natural result of its role as the hub of a regional polity. Kōyasan did not occupy a “religious” sphere, but ruled the region as a whole and had martial elements to protect itself. Some Kōyasan monks, like those of the small-assembly, were from warrior houses. There were many local warriors (jizamurai) who were part of Kōyasan’s social system. The following document shows how the sōbun commanded force. It was likely produced in 1581 when Nobunaga invaded the region. In it, the sōbun addressed two men who commanded troops at battlefronts: the warrior, Kōno and the monk, Monju-in. Monju-in, we are quite certain, also went by the name of Seiyo, who had issued the document to the Takeda that was featured, above.299   An urgent message to be conveyed: lord Sabee [whose troops are, or will be engaged] in an all-out battle with the Saika league (and) Ne and Ko (Negoro and Kokawa temples?), will soon advance toward your front; so we have heard. Hence, this memorandum concerns the muskets [that you will use to fight Nobunaga’s force]: Item: 100 muskets  Makuni estate Same: 30 muskets  Ujiudo group (shrine parishioners) Item: 50 muskets  Shikano village Same: 20 muskets  Ujiudo group Item: 200 muskets  This estate (your estate?) Same: 80 muskets  Ujiudo group Item: 50 muskets  Ogawa estate  You shall command the above. Based on the enemy’s move, take appropriate actions. The sōbun is sincerely satisfied with your numerous feats [thus far]. A messenger will be sent with the details. Since yesterday, sōbun monks and elders have all assembled at Amano to discuss the above matter in front of deities (goshinzen 御神前). More than ever, be earnest in your endeavor. Respectfully,   Second month, fourth day    Yūson (black seal)                                                           299 Seiyo was the abbot of the subtemple, Monju-in. It was typical for a monk to be addressed by the name of his subtemple. 121             sōbun      Kōno       Monjuin300    The mood at Amano must have been intense. Monks and elders gathered there to decide what course of action to take to confront the challenge that threatened their lives. Their method, not surprisingly, was the age-old practice of discussion (shūgi集儀) and collective decision-making. But they did so at the interface with the realm of deities at Amano, the home of Kōyasan’s landlord deities.  The sōbun assembly likely drew out divine oracles, discussed their options and made their decision in union with the landlord deities. They also likely also performed the ichimi rite to drink the holy water. The document tells us that the core of Kōyasan’s martial force was a subliminal collective that was fused with the sacred landscape. And let us note that this was an emergency assembly held at Amano and the sōbun made sure to inform Monjui-in and Kōno that their mission was supported by the backing of the sōbun ichimi. The troops that the two men commanded were part of a unified group under divine oversight.  The structure of Kōyasan’s force needs to be clarified. The ujiudo氏人, which I am translating as shrine parishioners, were seen at Negoro-dera and Kōyasan. These were formed by the members of peasant communes who entered the temple to become monks. But they remained in their villages to assert ceremonial and political influence. On the ceremonial front, they performed ritual duties at the tutelary shrines.301 At the Tomobuchi shrine, as Kuroda Hiroko has discussed, the ujiudo were responsible for making offerings to deities and managing the “roof-changing” ceremony in which the shrine was repaired on a regular basis to purify and rejuvenate the sanctum. On the political front, they were involved with administration and the resolution of disputes with other villages. The ujiudo were integral to the social and political life in the commune, but there was often tension with the more organic shrine council of peasants, because the former was a system established by Kōyasan to assert influence over the commune.                                                            300 Kōno house documents 390 [KMK7].  301 Atsuta 1992, 124; Kuroda 1985, 84-93. 122  Shrines, it must be recalled, were loci of the communal organization. Social functions of tutelary shrines for peasant communities in the late medieval and later periods were multi-faceted. As Hitomi Tonomura elucidates in her study of Imabori sō in the Ōmi province in the late medieval era, the “shrine combined the functions of a city hall, court house, notary, tax bureau, bank, fairgrounds, church, center for the performing arts, tavern, and playground, among others.”302 Villagers organized their community in relation to tutelary shrines. The administrative body of village communities were the shrine councils (miyaza宮座) that held ritual prerogatives at tutelary shrines. As Tonomura puts it, “(T)he primary religious purpose of the miyaza was to reinforce the sense of ritual community—encompassing both deities and human beings—by sharing the circulation of food and drink.”303 Indeed, the somatic union with the deities at their abodes of the shrines was a key component in the communal life of villagers, and intramural relations were institutionalized through the medium of the shrine. By setting up the ujiudo system, Kōyasan manipulated social relations at the shrines to entrench its power in village spaces.  To fight off Nobunaga, Kōyasan was able to mobilize the ujiudo and by extension the communes and villages in the estates. The document shows that a sizable number of muskets were allotted to villages, indicating that warriors and peasants were integrated into Kōyasan’s force. But also notable is the distinction that the document makes between “monks” (bōzu 坊主) and “elders” (toshiyorishū 老衆). From these clues, we can intuit that the sōbun collective was formed by monks and non-monks, which, of course, is also reflected in the men that the document addressed.  The identity of the Kōno is interesting. In fact, the only reason we have the document in question is because the Kōno preserved it as part of their treasured house documents. The Kōno were said to be the descendant of the warlord, Kōno, who controlled the Iyo province in Shikoku in the late medieval era. What happened, according to Nakata Hōju, who likely referred to the genealogy of the Kōno, was that when the warlord, Chōsokabe, of the Tosa province, invaded Iyo in 1570s, the Kōno fled their home province and settled at the foot of Kōyasan.304 Though this account might be best taken with a grain of salt, we can assume that the Kōno moved into                                                           302 Tonomura 1992, 48. 303 Ibid., 52. 304 KMK7, 467-68. 123  the region in the late sixteenth century and that Kōno was likely from Iyo, where he was connected with the lordly Kōno in some capacity. In other words, he was a mobile rōnin warrior. He later become a local warrior in the area under the Kii daimyo in the early modern era.  The temple was defended under an umbrella of diverse social groups that lived in the region, including monks, peasants and warriors. This was a regional ikki that was organized under the temple on the mountain. This unified political unit was facilitated by the organizational practice of ichimi and the ritual construction of the subliminal collective that ruled the plains in unison with the deities. The main role of peasants was to remit taxes, not fight wars. But by manipulating the shrine-based organizations in the estates, the sōbun managed to mobilize them and integrate them into the ikki forged around the deities of the land.  Therefore, the ritual creation of unity and power remained at the core of the regional society in the late sixteenth century. But even as ritual and deities were important for the temple’s regional hegemony, it managed society through pragmatic administrative practices. With that in mind, let us consider why the Kōno preserved the above document. For the Kōno, the document was a “proof document.” It attested not only to an important episode in the house’s history, but also served to safeguard its prerogatives. Hence, the Kōno had kept the above document together with the following one:  Previously when Nobunaga invaded, [you] performed various exceptionally loyal services for the mountain. Gratitude for that should have been conveyed at the time, but that was delayed. Recently in your estate...there was a subversive plot carried out against the temple. The culprits should have been punished summarily but there was a delay. And now, when we instructed you to punish them, we have learned that you have already killed them, seven in total, including a father and son. This is a truly commendable deed of great loyalty. We are much impressed by your continued service. Therefore, from now onward, you shall be exempted from all new taxes and dues and the rice levy of the current [tax cycle] will also be exempted. Moreover, though it is a small amount, one thousand hiki of copper coins are presented [to you]…the above was discussed in assembly.  Tenshō 17 (1589) First month, twenty ninth day     124  Kongōbuji sōbun Kyōei (black seal) Kōzan High Priest   Ōgo (signature) Kō □□ venerable □□305  Dated Tenshō 17 (1589), this document was issued eight years after Nobunaga’s invasion and after the temple came under Hideyoshi’s rule. The signature—not the black seal—was of the monk, Ōgo, who co-issued the document. This reflects the rupture of the sōbun organization after the temple came under Hideyoshi’s rule. Nevertheless, the sōbun’s power was still in evidence. It was still central in codifing prerogatives and duties and by doing so, organized social relations that constituted the regional space. It was able to exempt taxes (kuji公事) because it controlled taxes.306 And it rewarded the Kōno for their service. For the rōnin, Kōno, Kōyasan was another lord to serve.307  Let us now come back to the issue of the deities’ disappearance from sōbun documents. We saw that the sōbun held an emergency assembly at Amano, in front of deities, to decide on the course of action required to fend off Nobunaga’s invasion. The document it issued to command force specifically indicated that the decision was made with the deities. What this suggests is that in more ordinary circumstances, there was either no need to make decisions with the deities and perform a formal ichimi ritual, or even if the deities were involved and the ichimi rite was performed, this was not usually indicated in documents; it was just generally assumed. The production of administrative documents by the sōbun became routine and stamping the “eight fortunes” seal sufficed to legitimize documents.  But the seal packed layers of significance. It embodied the authority that derived from discussion and ichimi unity and also the power of deities that undergirded the decisions made by the sōbun, which acted as the representative of the “entire mountain.” All in all, in spite of the                                                           305 Kōno house documents 391 [KMK 7]. 306 In a different document from the same year, issued by the sōbun to a certain Magoemon of the Arakawa estate, the sōbun is seen imposing taxes for the sale of rice wine and prohibiting residents from buying sake in other places. See Tsuda house documents [KMK7-327].  307 Itō 1999. 125  lack of deities and divine vows, Kōyasan under sōbun was still a polity that sourced its power from the sacred landscape of the region.  However, the influence of the sōbun was not comprehensive in the late sixteenth century. Next, I will briefly discuss the diffused power structure at the temple at the time.   3.7 The Proclamation on a Late Sixteenth Century Danjō Garan Signboard  Law  Item: Do not cut branches of trees in Danjō Garan Item: Do not argue, fight, have sumo wrestling bouts, or sing song and poems when ritual services are held  Item: Do not buy and sell things in Danjō Garan  Item: Do not take soil  Item: Do not bring horses into Danjō Garan         Renjō-in         Bensen Tenshō 7 (1579), third month, third day308   The above is a copy of a signboard that was erected in 1579 at the Danjō Garan. It is included in the Takamuro-in Documents, the copy of which is housed in the Samukawa-city Library & Archives. The Danjo Garan was the central ritual space in the precinct where prayer rituals for rulers and the state were performed. The Portrait Hall and the Shrine are located in this ritual space. However, as we see in the signboard, the space was rife with popular energy. The fact that such a signboard had to be erected is indicative that the very activities that were prohibited were being carried out. Was the signboard effective in controlling the behavior of the people who contributed to the dynamic and diverse space? We have no idea.  Kōyasan, of course, was not simply about the control of land and regional politics. It was a place where diverse groups of people went to pursue varied goals. Its space was much richer                                                           308 Takamuro-in documents 171: 12478. 126  and more diverse than this narrowly focused study can portray. But to generalize, the structure of Kōyasan’s space can be conceived as a complex of loci of social organization. The precinct of Kōyasan was a rich terrain consisting of hundreds of halls and worship sites. In fact, according to Fujikawa Masaki, a record from 1645 shows that there were 7,301 monks and their servants that lived in 1,941 subtemples. These were condensed in the precinct that was organized into twelve valleys that were like wards of neighbourhoods.309 All the subtemples, sub-sections of the precinct, the valleys and the like were places where people formed social relations. At the same time, all of these sites were thresholds to the otherworldly realm of deities and spirits. Kōyasan was a lively space that can be called a temple city that was situated deep in the mountains.  For the current analysis, what is most notable is the fact that such a signboard, which proclaimed a law (okite 掟) in the sanctum of Danjō Garan, was erected not by the sōbun or temple collective, but by a named monk of the subtemple, Minami-Renjō-in 南蓮上院, Bensen. Evidently, Bensen’s authority was recognized and he was called upon to maintain order at Danjō Garan. The Minami-Renjō-in was a subtemple of the small-assembly. From here, we will simply call it Renjō-in.  Who was Bensen? In the Tenshō Kōya Jiranki, which is an account of Kōyasan’s defensive battle against Nobunaga’s invasion in 1581, we find that Bensen was a son of the warlord, Yusa. It tells us that he had ruled the Nate estate for a long time.310 In the same text, we read that Bensen was one of the commanders of Kōyasan’s force that was mobilized to defend the mountain from the invasion of Oda Nobunaga in 1581. It is said that he was selected by the monastic assembly to lead the temple’s force. Kaiō, who was the abbot of a different small-assembly subtemple called Keō-in 花王院, also commanded troops in the battle. Kaiō’s background was similar to that of Bensen. He was a son of the warrior house of the Hatakeyama and is said to have held a large plot of land worth 3,500 koku in the Hota estate. The Tenshō Kōya Jiranki was a literary text that was written in the early eighteenth century, but these are indicative of the roles small-assembly monks played as defenders of the temple and the prerogatives that they held in the sixteenth century.                                                             309 The source that he cites is the Kōyasan kyūki, held at the Historiographical Institute of Tokyo University. Fujikawa 2006, 107. The number of the subtemples is probably fairly accurate. A map that was presented to the Tokugawa shogunate in 1646 show a total of 1,865 subtemples. Yamakage 2006b, 44. 310 Kudoyama chōshi, shiryō, 366 (doc. 13) 127  3.8 The Small-Assembly Monks in the Late Sixteenth Century Bensen and Kaiō may have wielded exceptional power and influence among the monks of Kōyasan in the late sixteenth century. But the organic link between regional elites and the temple was the structural feature of the regional society handed down from the preceding centuries. That was common in the “religious republics” of Kii, as Atsuta noted.311 But there was a distinctly Kōyasan flair in the consummation of local elites and the temple in the late medieval era. A 1602 memorandum written by the small-assembly monks offers an interesting case. This involved a dispute with a group of scholar monks.312  The memorandum was submitted to the magistrates under Tokugaw Ieyasu, but its versions in the Takamuro-in documents include drafts that have been edited. The editing was likely performed by the small-assembly monks themselves as they tried to polish the text to strengthen their case. In the following translation of the opening passage of the memorandum, the small-assembly monks explain their identity and history to the Tokugawa magistrates. In the translation, I emulated the format of the original manuscript, which shows the edits made with lines crossing out words and passages being squeezed in between the lines to revise the text. The edits, I think, reveal how the small-assembly monks reasoned. In particular, the sections that they wrote in between the lines after the text was first written, I suggest, were things that were so self-evident and natural to them that they did not think of first writing them in their draft. Yet the addition elucidates their sense of legitimacy and identity, which was rooted in the medieval experience and the collective memory that they inherited. Though the memorandum is contained in the Takamuro-in documents, it originally belonged to Renjō-in and was likely kept and perhaps even edited, by a monk who succeeded Bensen.   In ancient times, the clerics of Kōyasan were preoccupied night and day with the issuing of laws and the handling of various matters (sata) at the mountain and the plains. Hence they had no time for studies. Therefore…with the discussion of everyone... those connected by genealogy to the founder and or the landlord of the mountain and thus having the same surname as them…[were] nominated…to handle the various matters on the mountain and the                                                           311 Atsuta 1992. 312 Takamuro-in documents 171. 128  plains…The Buddhist law was maintained because the small-assembly handled “worldly” matters (seken no gi 世間の儀).313  The language here is very similar to the clerics’ petition that condemned the ascetics: the small-assembly, like the ascetics, handled administrative and worldly functions (sata). And they co-existed. The small-assembly’s influence must have weakened from what it had been in the early fifteenth century, but still, they commanded considerable power and privilege in the late sixteenth century. The relationship between the small-assembly and the sōbun is not clear, but the former was probably not part of the latter. This hint is found in the mention in the memorandum that the small-assembly performed “sō-like” duties for the clerics (shuto-chū sōnami no jiyaku 衆徒中惣なみの寺役). The subtle nuance of this expression is indicative of the complexity of the power structure of Kōyasan and it is likely that the sōbun and powerful small-assembly monks like Bensen and Kaiō had mutually understood boundaries of their power and territory within Kōyasan’s space. Renjō-in likely had a recognized prerogative over Danjō Garan, or certain sections of it, which the sōbun and others recognized.  The petition also shows that the small-assembly monks claimed to have genealogical ties with the “landlord of the mountain” (tōzan jinushi 当山地主) and the “founder” (kaiki 開基). They also shared the same surname as them. This identity seems to differ from what we saw in the other genealogical narrative of the small-assembly, which said that the small-assembly monks were from twenty-five warrior houses in the province. Could it have been true that the small-assembly monks were actually related to Kōbō Daishi? And does the “landlord” here refer to the landlord deities? These remain moot. But there was more to the small-assembly’s genealogical claim. In the memorandum, they wrote of the estate officials of the Kanshōfu estate as follows:  The estate officials of the four places are from the Saeki clan. They accompanied Kōbō Daishi from the Sanuki province to reside on the foot of Kōyasan. Then, in the same mind with the small-assembly, they guarded the plains by punishing criminals and policing the area. Each year without change, they climb the mountain many times to                                                           313 Takamuroin documents 171: 12554. 129  perform temple duties. If they do not come to the mountain the temple duties cannot begin...The abbacy of the small-assembly [subtemples] are inherited (sōzoku相続) by these houses... 314   The Saeki was Kōbō Daishi’s paternal house and allegedly, the estate officials were related by blood to him. The Kanshōfu estate officials, it will be noted, were the local warrior houses of the Takabō, Tadokoro, Oka and Kameoka. These were the same houses that devastated peasants in the late fourteenth century with various levies. At that time, the relationship between Kōyasan and these houses was tense. Two centuries later, they had become descendant of Kōbō Daishi and subsumed themselves into the legendary landscape. The small-assembly monks’ claim that they, too, were linked by blood to the founder was based on their blood ties to the estate officials. As the small-assembly monks tell us, the estate official houses were base-houses (satomoto) of some of the small-assembly subtemples, meaning that the abbacy was held by those houses on a hereditary basis. Indeed, according to an early eighteenth century document that was held by the Oka house, each of the four estate official houses held (shoji 所持) a small-assembly subtemple at Kōyasan: the Takabō held Chishōgon-in; the Tadokoro held Sanbō-in; the Oka held Shūzen-in; and the Kameoka held Fuji-no-bō.315 It is not certain when these houses took control of the subtemples, but it is reflective of the broad trend in which the mountain was captured from the plains in the late medieval era.  Speaking of the genealogical claims of the estate officials, Iwakura Tetsuo suggests that it was likely a fabrication.316 Be that as it may, given the importance of the engi in the region, it would not be surprising if they were recognized and thought of themselves as, descendants of the founder. I suggest that the genealogy was a social reality and considering why it was important helps us to understand the richness of Kōyasan’s space in the sixteenth century.  There were at least two reasons for their becoming Kōbō Daishi’s descendants. The first is an obvious one: it naturalized their prerogatives. In fact, the small-assembly subtemples held a greater amount of land than other subtemples. The small-assembly monks were compelled to write their memorandum in 1602 because some scholar monks felt that the small-assembly                                                           314 Takamuro-in documents 171. 315 The document is a memorandum that was signed by the head of the each of the estate official houses in 1724, and it was intended to be a record for their descendants. Oka house documents, Kudoyama chōshi, shiryō, 969-70 (kinsei, iewake doc #71) 316 Kudoyama chōshi hensan iinkai 2009, 213. 130  subtemples held more land than they deserved. They had taken the case to the judicature of the Tokugawa regime. Alarmed, the small-assembly defended their entitlement in the memorandum. At that time, the small-assembly’s specialization in worldly duties and their warrior-like identity had become problematic, because the unified state demanded that monks be disarmed and devoted to rituals and studies. According to the memorandum, the small-assembly monks had lost much land when Hideyoshi carried out his land surveys in 1591 and 1592, but even after that, they still held more land than most other monks. Before Hideyoshi’s surveys, the small-assembly’s landholding was much greater, as was their influence. Later, we will see how one of the small-assembly subtemples remade itself in the seventeenth century.  Indeed, local prominent houses used the subtemples on the mountain to hold property. The small-assembly and the estate officials were likely merely a tip of the iceberg in the organic connection between local elites and the mountain; the former invested in the latter to bolster the property and the well-being of their households.  3.8 Kōbō Daishi and the Estate Officials All the same, the link between the estate officials and the legendary landscape had to do with their “temple duties.” The small-assembly memorandum does not state what these duties were, but evidently their duties were important enough that other “temple duties” could not begin without them. Estate officials are known to have been mobilized to guard the temple during certain important rituals,317 but the one that the four estate officials of Kanshōfu had special ties with was the robe-changing ceremony of the mieku. Let us recall that the mieku rite was performed every year in the third month on the anniversary of Kōbō Daishi’s entry into the state of eternal meditation. During the ceremony, a special robe made at the subtemple Hōki-in was presented to Kōbō Daishi at his Mausoleum in the Inner Sanctuary, then brought to the Portrait Hall and taken into the hall’s inner cloister by the side of his portrait.  In the Oka house documents, there is a memorandum dated Ōei 13 (1406) on the duty during the mieku.318 Written by the then head of the Takabō house, the Oka house in the early modern era treated it as an authoritative record on the duties of the four estate official houses during the ceremony. According to it, five persons were to attend, each wearing an eboshi hat.                                                           317 Kangaku-in documents 1-60 [KMK1]. 318 Oka house documents, in Kudoyama chōshi, shiryō, 951-52 (doc. 2). 131  Each was to hold a specified item. The items were 1) a great dagger (tachi 太刀), 2) a long dagger (chōtō 長刀), 3) an umbrella-shaped arm called tategasa (立笠) 4) a shoe-box (kutsudai 沓台) and 5) an iron rod (kanabō 金棒). The duty of the five was to hold these items during the ceremony, but also to place their hands on the “venerable tray offering” (gozenku 御膳供) and enter the hall. Then, later, they were to take a seat inside the hall.  What was done in the mieku is not clear from this record alone. Still, we can surmise that their duty was to guard the ceremony with the arms that they held, then oversee the entry into the hall of the “venerable tray.”  The description of the mieku in the early nineteenth century gazetteer of Kii province helps to understand the significance of the temple duty.319 According to the gazetteer, of the calendric rituals held at the mountain, the mieku stood out in terms of the food offerings that were involved. The mieku was carried out on the twenty-first day of the third month, but starting on the sixteenth day of that month, crops and fruits of paddies and fields, as well as wild fruits and nuts and seaweed were collected at temples in the temple’s land. Then in the morning of the twenty-first day, they were brought up the mountain and placed in the Great Stupa in Danjō Garan. There, the food items were inspected carefully by a certain Nakahashi. The Nakahashi, like the estate officials, was a descendant of Kōbō Daishi’s family, but of the founder’s maternal house of the Ato. In fact, the Nakahashi administered the temple-shrine complex of Jison-in on the foot of the mountain, where the future Buddha Maitreya was the main image. The Maitreya, according to the engi, was in fact, Kōbō Daishi’s mother who was transformed into the Buddha by her son’s magical powers.  The inspection of the food offering by the Nakahashi during the mieku seems to have symbolized and enacted the mother feeding her son, though it was the male head of the Nakahashi who was on site for the duty. Then what of the roles of the father? The gazetteer says that the food offerings were circumambulated around the Danjō Garan on a palanquin. But the quantity of the food should be mentioned. They were to cook three to of rice, or roughly fifty-four metric litres.320 The procession carried the food in a ceremonial container, passing by the Golden Hall, the Shrine, then to the Pine of the Trident Vajra in front of the Portrait Hall. There,                                                           319 KSF, vol. 4, scroll 3 (clerics), 61. 320 According to the gazetteer, a great pot was used to cook the rice. The pot bore an inscription that stated that the pot was made in 1197, specifically for use in the mieku, by an itinerant fundraising monk (kanjin shōnin勧進上人). 132  designated monks, called tenaga 手長, (long-hand) were to place their hands on the container as it was carried into the hall. Meanwhile, the four estate officials stood at the side and oversaw the entry of the food into the hall. Then, the Portrait Hall custodians (Miedō azukari 御影堂預) were to take the container into the inner cloister and present it to the Portrait.  There was a slight difference between the role of the estate officials during the mieku in the early nineteenth century, as described in the gazetteer, and in the early fifteenth century, as recorded in Oka’s documents. In the later period, the estate officials only saw the food being taken into the hall, while in the earlier time they actually placed their hands on the food container itself. But either way, this was a critical duty. They had to be there, or else the ritual could not be performed properly.  The mieku served to embed the estate officials into the ritual and institutional structures of the temple. Their status was confirmed by their duty and they were directly linked with the sacred core of the temple-house. The prodigious amount of food that was carried into the hall only makes sense if there was a communion afterwards. That is likely why the 1406 memorandum advised them to enter the hall after the food tray was taken in. The mieku, then, not only filled the Portrait Hall with the living presence of the patriarch, but facilitated a visceral union between him and the members of the temple society. For the estate officials, the duty in the ritual and the genealogy provided a somatic link with the sanctity of the mountain, which in turn helped them to maintain their power and influence throughout the medieval era.   3.9 Sōbun and the Estate Officials The relationship between the estate officials and the sōbun is not clear. But it seems that the estate officials held their power without being part of the core members of the sōbun assembly. What I mean is that they were not in the position to act as sōbun representatives or issue documents bearing the “eight fortunes” seal. Why? First of all, they had forged an ichimi with the small-assembly monks, some of whom were their own family members. The small-assembly monks, I have suggested, were not part of the sōbun. Second, they carried out administrative action on their own without the oversight of the sōbun.321 And third, the estate                                                           321 For example, in a 1566 document, the Takabō and Oka are seen mediating a dispute between two villages over ritual prerogatives at a local tutelary shrine at Jison-in. The sōbun is not mentioned in the document, in which the Takabō and the Oka arbitrated the conflict through a discussion with estate elders, and forged an ichimi with them to impose their ruling. It shows that 133  officials were closely connected with the clerics. In the journal of the clerics’ head priest from 1545, we discover the head priest dispatching delegates with gifts for the Takabō and Tadokoro in the New Year. In return, the gift recipients hosted the delegates with a feast of food and drinks.322 This was not a one-time event, but a regular meeting between the head of the clerics and the estate officials in the plains.  Given that, the estate officials held power and influence in the region and performed administrative actions alongside the sōbun. But the two were likely not antagonistic. The spatial configuration of the two can be conceived as follows. The estate officials were robustly integrated into Kōyasan’s landscape and held a notable “chunk” of power within the space of the mountain and the plains.323 And they were only loosely integrated under the sōbun, which did not interfere with their space (or “chunk”). The sōbun was not an actively oppressive or coercive power toward other powerholders at the temple. But it was expected to intervene when conflicts arose and when it adjudicated disputes, its rulings were meant to be authoritative. That is what happened in 1587 when the sōbun arbitrated a conflict among powerholders in the Arakawa estate over ritual prerogatives at a tutelary shrine. Among the parties involved was the small-assembly subtemple Shūzen-in, which was held by the Oka and which was entitled to income from that estate under the authority of the sōbun. It also shows the Oka listed as one of the six to receive a stipend from the estate.324   3.10 Kōyasan in the Sixteenth Century How different was Kōyasan in the late sixteenth century compared to the early fifteenth? The control of the temple and the regional society by the sōbun marked a major departure. The sōbun acted as the public authority of Kōyasan and the regional society in the late sixteenth century. It controlled land, issued laws, commanded force, mediated disputes, granted perquisites, and stood above the different status groups of the temple. It also managed the aggregate of prerogatives and duties as well as codifying socioeconomic relations in the regional                                                           the two houses as well as the estate elders had sufficient authority to resolve conflicts. The document is held at the Henjōji temple in Kudoyama. Kudoyama chōshi shiryō, 363 (doc#9). 322 Yūzokuhōkanshū 66-1231 [KM6], in Kudoyama chōshi, shiryō, 357-62.  323 Here, I am borrowing the term, “chunk” from Nicholas Blomley’s discussion of the theory of property by Thomas Merrill and Henry Smith. See Blomley 2016, 227. 324 Tsuda house documents [KMK7-327]. 134  space. With that, the sōbun had effectively replaced the admistrative duties of the clerics from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.  If the sōbun was an ascetics’ office, then the rise to prominence