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Schutz durch magische Formeln. Amulette (o-fuda) des japanischen Strahlenglanz-Dhāraṇī-Glaubens aus der Sammlung Kadono Konzen bunko


Gülberg, Niels (2014). Schutz durch magische Formeln. Amulette (o-fuda) des japanischen Strahlenglanz-Dhāraṇī-Glaubens aus der Sammlung Kadono Konzen bunko. Asiatische Studien, 68(1):233-262.

Abstract

This paper explores the function and history of Japanese paper charms
(o-fuda) from the viewpoint of their issuing institutions. First, it differentiates between
paper charms issued by Shintō shrines and those issued by Buddhist temples:
Shintō paper charms are said to be potentially harmful even for their owners,
because they absorb evil powers to protect them, so one has to exchange these
paper charms usually after one year of use. Buddhist paper charms, on the other
hand, are of no harm, thanks to the ever-lasting protective power of the Buddhas,
Bodhisattvas or Holy Men that are depicted on them. Their iconographic decoration
made Buddhist paper charms attractive to western collectors who came to
Japan; one of the greatest and most well-known of these collections by the French
japanologist Bernhard Frank (1927–1996) just went online in summer 2012.
The definition of ‘paper charm’ is tricky: How can we be sure that a paper has
really been charmed and is not only a piece of printed paper? Should derivative
forms like hanging scrolls or contract forms printed with the same image as the
paper charm also be regarded as charms? How does a paper charm function in the
framework of economic activities of a Buddhist temple? These and other questions
are answered on the basis of a special private collection of a specific iconographic
type of paper charms from Mount Koya covering a period of 200 years.

Abstract

This paper explores the function and history of Japanese paper charms
(o-fuda) from the viewpoint of their issuing institutions. First, it differentiates between
paper charms issued by Shintō shrines and those issued by Buddhist temples:
Shintō paper charms are said to be potentially harmful even for their owners,
because they absorb evil powers to protect them, so one has to exchange these
paper charms usually after one year of use. Buddhist paper charms, on the other
hand, are of no harm, thanks to the ever-lasting protective power of the Buddhas,
Bodhisattvas or Holy Men that are depicted on them. Their iconographic decoration
made Buddhist paper charms attractive to western collectors who came to
Japan; one of the greatest and most well-known of these collections by the French
japanologist Bernhard Frank (1927–1996) just went online in summer 2012.
The definition of ‘paper charm’ is tricky: How can we be sure that a paper has
really been charmed and is not only a piece of printed paper? Should derivative
forms like hanging scrolls or contract forms printed with the same image as the
paper charm also be regarded as charms? How does a paper charm function in the
framework of economic activities of a Buddhist temple? These and other questions
are answered on the basis of a special private collection of a specific iconographic
type of paper charms from Mount Koya covering a period of 200 years.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:Journals > Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques > Archive > 68 (2014) > 1
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Language:German
Date:2014
Deposited On:03 Oct 2014 11:57
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 07:24
Publisher:Schweizerische Asiengesellschaft; Verlag Peter Lang AG
ISSN:0004-4717
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515

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