(ko͞o`kī, kō`bō-dī`shē), 774–835, Japanese priest, scholar, and artist, founder of the Shingon or "True Word" sect of Buddhism. Of aristocratic birth, he studied the Chinese classics as a young man, but left the university and became a wandering ascetic, eventually making a commitment to Buddhism. He was (804–806) a member of a Japanese embassy to T'ang China, where he studied the Buddhist TantraTantra
, in both Hinduism and Buddhism, esoteric tradition of ritual and yoga known for elaborate use of mantra, or symbolic speech, and mandala, or symbolic diagrams; the importance of female deities, or Shakti; cremation-ground practices such as meditation on corpses; and,
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. He returned to Japan with many scriptures and art objects and was honored by the emperor. In 816 he founded the Kongobuji monastery on Mt. Koya, S of Kyoto. Kukai is famous as a calligrapher and is said to have invented (on the model of Sanskrit) hiragana, the syllabary in which, in combination with Chinese characters, Japanese is written. Mt. Koya is still a center of pilgrimage, and there is a folk belief that Kukai, who is buried there, is not dead but in deep meditation and will one day rise again.


See collection of his major works ed. by Y. Hakeda (1972).

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References in periodicals archive ?
From China in the 8th century, the two Japanese monks Saicho and Kukai introduced Siddham into their country, where it became a favourite form of calligraphy, and in recent times enjoyed a Renaissance in the form of temple decoration.
Among the topics are a preliminary overview of the genealogy of philosophy/zhexue in China 1888-1930, philosophy in the clothes of history: the case of the Book of the Later Han (Han Hanshu, New Confucianism and the sinicization of metaphysics and transcendentalism: conceptualizations of philosophy in the early works of Xiong Shili and Mou Zongsan, Kukai's philosophy of language: reflections on the usage of the word philosophy, and towards a critical public sphere: Tosaka Jun on philosophical journalism and journalistic philosophy.
The Kukai dance group representing Spain, and the musical band Oreka TX from the Basque country present the performance Roots.
'The message the ad wants to convey is genuine,' said Uchimura's Filipino wife Kukai Nye, a native of Bacolod City.
Even various representations of Kukai himself were worshiped in conjunction with jewels and dragons.
The Indian monk Bodhisena was invited to witness the opening of the great Daibutsu of Nara in the 8th century; scholars like Kukai, also called Kobo Daishi, travelled to China to meet monks and scholars from India and to translate Indian texts into Japanese.
(59) The ambassador himself was a skilled poet and longtime personal acquaintance of the Japanese scholar and prelate Kukai (774-835).
To be candid, most of the ones I've joined (and subsequently resigned from--call them clubs, associations, kukai, cliques, coteries, what you will) have been composed of some pretty batty personalities.
She is the author of Icons and Iconoclasm in Japanese Buddhism: Kukai and Dogen on the Art of Enlightenment (Oxford University Press, 2013), and is the editor of two themed CrossCurrents journal issues.
It fell out of favor around the end of the 19th century, concurrently with the growing European influence.Its legendary founder is Kukai, also known as Kobo Daishi,the founder of the Shingon school of Buddhism, who is said to have brought the teachings of male love over from China, together with the teachings of the Buddha.
His account traces Buddhism's arrival in Japan and the influence of early Japanese Buddhism's two most renowned figures, Saicho [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (767-822) and Kukai (774-835), founders of distinctly Japanese forms of the Chinese Tiantai [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] and Zhenyan [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] traditions, respectively.
Kukai, for instance, included Confucian and Daoist teachings as Buddhist upayas, representing a kind of proto-inclusivism.