Read Japanese Literature

Setsuwa and Medieval Japanese Buddhism

January 13, 2022 Alison Fincher Season 1 Episode 5
Read Japanese Literature
Setsuwa and Medieval Japanese Buddhism
Show Notes

Enjoy the story of a vengeful would-be lover who turns into a 40-foot snake, a sharp-witted woman with criticisms of her husband’s equipment, and a curmudgeonly Buddhist priest who learns to love poetry. In this episode, we’re talking about setsuwa—medieval Japanese anecdotes. Many of them originate as Buddhist preaching, so we’ll also take a look at “Kamakura Buddhisms”: Pure Land, Zen, and Nichiren. 

For notes, links to the suggested reading, and a great picture of Kiyohime as a fire-breathing snake, please visit the episode's webpage.