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Philosophical Literature: Japan

(10,589 words)

Author(s): Sueki Fumihiko
Buddhist philosophical literature in Japan makes extensive use of Classical Chinese works, and with the exception of certain works written in Japanese, it was the norm for Buddhist philosophical literature in Japan to be written in Classical Chinese. Japanese Buddhism, along with that of China, Vietnam, and the Korean Peninsula, thus belongs to the Classical Chinese Buddhist cultural sphere. Classical Chinese, within this sphere, played a role similar to that of Latin in the Western world.Despite this use of a common language and set of cultural assumptions, there is m…