Sangō Shiiki

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Sangō Shiiki (三教指帰?) is a dialectic allegory written by Kūkai in 794. It is Japan's oldest comparative ideological critique.

At the time of writing, Kūkai was 24 years old. It is his debut work.

Contents[edit]

The text is three volumes in length. It is written in a dialectic style comparing and critiquing Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Teachers from each school of thought attempt to educate a dissolute nephew Tokaku. In volume one, Kibō lectures on Confucianism. In volume two, Kyobō Inji critiques Confucianism from a Taoism position. Finally, in volume three, Kamei Kotsuji critiques Taoism from a Buddhist position. The conclusion is that Buddhism is the superior philosophy.

Characters[edit]

The main characters appearing within the text were based on actual people:

References[edit]