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(born July 27, 774, Byobugaura, Japandied April 22, 835, Mount Koya) Japanese Buddhist saint and founder of the Shingon school. Born into an aristocratic family, Kukai was given a Confucian education but soon converted to Buddhism. After studying in China (804–806) with Huiguo (746–805), he returned home to spread his doctrines, which emphasized magic formulas, ceremonials, and services for the dead. In 816 he built a temple on Mount Koya, and he helped to establish the Shingon sect as one of the most popular forms of Japanese Buddhism. His major work, Ten Stages of Consciousness, traces the development of Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, representing Shingon as the highest stage. He was also a gifted poet, artist, and calligrapher.
Variants of KUKAI
Kukai or Kobo Daishi
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Kukai, visit Britannica.com.
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