This week: what does the historical record have to say about the veracity of the image of the warrior-monk, or sohei, that is so pervasive in pop cultural understandings of medieval Japan?
Adolphson, Mikhael S. The Teeth and Claws of the Buddha: Monastic Warriors and Sohei in Medieval Japan.
Adolphson, Mikhael S. The Gates of Power: Monks, Courtiers, and Warriors in Premodern Japan.
McMullen, Neil. “The Enryaku-ji and the Gion Shrine-Temple Complex in the Mid-Heian Period.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 14, No 2/3 (Jun-Sept, 1987)
LaFleur, William R. “Buddhism in a Fail-safe Mode: Examining ‘Medieval’ Japan”. History of Religions 43, No 3 (February, 2003).