An annotated commentary on the Lotus Sutra; four volumes in length. It is based on the annotated text Fahuayiji (法華義記) by Liang Dynasty priest Fayun (法雲, 467-529). Approximately 70% of the contents are identical.
According to tradition, the Hokke Gisho was composed in 615 and is the oldest Japanese text. Records indicate that the manuscript was discovered by Gyōshin (行信), the monk who erected the Hōryū-ji Tō-in, and the manuscript was kept at this temple for centuries until 1878 when it was presented to the emperor as a gift.
An annotated commentary on the Vimalakirti Sutra; three volumes in length. It is based on annotated texts of the Liang Dynasty priest Zhizang (458-522). Traditionally said to have been completed in 613.
Although traditionally attributed to the legendary Shōtoku Taishi, current scholarly consensus disputes this and the actual authorship of the texts are unknown. The Hokke Gisho contains a note stating, "This book belongs to the private collection of King Jōgū and is not from overseas." However, the brush style is different from the main text and is believed to have been later added by the priest Gyōshin.
On the seventh month of autumn, the empress summoned Hitsugi no Miko and commanded him to teach the Srimala Sutra. He finished in three days. This year, Hitsugi no Miko next taught the Lotus Sutra at Okamoto Palace. The empress was most pleased and presented Hitsugi no Miko with Tamomo Tokoro in Harima Province.
Only the Hokke Gisho remains in original manuscript form, while the Shōmangyō Gisho and Yuimagyō Gisho exist only from later copies.
The oldest text to attribute the Sangyōsho to Shōtoku Taishi is the 747 . In addition, sutra records found in the Shōsōin documents credit King Kamitsumiya, one of Shōtoku Taishi's titles, for the annotated Lotus and Srimala sutras.
While historical records attribute these works to Shōtoku Taishi, a number of issues and problems have been pointed out.
The precise development of these texts is strongly argued in modern scholarship with many alternative hypotheses. These include:
There is no academic consensus on the true authorship. If authorship is assigned to Shōtoku Taishi, then the works would need to have been completed before 622 when he passed away.
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