How do esoteric practices operate? When something is transmitted secretly, how does the transmission function? This chapter focuses on Heihô Kadensho [Family transmission book on swordsmanship1] written in 1632 by Yagyû Munenori (1571–1646). (To be precise, the colophon of this monograph refers not only to Munenori but also to his father Muneyoshi and to the latter’s mentor Kamiizumi Hidetsuna as the authors.2 This highlights an important aspect of the logic of esotericism, which is the agenda of chapter 3.) The present chapter takes this text as its focus because this treatise serves as an informative case study of how an esoteric text operates. I engage in intertextual comparisons only when they can help clarify points that the primary source makes. (For I hold that it is effective to remain within the confines of a single text in perceiving the operation of an esoteric text. In contrast, chapters 3 and 4 will necessitate several texts for comparative purposes. For underlying esotericism, it is, rather, the silent common sense, which can be intertextually testified, that really matters.)


Mind Function Conceptual Pair Psychic Energy Oral Transmission Somatic Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 9.
    G. Cameron Hurst III, Armed Martial Arts of Japan: Swordsmanship and Archery ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998 ), 54.Google Scholar
  2. 29.
    Ogawa Kyôichi, Edo Bakuhan Daimyôke Jiten [Dictionary of the shogunate and daimyo in the Edo era], vol. 2 (Tokyo: Hara Shobô, 1992 ), 568–570.Google Scholar
  3. 50.
    Nishida Kitarô, Zen no Kenkyû [An inquiry into the good] (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1950 ), 87.Google Scholar
  4. 92.
    Matsunaga Yûkei, Mikkyô: Indo kara Nihon eno Denshô [Esoteric Buddhism: Traditions from India to Japan] (Tokyo: Chûôkôronsha, 1989 ), 27.Google Scholar
  5. 93.
    Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, Studies in the La©kâvatâra Sûtra ( Boulder: Prajfiâ Press, 1981 ), 109.Google Scholar
  6. 99.
    Akizuki Ryômin, Zen Bukkyô towa Nanika [What is Zen Buddhism?] (Kyoto: Hôzôkan, 1990 ), 68.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Maki Isaka Morinaga 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maki Isaka Morinaga

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations