© 2002 James Deacon
Mikkyo is a little-understood, yet often sensationalised, synergistic
'esoteric construct' which lies at the very core of Japanese Spirituality
translated as: "Hidden", or "Secret" Teachings,
Mikkyo is a "lineage tradition": meaning that, as well
as instruction in the teachings and practices of the tradition,
it also involves and requires "kanjo" enablements (initiatorial
empowerment-transmissions) from a Master of the Mikkyo disciplines.
collection of teachings & practices that eventually came to
be known as Mikkyo had its early beginnings in the esoteric traditions
of India & China.
early as the 6th Century, there had begun a major importation
of spiritual & culture ideas into Japan from China, however
it was in the early 9th Century, that the formative concepts which
would in time become the core of 'mainstream' Mikkyo (i.e. Shingon
and Tendai Buddhism) were brought to Japan - initially by the
monks Kukai (the founder of Shingon) and Saicho (the founder of
Tendai) - both of whom had travelled to China to study.
these initial doctrines & beliefs, were later added teachings
concerning the powers of mysticism, magic and healing, which had
gradually begun to reach Japan with the arrival of itinerant monks,
priests, hermits and shamanic practitioners, forced for various
reasons to flee from China after the fall of the T'ang Dynasty.
easily with elements of Shinto practice and the pre-Buddhist folk
traditions of sangaku shinko (spiritual practices connected
with Sacred Mountains), these imported teachings, combining Chinese
Tantric Buddhism, Chinese Yin-yang magic, Taoism, (and, at a later
date, Tibetan Vajra Buddhism) evolved to become the esoteric Japanese
tradition that is 'Mikkyo'.