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Japan is Introduced to Buddism
    The King of Korea made presents of a statue of the Buddah and several Sutras to the ruler of Yamato on several occasions. The first recorded was to Ankan Tenno in the year 538 from the ruler Sing Myong Wang (Seimei) of Paekche as recorded in the temple history of Gangoji.  In 522 a Chinese immigrant is recorded as enshrining an image of the Buddah in his thatched hat at Takaichi in Yamato. Even back in the Kofun Era in the age of tomb building the kingdom of Wa became home to tens of thousands of immigrants from Korea and China. Ojin reigned from 270 to 310 and received tribute from Paekch 'a learned man named Wani who founded the Fumi family ... The Hata (Chin) and Aya (Han) imigrants and those from Kudara, became naturalised in this country.  Each of these groups of people was numbered by tens of thousands.' {#2 p40} Kogoshui.

    The Nihongi Chronicles of Japan {#1 v2 p60} records that Pekche made special prayers accompanying the setting up of a large (16') statue of the Buddah in Korea.

        'I pray that the (Tenno) Emperor may obtain exceeding Virtue and that all the land of the Miyake (Japanese territoy in Korea) belonging to the Emperor may receive blessings. I also pray for the moral enfranchisement (Vimokcha) of all living creatures under Heaven' AD 545 Autumn 9th month.
    From India, Buddism had extended to China and from there to Korea ad 372 in the North, Koryo and by 384 it penetrated to the Southern Paekche.  In AD 551 King Seimei of Paekche formed a southern coalition with Silla and the Japanese enclave of Imna to attack the Koryo capital Phyong-yang.  But in 552 Koryo and the south eastern state of Silla united to attack Paekche and Imna.  In the 5th month of 552 Paekche reported to the 'August (Aweful) Emperor of the West that Koryo and Silla had joined forces and requested troops.  The reply was 'Let them (Paekche) continue ... to unite their hearts and strengths as heretofore, and they will be undoubtedly blessed with the protection of High Heaven, and can, moreover, place their trust in the spirits of the August Emperor's decision.'  {#1 v2 p65} This call to trust in the Shinto Kami was followed by a singularly significant response 5 months later.

  552 Winter 10th Month. King Seimei of Paekche sent a present to the Emperor of the image of Shaka Butsu (Sakyamuni) in gold and copper, several flags and umbrellas, and a number of volumes of Sutras.  The accompanying memorial 'lauded the merit of diffusing religious worship abroad ... to the Imperial Country ... throughout the home provinces ... to fulfil the recorded saying of Buddha: My law shall spread to the East.'

    Kimmei Tenno is recorded as having 'leaped for joy' and inquired of the Ministers whether the Image should be worshipped.  The chief minister Oomi Iname no Sukune Soga was in favor but it was opposed by Muraji  'Okoshi Mononobe ... and ... Kumako Nakatomi who addressed the Emperor jointly, saying:-

"Those who ruled the Empire in this our State have always made it their care to worship in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter the 180 Gods of Heaven and Earth, and the Gods of the Land and of Grain.  If just at this time we were to worship in their stead foreign Deities, it may be feared that we should incur the wrath of our National Gods."
    The Emperor said:- "Let it be given to Iname no Sukune who has shown his willingness to take it, as an experiment, make him to worship it."
The Oomi knelt down and received it with joy.  He enthroned it in his house at Oharida, where he diligently carried out the rites of retirement from the world , and on that score purified his house at Muku-hara and made it a Temple.'  {#1 v2 p66}

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Buddist Images Desecrated
    'Pestilence was rife in the land ... and many died prematurely.' {#1 v2 p67}.  There had been ten years of low solar intensity and freezing winters that affected the whole Earth following a catastrophic Volcanic event about AD 540.  The prolonged period of poor crops had reduced the physical reserves of the whole population so that the Tenno lamented his subjects dying of cold.  'As time went on it became worse and worse, and there was no remedy.' {#1 v2 p67}.  The advisors to the Emperor who had opposed the acceptance of Buddism now advised the Tenno that the pestilence resulted from not heeding their warning.  The collegiality of the clan system is again seen.  "It was because thy servants advice on a former day was not approved that the people are dying thus of didease.  If thou dost now retrace thy steps ... joy will surely be the result! " {#1 v2 p67}

    Following the Emperors 'Fiat' officials threw the statue into the canal in Naniwa (Osaka).  They torched the Temple and 'burnt it so that there was nothing left.  Hereupon, there being in the Heavens neither clouds nor wind, a sudden conflagration consumed the Great Hall (of the Palace).' {#1 v2 p67}  No joy in that.  So in very suspicious circumstances with the fingure of suspicion pointing at Soga, fire was added to pestilence and over the following years war raged in Korea.  Soga may have been trying to improve his image when in 555 AD he advocated prayer to 'the Deity (Oon-na-mochi no Kami), the founder of the Land.'  He advised that 'in the reign of Yuriaku Tenno (456 - 479 AD) ... the Emperor commanded the minister of the Shinto religion reverently to take counsel of the Gods.' {#1 v2 p76}.  Koryo had been beligerant then and Soga may have been trying to get protection for his interests in Korea.  Either way by Autumn on the 4th day of the7th Month 555, Iname Soga 'was despatched to the five districts of Kibi to establish the Miyake of Shirawi.' {#1 v2 p77}.

    The Chronicles record that Bidatsu Tenno (reigned 572-585) although a grandson of Iname Soga 'was not a believer in Buddhism, but was fond of (Chinese) literature.{#1 v2 p90}.  He made Iname Soga's son Mumako, a chief minister (Oomi) and in the Winter of 574 AD the 9th day of the 10th month the Emperor gave a prestegious appointment to the new Oomi, sending Mumako Soga 'to the province of Kibi to extend the Shirawi Miyaki and the staff of serfs atached to it.' {#1 v2 p91} By 575 2nd month 7th day he 'returned to the capital and reported the result of his mission.' {#1 v2 p94}.

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