Professor Kawai’s essay “The Meaning of Myoe’s dreams in our time” was published in the literary magazine Shincho
Professor Kawai‘s essay “The Meaning of Myoe’s dreams in our time” was published in the August 2019 issue of the literary magazine Shincho’. The article is based on a lecture he gave on April 18, 2019 at a special exhibition in Nakanoshima Kosetsu Museum of Art called “Myoe’s Dreams and Kozan-ji Temple.”
Myoe, a Buddhist monk of the Kegon (Huayan) sect, was an important figure in the early Kamakura period, when there was a big societal change from an aristocratically ruled society to one run by samurai.
Myoe had been writing down his dreams since the age of 19, which was rare and unique practice for that time. Prof. Kawai says that this record of his dreams allows us to analyze how Myoe’s psyche grew and what challenges he faced in his life using the insights of modern psychology.
In Jungian psychology, everything that emerges in a dream is a part of oneself. Therefore, dreams always express one’s relationship with oneself and are recognized as dialogues that take place within oneself. Prof. Kawai thinks that Myoe deepened his psyche by maintaining relationships with images in his depths and by keeping a distance from his own dreams, which allowed him to view them objectively.
In the lecture, several of Myoe’s unique dreams were discussed. Prof. Kawai speculated that because Myoe lived during an age of upheaval, similar to our own transitional period in which we are moving from a modern to a postmodern society, the trajectory of his psyche can give us a great deal of insight into our psyche.
Kawai, T. (2019). “The Meaning of Myoe’s Deram in Our Time.” Shincho, 116(8), 123-137.
- The Holy Buddhist Priest Myoe Shonin and His Age
- Myoe and Dreams
- The Historicity of Dreams and Understanding in the Middle Ages
- Characteristics of Myoe’s Dream: Separation and Symbolism
- Separation from Mother
- Separation from Body
- Reunion with Woman and Body
- Quaternity in Marriage
- The Extent of one’s Self-Relationship: Animals and Things
- Beyond Symbolism
(Reported by: Hisae Konakawa, Program-Specific Research Fellow)