Book Review – Kukai: Major Works by Yoshito Hakeda

86 views 4 pages ~ 892 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

The main focus of the work

The main focus of the work is Kobo Daishi's or Kukai's biography. The majority of the book's content is made up of the important projects he undertook and the effects they had on his personal life and the rest of the community. This essay is a unique review text that explicitly analyzes the book's substance from pages 1 to 100. The development of early esoteric Buddhism in Japan is the subject of the critical research discussions preserved in this book. (Hakeda 11).The book section is firstly focused on the life of Kukai who was a phenomenal player in establishing a reshaped and redefined basis of Buddhism and precisely esoteric Buddhism. The existence of Buddhism before him was a challenge to his thoughts and perceptions towards Buddhism. He spends a major percentage of his life structuring changes which have stood tall against the test of time and conceptuality as far as the Buddhism is concerned. The "True Word" was the name of the school of Buddhism after the beautiful and marvelous contribution from this gentleman.

The substantial and well-decorated biography

The very first section of this book is the substantial and well-decorated biography. His early years were very critical in building a sustainable responsibility and contribution towards esoteric Buddhism. He was a man of many and extensive talents. He was a standout expert in the field of philosophy and literature. In this regard, the work he left behind has shown prominent influence and impact on the latest developments experienced in philosophy and literature. Kukai was born in 774 CE in a declining aristocratic family. His academic life was full of challenges, and it was almost disillusioned, and he sometimes became a wandering mendicant. The unfriendly exposure prepared him for the hardship moments he endured during his life as an expert in philosophy and literature. Indications were apparent that Kukai would deliver transformation to the Japanese society from the awful Chinese cultural ties.

Kukai's incredible journey towards Buddhism tradition

The zeal and commitment to expanding his realm, Kukai regardless of being a child of a turmoil political regime he decided to travel to China. Such a move was the genesis of his incredible journey towards Buddhism tradition. He took the challenge and endured the complexities to acquire the final initiation to be a master of the esoteric lineage. While in China he was the only one who enjoyed in totality the entire teaching of Vajradhatu and Garbhakosha mandalas (Hakeda 54).

A critical experience meeting with Saicho

A critical experience which this philosophical mogul was meeting with Saicho in China. It was a coincidence to meet him as he was also prepared and initiated to esoteric Buddhism. The relationship between the two grew and significantly reached promising levels until the demise of Emperor Kammu. Saicho was lowly ranked compared to this gentleman, and sometimes they could not agree and negotiate smoothly on matters scripture and philosophy (Hakeda 66).

The Toji Period

The Toji Period is another elemental part of the life and contribution of Kukai. It was a moment of struggles with the powerful Buddhists from the local temples. Turbulences began when he was appointed as part of the administrative body to administer and oversee the Japanese Buddhist Monasteries. He was appointed to head a special office which helped him deepen his understanding and experience in Buddhism. During the same Toji Period, he went ahead and started a School of Arts and Social Sciences (Hakeda 73). It was one of the most important institutions which were unanimously known for its severe neglect of social disparities and ranks whenever making new admissions.

The enormous achievements of his impressive thoughts and remarkable work

Lastly, the book section under review and analysis discussed elementary the enormous achievements of his impressive thoughts and remarkable work. Not many would deliver such achievements under such harsh conditions. Esoteric Buddhism enjoyed a unique focus and destination in the whole life of this gentleman. He worked tirelessly and with tolerance he was able to incorporate the principles and aspects of Hinduism. The rising significance and force of Islam was a major challenge, but it turned out to be a motivational force to reckon (Hakeda 79).

Buddhism and the issue of desires and personal deeds

Buddhism seems to be enlightenment on the issue of desires and personal deeds. Kukai was a person who firmly believed that his distant goal of enlightenment would be a reality. One's body was vital in strengthening the Buddha-nature (Hakeda 83). He always kept an eye on the key and influential elements of the attainability and reality of enlightenment including space, fire, wind, water and most importantly consciousness. His life was decorated by the mammoth and influential works of Buddhism. The work demonstrated the strengths and potentials of Buddhism and its superiority. He wrote the book of "The Ten Stages of the Development of Mind" (Hakeda 97-99). The ten stages of the mind formed a key portion of his overall mission of localizing Buddhism. His special element of self-enlightenment was part of the heavy and concentrated collection of requirements in the ten stages.


This paper is simply an overview of the first one hundred pages of the book. It gives a strong sense of the key aspects of Buddhism and the overall life of Kukai.

Works Cited

Hakeda, Yoshito. Kûkai: Major Works (pages: 1-100). New York City: Columbia University Press, 1972.

June 26, 2023


Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Zen Buddhism
Verified writer

Tony is a caring and amazing writer who will help you with anything related to English literature. As a foreign exchange student, I received the best kind of help. Thank you so much for being there for me!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro