Kakinomoto no Hitomaro (fl. c. 685–705) One of Japan’s most outstanding poets, whose poems appear in The Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves (Man’yō shū), the earliest anthology of Japanese poems.
Kakuban See Shōgaku-bō.
kālakula (Skt) Imaginary insects whose bodies were said to swell rapidly in a strong wind.
Kāli A king who appears in a story about one of Shakyamuni Buddha’s previous lives. When a hermit, a previous incarnation of Shakyamuni, was carrying out the practice of forbearance, the king Kāli desired to test whether he was truly engaged in that practice. He cut off the hermit’s hands, feet, ears, and nose. When he saw that the hermit remained unperturbed, however, he was struck with awe and deeply repented his action, and thereafter frequently invited the hermit to his palace and made offerings to him.
Kālodāyin A follower of Shakyamuni Buddha. When Shakyamuni was a prince, Kālodāyin was his subject. Later Kālodāyin renounced secular life and became a disciple of the Buddha. He is said to have often broken the precepts. Later, however, he is said to have attained enlightenment and converted 999 families in Shrāvastī. According to The Ten Divisions of Monastic Rules, Kālodāyin was given offerings by a woman when he was going about begging for alms in Shrāvastī. Being jealous, her husband killed Kālodāyin and buried his head in horse dung.
kalpa (Skt) An extremely long period of time. Sutras and treatises differ in their definitions, but kalpas fall into two major categories, those of measurable and immeasurable duration. There are three kinds of measurable kalpas: small, medium, and major. One explanation sets the length of a small kalpa at approximately sixteen million years. According to Buddhist cosmology, a world repeatedly undergoes four stages: formation, continuance, decline, and disintegration. Each of these four stages lasts for twenty small kalpas and is equal to one medium kalpa. Finally, one complete cycle forms a major kalpa.
kalpa of continuance The period corresponding to the second stage of the four-stage cycle of formation, continuance, decline, and disintegration. In this kalpa a world and its inhabitants continue to exist. In this period the life span of human beings is said to repeat a cycle of change, decreasing by a factor of one year every hundred years until it reaches ten years, and then increasing at the same rate until it reaches eighty thousand years. It then decreases again until it reaches ten years, and so on. A period when the human life span is lengthening is called a kalpa of increase, while a period when it is diminishing is called a kalpa of decrease.
kalpa of decline The period of time during which a world decays; one of the four stages in the cycle of formation, continuance, decline, and disintegration.
kalpa of decrease A period in which the human life span diminishes. In the kalpa of continuance, the life span of human beings is said to repeatedly undergo a pattern of decrease and increase. Any period of diminution is called a kalpa of decrease.
kalpa of formation The period of time in which a world takes shape and living beings appear; the first of the four-stage cycle of formation, continuance, decline, and disintegration that a world is said to repeatedly undergo.
Kamakura government Also, Kamakura shogunate. Japan’s first military or warrior government, established by Minamoto no Yoritomo in Kamakura. The rule of the Kamakura government—corresponding to the Kamakura period in Japanese history—is dated from 1185, when the system of appointed provincial constables and estate stewards by which it controlled the country was instituted. Yoritomo was given the title shogun in 1192. Because Yoritomo’s successors were young and lacking in leadership, a shogunal regency was set up. The regency became the de facto authority. The office of regent was held by members of the Hōjō family until the Kamakura shogunate was overthrown in 1333.
Kanroku (n.d.) (Kor Kwallŭk) A seventh-century priest of Paekche, an ancient state on the Korean Peninsula. In 602 he brought the teachings of the Three Treatises and the Establishment of Truth schools, as well as works relating to the calendar, astronomy, and geography, to Japan. In 624 he was given the title administrator of priests by the imperial court, the first time this title was bestowed in Japan.
Kanto The eastern part of Japan, including present-day Tokyo. By Nichiren Daishonin’s day, the seat of national authority had shifted from Kyoto to Kamakura, which also lies in Kanto. Kanto, the Kanto government, and the Kanto authorities also refer to the Kamakura government.
Kapila A legendary figure said to be the founder of the Sāmkhya school, one of the six major schools of Brahmanism in ancient India.
Kāshyapa (1) A bodhisattva to whom Shakyamuni Buddha addressed the “Bodhisattva Kāshyapa” chapter of the Nirvana Sutra. In this sutra, he asks Shakyamuni thirty-six questions. (2) A bodhisattva who is regarded as the previous incarnation of Lao Tzu. (3) The sixth of seven Buddhas of the past, the last of whom is Shakyamuni.
Kāshyapa Mātanga (n.d.) Also simply called Mātanga. Together with Chu Fa-lan, one of two Indian monks traditionally believed to have first introduced Buddhism to China. It is said that in c.e. 67, they traveled from India to Lo-yang in China at the request of Emperor Ming of the Later Han dynasty.
Katsu A Tungusic nation that ruled over the northeastern part of China and northern Korea in the Sui and T’ang periods. According to old maps, a “land to the east of T’ang and to the west of Katsu,” as described in Dengyō’s Outstanding Principles of the Lotus Sutra, would indicate Japan.
Kātyāyana One of Shakyamuni’s ten major disciples, respected as the foremost in debate.
Kenchō-ji The head temple of the Kenchō-ji branch of the Rinzai school of Zen, located in Kamakura in Japan. One of the five major Rinzai temples in Kamakura. At one time it had more than five hundred branch temples. Hōjō Tokiyori built Kenchō-ji temple in Kamakura in 1253, inviting Dōryū (Chin Tao-lung), a priest from Sung China, to be the first chief priest.
Kennin-ji The head temple of the Kennin-ji branch of the Rinzai school of Zen, one of the five major Rinzai Zen temples in Kyoto. It was founded in 1202 by Eisai and built by the shogun Minamoto no Yoriie. Although Kennin-ji was the first Zen temple in Kyoto, because of pressure from the older schools, the doctrines of the Tendai and True Word schools were also taught there. However, in 1265 Dōryū (Chin Tao-lung), a priest from Sung China, took up residence there, and from that time the temple was used exclusively for Zen practice.
Kharadīya One of seven concentric gold mountain ranges that, according to ancient Indian cosmology, are said to surround Mount Sumeru.
Kimmei (509–571) The twenty-ninth or, depending on how the lineage is calculated, thirtieth emperor of Japan. According to tradition, Buddhism was introduced from Korea during Kimmei’s reign.
Kiyomori See Taira no Kiyomori.
Kōbō (774–835) Also known as Kūkai or the Great Teacher Kōbō. The founder of the True Word school in Japan. He traveled to China in 804, where he studied the esoteric doctrines and rituals. After returning to Japan in 806, he devoted himself to the dissemination of the esoteric teaching and established a temple complex on Mount Kōya.
Kōchō era The period in Japan from 1261 to 1264. In 1264, the era name changed to Bun’ei. Nichiren Daishonin’s exile to Izu Province took place during the Kōchō era.
Koguryŏ One of three ancient kingdoms on the Korean Peninsula, along with Silla in the southeast and Paekche in the southwest. Established in the first century b.c.e., Koguryŏ dominated northern Korea, but in 668 it was conquered by Silla and the Chinese forces of Kao-tsung, the third emperor of the T’ang dynasty.
Kōjō (779–858) A disciple of Dengyō who exerted himself to realize Dengyō’s dream of establishing a Mahayana ordination hall on Mount Hiei. The Tendai school received imperial permission for construction seven days after Dengyō’s death, in 822. Later Kōjō became the superintendent of Enryaku-ji temple.
Kokālika A member of the Shākya tribe and an enemy of Shakyamuni. Falling under Devadatta’s influence, he slandered the Buddha’s disciples, Shāriputra and Maudgalyāyana, and is said to have fallen into hell alive.
koku (Jpn) A unit of volume in Japan equal to about 180 liters or about 5 bushels.
Kompon Also, the Great Teacher Kompon. Another name of the Great Teacher Dengyō. Kompon means fundamental.
Koryŏ A kingdom that was established in north-central Korea in 918 and ruled the Korean Peninsula from 935 to 1392.
koti (Skt) An ancient Indian numerical unit. There are various interpretations as to the value of this unit; koti is defined as 100,000, 10,000,000, and so on.
Krita (n.d.) A king of Kashmir in India who opposed Buddhism. After he became king, he was conquered by Kanishka, king of Gandhara. But upon Kanishka’s death, he regained his throne and banished the Buddhist monks, destroying Buddhism in the area. He was therefore killed by Himatala, king of Tukhāra and a patron of Buddhism.
Kshatriya (Skt) The second highest of the four classes or castes in ancient India, just below the Brahmans or priestly class. Its members were nobles and warriors, and it was the ruling class in secular affairs.
Kuan Lung-feng A minister to King Chieh, the last king of the Hsia dynasty. King Chieh led a dissolute life and caused his people great distress. Kuan Lung-feng remonstrated with him, but Chieh gave no ear to his admonitions and had him beheaded. After that the Hsia dynasty rapidly declined and was destroyed by King T’ang of the Yin (Shang) dynasty. The Hsia dynasty is traditionally considered to have ended in 1766 b.c.e. Together with Pi Kan, Kuan Lung-feng was regarded as a model of loyalty.
K’uei-chi See Tz’u-en.
Kūkai See Kōbō.
Kukkutapāda Also, Mount Gurupādaka. A mountain in the kingdom of Magadha well known as the place where Mahākāshyapa died.
Kumārajīva (344–413) A prominent scholar who translated a number of Buddhist scriptures into Chinese. In 401 he went to Ch’ang-an and immersed himself in the translation of Buddhist scriptures including the Lotus Sutra. His translation of the Lotus Sutra became the most widely used version in China and Japan. Titled Myoho-renge-kyo in Japanese, it is the translation Nichiren Daishonin relied upon in elucidating Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings.
Kumārayāna (n.d.) The father of Kumārajīva and the son of a chief minister of one of the ancient Indian kingdoms in the fourth century. He gave up his position in order to enter the Buddhist Order. He left India and crossed the Pamir range to the north, traveling toward China. In the country of Kucha, he was officially welcomed by the king, who offered him the hand of his sister, Jīvakā. They were married and named their son Kumārajīva, combining their names. According to legend, when Kumārayāna left India, he brought with him a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. It is said that by day he carried the statue, and by night the statue carried him.
kumbhānda (Skt) A class of demons. They are said to be attendants of Increase and Growth, one of the four heavenly kings.
K’un-lun Mountains A mountain range in the western region of China. The K’un-lun Mountains cover an area between Pamir to the west and Tsinghai of western China to the east, and from the Tarim Basin to the north and the Plateau of Tibet to the south. The K’un-luns were traditionally believed to house precious stones or jewels in great abundance.