Dan Sherer: The Azuchi Shûron, A Reassessment

The Azuchi Shûron, A Reassessment
 安土宗論に関する史料再検討 Dan SHERER, Doctoral Candidate in History, USC

In 1579 a debate was held at Oda Nobunaga’s residential castle of Azuchi between monks of the Buddhist Pure Land and Nichiren sects. The result of the “Azuchi Religious Debate” was a Pure Land victory, and in the aftermath of the loss, one Nichirenist priest and two of his patrons were beheaded. The Kyoto Nichiren temples were also forced to sign humiliating concessions of defeat and pay hefty fines.

    The consensus view of the Azuchi Religious Debate for over a century has been that the whole affair was a sham, either planned from the start by Nobunaga or cunningly arranged by him during the process. While studies of the participants in the debate, the results of the debate, and even the fundraising to pay the fines has attracted much scholarly attention since the second world war, the debate itself has largely been ignored since Tsuji Zennosuke’s landmark study in the 1910s. This talk will reassess the primary sources as categorized by Tsuji, focusing on the nature of these texts and how they can be used. Using these and sources not then available allows us to reassess Tsuji’s reconstruction of the debate and the issue of how the event fits into Oda Nobunaga’s relationship with the Nichiren sect.

天正 七年 (1579)五月二十七 日、織田信長居城の安土城で日蓮宗と浄土宗の僧侶は宗論をし た。世にいう「安土宗論」である。その結果は浄土宗の勝利で、日蓮宗の僧侶一人・檀那二人が信長に首を刎ねられて、京都の日蓮宗本山は重い罰金を払わなくてなら ない事になった。従来の 研究は 安土宗論を信長の日蓮宗弾圧政略として、その内容については無視する研究が多 い。しかし、宗論に関する史料は矛盾だらけで、宗論の真相は不明である。今 回の報告では、安土宗論に関する史料の由来を調べて、その信頼性を明らかにしたいと思う。