2005 Volume 54 Issue 1 Pages 256-260,1261
Fujaku (1707-1781) was a scholar-monk representative of the early modern period in Japan. He idealized the times of the historical Buddha and as a Vinaya monk practiced the Four-Part Vinaya. Scholarship to date has defined Fujaku as a heretic from the traditional doctrines. Huayan scholars have also criticized Fujaku's Huayan thinking, claiming that he is biased toward practice.
Fujaku considered the five kinds of teaching classified by the Huayan as something practiced by himself over a distance of many lives. The Huayan philosophy has supported his practice from the present time to the time of his becoming a Buddha in the distant future. Fujaku's approach integrates “the lesser vehicle” which the historical Sakyamuni preached in his time with “the great vehicle” which arose after the death of Sakyamuni by using the Huayan school's hermeneutical scheme of the five kinds of teaching. In his view, both kinds of vehicles become the one practical path to becoming Buddha. From a historical point of view, Fujaku's theory is the early modern Buddhist's answer to the problem that the historical Buddha could not have preached the Mahayana sutras.