Kukai and Economics ?

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Kukai and Economics ?

Post by henroguy » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:44 am

Hi all! I'm currently reading up on Kukai's life because I plan to 'convert' to Shingon after a few years.

What impressed me about Kukai, aside from his book '10 stages..', kana invention, and his struggles in mountains / China, was that he was able to build a dam even though he wasn't a professional builder. Building dams are quite different from building wooden temples. It seems Kukai was quite advanced for his time.

Since my background is economics (and not literature or engineering), I would like to know if Kukai had any advanced ideas in terms of economics, industry, or trade. Did he mention anything about the role of emperors or governments in alleviating the suffering of ordinary people throught the use of economic policy ? (especially since his clan had some political power and he was close to the rulers)

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Re: Kukai and Economics ?

Post by plwk » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:33 pm

:hi: You may have to be patient for sometime as Shingon practitioners come here like once in a blue moon... hope you get your response by then...

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Re: Kukai and Economics ?

Post by Indrajala » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:09 am

Kukai is credited with waterworks projects, but we can assume it was not only him directing the labour. It all likelihood he had a group of engineers working under him. He was a well-read intellectual and generally intelligent character who was then credited with having directed the operation, though I don't think he did it all on his own. He was able to read and write Chinese, which in his time was a relatively rare skill. We can also assume he had access to Chinese works on engineering which he could use in planning out the project with his colleagues.

I've never heard of him being thought of as an economist. He definitely had close ties to the state and aristocracy, whose professions required knowledge of economics.

During the Tang Dynasty in China, where Kukai spent a few years, they had advanced economic policies and procedures for ensuring stable food prices during famines. Japanese statesmen, who built their own state model based on China's, would have been aware of this. Kukai had an extensive education as a youth in the Chinese classics, so we can assume he was aware of this as well.
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