Under the regulation, their activities was planned to be implemented in the central areas first and extended to the whole island in the following years. Subsequently, all temples of the Sòtò School were required to provide financial support for their activities in Taiwan. Over the coruse, the respect for the Emperor was integrated in the preaching.
The earliest offices of these groups were not full temples as such, but simply “branch offices” (shutchòjò) or “branch temples” (betsuin) organized and run under the direct supervision of the head temple (honzan) in Japan. Such establishments were usually referred to within each school or sect as a “missionary station” (fukyòjò).
The wealthier Taiwanese might patronize Japanese Buddhist temples in order to maintain closer personal ties with the officials whose good will they needed. At the same time, some other Taiwanese joined officially sponsored religious associations to avoid the charge of using religion as a cover for seditious activities. Finally, there were some very highly placed Chinese monks who needed a good relationship with the government in order for their temples to thrive and develop.
During the occupation by Japan, Taiwan Buddhism had to make itself acceptable to the Japanese government in order to survive such catastrophes as the backlash against religious groups resulting from local rebellions in the early colonial period. For this purpose, most of the Buddhist organizations (including Zhaijiao) seeked to form Buddhist associations with Japanese Buddhism under the aegis of the Viceregal government.
During the Japan administrative period, religion was separated from the government. As such, all Buddhist associations were subject to private law. While it is found that since the beginning of Japanese colonization, Buddhism was used as a governance tool by the Japan government.
The Sòtò line was still trying to establish its own mission in Taiwan. They considered Keelung a key mission area, but they had not yet been able to raise the money needed to build a proper temple of their own. Therefore, they claimed Shanhui as a member of their lineage in order to get a foothold in his temple for use as a future base of operations. Immediately upon installation as abbot of the Lingquan Chan Temple, Shanhui was adopted into the Sòtò Zen lineage; and a representative of the Sòtòshû attended the ceremony.
The Four Great Lineages of Taiwan Buddhism during the Japanese Period
As mentioned above, the “Four Great Ancestral Daochang” were set up during the early stage under Japan colony. Briefly, they represent the arrival in Taiwan of the lineages of Chinese Buddhism that would predominate under Japan colony, as well as the beginning of full monastic ordinations in Taiwan. They not only received valid ordinations on the mainland, they also began taking on disciples and conferring the precepts in Taiwan. Thus they created large “tonsure families” whose personal loyalty would be to them,...