Honji Suijaku, the “traces of the original lands”, refer to the traditional correspondences between Japanese indigenous deities (kami) and Buddhist heavenly figures. It is considered the keystone of shinbutsu-shugo, the everyday synthesis of Buddhist and Shinto worship.
The idea that Shinto can be studied separately from Buddhism is due not to a study of history, but to an overemphasis on doctrine to define religion… Honji suijaku is a variety of Buddhism, occurring, so to speak, in Shinto territory.
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Originally published in the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 16/2-3. Republished here with thanks. For more details about Kasuga Temple, follow this link to the University of Vienna dedicated page.