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In this week's Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show from five years ago (12-5-2018), PWTorch editor Wade Keller was joined by PWTorch Newsletter columnist Greg Parks. They discuss WWE Smackdown with live callers first, an on-site correspondent, and then later answer email questions. This show features topics such as heels advocating for alcohol moderation, reducing plastic water bottles, and avoiding factory farmed animal products in Texas's most liberal and blue city, Austin. Also, "being on the right side of history," more with Charlotte, Asuka, and Becky Lynch, another Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy match, Miz vs. A.J. Styles, pancakes being tipped over, and much more.This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at https://www.spreaker.com/show/3275545/advertisement
In this week's Mailbag Flashback episode of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast from five years ago (11-30-2018), PWTorch editor Wade Keller was joined by Jason Powell from ProWrestling.net to answer Mailbag questions including these topics: Becky-Charlotte-Rousey options, can Cody Rhodes be centerpiece star of a national company, can Asuka be embraced by Vince McMahon as a top star, ROH post-Elite departures, and more.This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at https://www.spreaker.com/show/3076978/advertisement
This episode we continue to try to pull apart the figure known as Shotoku Taishi, aka Prince Umayado, aka Prince Kamitsumiya, aka Toyotomimi no Mikoto. We'll take a look a little more at what we know and talk about just what we might or might not know about the actual figure behind the legend that has been built up. For more, check out the podcast website at https://sengokudaimyo.com/podcast/episode-99 Rough Transcript: Welcome to Sengoku Daimyo's Chronicles of Japan. My name is Joshua, and this is episode 99: The Prince of the Upper Palace. This is the second episode focused on the famous Prince known as Prince Shōtoku Taishi. Last episode we went over the various stories that are told about this Prince in the various histories as well as some of the temple records. Of course, it is generally agreed that most, if perhaps not all, of the information on Prince Shōtoku Taishi, which is to say, the Crown Prince of Great Virtue, is at best exaggerated, and at worst is completely made up at a later time by people deliberately trying to appropriate his story. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to tell what is pure fiction and what might be some semblance of reality, but we'll give it a try as best we can. I will say that there is a *lot* that has been written about Shōtoku Taishi and his alter egos, Prince Umayado, aka Prince Kamitsumiya, aka Toyotomimi no Mikoto. A lot more than I have time to truly delve into. Besides various sources in Japanese, one of, if not the, most extensive look at sources mentioning the Prince is probably by Dr. Hermann Bohner in the 1930s and 1940s—however, his work, which I am told is over a thousand pages in length, is also entirely in German. I'm not sure anything quite that extensive has been written in English. Furthermore, other works out there, like Michael Como's own work, “Shōtoku: Ethnicity, Ritual, and Violence in the Japanese Buddhist Tradition”, often speak more to what the stories of Shōtoku Taishi say about developments in Japanese culture over time, focusing on the Cult of Shōtoku and what it said about Japan in general rather than focusing on the individual. I am not going to have time to read all of the sources and condense them down for you, but I'm not sure that is exactly necessary. Just be aware that there is a lot of ink that has been spilled over Shōtoku Taishi in one way or another. As for theories on the actual prince, they vary widely. Some say that there was, indeed, a powerful figure at court known as Prince Umayado or, alternatively, as the Prince of the Upper Chamber, and he may have even been the Crown Prince, in line to inherit the throne had he not tragically passed away before the death of the current sovereign, Kashikiya Hime, aka Suiko Tennō. Others suggest that the portrait we have is actually a composite—the work of many different individuals, all wrapped up in the guise of a single, powerful individual who instituted sweeping changes across the archipelago and single-handedly gave birth to the Japanese state. Of course, there are also those who accept the story as true—or at least as true as the rest of that period of history. For my part, I believe I'm closer to the ideas proposed in 1999 by Ōyama Seichirō, in his book ‘Shōtoku Taishi no Tanjō', who suggested that there likely was an actual Prince Umayado, but that his story was exaggerated by the compilers of the Nihon Shoki and by later groups promoting the Shōtoku cult. By the way, when I mention the Shōtoku “cult” I want to be clear what I mean—cult in this instance is more like a cult of personality. It encompasses the various ideas that people held about the Prince, true or otherwise. However, it should be noted that until more recently it is unlikely that anyone would have claimed to have been a part of any kind of “cult” or group with specific, Shōtoku Taishi related beliefs. Rather, the Prince's story was, to many of them, simply a fact, even as they consciously or unconsciously embellished the story. In fact, we often blame the compilers of the Nihon Shoki for adding to the Prince's story, but it is just as likely that they were simply going off of other sources that also recorded these same things. Given all of that, who was the real Prince Umayado? We are told that Umayado's name comes because his pregnant mother gave birth to him as she was wandering around during her pregnancy and suddenly delivered him in front of the office of the horse stables—the Umayado. He is also known as Prince Kamitsumiya, or the Prince of the Upper Palace. This was because, we are told, before he was made Crown Prince and given the Crown Prince's quarters as his own, his father had installed him in the “Upper Hall” of the South Palace, in his own complex. The name Toyotomimi no Mikoto is less obvious, but more similar to the types of names we had seen in previous generations of sovereigns, and likely a kind of titular name, combining various accolades and titles together. That last one gets to a tricky bit about Prince Umayado: Was he actually of Royal birth, and was he the son of a previous sovereign? As noted last episode, we are told that Umayado's father was Tachibana no Toyohi, himself the son of Ame Kunioshi Hiraki Niwa no Ohokimi, aka Kinmei Tennō, and Kitashi Hime, daughter of Soga no Iname. We've already noted how the Soga family really wormed their way into the royal line. Theoretically, sovereigns were supposed to come from a queen that was, herself, of royal blood. The previous exception to this was Iwa no Hime, daughter of Katsuraki no Sotsuhiko and wife to Ohosazaki no Ohokmi, aka Nintoku Tennō. However, that seems to have stopped being an issue since about the time of Ame Kunioshi's father Wohodo no Ohokimi, aka Keitai Tennō. After all, the first two of his sons to succeed him to the throne were the sons of Menoko, herself a daughter of Owari no Muraji no Kusaka—not exactly a name boasting of royal lineage. To be fair, the Nihon Shoki only claimed that they were holding the throne for their more properly titled brother, Amekunioshi, so take that as you will. Amekunioshi, married three of his own nieces—daughters of his brother, which may have been an attempt to smooth out some of the kinks in the royal line. He also married at least two—possibly three—daughters of Soga no Iname, and they produced several sovereigns. One of these, of course, is Tachibana no Toyohi, aka Youmei Tennō, but there was also Hatsusebe no Wakasazaki, aka Sushun Tennō. Finally there was Kashikiya Hime, aka Suiko Tennō, though one could argue that she held her place as much because she had been the consort—or even queen—to her step-brother, Nunakura Futodamashiki, aka Bidatsu Tennō. It should also be noted, though, that both Hatsusebe no Wakasazaki and Kashikiya Hime came to the throne during a period of political violence. There was the Soga and Mononobe conflict, a genuine fight for the throne which spilled out into the general public. This all reads as the results of Soga no Iname—and then, later, Soga no Umako—maneuvering to put the Soga family in power to rule the country. That they succeeded in getting two Soga relatives on the throne—even if Umako then assassinated Hatsusebe when he proved too difficult to control—would seem to indicate that the Soga gambit had been effective, and they had overcome the traditions that previously had been designed to limit who had direct access to the power of the throne. Of course, there are questions of just how old and how accurate that tradition was—for all we know, the previous “queens” had simply had their lineages updated to ensure that they were of proper royal birth—but I still think it is telling. But how does this relate to Umayado? Well, as I mentioned, his father was Tachibana no Toyohi. Just like Kashikiya Hime and Hatsusebe, he was also a son of Ame Kunioshi no Ohokimi and one of his Soga wives. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising had Toyohi taken the throne, given who else did. However, I wonder if that ever actually happened. The Nihon Shoki only places him on the throne briefly—about two years—and during that time, there was still a lot of conflict going on. The idea that there had been a consensus and that Tachibana no Toyohi was chosen as the next Ohokimi already seems a bit questionable. Then there is also his supposed misasagi, or tomb. We are told that he was buried at Shinaga, and this tomb has been identified and is still known today, presumably. Given the records from then until now, while it is possible that the tomb was mistaken at some point over the intervening centuries, I would propose that its identification is probably fairly reliable, especially as it is also said to be the tomb of Prince Umayado, as well. However, there is a problem, and that is that the tomb is not a round keyhole shaped tomb as would be expected of a royal tomb up to that time. Instead, it is a square shaped tomb. Why is this notable? Because the "imperial” tombs up through Amekunioshi, aka Kinmei Tennō, and his son, Nunakura no Ohokimi, aka Bidatsu Tennō, are all round, keyhole shaped tombs; the zenpō-kōen, or flat font and round-backed kofun. Even through different dynasties, the shape and size of the kofun seem to hold true. However, that stops with Tachibana no Toyohi. His tomb is square shaped, which is much more similar to individuals other than the royal family. However, complicating matters somewhat, it isn't just his tomb where we see this change. Suddenly we see a bunch of square tombs that are designated as royal tombs. These include the tombs of Tachibana no Toyohi, aka Yōmei Tennō; Hasebe no Wakasazaki, aka Sushun Tennō; and Kashikiya Hime, aka Suiko Tennō. All of their identified tombs seem to be square tombs, similar to the tomb identified with Soga no Umako, Ishi-butai kofun. So why the sudden switch? It is not directly stated, but this may have been a part of all of the other changes in court and ritual that were happening. In succeeding generations we see eight-sided kofun, and even round kofun—and all for verified sovereigns. So it is entirely possible that it is at Youmei where the tradition of keyhole-shaped royal kofun ended. But I am still rather skeptical about all of this. I wonder if the shape of Tachibana no Toyohi's kofun indicates it was just the kofun for a powerful member of the Soga lineage, just like Umako's kofun. However, I must admit, it doesn't directly contradict the sources that say he was Tennō, since the following sovereigns are also recorded as having square-shaped tombs. Then again, there is a bit of a question on just about all of them as far as how much they reigned and what power they held, vice what power was in the hands of Soga no Umako. As for the succeeding generations, well, there are other shapes as well. For instance, there is an octagonal kofun, and an eight sided kofun would actually match up well with a growing belief in Buddhism, where eight is an extremely auspicious number—enough that people in some Asian countries will actually pay more for license plates or phone numbers with multiple 8s in the number, along with other auspicious digits. And there's another factor that might explain why they moved to a less complex kofun shape: I've mentioned in past episodes that the temple building craze of the early 600s really killed off kofun construction. We see resources that would have gone to venerating important figures, and building their tombs, the likely center of their ritual veneration, instead go to the building of temples. In many ways, temples became the better and more lasting memorial for any wealthy individual, especially since temples themselves could grow and change with the times, where as a giant mound of earth, cool as it is, was a bit hard to modify, let alone relocate. I also suspect that the change in various rituals also meant that the previous shape of the kofun, that round keyhole shape, may not have been as important in later periods. If we assume that shape had something to do with the focus of conducting regular rituals at the site, for which purpose certain families were actually employed in hereditary positions, then moving away from that shape would suggest, to me, that there was a change in the rituals as well. However, that change was coming much earlier than the temples, should we choose to believe the chronology given to us in the Nihon Shoki. So it while it explains, in broad strokes, the move away from kofun practice, it doesn't satisfactorily explain everything that we are seeing at this period. And that brings me back to my hesitation to say that Tachibana no Toyohi was ever a sovereign of Yamato. And the main thing about Tachibana no Toyohi's ascension that gets to me is it all feels rather contrived, and there really isn't much said about him. I can only think that this was done in order to make sure that Prince Umayado had the necessary pedigree for everything else that people were going to be saying about him. As awesome as he was, he wasn't going to be nearly so incredible if he didn't have a lineage which put him in line to inherit the throne. BUT, I could very easily be wrong, especially if some of our sources aren't exactly in order. We've certainly seen other places where it appears that individuals were either raised up as sovereigns or possibly co-sovereigns, individuals who reigned at the same time, may have had their reigns massaged to conform with the desired narrative.. Which brings up another question: Was Umayado ever actually named as the Crown Prince? Was he truly in line to succeed Kashikiya Hime? I'm not sure that is as black and white. As I've noted before, why would Kashikiya Hime have chosen him over other potential candidates? Even if his father wasn't sovereign, he was still a royal prince of Soga lineage, but Kashikiya Hime also had her own children, at least according to the Chronicles. Where were they? I'm not sure, but I am inclined to believe that Prince Umayado may have, indeed, been either the Crown Prince or in a position so close that it didn't warrant a distinction. That said, it might be interesting to look through some of the early records, such as the Gankōji Garan Engi, and see just how he is referred to, there. There are plenty of the stories about Prince Umayado that I believe we can take as true, even if only in part. I have no reason not to believe that he was an avid supporter of continental learning, including Buddhism and other teachings. That was all new and exciting, and with the direction that the Yamato state was tacking at the time it would have been useful and provided the Prince some clout and notoriety. It is also quite possible that he penned one or more commentaries on various sutras, though how good or insightful it would have been I have no idea, and whether it was his own words or if he perhaps patronized a temple to help write them for him, I couldn't say. I don't know that there is anything definitive, one way or the other. I might even go so far as to suggest that he played a role in helping to lay out the seventeen article constitution and championed a version of the continental rank system, but I doubt he just made it up himself out of whole-cloth. There were no doubt more than a few scribes by this point who had read various works from the continent and were able to help pull the various concepts of good government together. I doubt he was the one putting pen to paper for all of it, but who knows. Perhaps, though, the most likely case for his existence comes in the form of the temple, Hōryūji, said to have been built on the site of his former estate, and the woven mandala said to have been commissioned by one of his own consorts. These are compelling to me because they both physically exist, even if in a diminished state. For Hōryūji we can look at the archaeological evidence, as well as any extant buildings or images. For the Tenjukoku Shūchō Mandala, though, we only have some of the original fragments, along with some fragments of a later copy, but we also have copies of the inscription that was on the mandala. It is possible that the transcription we have is somehow not correct, but that would be odd since the object was on display for people to see and remained intact through at least the Kamakura period, one assumes, since that's when they made a copy of it. Let's examine both of these a little more in depth. Hōryūji temple is said to have been built by Prince Umayado, on his estate, but it was supposedly built for his father, Tachibana no Toyohi. In fact, Hōryūji was apparently supposed to be *his* temple. Tachibana no Toyohi, suffering from illness, is said to have vowed to build a temple, but he died before he could complete it. Prince Umayado's eventual work to build Hōryūji is said to have been an act of filial piety as much as it was one of Buddhist piety, as it was dedicated, originally to Yakushi Nyōrai, a Buddha associated with healing illness, and it was built for his father, the Great King, Tachibana no Toyohi. We see several times the idea of building a temple on a noble family's personal compound. Soga no Iname is the first to convert his house, or some portion, and Soga no Umako eventually succeeds with Hōkōji, aka Asukadera. It makes sense that Hōryūji was also built on land donated by an elite member of Society, and everything points to it being Prince Umayado. In fact, it would be rather odd to build it on land that wasn't already built up in some way. Even Shitennōji was built, we are told, on a compound that formerly belonged to the Mononobe—a rather large middle finger, or perhaps an inverted V, extended by the Soga to those whom history labelled as the anti-Buddhist faction of the early court. Nearby Chūgūji, literally the “Middle Palace Temple” was, we are told, built on the site of Prince Umayado's mother's home. I'm not sure if we can verify that entirely, but the fact that it is known as the “Middle Palace Temple” suggests some connection to an elite's compound and “palace”—the Naka tsu Miya to Umayado's Kami tsu Miya, perhaps. The two were close and became only closer with time, though they did retain their own characteristics. And so Hōryūji was quite likely built on the site of someone's palace, and if it wasn't the Prince we know as Umayado, then who was it? At the very least we have some person that may be at least a part of the legion that makes up the legend of Shōtoku Taishi. As for the Tenjukoku Shūchō Mandala, for that we have the inscription from the mandala itself. We are told that Tachibana no Iratsume asked Kashikiya Hime to commission it for her departed husband, Prince Toyotomimi. As far as I can tell, this inscription, found in the Jōgū-Shōtoku Ho'o Teisetsu, a biography of Shōtoku Taishi, is considered an accurate transcription of the four hundred or so characters that were on the original curtain. If that is the case, then we have an inscription from shortly after his death attesting to the existence of a Prince Toyotomimi, and it even gives part of his lineage, including mention of Tachibana no Toyohi, whom we are told was, indeed, a sovereign, though we don't know when or for how long. So that would seem to support the assertions in the Nihon Shoki about Tachibana no Toyohi's status. The biography, at least as it comes down to us, was likely compiled sometime in the 10th or 11th century, which makes a lot of its information suspect, but I generally think we can trust the transcription from the mandala. Afterall, we have pretty good evidence for the artifact still existing when it was compiled. The fact that the artifact seems pretty clearly made in the Asuka period—so in the 7th century, not soon after Toyotomimi's death—further adds to the reliability. That isn't to say they didn't pick and choose what they were going to report in the biography itself, but, for me, there is little reason to doubt this inscription is what was on the actual mandala. On the other hand, we still don't have a lot of information about Tachibana no Toyohi. He came to the throne, other things largely happened around him, and then he died of illness. So perhaps Tachibana was a short-lived sovereign after all. I'm honestly still on the fence about it, but the more I read, the more I come around to the idea, though that still doesn't explain how his son ended up being remembered so well. All in all, I suspect that most of Shōtoku Taishi's story is rooted in truths and facts about this era. He may, indeed, have been the Crown Prince, or at least a very influential one. He likely was on top of the craze in Buddhist and Continental learning. He may have even played some role in helping to govern the country. Still, how did he come to outshine the others who had almost equal claims on all of this change? For one thing, there was Kashikiya Hime. She was smart, capable, and the one actually seated on the throne. Unfortunately, I suspect that she had two major impediments to taking on the mantle that Shōtoku Taishi donned. For one thing, she was a woman. Unfortunately, along with continental ideas would come an increase in continental misogyny , though it would take some time to reach the same level, and there would still be female sovereigns ruling alongside male sovereigns for some time. However, she also was the sovereign, and that likely meant that her reputation, such as it was, was caught up in the push and pull of court politics. Even within the royal family there were different factions and different people aiming for the throne, and so she may not have had universal support for sainthood. This may not have been as much of a problem had she, herself, like Prince Umayado, passed away early and young, but she lived and reigned a good long while. And then, besides her, there is the other major mover and shaker of the period, Soga no Umako. Of just about anyone other than the sovereign, Soga no Umako seems to have been the best positioned to provide the kind of guidance, patronage, and more that was likely making into reality many of the things for which Shōtoku Taishi received credit, including his own temple of Hokoji. Soga no Umako had an almost bigger problem than Kashikiya Hime, however. He had led the forces against the Mononobe and their allies, and many of those allies would eventually lick their wounds and come back to power. Even the Mononobe were still around, if not guiding the government. Furthermore, listeners who have been reading ahead in the story will likewise already know that it was the Fujiwara family that eventually would control the court for centuries. In fact, for many students of Japanese history, the Soga are not portrayed as paragons of virtue who helped introduce Buddhism to Japan, but rather as a greedy family that didn't know their place and who went beyond the bounds of what we considered acceptable behavior. As such, I doubt Soga no Umako was in much of a position to be venerated by large swaths of the population. In the end, it was probably the fact that he died early that allowed Prince Toyotomimi, aka Prince Umayado, to become the venerated figure he is, today. To quote eminent Gotham lawyer, Harvey Dent: “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” Sure enough, Prince Umayado died at a point where likely the public could still imagine all of the good that he could have done. Meanwhile both Kashikiya Hime and Umako had been through some stuff, and they had done what they needed to gain and maintain power. It may have been a recipe for their success, but it didn't necessarily make them universally beloved. I suspect that, in the end, the lack of information about Prince Umayado, along with some key bits of likely true information, allowed people to build him up into what they needed him to be—a culture hero that could embody the ideals that Yamato was adopting and adapting from the continent. He had the prestige—a royal prince and, perhaps even a Crown Prince. And he was involved with this new culture that was being imported and updated. Of course, this is largely speculation. In the end, it is hard to know what are the true facts around this legendary figure. I think the best we can really say is that there likely was an ur-Shōtoku, an original Prince, who may or may not have been known as either Prince Umayado, Prince Kamitsumiya, or even Prince Toyotomimi—and one or more of those names may even have belonged to different people. And so we are largely left with a question and with the legend, but in that legend, there is a plethora of information, if not about the actual human being, then about the changes that were happening in the Yamato court and in society as a whole. Regardless of all of the exact details, the 7th century would be extremely critical in the history of Yamato, setting the path for the future. One which we will be diving into, episode by episode, as we continue our trek through the histories. But for now, I think I'll leave you here. For those listening to this when it comes out, I wish you the best in this holiday-filled season, from about November to February, whatever you may be celebrating. And if you feel like giving, I hope you'll forgive me if I reiterate that I do this out of love of the history, and so we pay for all of the expenses ourselves, so any donations that people like to throw our way are always appreciated. However, first and foremost, please take care of yourselves and those around you. And so, until next time, then, thank you for listening and for all of your support. Again, if you do like what we are doing, tell your friends and feel free to rate us wherever you listen to podcasts. If you feel the need this season to do more, and want to help us keep this going, we have information about how you can donate on Patreon or through our KoFi site, ko-fi.com/sengokudaimyo, or find the links over at our main website, SengokuDaimyo.com/Podcast, where we will have some more discussion on topics from this episode. Also, feel free to Tweet at us at @SengokuPodcast, or reach out to our Sengoku Daimyo Facebook page. You can also email us at email@example.com. And that's all for now. Thank you again, and I'll see you next episode on Sengoku Daimyo's Chronicles of Japan.
DON TONY AND KEVIN CASTLE SHOW is back for: WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 2023: THE AFTERMATH; a tremendous episode filling with top shelf discussion. In addition to Survivor Series and WarGames, Don Tony and Kevin Castle get into some major news stories and discussion, make several bold match predictions and what could, should, and likely happen for many WWE Superstars between the close of 2023, thru WrestleMania 40 and beyond. SOME TOPICS DISCUSSED: CM Punk returns to WWE. DT/KC discuss his appearance at Survivor Series, his return promo on Raw, interesting reaction amongst IWC, members of AEW and elite media already pissing in Punk's Corn Flakes and more. DT/KC offer some truth serum about CM Punk and why he will NOT be cutting any Pipebombs about AEW. CM Punk and AJ Lee vs Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch? It's a match DT/KC believe can absolutely happen in 2024. Bryan Danielson revealed to have led a special disciplinary committee that led to the decision to release CM Punk. While others try to twist this into a controversial story, DT/KC praise Bryan Danielson's AEW role behind the cameras. CM Punk NOT winning any WWE Championships before or at WrestleMania 40? Not only do DT/KC believe he won't win any Titles, but the idea many are claiming that CM Punk will be the primary center of attention on WWE TV are sadly mistaken Within 24 hours, countless news and podcasters went from Triple H not telling his Champions in advance about CM Punk's return, to reporting as news that WWE already planning CM Punk vs Roman Reigns and others in 2024. It is not news. Noone received that information from WWE officials or CM Punk. It's simply common sense and what is best for WWE business. Randy Orton returns to WWE after an 18 month absence, and he looks in even better shape. DT/KC discuss his appearance at Survivor Series, his match against Dominik Mysterio on Raw, who he will face in the immediate future, and why an RKO to Jey Uso and a feud with Cody Rhodes could and should happen. Randy Orton will go down as one of the greatest wrestlers of this generation. And DT/KC are not just saying it because he just returned after 18-month absence. Judgement Day for Damian Priest is coming soon. While many believe we will get Damian Priest vs Finn Balor at WrestleMania 40, DT/KC have an even better match to pitch: Damian Priest and Bad Bunny vs Dominik Mysterio and Logan Paul. Could The Creed Brothers dethrone Finn Balor and Damian Priest for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships? Mercedes Mone' (Sasha Banks) will return to WWE in 2024. And she will reunite as a tag team with Bayley, who soon gets kicked out of Damage CTRL by the Japanese Yakuza. 'Bank' on it. Carlito: DT/KC believe something is up with WWE and Carlito. As much as DT/KC like Carlito, are WWE having second thoughts about bringing him back? Rumors are flying that Warner Bros Discovery is one of three networks to land WWE Raw. If that happens, does anyone truly believe TKO Group Holdings would accept a TV Deal with WBD for Raw while AEW programming remains on TNT/TBS? How ironic. WBD approves AEW Collision with the show centered around CM Punk. And now reports are that WBD could want WWE Raw, which now features CM Punk DT/KC Scenario for Rollins/Punk/McIntyre/Zayn: Seth Rollins soon drops the WHC to Drew McIntyre. Rollins feuds with CM Punk with no Titles on the line. Drew McIntyre gets his moment as WHC in front of fans at WrestleMania 40. Drew then drops the WHC to Sami Zayn in the main event at the next WWE event in Saudi Arabia. Zoey Stark: DT/KC discuss the precise moment WWE damaged Zoey Stark and why she has not and will not likely recover any time soon. Expect Zoey to have another cup of coffee in NXT sooner than later Gunther remains on Cruise Control and DT/KC appreciate the current use of The Miz and the crowd acceptance of his current push. Honest thoughts on Chelsea Green and Piper Niven, the current state of the Women's Tag Team Division, the current push of Dragon Lee; and the elevation of Santos Escobar Where is Dexter Lumis? Who would you rather have a beer with: Randy Orton or John Cena WWE SUMMERSLAM 2023 RESULTS: Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, Shotzi, and Becky Lynch def Damage CTRL: Bayley, Asuka, Iyo Sky, and Kairi Sane (WarGames Match) Gunther (c) def The Miz (Intercontinental Championship) Santos Escobar def Dragon Lee Rhea Ripley (c) def Zoey Stark (Women's World Championship) Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn, and Randy Orton def The Judgment Day (Damian Priest, Finn Bálor, Dominik Mysterio, and JD McDonagh) and Drew McIntyre (WarGames Match) If you enjoy this episode, please share the links for this episode with others! This episode will be a fun listen well beyond Survivor Series. What predictions did DTKC nail, and which went in a totally different direction. ====
In this five years ago flashback (11-28-2018), PWTorch editor Wade Keller was joined by Jason Solomon to discuss WWE Smackdown with live callers first and then later answering email questions with a majority focus on the big developments in the Women's Division and TLC with Becky Lynch, Charlotte, and Asuka. Also, thoughts on New Day, A.J. Styles, Jeff Hardy, and more. Also, Wade was joined by two on-site correspondents including a fan who hasn't attended a WWE TV event before and hasn't seen Becky Lynch or A.J. Styles before. They talk about off-air happenings, crowd reactions, the dark match main event at the end, and more.This show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at https://www.spreaker.com/show/3275545/advertisement
Wrestling Observer Live Saturday with Jim Valley. Survivor Series "War Games" between Becky, Charlotte, Bayley, Asuka, Randy Orton, Jey Uso and maybe more,it looks like the theme is, "Can they coexist?" Don't forget there's also three hours of AEW with both Rampage and Collision back-to-back Saturday. Plus, the AEW Full Gear media scrum and what they can do better. And it's the time of the year when good little boys and girls wait for the return of one man: CM Punk. It's still real to them, dammit. Tons of wrestling. Check it out!
The SmackTalk team gets together to give you their predictions for tonight's Survivor Series WarGames! Matches (in order discussed during the show): *Dragon Lee vs. Santos Escobar *Intercontinental Championship: Gunther (c) vs. The Miz *Women's World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zoey Stark *Women's WarGames: Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, Shotzi & Becky Lynch vs. Damage CTRL (Bayley, Asuka, Iyo Sky & Kairi Sane) *Men's WarGames: Cody Rhodes, Seth "Freakin" Rollins, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn & Randy Orton vs. The Judgment Day (Damian Priest, Finn Balor, "Dirty" Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh) & Drew McIntyre Email the show - SmackTalk.Wrestlecast@gmail.com
Our WWE Smackdown review as Simon Miller talks about Finn Bálor & Damian Priest vs. The Street Profits, Kevin Owens & LA Knight vs. Grayson Waller & Austin Theory, Santos Escobar attacking Carlito, Pretty Deadly vs. The Brawling Brutes, Bayley & Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch and much more. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
WWE Survivor Series: WarGames 2023 saw intensity and anticipation rise with strong go-home moments. Host Adam Silverstein and co-host Chris Vannini take a deep dive with our signature WWE Survivor Series: WarGames ultimate preview [1:01:10] breaking down the card with predictions. How will Randy Orton co-exist with Jey Uso, Cody Rhodes & Seth Rollins against Judgment Day & Drew McIntyre? Will Becky Lynch be at odds with Charlotte Flair alongside Bianca Belair & Shotzi against Damage CTRL? Is Bayley set to be pushed out by IYO SKY, Asuka & Kairi Sane? Are GUNTHER and Rhea Ripley shoe-ins to retain in their title matches? "The Silver King" and "Vintage" open with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly [12:50], including LA Knight still fighting The Bloodline, Santos Escobar's big moment and Raw again heavily featuring women. Plus, the guys tackle The Last Word [1:59:05]. Follow Getting Over on Twitter @GettingOverCast.
Kevin Scampoli and Geno The Bull order Lean Cuisine on https://havegrit.club 00:00:00 AEW Full Gear Hype 00:05:50 Swerve's Attire 00:28:15 TK Comments on Ronda Rousey 00:34:09 MJF's Crying Scrum 01:05:34 MJF vs. Jay White's Low Rating 01:22:38 AEW's Continental Classic 01:31:11 Buff Bagwell's DUI 01:47:09 Kevin's Dad's Song 01:58:01 Nick Hogan's DUI 02:01:28 NBA Undertaker Mascot 02:03:30 NFL Suplex 02:07:44 Jake Paul in MMA Gear 02:12:49 Asuka's Replica Titles 02:32:34 Liana Cheats on Andy Warski 02:43:24 Omos Sighting
Ok, you've heard of conference expansion, but faction expansion?? No, not the fellas, but the good news is they're all finally back after completing side quests. They go right into sport mode to talk the return of Kairi Sane's elbow drop, the ghost of Randy Savage and the Lash Legend agenda being in full effect... trust me it'll make sense soon, TUNE in, this is definitely can't miss
Hello Rundowners! This week Jason and Sal are here to discuss heel turns! Santos! McIntyre! Asuka! Booker T's legal Team but only on Wade Barrett! Were these turns shocking, long overdue, pointless or warranted? Also, lets predict Full Gear but be careful that we don't break into your house and steal your weed! Enjoy! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rundownwrestling/message
This week the boys the addof Asuka to Damage CTRL and Drew McIntyre to the Judgment Day side for Survivor Series. Dragon Lee/Cedric Alexander with another solid match. LA Knight gets back on track. Miz cements his IC match vs Gunther. AEW is in the 2 count covering Rampage Collision and Dynamite. Good week for Hangman Page and Komander. MJF's enemies getting closer. Moxley not feeling Orange Cassidy's Superman punch. The 3 count is NXT where the Family get the tag titles back while Andre Chase avoids controversy. Trick/Carmelo try to get back on the same page. Wes vs Corbin in the main event. They quickly discuss NJPW Lonestar Shootout. Final segment talks Full Gear and the boys give their predictions!Available on YouTube and wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen Share Subscribe Repeat! Rate and review on Apple and Spotify!WWEAEW 36:33NXT 1:17:32NJPW 1:21:00Full Gear predictions 1:29:12
This week the boys breakdown the add of Asuka to Damage CTRL and Drew McIntyre to the Judgement Day side for Survivor Series. Dragon Lee/Cedric Alexander with another solid match. LA Knight gets back on track. Miz cements his IC title match vs Gunther. AEW is in the 2 count covering Rampage Collision and Dynamite. Good week for Hangman Page and Komander. MJF's enemies getting closer. Moxley not feeling Orange Cassidy's Superman punch. The 3 count is NXT where the Family gets the tag titles back while Andre Chase avoids controversy. Trick/Carmelo try to get back on the same page. Wes vs Corbin in the main event. They quickly discuss Lonestar Shootout from NJPW. Final segment talks Full Gear and the boys give their predictions! Available on YouTube and wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen Share Subscribe Repeat! Rate and review on Apple and Spotify! WWE AEW 36:33 NXT 1:17;32 Lonestar Shootout 1:21:00 Full Gear predictions 1:29:12
This week the boys breakdown the add of Asuka to Damage CTRL and Drew McIntyre to the Judgment Day side for Survivor Series. Dragon Lee/Cedric Alexander have another solid match. LA Knight gets back on track. Miz cements his IC title match vs Gunther. AEW is in the 2 count. Good week for Hangman Page and Komander. MJF's ememies are getting closer. Moxley not feeling Orange Cassidy's Superman punch. The 3 count is NXT where the Family gets the tag titles back while Andre Chase avoids controversy. Trick/Carmelo try to get back on the same page. Wes vs Corbin in the main event. They quickly discuss Lonestar Shootout from NJPW. Final segment talks Full Gear and the boys give their predictions! Available on YouTube and wherever you listen to your podcasts. Listen Share Subscribe Repeat! Rate and review on Apple and Spotify! WWE AEW 36:33 NXT 1:17:32 NJPW 1:21:00 Full Gear predictions !:29:12
The Don Tony Show, hosted by Don Tony (recorded 11/18/23). Some Topics Discussed: WWE SMACKDOWN 11/17/23 Recap and Review Plus: Becky Lynch added to WarGames: Logical? Asuka officially added to Damage CTRL (for now); Santos Escobar cooks Rey Mysterio and LWO; Cody Rhodes appears; A bad Knight for Jimmy Uso; Solo Sikoa's time is now and U Can't See John Cena; B-Fab joining Street Profits? Brawling Brutes split coming? Dragon Lee vs Axion banger; Road Dogg commentates & more AEW FULL GEAR 2023 Predictions Plus: The Devil and 'Major' AEW signing reveal, ROH Faction? Samoa Joe swerve, could Dolph Ziggler appear? And more! TONY KHAN touts another 'major' signing: Mystery wrestler(s) to sign AEW contract at Full Gear RONDA ROUSEY makes ROH debut leading to the return of ROH/TV Deal rumors WWE SURVIVOR SERIES WARGAMES 2023: Updated lineup, news and rumors DREW MCINTYRE trolls Team Cody with video and sends a cryptic message to Cody Rhodes REY MYSTERIO undergoes minor knee surgery; not expected to miss much time MICKIE JAMES RETURNING TO WWE? Latest news on Mickie James' exit from Impact Wrestling and imminent future IMPACT bringing TNA Wrestling back to Orlando, Florida (for a weekend) DOLPH ZIGGLER's first wrestling match post WWE revealed RATINGS PREDICTION: WWE SmackDown vs AEW Collision 11/17/23 Head-To-Head THIS WEEK IN WRESTLING RATINGS: AEW and WWE women shine but Xia Li/Lyra Valkyria drink tea in the NXT basement; Impact Wrestling trends upward; FTR/Ricky Starks downward spiral continues; Did the weeklong hype of Sting/Darby Allin/Adam Copeland trios action pop a rating or the balloon?
On the 6th Edition of the Lighten Up Brother Podcast with Fuego Del Sol & Ak 47 they discuss Full Gear, Heel Turns and more of all the best stuff in wrestling this week! Follow AK 47 IG: @theassassinak X: @TheAssassinAK47 Twitch: @TheAssassinAK Spotlight Indie Wrestlers Sweet Cheeks" Joey Silver IG: @joey_silver Myron Reed IG: @reeds.world
Betrayals all over the place as Santos Escobar, Drew McIntyre and Asuka all turn heel! We finalise predictions for this Saturday's Full Gear! Who is AEW's mystery signing? Who is the greatest oldest champion of all time? And Mike. Larkin has a message for Beer on our last stop before Promo Series! Theme song: "Kickstart My Heart My Heart" by Dan Vasc Promo Series theme song: "Devil With Blue Eyes" by Lift The Curse #wwe #aew #wrestling #podcast #wwepredictions #wrestlingpodcast #wrestlinghighlights #wrestlingnews #allelitewrestling #nxt #njpwworld #newjapanprowrestling #ddtpro #ddtprowrestling #impactwrestling #aewvsnxt #aewpodcast #aewdynamite #aewrampage #wweraw #wwesmackdown #romanreigns #aewfullgear #fullgear2023 Visit us as www.maxwrestlingnet.weebly.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/maxwrestling Twitter: www.twitter.com/maxwrestlinguk Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/maxwrestling Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6Q8pmjfAmbmpXlyvZnlg7T
It's RJ Marceau's birthday this week on WrestleRant Radio! He checks in with Graham "GSM" Matthews on the special occasion to discuss WWE officially announcing Backlash 2024 for Paris, Santos Escobar's betrayal of Rey Mysterio on SmackDown and how it can culminate in a big WrestleMania match with a certain celebrity, Asuka and Kairi Sane aligning with Damage CTRL and who the final member of the women's match could be at Survivor Series, Drew McIntyre turning heel on Monday's Raw and the very obvious candidate for who will join the babyfaces to even the odds, and The Bunny's departure from AEW and if more will soon follow suit. Plus, they've got FULL PREDICTIONS for Saturday's AEW Full Gear pay-per-view event, including who they believe the big signing will be!
You're listening to Dirt Sheet Radio!! After months of building the Don Callis Family vs Omega and Jericho, the Young Bucks are given a PPV match against the Golden Jets instead of Callis. Why? Because of money, that's why! Who is the man behind the devil mask and who are his cohorts?! The AEW G1 Clim-- Continental Classic is set to take place across the next 9 weeks of TV! Which 12 men do we want to see in this round-robin tournament? The Jey Uso experiment has been a success! What comes next for Main Event Jey Uso and can Jimmy catch up? Drew McIntyre finally turns heel but what does that look like after War Games if he is not going to be chasing the Universal Championship? Speaking of War Games, is Randy Orton on his way back to WWE? What kind of Orton will we see post-major back surgery and recovery? Damage CTRL is looking like one of the strongest women's factions in quite some time. But not for long... Should they keep the group together for a little bit before separating Asuka, Kairi, and Iyo from Bayley and Dakota?
ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY EPISODE! Today, Dante and John are discussing: Drew McIntyre joining Judgment Day, Tony Khan's hyped up signing, Santos turning on Rey, Kairi Sane and (potentially) Asuka joining Damage CTRL, Women's WarGames, Randy Orton and CM Punk Survivor Series return potential, AEW Full Gear 2023 Predictions and Preview, + MORE! Please follow the pod and leave a rating and review! Share the show with a friend. It helps out the pod a TON! Dante Twitter: https://twitter.com/DanteOnDeck IG: https://www.instagram.com/danteturo11/ John Twitter: https://twitter.com/RaspyTaylor IG: https://www.instagram.com/raspytaylor/ Stache Club Wrestling: Twitter: @StacheClubW IG: @StacheClubW Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Because Kevin went to Smackdown this past Friday, him and Shahid started the podcast there. They started off by talking about Asuka turning on Charlotte and WWE Sting aka Bianca Belair. From there, your hosts start talking about how packed the women’s division is in WWE. Kevin & Shahid cover both the main roster and […] The post Stunt Granny Audio 902 – Smackdown Live, Survivor Series and Old Guys In AEW appeared first on Stunt Granny.
We are on the road to WWE Survivor Series! Carlito battles Bobby Lashley, but Santos Escobar destroys Rey Mysterio, Cedric Alexander challenges Dragon Lee, LA Knight goes one-on-one with Grayson Waller, and we have a brand new Damage CTRL as Asuka turns on Bianca Belair and Charlotte Flair to join the group!
SP3 and Miss Krssi Luv are back for an all-new edition of our flagship podcast Tru Heel Heat 250 w/special guests Jon Alba and Scott Edwards discussing the latest wrestling news. Welcome to the Tru Heel Heat Wrestling YouTube channel where we cover the sport of professional wrestling including all WWE TV shows (Raw, Smackdown, & NXT), AEW Dynamite/Dark, IMPACT Wrestling, NJPW, ROH, Dark Side of the Ring and more. Our weekly podcast hosted by SP3, Top Guy JJ & Miss Krssi Luv breaking down the weekly wrestling news and present unfiltered, honest thoughts and opinions for wrestling fans by wrestling fans, drops every Saturday. We also include PPV reviews, countdowns, and exclusive interviews with wrestlers from all promotions hosted by a wide range of personalities such as Romeo, Chris G, Ness, StatKing, Drunk Guy JJ, J-News and more. Subscribe and enable ALL notifications to stay posted for the latest wrestling WWE news, highlights, commentary, updates and more. Become a member of Tru Heels Facebook community: www.facebook.com/groups/1336177103130224/ Subscribe to Tru Heel Heat on YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UC0AmFQmsRyQYPKyRm5hDwNg Follow Tru Heels on Twitter: twitter.com/truheelheat Follow Tru Heels on Instagram: www.instagram.com/truheelheat/ Music composed by JPM
Nestlemania and JC discuss... Drew McIntyre, Santos Escobar, and Asuka's heel turn. Which one was the best? Can Zoey Stark overcome her pedestrian mic skills? What The Miz needs to do to become a great babyface. We give our AEW Full Gear predictions! All this and more this week on the Jobber Knocker Podcast STARTING NOW! A 3 DAY SALE, get 35% off! https://www.teepublic.com/JobberKnocker Follow us on Twitter! @JobberKnocker @Nestlemania @JCoftheJK @TJoftheJK @RayRayoftheJK @JoePollock47 @DommyFeds33 @Danyfab @SSJPegasus Follow us on Facebook & Instagram @JobberKnocker! Visit Jobberknocker.com for some great wrestling articles! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/jobberknocker/message
With just one week left until 2023 WWE Survivor Series: WarGames, intensity increased across SmackDown and Raw with both Judgment Day and Damage CTRL expanding. Host Adam Silverstein and co-host Chris Vannini open with The Main Event [12:30] discussing Cody Rhodes' return to prominence, Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley stepping up as leaders, JD McDonagh earning his membership, Drew McIntyre turning heel, IYO SKY and Kairi Sane calming Bayley, Asuka turning heel and what to expect as the WarGames rosters get filled out. "The Silver King" and "Vintage" next cover The Good, The Bad and The Ugly [1:00:45], including Santos Escobar turning on Rey Mysterio, Triple H revitalizing the women's division, LA Knight wading in purgatory, smart midcard booking, DIY floundering and much more. Plus, The Last Word [1:52:15] tackles WWE's aesthetics. Follow Getting Over on Twitter @GettingOverCast.
Promo of the week goes to Will Ospreay ahead of his match against Josh Alexander. Match of the week goes to Zack Sabre Jr. vs Speedball Mike Bailey at NJPW Lonestar Shootout. Angle of the week goes to Asuka turning on Bianca Belair to join Damage CTRL.Thanks for the House is hosted by AO and presented by The Ringside Club | All episodes: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL96dYLfifqAPbKKdmOm_en3C7uW65V5IK | http://TheRingsideClub.com
Sam talks about Bob Backlund's newly controversial reign as WWE Champion, the War Games teams being named for the men, rumors of additional team members, Kairi Sane and Asuka joining Damage Ctrl, Santos Escobar turning on the LWO and Rey Mysterio's blame, Logan Paul at UFC 295, NXT going to the CW, AEW Full Gear, and of course, answers emails. Support the show by going to https://displate.com/notsam?art=63c1a0835c9da & use code NOTSAM to get up to 30% off. Subscribe to the NEW show YouTube page at YouTube.com/NotsamWrestling For even more content- become a Notsam Shill on Patreon- Patreon.com/notsamwrestling
Let's talk this week in WWE, a week in which we saw a World Heavyweight Title Match, LA Knight's next opponent, Asuka turns heel as Damage Control Grows, 1 War Games match is nearly set, and we respond to listener voicemails!Go AD-FREE and get this show plus hundreds more by heading to Patreon.com/WWEPodcastAlso Get your NEW WWE Podcast MERCH at WWEPodcast.comThis show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at https://www.spreaker.com/show/2187791/advertisement
Adam and Michael chat about what happened on this week's episode of Friday Night SmackDown, including...Asuka JOINS Damage CTRL!Santos Escobar BETRAYS Rey Mysterio!LA Knight vs. Grayson Waller!Another Dragon Lee showcase!Did Kevin Owens get SUSPENDED?!ENJOY!Follow us on Twitter:@AdamWilbourn@MichaelHamflett@WhatCultureWWEFor more awesome content, check out: whatculture.com/wwe Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Chris Hero Talks In-Ring Return, Teaching the Next Generation, and More! | The Masked Man Show David and Kaz kick off the show by discussing Asuka's shocking alignment with Damage CTRL on Smackdown (6:00). Then they are joined by Chris Hero, who talks the following: His return to the ring (10:07) Biggest barrier of getting back into ring shape (36:10) What has his attention the most in wrestling right now (43:35) Working with newer pro wrestlers (0:00) Be sure to check out videos on the brand-new ‘Ringer' TikTok account @RingerWrestling. We are also on Instagram and Threads and X.Hosts: David Shoemaker and Kazeem Famuyide Guest: Chris Hero Producer: Brian H. Waters Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Episode 239 of No One's Ready For Wrestling discusses WWE Crown Jewel (2023) and what did I think about the PLE overall? Logan Paul wins the United States Championship and was it because of Santos Escobar? Kairi Sane comes back to WWE to assist IYO and where this can lead to! SEGA Sponsorship match revealed for AEW Dynamite. AEW Collision won't air on the same week as PPV event. Jim Ross reveals that he'll be taking time away from AEW. Who I think is behind the devil mask on Dynamite (AND NO IT'S NOT CM PUNK!)? Major changes are coming to TNA IMPACT next year! How NWA screwed up their TV Deal with The CW? Speaking of The CW, NXT will be landing there next year on October! Is there frustration within NWA due to Billy Corgan's leadership? WWE is absolutely in the picture to sign Will Ospreay. Another day, another CM Punk/WWE rumor. Sarreee (FKA Sarray) signs with a new promotion instead of WWE. WWE is reportedly interested in STARDOM/NJPW star Giulia and when she'll be a free agent? Is RAW going to air on the FX next year? WarGames matches are officially set for Survivor Series! Lyra Valkyria's 1st feud for the NXT Women's Championship revealed. Why I believe that Carmelo Hayes is the guy who attacked Trick Williams and I go into Detective Shino Mode! Santos Escobar turns heel on Rey Mysterio and more than likely leaves LWO. Finally, Asuka turns heel and joins Damage CTRL and where that story can lead to heading into next year! All this & so much more RIGHT HERE on No One's Ready For Wrestling! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/shinodphoenix/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/shinodphoenix/support
Matt, Rhodesia, and Eshaun start the podcast by discussing Asuka, Bayley, and Damage CTRL before moving to Santos's long awaited heel turn on Rey Mysterio.Eshaun thinks Lola Vice is already better than Jade Cargill and Matt & Rhodesia give their thoughts, Lexis King's current work after a couple of weeks in NXT, and how they feel about Cena if he's actually done wrestling.They then talk how their wrestling fandom has changed in the last 10 years before discussing AEW's great week of TV, the new tournament announced on Collision, who they think is the Devil, the women division + MORE!Connect With Us!Twitter: @ThatsFNWIG:@ThatsFNWYouTube: That's Freakin' Wrestling
Support our sponsor this week by using the link below for the special Solomonster offer!EXPRESSVPN - Get an extra three months FREE of the #1 trusted VPN at http://www.expressvpn.com/solomonsterSolomonster reviews WWE Smackdown for November 10th with Asuka joining the ranks of Damage CTRL as the pieces comes together for the women's War Games match at Survivor Series. Santos Escobar attacks Rey Mysterio as tension boils over in the ranks of the LWO. Kevin Owens sits in for Corey Graves on commentary and ends up "suspended" by the end of the night. It was a newsworthy episode, despite the WWE champion and US champion being absent from the show, something likely to happen a lot between now and the Royal Rumble.***Follow Solomonster on Twitter for news and opinion:http://www.twitter.com/solomonsterSubscribe to the Solomonster Sounds Off on YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSolomonster?sub_confirmation=1Become a Solomonster Sounds Off Channel Member:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9jcg7mk93fGNqWPMfl_Aig/joinThis show is part of the Spreaker Prime Network, if you are interested in advertising on this podcast, contact us at https://www.spreaker.com/show/5582990/advertisement
Join Alex Lajas aka Queen of the Ring and special guest Miss Krssi Luv of Tru Heel Heat for Know Your Role reviewing the 11/10/23 episode of WWE SmackDown. Show your support to the ladies and BodySlam at slamchats.com to donate and give your thoughts in depth on tonight's show. Leave your thoughts on this episode and review in the live chat and comments section. Like, share and subscribe to support! #SmackDown #WWE #KairiSane ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BodySlamNet is back with a brand new interactive YouTube channel! Get ready for more live streams of show reviews, post shows, watch alongs, interviews and much more covering WWE, AEW, NJPW, IMPACT Wrestling/TNA, STARDOM, GCW, ROH and more. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- See Cassidy Haynes, Stephanie Hypes, Alex Lajas aka Queen of the Ring, Lyric Wrestling, Lo, LeMaire Lee, Lewis, Astrid and more for our new LIVE post shows where we will be discussing all the weekly shows with you all. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You can show your support for all of our new hosts, videos and channel at slamchats.com for viewer donations that go directly to us here. Support BodySlam!
No main event stars but we got to see double heel turns, and a new major faction coming together. Asuka and Kaira Sane seem to be joining the DMG Control but are they really? Or is Iyo Sky secretly forming her own faction under Bayley's nose?
Denise Salcedo and Robin Lundberg discuss the fallout from Crown Jewel on Smackdown! Who is the latest addition to Damage CTRL? Has this taken the team to the next level? AND, Santos Escobar betrays Rey Mysterio and the LWO! What are we gonna see next.
Our WWE Smackdown review as Simon Miller talks about Santos Escobar turning on Rey Mysterio, Bobby Lashley vs. Carlito, Kairi Sane and Asuka joining Damage CTRL, Dragon Lee vs. Cedric Alexander, LA Knight vs Grayson Waller and more. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The Don Tony Show, hosted by Don Tony (recorded 11/11/23). Some Topics Discussed: KEVIN OWENS 'suspended' on SMACKDOWN and how it directly affects SURVIVOR SERIES WWE SMACKDOWN 11/10/23 results plus: Santos Escobar betrays Rey Mysterio; Asuka aligns with Damage Ctrl; Dragon Lee/Cedric II; seeds planted for Survivor Series; LA Knight bounces back and more JADE CARGILL or ZELINA VEGA for TEAM BAYLEY at WARGAMES? DT looks at both scenarios and why one makes much more sense than the other VINCE MCMAHON sells 8.4 Million shares ($713 Million Dollars) of TKO Stock: DT discusses the reasons behind the sale and the reaction amongst the financial world and IWC FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch burns WWE discussing the non-renewal of SmackDown. AEW excuse makers obsessed over ratings and demos need to pay close attention to details why SmackDown was non-renewed. The same could happen to some AEW programming in 2024 Could USA NETWORK end up the home for BOTH WWE Raw and SmackDown? RUMOR KILLER: Warner Brothers Discovery is a front runner to land TV rights for WWE Raw WWE SURVIVOR SERIES WARGAMES 2023: Updated lineup, latest news and rumored matches AEW DYNAMITE 11/8/23 (Full Gear build, MJF vs Garcia, Sting/Darby Tag Team, White vs Brisco) drops: Complete ratings report AEW RAMPAGE 11/10/23 results & 11/11/23 COLLISION preview: Sting, Darby Allin, Adam Copeland Trios match
This episode we are looking at some of the earliest temples to be built in Japan. Namely: Asukadera and Shitennoji. These have pretty good claims to be some of the earliest temples, and they are mentioned in this reign, both in relation to the Soga-Mononobe War. For photos and more, check out https://sengokudaimyo.com/podcast/episode-97 Rough Transcript Welcome to Sengoku Daimyo's Chronicles of Japan. My name is Joshua and this is episode 97: Asukadera and Shitennouji. First off, quick shout out to Craig for supporting us on Ko-Fi.com. We'll have more information on how you can help support the show at the end of the episode. To recap so far, we are still in the reign of Kashikiya Hime, aka Suiko Tennou, in the 6th and early 7th centuries—though for this episode we are going to step back a little bit as much of this has origins in the 6th century, looking at the early spread of Buddhism and the founding of some of the first permanent temple complexes—specifically Asukadera in, well, Asuka, and Shitennouji in the area of modern Ohosaka. As we've seen, Yamato was in the process of importing various things from the mainland—both material culture and immaterial things as well, including philosophy and religion. By religion, of course, we are talking about Buddhism, which we've already covered to some extent in Episodes 85 and 88, but let's go over a little bit of the history, shall we, and catch up with what has been happening since. Buddhism had likely been coming over to the archipelago since the arrival of Buddhist immigrants from Baekje and elsewhere, though their religion is not much discussed. After all, the Nihon Shoki is focused largely on the Yamato royal family and the court, and so other than groups of immigrants beings settled and possibly organized into family groups, there wasn't much call to look into their day to day practices. It is also difficult to know just how far Buddhism had penetrated into the lower ranks of society on the continent, as well. Certainly the courts had adopted Buddhism, but to what extent it was part of the daily lives of the common person, I don't know that I could say with any certainty. Still, we can imagine that there were likely those who came over to the archipelago with an extant belief in the Buddha and some inkling of the rites and other aspects of Buddhist worship. Did they set up small temples in their villages? Or convert a house into a shrine? Or did they just keep private practice and worship? We don't know, and as far as I've come across we don't seem to have any conclusive evidence via the archaeological record, either. And so we are left with the written record and what it has to say on the subject. The Nihon Shoki notes the first official mention of Buddhism in the archipelago as the arrival of a Buddhist statue from Baekje. The official record puts this in the year 552, in the reign of Amekunioshi, aka Kinmei Tennou, and credits Soga no Iname with taking and building the first temple and setting up the first temple by repurposing his own house—or at least some part of his property. Other families, however, opposed the Soga's attempts at bringing in and establishing this new religion and ultimately ended up destroying that first temple, tossing the image into the river. This whole thing repeated itself in 584, about 32 years later—Silla had given Yamato a Buddhist image in 579, and then an image of Miroku, aka Maitreya, and an image of the Buddha, aka Shakyamuni, were both found. Soga no Umako, Iname's son and successor to his role as Oho-omi, took the two images and had a temple once again built, importing specialists and setting up three nuns to attend to the appropriate rituals. Once again, the Soga's opponents, led by the powerful Mononobe family, cried foul and had the temple destroyed and the nuns stripped of their robes. There are a few things about this account that are more than a bit sus, however. First, there is mention of that first Buddha image in both the Joguki, the record of the life of Prince Shotoku Taishi, as well as a record from Gangoji Garan Engi, a record from Gangoji temple—which is to say Asukadera, one of the temples we'll be talking about, today. In those records we find a different date for the first Buddha image, with its arrival coming in 538, not 552. That would have put its arrival a year before Amekunioshi, aka Kinmei Tennou, took the throne. It is also rather interesting at just how much the two stories parallel each other, and one has to wonder if they were really two separate stories or if they were one story that got attributed to different members of the Soga family, for some reason. It is also possible that they are different stories, but with similar elements that got conflated across each other. Or it really was a matter of déjà vu, with the experience of Soga no Umako paralleling that of his father, Iname. We also cannot discount some massaging of the text. For one thing, they put it in the reign of Amekunioshi, who had a different maternal line than his previous two successors and elder half-brothers. There may have been political reasons to keep the stories as they were and, hopefully, keep the story relatively tidy. Regardless of why, the implication seems clear that by 585 there were people in Yamato with some knowledge of Buddhism, as well as the necessary artisans and craftspeople to create a continental style temple complex. In the following years, the fight between the Soga and the Mononobe escalated with the death of sovereign and the ensuing succession dispute. The Mononobe and their candidate, Prince Anahobe, were destroyed by forces in league with the Soga family. During that conflict, which we covered in Episodes 90 and 91, there was a point where both Soga no Umako and his nephew, the young Prince Umayado, each prayed to the Buddha for victory, promising to erect a temple if they succeeded. Indeed, they did succeed, and based on their vows, two temples were eventually created. The first temple is known as Asukadera, or the Temple of Asuka, although it also is known by its official name of Hokoji, and later Gangoji. Construction of Hokoji started in 588, and is attributed to Soga no Umako. The second temple is Shitennoji, or the Temple of the Four Heavenly Kings. We'll talk about them a bit more, later, but the Four Heavenly Kings are four gods, who appear to pre-date Buddhism, who were co-opted into the Buddhist pantheon as protectors of Buddhism, each one representing a cardinal direction. Shitennouji's traditional founding is given to us as 593. Both of these temples still exist, in one form or another. If you go to Asuka, today, you can find a small Asukadera on the site of the previous temple, but it is much reduced from its original form. When it was built, Asukadera would have been at the center of the political heartland of Yamato. It was the land of the Soga, but also the location of the palace of Kashikiya Hime, and it likely rivaled her palace for pride of place in Asuka. However, when the capital eventually moved away from Asuka—first to nearby Kashihara, but then across the Nara basin to Heijo-kyo, modern Nara city—the temple buildings were removed to Nara, to modern day Gankouji, though the site of Houkouji continued to be used as a small, local temple. The modern temple in Asuka does have a Buddha statue, however, that they believe to have been the original Daibutsu, or Giant Buddha, known as the Asuka Daibutsu. It changed hands many times over the centuries, but has since come back to Asuka, though a little worse for wear. Shitennouji, on the other hand, is in the heart of modern Ohosaka, in the Tennoji ward. The buildings of Shitennouji have been rebuilt numerous times, although supposedly by the same construction company, one of the oldest businesses in the world, and they remain in their original configuration. Since they've been rebuilt, however, this is why you will often hear of another temple, Horyuji, also associated with Prince Shotoku Taishi, as being the oldest temple in Japan, as it has the oldest extant buildings. Make no mistake, however—Asukadera and Shitennouji were founded first, and both still survive in some manner. These two temples do a lot to help us better understand Buddhism and its influence, but also helps us understand more than that. They help us look into the politics of the time, and even illuminate some of the apparent tensions between different immigrant groups from Baekje and Silla that were becoming more and more prominent in Yamato. Of the various early temples that were built, Asukadera is perhaps one of the most well-documented, both in the historic record as well as the archaeological evidence. Donald McCallum, in his book, “The Four Great Temples”, notes that serious study of Asukadera began around the Meiji and into the Taisho era, in particular calling out the work of Fukuyama Toshio, published in 1934. Up to that point, it was mostly looking at the histories—both the Nihon Shoki and also works like the Gangouji Engi, the record of Gangouji, the later name for Asukadera. He determined that much of the record, though it claimed to have been written by Shotoku Taishi himself, was actually written later than the Nihon Shoki, based on linguistic analysis. However, there were some sections that appear to be earlier or contemporaneous with the Nihon Shoki, likely pulled from other works, which the Nihon Shoki may have been pulling from as well, including inscriptions on the extant temple buildings at the time. This was determined by things like the grammar and Sinitic characters used, as well as the lack of terms like “Tennou”, which still were not in use until later periods. It is also interesting to note that Shotoku Taishi is referred to in the document by the name “Prince Umayado no Toyotomimi” Based on that analysis, it seems fairly certain that Soga no Umako was, indeed, largely responsible for donations to build Asukadera, although the Nihon Shoki gives credit to Kashikiya Hime as well. That and certain other features of the Nihon Shoki account were probably added later, possibly at the urging of the Gangouji priests themselves, to stress a stronger connection with the Yamato royal family rather than just Soga no Umako. The text gives a brief history of Buddhism, which is where we see Buddhism being introduced as early as 538, though it seems to suggest this was still in the reign of Amekunioshi, aka Kinmei Tennou, rather than his predecessors. Soga no Iname is still given much of the credit, though there is a note about Kashikiya Hime also installing a Buddhist icon in her own quarters at one point—something not mentioned in the Nihon Shoki. It does mention the various pro- and anti-Buddhist arguments and steps that the various sides took, including Umako having three nuns ordained and them being eventually defrocked—though without mention of them being whipped, which may have been too much or could be sensationalist additions to the Nihon Shoki text. One thing that is notably missing in the Gangouji Engi, at least as McCallum summarizes it, is mention of the Mononobe and Soga conflict, and so there is no mention of any special vow that was made to build Asukadera if they were victorious—let alone anything about the vow to build Shitennouji. Instead, it is instigated by the three nuns, who request both a nunnery and a monastery, each with at least 10 ordained nuns or priests, as that was the number required for many of the rites and to ensure proper ordination could take place in the future, thus allowing them to grow the religion. These two temples would need to be close enough so that they could each hear the bells from the other. Although priests were requested from Baekje, too few came over in response, which is why the nuns themselves were sent over to get a proper ordination. They return in 590 and urge the completion of the two temples—Asukadera and Toyouradera, the latter using the land that was previously Kashikiya Hime's palace prior to her moving to the Oharida palace site, nearby. All of that was based on the extant texts, but there were also archaeological excavations that took place in 1956 to 1957, as well as later investigations in and around Asuka Temple and the general area. Even today, excavations in the regions are ongoing, and in a recent visit I saw them excavating nearby palace ruins. Fortunately, the area has not seen the kind of heavy urban development, whether in the modern or pre-modern period, that many other areas have gone through, with much of the land having been returned to farmland, and the importance of the area, today, is well understood. The initial excavations were a bit surprising. Based on extant temples such as Shitennoji, it was expected that Asukadera would have been planned out in such a way that there was a straight line from the central gate, to the pagoda and the kondou, or golden hall, sometimes called an image hall, with the koudou, or lecture hall, in back. Often there is some separation of the lecture hall from the other two. These buildings are both connected and separated by gates, walls, and pathways, including covered cloisters along the wall, which conforms to the pattern of temples on the Korean peninsula as well. This is very reminiscent of the Baekje layout for temples, and may include other elements such as belfries or similar. The three main buildings each serve a purpose. As we noted back in Episode 84, the Pagoda had replaced the Stupa, and was often a reliquary, holding relics of some kind. Then there is the Kondou—literally golden halls, as many of the statues and other artwork would be gilded and designed to reflect light, often shining out from the darkness with the goal of leading more people to consider enlightenment. These are the halls where images are placed—hence the other term, “image hall”—whether metal, wood, stone, et cetera. The pagoda and the kondou may be areas of personal worship, with believers coming to visit them, perhaps to venerate a particular aspect of the Buddha or contemplate something, and images or particular relics are often ascribed particular spiritual power. Often these are included together or near one another. On the other hand the koudou, or Lecture Hall, also known as the Ordination Hall, would be the place for sermons and various ceremonies. In many ways these are the “working” areas of a temple, and while they often have images and are ornately adorned, they have, in some ways, a more utilitarian function, and in many early temple layouts they are often held apart from the pagoda and kondou in some way. At Asukadera, the excavations revealed that it was not planned out in the standard three building model, all lined up, as had been expected. Instead, there was a walled courtyard, with cloisters around the sides and a central gate that led to a pagoda in the middle of the area. Then there were three buildings, identified as individual kondou, or image halls, spaced equally to the left, right, and behind the pagoda. A larger building was then found behind the walled courtyard area, determined to be the temple's lecture hall. All of this was enclosed in another wall, which seems to have defined the larger area of the temple. This layout is fairly unique. It doesn't exactly fit anything we've seen in Baekje or Silla temples of the period, and most closely resembles something out of Goguryeo. It may be worth noting that there are records that claim the King of Goguryeo provided funds to help build temples in Japan, and that some of the monks involved, including the monk Eben, or Hyephyeon, who helped initially ordain the Zenshin and her fellow nuns, was said to be a man from Goguryeo, and so may have had some influence on the design. On the other hand, the rooftiles found at the Asukadera site are very much in the Baekje tradition. Up to this point, there is no indication that the Japanese were using rooftiles in their construction, and were likely using thatching, much as many Shinto shrines continue to use to this day. The use of rooftiles is thought to have started with Buddhist temples, and occurred much earlier than their use in other buildings, including palace buildings. Since rooftiles were ceramic, they required different construction techniques so that the roof could support the weight, which would further explain the need to import craftsmen from the continent to help build these structures. Rooftiles are not necessarily the most exciting thing for people wandering through a museum. Often one is looking at weapons, jewelry, or haniwa statues, and suddenly you come across a plethora of tiles from different buildings, and it can be easy to just glance past. Without understanding what you are looking at, the rooftiles often seem the same—or same-ish. The majority of the tiles are plain, without much distinction. End tiles—whether round or flat—often have similar decorations, such as lotus flowers, and they are often very similar to one another. Furthermore, these are rarely refined works of art—tiles were meant to be mass produced and were often created quickly to meet the demands of construction. Despite all of this, I think it is worth recognizing that the rooftiles are often important to helping archaeologists, especially when the rest of the building is no longer extant. Rooftiles often would fall off and get buried, or even be reused in some way to edge a gutter or something similar. However, how they are made, the molds that were used, the composition of the clay, etc. can all be analyzed to provide information about the age and size of a structure, helping to know when different buildings may have been built or rebuilt, as well as providing some information on where the materials were coming from. And for those who want to learn more, you can be sure that every part of a tile has its own specialized name and vocabulary—it is something that you can really delve deep into if that is your thing. The rooftiles at Asukadera are somewhat odd in that they are not as uniform as one might expect, and this may come from the fact that they had imported different tile makers from Baekje, and so each one set up their workshop with slightly different standards. Later, as Yamato as more temples and other continental style buildings were built, these would become larger, more standardized industries. Still, that they seem to conform to the general patterns found in Baekje speaks, again, to the location that the craftsmen were likely from, as well as the connections mentioned in the texts. And so we see at least Baekje and possibly Goguryeo influence on the design of this temple. One other thing that has been found is the stone pedestal for an image in the central image hall. We know that at some point a large image was crafted, and the Asuka Daibutsu, or Giant Buddha Image of Asuka, is still extant, and the stone pedestal was likely where it or a similar image sat at some point. However, just when this image was created and installed is still unknown—there are references to various images, but nothing that can be directly attributed to the current Asuka Daibutsu, though various scholars have identified it as being consistent with the Asuka style from at least the 7th century. The earliest information talks about the stone Miroku, or Maitreya, image that Kafuka no Omi brought back. It was probably not that large, and it seems that it was eventually enshrined at Asukadera in some form. There are mentions of various icons made in the early 7th century as well, which could refer to this. It is said that it was made in 609 by Kuratsukuri no Tori, though that is not without controversy. It was damaged in a fire in 1196, which was originally thought to have destroyed everything. Indeed, an examination of the image has shown that it appears to have been reconstructed, though there is some evidence that the face and right hand are likely original, while the rest of the body was refashioned, probably from the burnt and melted pieces that were damaged in the fire. It still sits in the Angoin at the modern site of Asukadera, for anyone who wants to come and see it. Taken together, this can give us some idea of what it took to build the temple. Previous so-called temples appear to be conversions of local buildings, with perhaps some work on building a proper pagoda, but at Asukadera they went full-out to build according to the continental standards. That said, there has been a significant amount of ink spilled over just how this process went. Based on the Nihon Shoki, it would almost appear that everything arrived, fully formed, at the end of 588. As I've noted previously, the way that the Nihon Shoki records read it can sometimes be difficult to figure out exactly what happened when, as a single entry will often contain details that must have happened before or after the date of the entry itself, and it isn't entirely clear exactly what happened on the referenced date, in many cases. Furthermore, since the Chroniclers were pulling from other sources, there is always the possibility that they, themselves, misinterpreted something. Finally, I would note that their primary goal was to give readers and idea of what happened that conformed with what was known as true and what supported the state institutions. Would it have mattered to them exactly when Asukadera was built, as long as it was generally right and in the regards to the appropriate sovereign and nobles? Probably not. It likely would have taken some time to pull everything together. There would have been planning sessions, and drawings. They would have to harvest the right kind of wood and shape it based on the designs, and an entire industry of tile-making would have to be set up, likely with local hands learning the process. Similarly, woodcarvers would have already existed, but they would likely need to learn new techniques to account for the continental design. And then there were the various rituals that would need to be carried out. This is all in addition to any stonework, special metalwork, or other such things that had not been previously done in the archipelago. On top of that, there would have been issues of translation, with immigrant artisans directing their various groups of craftsmen. It is possible that work for planning the temple began as early as 588—which may have just been the request for more craftsmen—and then in 596, when we have textual evidence that some part of the temple was “finished”, that may have been nothing more than the pagoda by that time. It is then unclear whether the other buildings were finished together or in separate phases—perhaps the central image hall was finished, and then the two on the sides of the pagoda were added at a later date. Images may have also been shifted around as new images, like the Asuka Daibutsu, were completed. Many scholars have argued for different interpretations based on their readings of the texts, but none of the evidence is so clear as to be incontrovertible. What is clear is that this was a grand temple, and that would have been equally clear to everyone who viewed it. Furthermore, this temple was connected directly to Soga no Umako and the Soga family. Something to consider: Just as the giant tomb mounds helped demonstrate the power of various clans based on the work and resources that went into them, a temple like Asukadera would have provided similar cache for the Soga family. This is more than just religious devotion, it was a political statement, made in the heart of the region that Kashikiya Hime was ruling from. Visitors to her palace—not to mention later palaces in the area—would have hardly been able to miss the pagoda and the tiled rooves, and locals would have likely heard the toll of the bell, assuming that both they and Toyouradera had them as the sources mention. Speaking of Toyouradera, I have less information on that compound, but it seems to have been built sometime later. Kashikiya Hime moved to the new Woharida palace around 603, which would have freed the Toyoura palace buildings to be used for the nunnery. While there is evidence of a pagoda being built, I suspect that it originally reused the old palace buildings, repurposing them, and then would have been built out as time allowed. There is still a temple in Toyoura, and some remains that have been examined, but I am not aware of anything as extensive as the work on Asukadera. In comparison—and perhaps contrast—to Asukadera is the other temple of this episode: Shitennouji, the temple of the Four Heavenly Kings. Now while many later texts certainly involved both Kashikiya Hime and Prince Umayado in the building of Asukadera, it is clear that Soga no Umako played a leading role—and was probably the primary patron for that temple. In contrast, Shitennouji is directly associated with none other than Prince Shotoku Taishi. It claims to have been founded in 593, based on the account of the Nihon Shoki, and it is said to have been commissioned by Crown Prince Shotoku, aka Prince Umayado, in response to the Four Heavenly Kings' intervention in the Soga-Mononobe war. To put some of this in perspective: Prince Umayado is said to have been born in 574, and he would have been a teenager during the Soga-Mononobe war, and would have been about 20 years old or so in 593. Granted, this is Shotoku Taishi we are talking about, and all of the history about him claims that he was quite precocious. It is said that when he was born, his hands were clasped together. Two years later, he opened his hands and it was revealed that he had been born holding a relic of the Buddha, which was later enshrined at the temple of Houryuji. Speaking of Houryuuji, I'm sure we'll spend more time on it in a future episode, but here's what you probably should know for context. Houryuuji was built on the site of Prince Umayado's Ikaruga palace, and is also said to have been directly patronized by Umayado, aka Shotoku Taishi. Furthermore, it has the oldest extant wooden buildings in the world, let alone in Japan. And yet, the Shitenouji temple appears to get more air time in the Chronicles, which may be a factor of several different things, but primarily indicating that Shitenouji and its patrons were ascendant at court at the time that everything was being written down, whereas it appears that Houryuuji may have been rebuilding after a fire, and therefore was not as prominent as it would later be. Either way, I encourage people to visit both to get a better idea of this period. There is less textual evidence—or perhaps there has simply been less scrutiny—for the founding of Shitenouji, and its position is hardly central to the Yamato court. Nonetheless, it is in a place of prominence, as it was near Naniwa, the port to the Seto Inland Sea and beyond. This was also an area that had a high number of immigrants from the mainland, which I'll be returning to in a bit. As I mentioned earlier in this episode, Shitenouji follows what we might consider a more traditional design. Entering through the central gate, one comes upon the five storied pagoda, behind which stands the kondou, or image hall. All of this is surrounded by a cloistered wall, which encircles both until you get to the north end, where the wall terminates at the koudou, or lecture hall. The buildings are brightly painted and decorated in red, green, and white—colors that would have likely adorned Asukadera's posts as well, and which we see in many later temples and images. In fact, the image of a Buddhist temple as brown and plain comes later, likely originating with just the ravages of time and the lack of funding to keep up with the paint, which was originally said to help preserve the wood and prevent damage from insects. Eventually, some sects would come to prefer the more subdued image brought about by natural wood, creating a new aesthetic that continues to be popular. Today you can find a variety of different temple buildings from different eras, some of which maintain the bright colors that would have likely been part of any early temple. There have been some excavations around Shitenouji, which appear to confirm that the shape has remained roughly the same over the centuries, from what I can tell. The buildings themselves have been rebuilt over the years, but maintain a certain characteristic that seems appropriate to the early temple period. This may be due to the fact that the temple has retained the services of a family of temple builders that continue to operate as a business, even today. Kongou Gumi claims that it was founded in 578, when craftsmen were brought from Baekje to help build temples in Japan, making it the oldest company in the world, though it is now a subsidiary company of the Takamatsu Construction Group. They continue to specialize in traditional temple, shrine, and castle construction, preserving ancient techniques, but also employing modern materials, such as concrete and rebar, where appropriate. While they were specific to Shitennouji, they were not exclusive, and in the 16th century they helped rebuild Osaka castle. They have repeatedly rebuilt Shitennouji and maintained it through the years, even after it has, at times, been completely destroyed by fire or even typhoon. The story of Shitennouji's founding we talked about in the episode on the Soga-Mononobe War, but to quickly recount: The young Shotoku Taishi crafted figures of the four Heavenly kings and prayed for a Soga victory, promising to build a temple if they won. The Soga did win, and so he followed through by building this temple, using land taken from the Mononobe during the war. So who were the Four Heavenly Kings? Why didn't he just pray to the Buddha? The Four Heavenly Kings are gods from India that were transmitted along with Buddhism as Buddhist Deities. They are: Vaisravana, aka Tamonten, in the north Virudhaka, aka Zouchouten, in the south Dhrtarastra, aka Jikokuten, in the east And Virupaksa, aka Koumokuten, the west. In general, if you are at a Japanese temple, and you see the name end with “Ten” it may be referring to one of the various Heavenly Kings. The four heavenly kings are devas, and included as four of the 20 or 24 devas who manifest to protect the Dharma. Given their role in protecting the various cardinal directions, they became popular in East Asian Buddhism, and show up in various Mahayana texts, but they also appear in Theravada traditions as well. It is unclear exactly when and how they became associated with Buddhism, though it wasn't uncommon for Buddhism to co-opt various gods and deities and turn them into aspects of the Buddha, Boddhisatvas, or, as in this case, protectors of Buddhism. We see similar things happen in the archipelago as various kami are, on occasion, given Buddhist aspects and accepted as defenders of Buddhism. It appears that they have a particular place in the Konkoumyou Sutra, or Sutra of Golden Light, which is where they appear to have entered East Asian Buddhism. This sutra may have been translated as early as the 5th century, though the Nihon Shoki uses quotes that appear to come from a translation likely made around the 7th or 8th century, which was likely popular at the time that the Nihon Shoki was being compiled. Not only that, but later in the 8th century, various Kokubunji, or provincial temples, would be set up under state sponsorship, in part to create spiritual protection for the realm, and these were specifically set up as temples of the Four Heavenly Kings. So we can see that belief in the efficacy of the Four Heavenly Kings was important around the time that the Chronicles were being compiled. In addition, Shitennouji is heavily influenced by what some call the “Cult” of “Shotoku Taishi”. Again, by the time that the Nihon Shoki was being compiled, Prince Umayado had already been lifted up on a pedestal and turned into something more than just a Prince—however influential he may have been. He became known as the Father of Buddhism, and the Father of the Nation, having also played a part—we are told—in the creation of the first ever 17 article constitution. He was a Soga relative but he was not, importantly, a member of the direct Soga line, which would land on hard times just a few generations later and be on the political outs. Michael Como, in his book on Shotoku Taishi, also points out that Shitennouji was associated with the Abe family and with various lineages with ties specifically to Silla, including groups like the Hata—although the layout of the temple still accords with Baekje temple design, as far as I can tell. Still, by the 8th century in particular, Shitennouji and similar temples claiming sponsorship or connections to Shotoku Taishi appear to have had connections with lineages descending from or with connections to Silla. Spoiler alert: Silla would eventually take over the entire Korean Peninsula, and therefore, by the 8th century, there were no new “Baekje” or “Goguryeo” immigrants—anyone coming over was from Silla. And Michael Como points out that there seems to have been a bit of a political rift and distinction between Silla descended lineage groups and Baekje descended lineage groups. Asukadera and the Soga family—and even Shotoku Taishi's temple of Houryuuji—appear to have been firmly attached to the Baekje lineages, whom they had sponsored to come over to help them promote Buddhism, but by the 8th century, Silla-backed groups were more dominant. He points to a “split” in the Shotoku Taishi worship, with the Silla-backed temples dominating the narrative in the 8th century and beyond. This may also play into the story of the founding of Shitennouji, as there is a similar story in the Samguk Yusa, as Como points out. In it, the King prays to the Heavenly Kings for victory against the Tang, and that same King is said to have built the Sacheonwang Temple in the Silla capital of Gyeongju. This temple would become a model for later temples in Silla, and introduced a layout with two pagodas, rather than one. We see this pattern arrive in the archipelago, influencing temples like Yakushiji, in modern Nara. Unfortunately, this all seems to just muddy the waters. I think we can probably say that the founding of Shitennouji by a young Shotoku Taishi, while possible, seems a bit sus. Sure, I guess they could have built a temple on the land taken from the Mononobe—it would have been quite the statement given that the Mononobe had been so anti-Buddhism, at least according to the textual records. But was it originally dedicated to the Four Heavenly Kings? Or did that part come later, as the texts on the Four Heavenly Kings grew more popular? I suspect that the temple, which seems laid out in the standard Baekje style, was no doubt one of the early temples, and it may even have been built on Mononobe property. But the association with Shitennouji—and the legend of Shotoku Taishi—probably came later. It was in a great position, however, to gain patronage from newly arrived immigrants, as the port of Naniwa would have been one of the more cosmopolitan locations, and after the downfall of Baekje and Goguryeo, most of those people crossing the sea would have identified with Silla. Regardless of the legends behind it, Shitennouji does appear to have a claim to be one of the oldest temples in Japan, and shortly after it was built—or at least they started work on the temple—we are told that Kashikiya Hime told Shotoku Taishi to aggressively promote Buddhism, which seems to have kicked off a temple-building fad. No doubt the prestige that came from being connected with a temple like Asukadera or Shitennouji had some small part to play in that. Temples would become another source of spiritual, and thus political, power, for various kinship groups, much as shrines and kofun were as well. In fact, the temple building craze is often seen as the beginning of the end of the Kofun period. All of the money and resources that were poured into temple building—whether as private projects or as state sponsored projects—would put a huge drain on the labor pool for things like monumental tombs. In addition, as Buddhist theology took hold, a dedicatory temple was, in many ways, more useful, as it could be a way of building merit for the dead, as opposed to simply building giant tomb mounds. That doesn't mean it ended immediately, but as I've mentioned before we start to see the tomb sizes shrink. Nothing would rival the middle kofun era building projects, and there would be a greater focus on building things like temples. I also suspect that this new style of construction may have had other knock on effects as well. Grand buildings such as those built for temples, and later palaces, were not quite so easy to dismantle and reassemble elsewhere. These were major construction projects and the materials were now heavier, especially those tiled roofs. Not that it was “easy” to just build a palace in the older style, but it was clearly something that could be done quickly if necessary, as shown with the construction of various temporary buildings for envoys and the like—or even the decision to move to a new palace part way through a reign. These new buildings weren't the same, and we can see how, when Asukadera was moved up to Nara—where it is known as Gankouji—they clearly left many of the buildings and materials behind and likely built new buildings in the new capital. Giant images would also have been difficult to transport, and probably easier to just commission a new one. Had Asukadera, aka Houkouji, not burned down and been generally neglected by the court, which by then had moved on to Heian-kyo, then perhaps it would have retained some of the buildings, as Houryuuji, did. Unfortunately, it did burn down, and so today is only a shadow of what it once was—though still worth a visit, in my opinion. And that's where we'll wrap things up for now. Until next time, then, thank you for listening and for all of your support. If you like what we are doing, tell your friends and feel free to rate us wherever you listen to podcasts. If you feel the need to do more, and want to help us keep this going, we have information about how