Dōgen and mitate
In the beginning I will introduce the concept of mitate, which is a rhetoric device very similar to a metaphor largely used in Japanese literature in order to hint at something outside a text. After having explained its structure and function, I will examine how it was employed in the field of Buddhism and, especially, in the Zen sect. Then, I will focus on on the Sōtō Zen master Dōgen (1200-1253) and his major work Shōbōgenzō in which we can find examples of mitate used to teach the Buddhist doctrine. However, Dōgen has a particular approach to mitate, which I call ‘de-constructive’ because he uses mitate to invalidate its function overturning its structure. This is a very original approach and an efficient strategy in order to transmit the ultimate truth taught in Zen. In this paper, I will present and analyse a few examples.