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The Illustrated Miraculous Origins of the Yūzū Nenbutsu School (Yūzū Nenbutsu Engi Emaki)

The Illustrated Miraculous Origins of the Yūzū Nenbutsu School (Yūzū Nenbutsu Engi Emaki)

1300s

Handscroll; ink, color and gold on paper

Image: 29.7 x 1232.4 cm (11 11/16 x 485 3/16 in.); Overall: 30.3 x 1373.5 cm (11 15/16 x 540 3/4 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt, John L. Severance, and Edward L. Whittemore Funds 1956.87

Description

This narrative scroll illustrates the story of Priest Ryonin and the Yuzu Nenbutsu sect he founded. The sect was an offshoot of Pure Land Buddhism--a tradition that encouraged reliance on the Amida Buddha for salvation in his Western Paradise. It was believed that by merely repeating the nenbutsu, a simple mantra, one could gain admission into paradise. All the activities in the scroll point to the collective participation of the figures (both human and animal) in the recitation practice and worship of the Amida Buddha.

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