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Pure Land Buddhism


JREF Editor
15 Mar 2002
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Pure Land Buddhism

Pure Land Buddhism (浄土仏教 Jōdo bukkyō) is a branch of Mahāyāna Buddhism and seeks rebirth into Amitābha Buddha's Western Paradise (the "Pure Land"), traditionally after death. Pure Land Buddhism achieved great popularity in China from around 800 CE, though it had existed there earlier. It never achieved the status of a separate school or sect in China, remaining a monastic cult and folk religion.

Pure Land Buddhism was introduced to Japan along with other forms of Buddhism in the 6th century CE, but stayed dormant until it was picked up by the aristocracy during the middle of the Heian Period (794-1185). Under the leadership of Hōnen (法然, 1133-1212) and his disciples, Pure Land faith gained immense popularity and finally achieved an independent status.

Contemporary Pure Land denominations are the
  • Jodo sect (浄土宗 Jōdoshū, "The Pure Land School")
  • Jodoshin sect (浄土真宗 Jōdo Shinshū, "The...
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