A Nenbutsu Gathering at Ichiya, Kyoto


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 224

Women, men, and children of all social classes gather around a pavilion sheltering a large group of monks. They are there to watch the traveling monk Ippen (1239–1289) invoke Amida Buddha through a buoyant dance accompanied by rhythmic chanting and percussive music, a practice called odori nenbutsu. Their anticipation is evident as they wait for his incantatory dance to begin. This section originally formed part of a handscroll illustrating the Biography of the Monk Ippen and His Disciple Ta’a, which describes the works of Ippen, founder of the Ji sect of Pure Land Buddhism.

A Nenbutsu Gathering at Ichiya, Kyoto, Section of a handscroll mounted as a hanging scroll; ink and color on paper, Japan

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