The Essentials of Rebirth in the Pure Land (Ojōyōshū)


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 225

This set of illustrated books reproduces a medieval text known as the Ojōyōshū, written by the Buddhist monk Genshin (942–1017) in the late 900s. Genshin’s treatise includes startling descriptions of the various hells into which a sinner could be reborn and explains Pure Land practices that ensured rebirth in paradise. One powerful technique, nenbutsu, involves the visualization or recitation of Amida’s name. The monk’s teachings exerted major influence on later followers of Amida and Pure Land Buddhism.

The Essentials of Rebirth in the Pure Land (Ojōyōshū), Woodblock printed book; ink and color on paper, Japan

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