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Portrait of Shandao (Zendō Daishi)


Not on view

Shandao (613–681) was a Chinese monk who played a foundational role in the development of Pure Land practice in Japan. Portraits such as this were used in services honoring the early teachers of Pure Land faith. Here, the monk is practicing nenbutsu, a recitation of Amida’s name to attain rebirth in paradise. The sound is represented by five tiny buddhas emerging from Shandao’s open mouth.

Portrait of Shandao (Zendō Daishi), Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk, Japan

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