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Ippen

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  • Born: 1239
  • Died: 1289
  • Japanese: 一遍 (Ippen)

Ippen was the founder in 1274 of the Jishû (時宗) sect of Amida Buddhism, which advocated that since Amida is present everywhere, there is no need to construct new, separate, places of worship, but rather that one should sing and dance in praise of Amida everywhere, including in the Buddhist temples of other sects, and at Shinto shrines.

Ippen's use of the term ji (toki, "time") referred to the applicability or prescience of Amida worship for that time, the period known as mappô, or the decline of the law. As the Buddhist Law, the Dharma, declined, the ability of the cosmos to bring people into salvation or enlightenment was believed to be severely weakened, leaving Amida the best, or only, avenue to salvation. Following Ippen's death, his followers used the term ji differently, to refer to the perpetual (all hours, all times) recitation of the nenbutsu.

References

  • Tsunoda Ryûsaku, Sources of Japanese Tradition, 1st Edition, vol. 1, Columbia University Press (1968), 188, 190.
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