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Ritsu

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  • Japanese: 律 (Ritsu), 律宗 (Risshuu)

Ritsu Buddhism, also known as Risshû (lit. "Ritsu sect"), is a sect of Buddhism introduced to Japan in 754; Tôshôdai-ji in Nara is the head temple of the sect, which is known as one of the "six Nara sects."

In the early decades or centuries after its introduction to Japan, the Ritsu sect placed particular emphasis on the establishment of set standards for Buddhist discipline, and rules of Buddhist ordination.

In the 13th-15th centuries, monks of the Ritsu sect played prominent roles in trade and commerce, organizing groups of craftsmen and tradesmen, working as building contractors overseeing construction projects, and at times sailing trading ships (including tribute ships sent to China) & engaging directly in trade activities. They were also active in collecting donations for repairs or construction of temples.

References

  • Amino Yoshihiko, Alan Christy (trans.), Rethinking Japanese History, University of Michigan, Center for Japanese Studies (2012), 166.
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