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Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha (Nishihongwanji)

What is Jodo Shinshu Buddhism? | Seattle Betsuin Blog

The following is a reflection on Jodo Shinshu by Rimban Don Castro in a 2004 message.
By the 8th century AD, Mt. Tateyama was already a mecca for mountain ascetics. Otomo-no-Yakamochi, the celebrated writer of the famous Manyoshu (8th century), mentions in one of his poems the cult of Tateyama worship, which in those days was intimately linked to the Pure Land sect of Buddhism (Amida worship, Jodo Sect). In later times, the mountain retreat also became influenced by the Jodo Shinshu Sect (New Jodo), also centered around Amida worship.

Jodo Shinshu Center | Buddhist Churches of America

This is the way illuminated by the light of the grace of Amida Buddha, the Path to the Pure Land.

Since 717 AD, when Buddhist Priest Taicho founded the , Mt. Hakusan has been known as a religious mountain with a small secluded shrine on the top. is one of the , or Japan's three most sacred mountains (along with Mt. Fuji and Mt. Tateyama). The mountain is celebrated in the , which was compiled in the eight century. The cult of mountain asceticism developed rapidly in the Heian period and the mountain's was a form of Shinto/ Buddhist syncretism. The three Shinto deities Izanagi no Mikoto, Izanami no Mikoto, and Kukurihime no Kami are connected with . Kukuri is the goddess who arbitrated between Izanagi and Izanami and is the Dragon Goddess of Hakusan. On the mountaintop also live Shoichi Hakusanmyori Daibosatsu (Bodhisattva) -- said to be the Buddhist incarnation of the 11-Headed Kannon () -- and Betsuzan Daigyoji, said to be the embodiment of the (the “pure” manifestation of the Kannon Bosatsu in Japan).

Hakusan Gongen is the Shinto kami of Mt. Hakusan, once a great Shugendo center. Hakusan Gongen is an avatar of the Eleven-Headed Kannon, and also a representation of the Shinto kami Izanami.


Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha Hongwanji International …

Pure Land Buddhism is also mistakenly regarded as a religion for lazy people.
Among the branches of Buddhism, the Pure Land school particularly emphasizes "faith." Devotees of the school realize that they do not attain enlightenment by their own power, but by simply having faith in Amida's power of salvation.

Shinto Buddhist Blending

During the Heian period (793-1185) Buddhist temples were increasingly built on the sides and summits of many Shinto sacred mountains. It was believed that the native Shinto kami of these mountains were in reality manifestations of Buddhist divinities thus pilgrimage to the mountains was believed to bring favors from both the Shinto and Buddhist divinities simultaneously.


Seattle Buddhist Temple | A Jodo Shinshu Buddhist temple

MT. ONTAKE, Kiso Ontake (Nagoya)

Mount Ontake is an active volcano which erupted, for the first time in recorded history, in 1979. Dominating the Kiso Valley, it is better known, perhaps, as the domain of magical mountain spirits. Also called Mitake and Otake, Mount Ontake is sometimes called Kiso Ontake in order to distinguish it from a number of other mountains with similar names. One of the other mountains, Mitakesan or Mt. Mitake in Tokyo prefecture, and Kiso Ontake both are Shinto centers of worship, particularly by the Shugendo sect which specializes in ascetic practices on mountains. Kiso Ontake has its shrine at the foot of the mountain and is the headquarters of the Mitakekyo ("Mitake teaching"). In addition to the groups of Shugendo believers who ascend the mountain to perform their rites, local farmers also worship there early in the spring as it is believed that the mountain's god descends to the rice fields in the spring and ensures fertility in the coming year. This folk belief is typical of the Shinto concentration on natural wonders and fertility. The Shugendo sect, and its sub-sect, the Mitakekyo, are very eclectic sects which combine Shinto beliefs with Buddhist doctrine and practice. Its believers are usually called (lit. mountain warriors or mountain ascetics), who may often be hermits. Shugendo emerged in the 12th century as a result of the joining of solitary hermits who had fled Buddhist monasteries to seek magical and medical powers through fasting, meditation and ascetic practices such as standing under cold mountain waterfalls or in snow. Shugendo was, until recently, a very secretive group since its beliefs and rituals could only be passed on from master to disciple after a certain level of practice had been achieved. Yamabushi ascend sacred mountains like Ontake in each of the four seasons which have their own austere practices designed to arouse the Buddha-like nature that lies within. In 1875, the sect was banned when the Meiji government tried to insist on complete separation of Shinto and Buddhism, but it survived underground until 1945 when new policies implemented by the Allied Occupation insisted on religious freedom.

Our sect is called Jodo Shinshu Honganji Ha, or Nishi Honganji

MT. NANTAI, Nantai San, Kurokiyama, Futa-ara-san (Tochigi)

A place of Shinto pilgrimage since at least the 4th century AD. Local legends tell of a powerful mountain spirit that assisted hermits and monks in spiritual realization, and by the 8th century Nantai-san was a favored site for Buddhist practitioners on solitary retreats. Near town of Nikko, just north of Tokyo. (outside site).