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TOKYO

“Honen and Shinran: Treasures Related to the Great Masters of the Kamakura Buddhism”

HEISEIKAN, TOKYO NATIONAL MUSEUM

by Monica Tandung

Staff Writer

This year sees the 800th grand memorial of Honen and the 750th of Shinran, two of the most important figures in Kamakura Buddhism.

Honen, known as the father of Kamakura Buddhism, believed that salvation could be achieved by reciting prayers to Buddha by repeating his name, a practice known as nembutsu. He founded the Jodo (Pure Land Buddhism sect), which was later developed by Shinran, Honen’s student, and renamed Jodo Shin. Shinran continued Honen’s practices and philosophy, and both priests are considered paramount figures in establishing the most widely practiced form of Buddhism in Japan today (other than the Nichiren Shoshu sect).

This exhibition introduces Honen and Shinran, portraying their lives and relationship through related treasures. Highlights include scripts of their teachings, biographies and objects related to the spread of Pure Land philosophy; till Dec. 4.

Heiseikan, Tokyo National Museum; (03) 5777-8600; 13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-ku; 10-min walk from Koenguchi Exit of Ueno Station, JR line or 15-min walk from Ueno Station, Ginza and Hibiya lines. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (Fri., till 8 p.m.). ¥1,500. Closed Mon. www.tnm.jp.