Handscroll; ink, color and gold on paper
Image: 29.7 x 1232.4 cm (11 11/16 x 485 3/16 in.); Overall: 30.3 x 1373.5 cm (11 15/16 x 540 3/4 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt, John L. Severance, and Edward L. Whittemore Funds 1956.87
This narrative scroll illustrates the story of Priest Ryonin and the Yuzu Nenbutsu sect he founded. The sect was an offshoot of Pure Land Buddhism--a tradition that encouraged reliance on the Amida Buddha for salvation in his Western Paradise. It was believed that by merely repeating the nenbutsu, a simple mantra, one could gain admission into paradise. All the activities in the scroll point to the collective participation of the figures (both human and animal) in the recitation practice and worship of the Amida Buddha.
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