Traversing the Pure Land Path: A Lifetime of Encounters with Honen Shonin

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9784883633425: Traversing the Pure Land Path: A Lifetime of Encounters with Honen Shonin
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In establishing his own Pure Land Buddhist community in 1175, Honen (1133-1212) initiated the great Japanese Kamakura Buddhist reformation in which the great teachers Shinran, Dogen and Nichiren subsequently followed. Drawn from "The Forty-Eight Fascicle Biography of Honen Shonin" written around 1313, this volume chronicles the lives of the many different kinds of people whom Honen taught to find release from suffering and Birth (ojo) in the Pure Land "just as you are". Significant new editions of Honen’s own words clarify the various interpretations that his followers took of his teachings. Also, numerous, short information boxes offer background into the history and teachings of Pure Land Buddhism. Reprinted drawings from "The Forty-Eight Fascicle Biography of Honen Shonin", a designated National Treasure of Japan, are interspersed within the text to dramatize Honen’s life. A special full color section of these 31 reprints is included at the end of the volume.

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About the Author:

Jonathan Watts and Yoshiharu Tomatsu are Research Fellows at the Jodo Shu Research Institute in Tokyo, Japan. Their previous work includes editing "A Raft from the Other Shore" by Sho-on Hattori (Jodo Shu Press, 2000) and "Honen's Senchakushu" (University of Hawaii Press, 1998).

Review:

Editing a voluminous, traditional biography, the authors have combined modern insight with traditional narrative. This volume is a welcome addition. -- Alfred Bloom, Professor Emeritus, University of Hawaii

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