Practice for the Deathbed
This chapter examines the role of visual imagery in the spread of Pure Land devotion and the reconception of death as a liberative opportunity. This reconception is made possible by the image of Amida Buddha's welcoming descent (raigo)—Amida's arrival to receive the dying and escort them to his Pure Land. The chapter explores the textual basis of the raigo concept and its early representations, with particular attention to the role of Genshin. In addition, it considers the mukaeko or ceremony of welcome, a dramatic enactment of Amida's descent to welcome the dying, using music, bodhisattva costumes, and masks. This ceremony is instrumental in disseminating hopes for the Pure Land among persons of all classes.
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