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Death and the Afterlife in Japanese Buddhism$
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Jacqueline I. Stone and Mariko Namba Walter

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832049

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832049.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM HAWAII SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hawaii.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hawaii University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use.date: 27 October 2021



Practice for the Deathbed

(p.27) 1 Mukaekō
Death and the Afterlife in Japanese Buddhism

Sarah Johanna Horton

University of Hawai'i Press

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.

Keywords:   Pure Land, Amida Buddha, raigo, Genshin, Pure Land devotion, death, bodhisattva costumes

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