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(or Pure Land Buddhism) One of many Buddhist sects in Japan. Amidism emphasizes salvation through the devout repetition of a simple liturgical phrase. It stems from a form of Buddhist salvationism which had its origins in northern India and Central Asia, from where it spread through China, where elements from popular folk religions were incorporated. Its aim is rebirth of the devout soul in the Western Paradise of the Amida (Sans, Amitabha; Chin, A - mi - t ' o ) Buddha.

In Japan, Amida pietism flourished at the Enryakuji Temple at Mt. Hici, center of the Tendai Sect. Its leading exponents were Genshin (942 - 1017), Honen (1133 - 1212), founder of the Jodo Sect, and Shinran (1173 - 1262), founder of the Shin Sect. Amidism represents a shift in appeal from the elite to the common people. Recitation with faith of the single phrase Namu Amida Buddha ( " Hail to the Amida Buddha " ) is the sole requirement for rebirth in Amida

's Paradise. It has long been influential in literature and the visual arts.

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Publication:Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, 3rd ed.
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1987
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