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Pure Land

Form of Buddhism that seeks rebirth for its believers into the Buddha Amida's Western Paradise, known as the Pure Land. Introduced into Japan from China in the 6th century, it became popular among the Japanese aristocracy in the middle of the Heian period (794-1185). From the 7th century Pure Land faith flourished in China, where it retained its form as an amorphous folk faith or subordinate monastic cult. In Japan there was a great surge of popular Pure Land faith from the 12th century; and under Hōnen (1133-1212) and his disciples Pure Land Buddhism established its independence from the Tendai sect of Buddhism. Today, denominations include the Jōdo sect, the Jōdo Shin sect, and the Yūzū Nenbutsu sect. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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