For over a a thousand years, Buddhism has ruled eastern demise rituals and ideas of the afterlife. The 9 essays right here, ranging chronologically from the 10th century to the current, carry to mild either continuity and alter in dying practices over the years.
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Additional info for Death and the Afterlife in Japanese Buddhism
G. Aston, Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society, London, Supplement I (1896), 2:134. Because the rite referred to here was held on 7/15, the traditional date of Urabon (Ch. Yulanpen), it is assumed to have been an Urabon ceremony. Later Nihon shoki entries refer to Urabon by name. See M. W. de Visser, Ancient Buddhism in Japan, 2 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 1935), 1:28, 58–59. ¯ jo¯den ni okeru Hokke 9. On the deathbed tonsure, see Takagi Yutaka, ‘‘O shinko¯,’’ Hokekyo¯ shinko¯ no shokeitai, ed.
697, trans. W. G. Aston, Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society, London, Supplement I (1896), 2:134. Because the rite referred to here was held on 7/15, the traditional date of Urabon (Ch. Yulanpen), it is assumed to have been an Urabon ceremony. Later Nihon shoki entries refer to Urabon by name. See M. W. de Visser, Ancient Buddhism in Japan, 2 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 1935), 1:28, 58–59. ¯ jo¯den ni okeru Hokke 9. On the deathbed tonsure, see Takagi Yutaka, ‘‘O shinko¯,’’ Hokekyo¯ shinko¯ no shokeitai, ed.
The ‘‘Tama no utena’’ (Mansion of jade) chapter of Eiga monogatari describes these paintings, stating clearly that they are raigo¯zu: On all the east-facing doors at the north and south corners of the building, pictures had been painted with texts at the top, so high that one could barely see the characters set in colored-paper squares. The paintings illustrated the nine categories of birth in the Pure Land. Some showed the receptions granted (Gokuraku no mukae o etari) to those who had chanted the Buddha-invocations for many years, or had recited the sacred name ten times on their deathbeds, or had met good teachers (zenchishiki) as they lay dying, or had zealously sought to master the doctrines of the Greater Vehicle, or had zealously obeyed the precepts, each in accordance with the believer’s deeds.