Yuzu Nenbutsu sect (融通念仏宗)

Yuzu Nenbutsu sect is one of the sects of pure land teachings, Jodo-kyo.

When Sho Taishi Ryonin, priests of the Tendai sect, were performing the ascetic practices at Ohara Raigo-in Temple (Sakyo-ku Ward, Kyoto City) on June 16, 1117 during the end of Heian period, he was given Gemon of 速疾往生 (the way for one to reach Buddhism quickly from Amida Nyorai(Amitabha Tathagata)), '一人一切人 一切人一人 一行一切行 一切行一行 十界一念 融通念仏 億百万編 功徳円満' from Amida Nyorai and founded the Yuzu Nenbutsu sect. It is also called Dainenbutsu sect.

Grand Head Temple
Dainenbutsu-ji Temple (Hirano Ward, Osaka City)

It was built by Ryonin, the founder of the sect, according to the imperial prayers of the Emperor Toba in 1127. It is said that it was the former Shuraku-ji Temple, which was built in the personal residence of SAKANOUE no Hirono, who was the second son of SAKANOUE no Tamuramaro and was commonly called 'Hirano-dono,' who developed this area in the Heian period. It was the first Buddhist invocation dojo, or place of Buddhist practice or meditation.

Its main sutras (正依) are "Kegon-kyo Sutra"(Avatamska Sutra) and "Hoke-kyo Sutra" (Lotus Sutra) and minor sutras (傍依) are "Muryoju-kyo Bussetsu Muryoju-kyo Sutra"(Sutra of Infinite Life) and "Kanmuryoju-kyo Sutra" ('The Sutra of Visualization of the Buddha of Measureless Life,' meaning Amida) and "Amida-kyo Sutra" (Amida Sutra), and it preaches that reciting Buddhist invocation makes people reincarnated in Jodo, pure land, from the viewpoint that 'Buddhist invocation by one person equals Buddhist invocation to all people.'

Yuzu Nenbutsu, which Ryonin began, was mainly temple solicitation and pilgrimage at first and developed from a collective motion having no organization as a Buddhism sect. Yuzu Nenbutsu became popular, such as in Dainenbutsu-ji Temple at Hirano (Osaka City) in Osaka and Seiryo-ji Temple and Mibu-dera Temple in Kyoto, and Dainenbutsu-kyogen Dainenbutsu Kyogen (Kyogen (farce played during a No play cycle) to teach Buddhism to the public) by Engaku Shonin, the restorer of Yuzu Nenbutsu, and has been transmitted at Mibu-dera Temple, Seiryo-ji Temple, Injo-ji Temple (Kyoto City) and Shinsen-en.

The 7th Homyo in the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan) was regarded as the restorer and established the system of Roku Betsuji (六別時制度) which selected the chief priest of Dainenbutsu-ji Temple.

It began to have color as a sect around the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States), but the tradition of Dainenbutsu-ji Temple was stopped several times and the temples of the Yuzu Nenbutsu sect became other sect's temples and lost traction. From 1688 to 1703, the Yukan of the 46th head priest of Dainenbutsu-ji Temple, who was regarded as a founder of the reemergence of Yuzu Nenbutsu, tried to revive Yuzu Nenbutsu by putting dharma in the statutory form by 'Yuzu enmonsho' (Outlines of the Yuzu-Nembutsu Theology), determining rules as a sect and providing dormitory, which led to the establishment of the Yuzu Nenbutsu sect. Since 'Yuzu enmonsho' was written in kanbun, classical Chinese, 'Yuzu nenbutsu shingesho' (document for understanding and mastering Yuzu nenbutsu), which was written in Japanese, were widespread in order to cover the negative effects of the former.

The greatest characteristic of Yuzu Nenbutsu is that it put higher value on Invocation of the Buddha's Name than Kanso Nenbustu (Buddha ideation through chanting and visualization), so that the Yuzu Nenbutsu sect makes reciting Buddhism invocation (Yuzu Nenbutsu), which was preached by Ryonin and expects Jikkai (ten spiritual realms) Ichinen (a single repetition of a prayer) and rebirth in Jodo of Jita Yuzu (自他融通, literally, Yuzu Nenbutsu for oneself and others), ten times toward the west every morning as a daily duty.

It was the pioneering work of Senshu Nenbutsu (the Single-Minded Recitation of the Nenbutsu) and transmitted the purer Jodo-kyo Buddhism of the Tendai sect, so that it can be said to have the advanced form and content of the later Jodo and Jodo Shinshu sects.

[Original Japanese]