Nijugozanmaie (二十五三昧会)

Nijugozanmaie was a Nenbutsu (Buddhist invocation) association established in the Heian Period.

It was a Nenbutsu association established in 986 by 25 monks who gathered at Shuryogonin in Enryaku-ji Temple, Yokawa within Mt. Hie. The characteristic of this association was that it was a Nenbutsu association that wished for gokuraku ojo (peaceful death) and on the fifteenth of each month, 25 monks would gather to chant Nenbutsu and wish for gokuraku ojo. The 'Hotsugan bun' (vow) states that they agree to a bond of friendship, promise to help each other upon death and chant Nenbutsu.

YOSHISHIGE no Yasutane, who was also the editor of "Nihon ojo gokurakuki" (Japanese records of birth into the Pure Land), drafted the 'Nijugozanmai kisho' which stated:

On the fifteenth of each month, nenbutsu-zammai (mental absorption in the nenbutsu) should be chanted.

Komyo shingon (Mantra of Light) should be chanted and Dosha kaji (incantation) conducted.

Members should strictly adhere to rules and non-adherents will be expelled and new members recruited instead.

An Ojo-in Temple celebrating Amida Nyorai will be established in a Bessho (remote religious facilities from main temple facilities) and sick members will be transferred there.

When a sick member is transferred to the Ojo-in Temple, a pair will stay with the sick member day and night, with one caring for the sick, while the other chants Nenbutsu.

The members' tomb will be called Kadaibyo and members will gather for a Nenbutsu meeting twice a year in spring and autumn.

Saiho Gokuraku Jodo (The West Pure Land) should be meditated on with mental absorption and gokuraku ojo should be wished for.

Even if there are absent members, the members that are left must keep ties with deceased members by Shuzen (restoration).

These are the rules of the association.

The influence of "Kangaku-e" (assembly to encourage learning), an association established by Daigakuryo students and monks from Mt. Hie in 964, are seen in the establishment of Nijugozanmaie. However, although Kangaku-e resembled a Nenbutsu association, the group also had an aspect of a salon where "Hoke-kyo Sutra" (the Lotus Sutra) was chanted and poems were written.

[Original Japanese]