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Legends of the Yūzū Nembutsu Sect

Long painted scroll, green, brown mountains, wooden house, Amida Buddha on cloud.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Long painted scroll, green, brown mountains, wooden house, Amida Buddha on cloud.


Kamakura period (1185–1333), 14th century


Artist unknown
Japanese, active 14th century

About this artwork

This handscroll illustrates the foundation of the Yūzū Nembutsu sect of Japanese Buddhism. A priest named Ryōnin (1072–1132) founded the sect in the Heian period (794–1185). He taught that individuals could attain rebirth in the Western paradise of Amida Buddha, the primary buddha of the Pure Land branch of Buddhism, merely by chanting his name. “Yuzu Nembutsu” means “chanting [Amida’s] name in communion”—a reference to the belief that chanting by one person would affect all other beings.

This scene is the culmination of the scroll and shows different faiths coming together in support of Ryōnin.


Currently Off View


Arts of Asia


Legends of the Yūzū Nembutsu Sect


Japan (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Handscroll; ink, colors, and gold on paper


30.5 × 1176.9 cm (12 × 460 in.)

Credit Line

Kate S. Buckingham Endowment

Reference Number


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