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Jodo Shinshu

Jodo Shinshu, the "True Pure Land" is a Japanese School of Buddhism which grew out of Pure Land school, and which emphasised faith in Amitabha Buddha above all other things. Founded by Shinran in 1224, which was towards the end of the Heian period in Japan.

Jodo Shinshu sees itself as having pared Buddhist practice down to the bare essentials: recitation of the Nembutsu: "Namo Amida Butsu", in order to cultivate faith in Amitabha's vow. The reason for doing this is that Shinran realized that he was hopelessly caught up in greed, hatred and delusion, and that because of this, nothing he did would lead to enlightenment.

The essence of Amitabha's vows are that he will ensure that anyone who calls his name, or who has faith in him, is reborn in his Pure Land and from there will easily be able to attain enlightenment.

Important texts include the Amitabha Sutra, The Smaller Pure Land Sutra, and the Larger Pure Land Sutra.

Jodo Shin-shu itself has many sub-sects. One of them is the Hongwanji-ha sect, which has a temple named after it. This sub-sect is further divided into two types, Hongwanji-ha Hongwanji, shortly called Honpa Hongwanji (or more commonly, Nishi-Hongwanji) and Daiha Hongwanji, or Otani Hongwanji, more commonly reffered to as Higashi-Hongwanji. None of these can be broken down further, and Nishi is the larger of the two.

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