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Modern Amida Wood Carvings From online store Faith in Amida Buddha remained largely confined to a small segment of the Japanese population until the Kamakura Era (1185-1333), when it was popularized by new Pure Land (Jōdo 浄土) sects committed to bringing Buddhism to the illiterate commoner.These sects expressed concern for the salvation of the ordinary person, and stressed pure and simple faith over complicated rites and doctrines. Their leaders, Hōnen 法然 and his disciple Shinran 親鸞, taught that anyone could attain salvation by faithfully reciting the name of Amida Buddha.Only in the Kamakura Era (1185-1333 AD) do we see the pronounced emergence of the Pure Land sects devoted to Amida.
Famous examples of Amida art include Amida & Bosatsu on Clouds at Byōdō-in Temple (near Kyoto) and the Big Buddha statue (in Kamakura).In the Heian Era (794-1192 AD) came the Tendai and Shingon schools of Esoteric Buddhism.Together they are known as the Eight Schools of Early Buddhism in Japan.Buddhism arrived later in Japan, in the 6th and 7th centuries AD.By the Heian Era (794-1192), Amida worship had gained some favor among the Japanese court, scholars, and monasteries.
Amida is the central deity of Japan’s popular Pure Land (Jōdo 浄土) sects and the ruler of the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss (Gokuraku 極楽; Skt. To followers of Japan’s Pure Land sects, Amida has eclipsed the Historical Buddha as the most popular divinity in Japan's Mahayana traditions.