For over a one thousand years, Buddhism has ruled jap loss of life rituals and ideas of the afterlife. The 9 essays right here, ranging chronologically from the 10th century to the current, carry to mild either continuity and alter in dying practices through the years.
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Extra info for Death and the Afterlife in Japanese Buddhism
Princeton University, 2006). 45. On pokkuri temples, see Fleur Wo¨ss, ‘‘Pokkuri Temples and Aging: Rituals for Approaching Death,’’ in Religion and Society in Modern Japan: Selected 26 Introduction Readings, ed. Mark R. Mullins, Shimazono Susumu, and Paul L. Swanson (Berkeley: Asian Humanities Press, 1993), 191–202; and Richard Young and Fuki Ikeuchi, ‘‘Japanese Religion in ‘The Hateful Years’: Reflections on Geriatric Rituals in an Aging Society,’’ Kokugakuin kenkyu ¯ 12 (1993): 31–47. On one Buddhist hospice, see Fuki Ikeuchi and Alison Freund, ‘‘Japanese Buddhist Hospice and Shunko¯ Tashiro,’’ Buddhist-Christian Studies 15 (1995): 61–65; and Shunko¯ Tashiro, ‘‘Thinking of Life through Death: A Question of Life,’’ trans.
Bernstein, Modern Passings, 32–40. 36. Katakanabon inga monogatari, quoted in Katsuda Itaru, Shishatachi no chu ¯ sei, 239–240. 37. So¯to¯ Zen in Medieval Japan, 186. 38. Death and Social Order in Tokugawa Japan, 20. 39. This is of course not limited to Japan. For example, in comparing reports of medieval and modern near-death experiences in a Western context, Carol Zaleski notes that ‘‘the most glaring difference is the prominence in medieval accounts of obstacles and tests, purificatory torments, and outright doom,’’ which are generally absent in their modern counterparts (Otherworld Journeys: Accounts of Near-Death Experience in Medieval and Modern Times [New York: Oxford University Press, 1987], 189).
There, Amida himself is not seen; rather, bodhisattvas and manifestations of Amida appear on heavenly blossoms. 54 This indicates that the idea of Amida and his retinue escorting the aspirant to the Pure Land was deemed much more important than details regarding the nine levels. Exactly when raigo¯zu began to be used in deathbed rituals in Japan is less clear. The practice of dying while holding threads connected to the hands of an image of the Buddha seems to be closely related to raigo¯ thought; in fact, many of the paintings to which the threads were attached depicted scenes of raigo¯.
Death and the Afterlife in Japanese Buddhism