8. The Byôdoin 平 等 院 Amida Hall and Visions of the Western Paradise in Heian Japan

Phoenix Hall (Hôôdô 鳳凰堂) or Amida Hall (Amidadô 阿弥陀堂) at the Byôdoin in Uji 宇治市 Kyoto Prefecture (Kyoto is both a city name and a prefecture name; Uji is in the Kyoto prefecture, southeast of the city of Kyoto).   1053. Middle Heian period. (fig. 172)

Chapel (chûdô 中堂):   contains Jocho's Amida statue, bodhisattva statues, wall paintings

Wing corridors (yokurô 翼廊): extend north and south of the chapel

Tail corridor (ôrô 尾廊): extends west of the chapel

Amida Buddha 阿弥陀如来 (Sanskrit: Amitabha). Literally “Boundless Light,” the Buddha of the Western Paradise or Pure Land.

Pure Land Buddhism (jodokyô 淨土教):   based on the adoration of the transcendent buddha Amida, who had an eternity earlier vowed to save all beings, provided that they placed their faith wholly in him.   Emphasis on universal salvation.

raigo 来迎 :   “welcome arrival.” Amida descends from heaven and welcomes the deceased into paradise

mappo 末法 :   “the latter days of the Buddhist law,” believed by Heian courtiers to have started around 1052.

two-dimensional painted raigo

•  Amida raigo triptych (Amida Buddha with the bodhisattvas Kannon and Seishi).   Color on silk; H:   6 ft. 9 in.   Late 11th century. Kongôbuji. (fig. 178)

three-dimensional sculptural raigo in the Phoenix Hall

•  Jocho 定朝 (d. 1057).   Amida.   Multiple cypress woodblocks, lacquered cloth and gold leaf; H:   9 ft. 2 in.   1053. (fig. 173-4)

•  Jocho (d. 1057). Celestial nymph. Wood, traces of plaster and paint. 1053. (fig. 175)

•  Section of a painted wood door of Middle Class and upper Rank rebirth, in the Hôôdô, Byôdôin, showing Amida and a celestial host descending toward the house of the deceased.   c. 1053. (fig. 176)

Shaka images

•  The Death of Shaka.   Hanging scroll, color on silk; H:   8 ft. 10 in.   1086.   Kongobu-ji. (fig. 179)

•  Shaka Nyorai.   Hanging scroll, color on silk; 63 x 34 in.   12th century. Jingo-ji, Kyoto. (fig. 180)