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  • Born: 1072
  • Died: 1132
  • Japanese: 良忍 (Ryounin)

Ryônin was a Tendai monk known for his efforts to spread believe in the nenbutsu, the chanting of the name of Amida Buddha as a source of salvation.

Drawing upon the teachings of the Kegon Sutra, and moving beyond the idea of individual salvation through nenbutsu, Ryônin postulated that since all men are one with the universe, that any and all instances of chanting the nenbutsu earned spiritual benefit for all mankind. He called this the yûzû nenbutsu. He thus traveled the land, seeking converts and collecting signatures of those who would recite the nenbutsu; he is said to have collected roughly 3,800.


  • “Amida, The Pure Land, and the Response of the Old Buddhism to the New,” in Wm. Theodore De Bary, Donald Keene, George Tanabe, and Paul Varley eds., Sources of Japanese Tradition, Second Edition, Columbia University Press (2001), 213.