Kyoto National Museum
Born during the Kamakura Period (1185–1333), Ippen was a peripatetic monk who founded the Ji Shu school of Buddhism. He lived a secular life until receiving a divine message at a shrine—enlightenment could be achieved by devoting oneself to the deity Amida. Ippen and his followers reciting Amida’s name at set intervals, a practice now called nembutsu, led to the name Ji Shu (“Time Sect”). On display are a multitude of exquisite Buddhist artworks representing this tradition, including many by Ippen himself. The Ippen Hijiri-e, 12 silk scrolls illustrated by the priest, depict natural wonders like Mt Fuji and famous temples such as Osaka’s Shitenno-ji. Also on display are the recently discovered “Amida Sanzonzo,” three ornate statues by renowned Buddhist sculptor Gyokai.