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The Welcoming Descent of Amida Buddha and Twenty-five Bodh

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According to Pure Land belief, Amida Buddha (Amitabha) welcomes faithful devotees to the Western Paradise, where they can achieve perfect spiritual development. Paintings such as this one, which represent Amida descending to welcome a faithful soul to paradise, attended by a host of bodhisattvas, are known as raig\u014dzu ("descent pictures"). Raig\u016b imagery was introduced to Japan from China and was widely embraced through the writings of the monk Genshin (942\u20131017).According to the inscription on the back of this work, it was commissioned by Oikawa Zen'emon of the Katsushika district in Edo to commemorate his wife's death in 1668. She is depicted in the lower right corner, awaiting the descent of the glorious host to transport her to Amida's Western Paradise. The lower roller still holds two small reliquaries containing her ashes and other votive objects.

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