Jodo Shu Publications

Birth as Death in Pure Land Buddhism
Edited by Jonathan Watts and Yoshiharu Tomatsu
US$17 Paperback, 175 pages, B4 6" X 9"
ISBN: 4883630412 (July 2008)
OR from Jodo Shu Press <>
To  die alone is perhaps everyone’s greatest fear, yet in the modern world in hospital rooms, nursing homes or private residences, it has become “routine”. This volume covers many aspects of this issue, from our basic fears of death and of facing death alone, to what lies on the other side of death, and perhaps most importantly, what we should do now to prepare for that penultimate moment of life, which is death. It explores why the pursuit of wisdom, compassion, and the ending of our cycles of affliction and dissatisfaction is not a task that should be pursued nor can be achieved alone. We should never die alone because we all can learn together from the amazing moment of death. Like a birth, a marriage, or a graduation, death can be a festival of sharing a tremendously important experience. It can bring us closer to others, to ourselves, and to wholeness. From the lavish cover painting which has served Pure Land followers for centuries as an object of contemplation on their deathbeds to the five essays by prominent Pure Land specialists contained inside, this small book offers useful tools with which to encounter death; and to experience death as Birth (ojo).
Authors include: Mark Blum author of The Origins and Development of Pure Land Buddhism; Carl Becker author of Breaking the Circle: Death and the Afterlife in Buddhism; David Brazier author of Who Loves Dies Well: On the Brink of Buddha’s Pure Land; Yoshiharu Tomatsu the Director of the Jodo Shu Research Institute’s Ojo and Death Project; and a group of Thai Buddhists offering a different view of Buddhist dying.

A Lifetime of Encounters with Honen Shonin
Edited by Jonathan Watts and Yoshiharu Tomatsu
US$29 Paperback, 176 pages, B4 6" X 9"
ISBN: 4-88363-342-X (August 2005)
OR from Jodo Shu Press <>
In establishing his own Pure Land Buddhist community in 1175, Honen (1133-1212) initiated the great Japanese Kamakura Buddhist reformation in which the great teachers Shinran, Dogen and Nichiren subsequently followed. Drawn from The Forty-Eight Fascicle Biography of Honen Shonin written around 1313, this volume chronicles the lives of the many different kinds of people whom Honen taught to find release from suffering and Birth (ojo) in the Pure Land "just as you are". Significant new editions of Honen's own words clarify the various interpretations that his followers took of his teachings. Also, numerous, short information boxes offer background into the history and teachings of Pure Land Buddhism. Reprinted drawings from The Forty-Eight Fascicle Biography of Honen Shonin, a designated National Treasure of Japan, are interspersed within the text to dramatize Honen's life. A special full color section of these 31 reprints is included at the beginning of the volume. From Alfred Bloom, Professor Emeritus at the University of Hawai'I, renowned Pure Land scholar, and author of such titles as Shinran's Gospel of Pure Grace, The Promise of Boundless Compassion, and Living in Amida's Universal Vow. "Honen is the pioneer who established the Pure Land Buddhist teaching as a distinct religious movement in medieval Japan. Nevertheless, there has been a dearth of materials to put his work and achievements in meaningful perspective. Editing a voluminous, traditional biography, the authors of this volume have combined modern insight with traditional narrative. They give us a glimpse of the reverence and esteem for Honen among the ancient people, lifting him above the ordinary. At the same time they offer a historical perspective on him and his successors' devotion and compassion in announcing the good news of Amida Buddha's Vow, expressed in the Nembutsu (the recitation of the name of the Buddha), to the yearning masses. The text also reveals the diversity of viewpoint and nuance among the successors. This volume is a welcome addition to the growing literature in the field, broadening our understanding of the Pure Land teaching and assisting spiritual seekers in their quest for a meaningful and humane approach to life."


The Manga Biography of Pure Land Master Honen Shonin
Tetsuro Sayama -author, Ko Kawamoto - illustrator
US$6 Paperback, 205 pages, A5 5" X 7.5"
ISBN: 4883630455 (April 2009)
OR from Jodo Shu Press <>
Honen Shonin is one of the outstanding figures of Japanese Buddhism, having initiated the first independent Pure Land school and nurtured a long list of eminent disciples, like Shinran, who developed Pure Land Buddhism as a rich and varied spirituality in Japan. Honen's legacy is also significant for the entire Japanese tradition in that by being the first to break with the dominant schools and institutions of the day, he laid the foundation for the flowering of the unique style of Japanese Buddhism by Shinran, Dogen, and Nichiren. Using the popular, comic book form, or manga as it has become popularized in Japan, this volume offers an entertaining and easy way to enter Honen s world and teachings. From the shock of his father's assassination to his trials as a young monk in search of the way to his revolutionary teaching of the Buddha s way for all to his final illumination in Birth in the Pure Land (ojo), the visual and visceral power of the manga form brings Honen's experiences to life.

Honen and the Way of Pure Land Buddhism
Sho-on Hattori
Revised and Edited by
Jonathan Watts & Yoshiharu Tomatsu
Softcover 119 pages, B4 6" × 9"
ISBN : 4-88363-329-2 (April 2001)
ORDER from
OR from Jodo Shu Press <>
"Sho-on Hattori uses a simple but penetrating prose to introduce us to the life and teachings of Honen. He also gives us an illuminating and essential view of how Pure Land Buddhism relates to the entire Buddhist tradition. This is the first time that an English language volume accessible to the common reader has been offered on Honen, his teachings and Pure Land Buddhism from the perspective of his very own denomination, Jodo Shu. With a deep knowledge of Buddhist teaching and a feel for the western audience from his over ten years in the United States, Hattori-sensei offers us an invaluable view of this great master and the most popular form of Buddhism in Japan." -Ishigami Zenno, Professor Emeritus, Taisho University, Tokyo

I. The Life of Honen Shonin
Within the Buddhist Establishment
Breaking Away
A Path for All
Final Journey
II. The Way of Honen Shonin
A Crisis of Faith
A Teaching for the Times
Many Buddhas, One Body
Selecting a Path
The Nembutsu as an Expression of Buddha Dharma
III. Pure Land Buddhism
The Essence of Pure Land Buddhism
The Compassion of Amida Buddha
God and Amida Buddha
The Meaning of "Pure Land"
IV. Essential Buddhism
V. Buddhism in Life
Buddhism for the Modern World
The Blessings of Adversity
Appendices A Chronology of Honen Shonin
A Guide to Further Reading

Rev. Sho-on Hattori was born in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, in 1933. He received his B.A. from Taisho University in Tokyo, and his M.A. from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, U.S.A. He served as a Buddhist minister at the Jodo Shu Betsuin in Los Angeles from 1959 to 1967. He is now a professor emeritus at Tokaigakuen Women's College and the head priest of the Chofuku-ji temple in the city of Tsushima, Aichi Prefecture.

Zenno Ishigami
Chairman of the Jodo Shu Research Institute
Softcover 208 pages, 10.9 × 17.4 cm
JY 1,100
ISBN : 4--333-01423-9 (1989)
ORDER from Kosei Publishing Co.
The Buddha lived some twenty-five hundred years ago in northern India. The facts of his life and ministry are well known. But what of his disciples, the men and women who followed him during his life and preserved and spread his teachings after his death? This book relates the stories of not only the so-called ten great disciples but also eighteen other devotees-male and female, lay and ordained. The varied paths that led them to the Buddha and the highly individualistic forms of their common quest for truth evoke the Buddha's all-inclusivecompassion and the breadth of his teachings.

Edited by the Jodo Shu Research Institute
1999 A5 108 pages US$12
This pocket sized volume offers an official overview of Jodo Shu teachings, practices and history. It begins with a short biography of Honen Shonin, the founder of Jodo Shu, and then provides an outline of his teachings, including a schematization of his key concept of "senchaku" (selection). A concise history of Jodo Shu since its founding in 1175 shows the trajectory of Pure Land teachings in Japan from Honen's six main disciples, including Shinran the founder of Jodoshin Shu, to Jodo Shu's engagement in present day social issues. A section on Jodo Shu ceremonies gives an overview of the wide variety ceremonies, customs, holidays, and daily practices among Jodo Shu followers. A detailed three part index gives renderings for technical terms in Chinese characters, English and romanized Japanese. These terms appear throughout the text in all three renderings thus facilitating study and standard reference for both Japanese and English language speakers. Finally, a listing of Jodo Shu offices in Japan and abroad offers a handy reference to the make-up of our denomination. Originally conceived as an aid for overseas priests in teaching Jodo Shu practices in English to their followers, this volume is also an excellent resource for lay followers to learn about Jodo Shu in a systematic, comprehensive and yet concise way. The detailed three part index of over 200 Jodo Shu terms makes this volume a two way reference tool for both Japanese wishing to be able to talk with foreigners about Jodo Shu teachings and for foreigners wishing to study the teachings and practices of Jodo Shu.

Copyright(c) by 1996-20011 Jodo Shu Research Institute

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