Chapter 6

Shin Buddhism in Modern Culture

Chapter 6 – A Perspective on the History of Shin Buddhism in Japan

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Multiple Choice Questions

  • 1. The fellowships that carried on Shinran’s teachings after his death were generally:
  • 2. Prof. Weinstein noted in his essay, “Rennyo and the Shinshu Revival,” that in most instances after the death of the founder, the followers:
  • 3. Which of Shinran’s successors wrote a biography to exalt Shinran, attempted to establish the independence of Honganji, and claimed to have both a blood and spiritual lineage that originated with Shinran?
  • 4. Under the leadership of Rennyo, the 8th patriarch:
  • 5. “The loss of the direct self (chokka no jiko),” as described by Kiyozawa Manshi and presented by Prof. Kitanishi, refers to:
  • 6. After the passing of Shinran, the type of organization taken up in the provinces was the ko which was organized for the common person. The leaders of the ko were:
  • 7. Shinran’s grave, originally merely a marker at Otani:
  • 8. The fact that Shinran did not designate any of his children to carry on his teachings probably meant that:
  • 9. Which of Shinran’s successors developed the Hoonko service, wrote the “Godensho” (a biography exalting Shinran), and tried to turn Shinran’s tomb into a temple?
  • 10. The ikko-ikki wars (known as peasant revolts) were the turning point in the development of Honganji because they:
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Thought Questions

1. In the process of institutionalization how can the followers of a religion lose sight of its founder?

2. Having read this chapter, what are some of your reactions to the development of the Shin institution in Japan? How do you think Shinran might have reacted had he been able to witness the events that took place following his death?

3. We have seen how the various descendents of Shinran each contributed to changing the form and character of the Shin institution. Today, however, it seems that many people oppose change and cling on to traditional ways. How can changes be made that would have a positive effect on the development of the institution? Do you think that having people understand the history of Shin Buddhism would make them more agreeable to change? Why or why not?