|KEY WORD : art history / iconography|
|An abbreviation of Kuuya Shounin 空也上人 or Saint Kuuya (903-72), the monk responsible for the spread of Pure Land Buddhism, Joudokyou 浄土教 among commoners in the Heian period. Born into the imperial family, but of a non-Fujiwara 藤原 mother, he became a monk at Kokubunji 国分寺 in Owari 尾張 (Aichi prefecture). In 948 he received a Tendai 天台 ordination at Mt. Hiei 比叡. In the following year he began fourteen years of travel throughout Kyoto and the countryside doing good works and practicing a type of chanting using song and dance odorinenbutsu 踊念仏. Popularly known as Ichi no Hijiri 市聖 (Sage of the people) and Amida Hijiri 阿弥陀聖 (Sage of Amida). In 963 he finished copying the NINNOU HANNYAKYOU 仁王般若経 (Prajnaparamita Sutra) in gold ink, and held a dedication on the banks of the Kamo 鴨 River. With donations solicited from this event, he built Saikouji 西光寺 (also known as Rokuharamitsuji 六波羅密寺) in Kyoto. Kuuya's image is preserved there in an imaginary portrait sculpture made in the 13c by Koushou 康勝 (fl.1ate 12c-early 13c), the fourth son of Unkei 運慶 (1151-1223). The wood sculpture shows Kuuya chanting the nenbutsu 念仏 which is represented by the six miniature images of *Amida 阿弥陀 coming out of his mouth. Kuuya holds a staff and gong, used to beat out the rhythm of the odorinenbutsu.|
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