For our first two-part episode, we’re going to discuss the Ikkō Ikki, a militant insurrection of believers in the faith of Jōdo Shinshu, or True Pure Land Buddhism. We’ll discuss the rise of the movement to political and military prominence during the Sengoku Era in this week’s episode; next week, we’ll discuss its decline and fall.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Tsang, Carol Richmond. War and Faith: The Ikkō Ikki in Late Muromachi Japan.

Sansom, George. A History of Japan, Volume II: 1337-1615

A translation of the letters of Rennyo for those of you interested in a more in-depth look at the religion of Jōdo Shinshu.

Images (Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation)

Amitabha, or Amida Buddha. This statue is located in Ushiku, Japan.

Amitabha, or Amida Buddha. This statue is located in Ushiku, Japan.

A roughly contemporary image of Shinran, though presumably his neck didn't actually look like that.

A roughly contemporary image of Shinran, though presumably his neck didn’t actually look like that.

A statue of Rennyo, the "Second Founder of Jodo Shinshu."

A statue of Rennyo, the “Second Founder of Jodo Shinshu.”

The province of Kaga, one of the Ikko Ikki strongholds, is marked in red. To its left is the province of Etchu; to the right Echizen. This area was one of the hotbeds of Ikko Ikki activity.

The province of Kaga, one of the Ikko Ikki strongholds, is marked in red. To its left is the province of Etchu; to the right Echizen. This area was one of the hotbeds of Ikko Ikki activity.