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Thirteen Buddhas

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The Thirteen Buddhas (Jp. 十三仏 jūsanbutsu) is a purely Japanese grouping of important Buddhist deities, particularly in the Shingon sect of Buddhism. The deities are, in fact, mostly not Buddhas at all, but also include bodhisattvas and Wisdom Kings. In Shingon services, followers will recite a devotional mantra to each figure, though in Shingon practice, disciples will typically devote themselves to only one, depending on what the teacher assigns.

The Thirteen Buddhas are also an important part of a traditional Japanese Buddhist funeral service, with each "Buddha" having a corresponding memorial service for the deceased. The thirteen in Japanese and Sanskrit and the corresponding date of their service after the death are:

  1. Fudo (Acala), 7th day
  2. Shaka (Sakyamuni), 14th day
  3. Monju (Manjushri), 21st day
  4. Fugen (Samantabhadra), 28th day
  5. Jizo (Ksitigarbha), 35th day
  6. Miroku (Maitreya), 42nd day
  7. Yakushi (Bhaisajyaguru), 49th day
  8. Kannon (Avalokitesvara), 100th day
  9. Seishi (Mahasthamaprapta), 1st anniversary
  10. Amida (Amitabha), 2nd anniversary
  11. Ashuku (Akshobhya) , 6th anniversary
  12. Dainichi (Vairocana), 12th anniversary
  13. Kokuzo (Akasagarbha) , 32nd anniversary


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