What can I do to learn more about the Kamakura period?
There are dozens of Buddhist temples and Shintō shrines in Kamakura. Kamakura was the thirteenth-century capital of Japan and is sometimes called Japan's "little Kyoto." Visiting its temples and shrines is a fun way to learn about the Kamakura period, which was a turning point in Japanese Buddhism, highlighted by the spread of Buddhism among the illiterate commoner and by a new spirit of realism in religious imagery. The period gave birth to new and reformed Buddhist movements -- Pure Land, Zen, and Nichiren -- devoted to the salvation of the common people. These schools stressed pure and simple faith over complicated rites and doctrines. Prior to this, Buddhism was largely the faith of the imperial court, upper classes, and monastic orders. To learn more, see onmarkproductions.com/html/court-to-commoner-buddhism-whe.html