'Ippen was born at Hōgon-ji, a temple in Iyo Province (modern Ehime Prefecture) on the island of Shikoku. He was originally called Chishin (智真). He first studied Tendai Buddhism at Mount Hiei, Kyoto, and then Jōdo-shū at Dazaifu, Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu.
During a pilgrimage to the Kumano Shrines, the kami enshrined there revealed to Ippen that enlightenment was determined by Amitābha and that Ippen should devote himself to preaching the importance of reciting his name, a practice called nembutsu. Ippen and a band of followers then travelled throughout the country proselytizing with their ecstatic nembutsu dance,. .'
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