https://www.academia.edu/6310675/Ojoyos ... by_Genshin
I also have Robert F. Rhodes new work on Genshin Genshin's Ojoyoshu and the Construction of Pure Land Discourse in Heian Japan out from the uni library. R. Rhodes is a professor at Otani University, a Jodo Shinshu affiliated institutions. So here is what he has to say:
And:Honen is certainly correct in claiming that Genshin understood the nenbutsu to be the fundamental Pure Land practice. However, unlike Honen, Genshin did not consider the other non-nenbutsu practices to be inessential in achieving the goal of birth in the Pure Land. The opposite is rather the case.As noted above, Genshin stressed the need to undertake various auxiliary practices in order to augment the efficacy of the nenbutsu. In his view, even though the nenbutsu is the primary practice, it is still one element in a complex network of mutually supporting practices leading to the Pure Land. p.292
In the conclusion Rhodes also mentions that during the Heian period many people - monks and laypeople recited nenbutsu for their own salvation as well as for their dead family members. p. 298...Genshin held what may be called an inclusive conception of Pure Land practice in contrast to Honen's exclusive conception of the nenbutsu. p.296
Genshin's Tendai understanding of Amida's Pure Land is that it simultaneously 'empty' and also provisionally real. Meaning when you purify your mind you will see this Saha world as the Pure Land and yes there is a Pure Land in the West. Both are true at the same time. It is not either/or.However, as noted several times in this volume,the understanding of the nenbutsu underwent radical transformation with the appearance of Honen's exclusive nenbutsu movement in the early Kamakura period. p.299
The founder of the Tiantai sect Zhiyi (Jp. Chigi) died " exclusively reciting (the names of) Amida, prajna, and Kannon. p.22" . Ennin the 3rd head (zasu) of Tendai shu and a great esoteric master :
This final point suggests that Ennin's deathbed practice consisted of an amalgamation of esoteric buddhism and devotion to Amida. This may be considered only natural, both because Ennin was a noted esoteric master and because Amida Buddha not only is associated with Pure Land Buddhism but is also a major figure in the esoteric Buddhist pantheon.p.57.
Before the radical break of the Kamakura period nenbutsu was embedded in many supportive practices in a wholistic manner. We see this clearly with Kakuban, the great head (zasu) of the Shingon school who practiced with nenbutsu hijiri and incorporated Pure Land practices into esoteric buddhism, which to this day are practiced in Shingon shu and Tendai shu. Here is an interesting MA thesis on this:
https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/b ... s_2013.pdf
Before the Tokugawa period, the Japanese buddhist schools were like university faculties and the monks travelled and studied with various great Buddhist masters.