Middle Ages: Principle of Retribution in Buddhism

The "Kamakura period" (1185-1333) and the "Muromachi period" (1333-1568) in Japanese history are similar to the Middle Ages in Europe.

These periods are so called from the place where the political power by the warrior class was established in Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture and Muromachi in Kyoto Prefecture, respectively.

Moreover, these periods were permeated by the Buddhism spread even to the ordinary people from the aristocrat class, governing the center of their life.

The idea of retribution in Buddhism thought affected the persons with disabilities most. This is the idea that a certainly bad result is brought about, if a bad cause is made. If used as a warning for not making a bad thing, it would be good. However, conversely in practice, if the person carried out the bad thing and as a result he will be blamed or punished.

Usually it was also common about the responsibility before the person is born. The tendency to dislike the abnormal appearance of a person strengthened at that time. Since such an inferior view on the person with disability was connected, a person with disability and his or her family had to live with patience or hardships.

Meanwhile, because of the Buddhist belief that if a person performed a good deed while alive, he or she would be rewarded after death, it was customary for people to donate those who were poor or in trouble.

Although there is no telling whether it was achieved as full-scale relief, the record exists that temples and individual priests were making relief work, respectively.

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