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A raigō (来迎 "welcoming approach"?) is an appearance of Amida Buddha on a purple cloud at the time of one's death.[1] It has given rise to a type of Japanese painting (a raigō-zu) of a Buddha accompanied by bodhisattvas. As a ritual, such a painting is carried into the house of a person who is near death.

A raigo painting from the late Heian Period

Among the upper classes, raigo paintings and sculpture became very popular, as they depicted the Amida Buddha coming down in celebration in relation to dead relatives or to one's own house. Some of these paintings are clearly yamato-e, or Japanese paintings in that they gave artists a chance to paint Japanese landscapes.


  1. ^ "Raigō". HighBeam Research, Inc. Retrieved 16 January 2013.