In Buddhism, ignorance (mumyō) is understood as the root cause of human delusions. In the Jōdo Shinshū tradition, however, scholars have developed a theory identifying two types of ignorance: ignorance as blind passions themselves (chimumyō), and ignorance as doubting salvation through Amida’s Original Vow (gimumyō).
In recent years, some Shin scholars have presented their opinions against this traditional theory identifying two types of ignorance by maintaining that Shinran did not use the concept of ignorance as doubting Amida’s Original Vow. I disagree.
The Hōrai school, one of the traditional schools of Shin Buddhism, developed a unique interpretation of Shinran’s understanding of the concept of ignorance, opposing the traditional view identifying two types of ignorance. In this paper, I will reexamine the Shin Buddhist theory on ignorance by consulting this alternative theory on ignorance developed by the Hōrai school scholars.