Ojo, which means to be born in the Pure Land after one's death in this world, is a serious issue that has been discussed for a long time. As one of the topics of Buddhist thought, Ojo can be approached from various aspects. Ishii Kyodo, a scholar who tends to discuss Ojo in respect of its manner and value, suggests that Ojo is not only a phenomenon of transition from a world to another, but should be most emphasized in its internal signification.
To understand the essence of Pure-land teachings, it is significant to clarify when Ojo happens to us on earth. Does it happen only at the moment of our death? Or might it be realized during our life? Honen, the first patriarch of the Japanese Jodo sect, suggested that Ojo could only be realized through the practices of Shomyo-nenbutsu. His disciple Shoku (1177-1247), who is considered the first patriarch of the Senzan branch of the Jodo sect, also insisted that Nenbutsu-ichigyo (the sole practice of Nenbutsu) was a necessary way to the Pure Land. This paper attempts to compare the Pure-land teachings of the two patriarchs, and then to discuss how Shoku defined the way to the Pure Land.