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Rennyo Shonin (1415-1499)

Rennyo Shonin considered that religious service should not be combined with eating fish and meat and drinking alcohol.

After Shinran, the founder of Jodo Shinsu (True Pure Land), Rennyo Shonin is considered the "second founder" of Shin Buddhism. Under his leadership the Japanese Pure Land branch Hongan-ji, grew in size and power, becoming a national organization with great wealth and influence. Rennyo's success lay in conveying an attractive spiritual message while exerting effective adminstrative control. As the book Rennyo and the Roots of Modern Japanese Buddhism describes, he was a savy polititian as well as a religious leader who played a significant role in political, economic and institutional developments and considered one of the most influential persons in the histroy of Japanese religion.

In november 1473 he drew up a list of of eleven rules incumbent to all monto, to all followers, which included prohibitions against treating Buddhist and Shinto deaties with contempt, critizing other schools, and engaging in any type of intolerant behaviour. Beside they were cautioned not to try to convert people of other sects or even proclaim their own belief openly. Another rule was to refrain from eating fish and meat and drinking sake at religious services.

Whether Rennyo Shonin was vegetarian or vegan we do not know.

• Source: Rennyo and the Roots of Modern Japanese Buddhism, p. 55

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