In this picture you can see the purification fountain in Nishi Hongan-ji. These fountains are in Buddhist temples in order for visitors to purify themselves. You are supposed to take the ladle, fill it with fresh water and rinse both hands. Pour some more water on your hands, rinse your mouth, and spit the water on the floor. You should never use the ladle to drink the water.
At the end of the 12th century a new Buddhist sect was introduced from China, the Zen Sect. Zen was popular among the military class. Zen says that through discipline and meditation one can reach enlightenment. Nowadays Zen has more followers abroad than in Japan.
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