by Bishop Hiroshi Tajima
Happy New Year to all of you Jodo Shinshu followers across the world. I deeply appreciate your support of our temples and strength you bring to our Sangha.
Since July last year, our Higashi Honganji denomination has been preparing for the 850th Celebration of Shinran Shōnin’s Birth and the 800th Anniversary of the founding of Jōdo Shinshū, which will be held in 2023. Each of our overseas districts—North America, Hawaii and Brazil—already have begun planning activities to observe these auspicious events.
Our primary purpose in observing these anniversaries is to express our gratitude for being able to encounter the Shin Buddhist teachings. It’s my heartfelt wish this celebration will be an opportunity for us to deepen our appreciation for Shinran Shōnin’s birth, subsequently enabling the Jōdo Shinshū teachings to spring forth in this world, giving us this profound form of Mahayana Buddhism.
It’s no exaggeration to say these events play a crucial role in shaping the future of our denomination. I sincerely hope all who’ve had an opportunity to encounter Shinran Shōnin’s teachings will affirm their commitment as members of our denomination and deeply reflect on the main theme of this celebration, “Namu Amida Butsu—To Discover the Meaning of Being Born as Human Beings.” Thank you for your cooperation and continued support.
Bishop Tajima is Chief Administrator of Shinshū Ōtani-ha (Higashi Honganji) in Kyoto Japan.