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Founders & High Priests

Shinran Shounin

Shinran Shounin was the oldest child of Arinori Hino who was descendent of Kamatari Fujiwara, and his mother was Kikkounyo who was a descendent of the Emperor Seiwa. He was born to be smart and got familiar with Buddha. He joined his hands chanting nianfo (the name of Buddha) at the age of four. He lost his father and mother, which made him enter Shourennin-temple at the age of nine. He became a priest at Daitouin-temple in Mt. Hiei at the age of ten.
He pursuit the doctrines of Tientai hard, mastered up a lot of doctrines. After studied through Esoteric Buddhism, laws, Sannron(a school of Buddhism), and the study of Chinese classics, he was bestowed Gonshoushouzu (the twelveth rank of priests out of fifteen) became a pupil of Seikouin-temple. But he could not attain enlightenment yet. He gave up the status of the pupil there and entered a school of Hounen Shounin who was famous for his special way of nianfo at that time. He changed his name to Shakku and was well trained.
He was told by Hounen Shounin to get married with Princess Tamahi, a daughter of Kanpaku Kanesane, one of his believers, he made the drastic decision to have a wife and eat meat. Religiously prosecuted, Huonen was sent to Sanuki(present Kagawa prefecture) and Shinran to Echigo(present Niigata) at he age of thirty five. Though he was going to back to Kyoto after released, he knew Hounen’s death and started traveling Eastern North of Japan. He founded Joudoshinshu Sect in 1224. He entered Nirvana at the age of ninety in 1262. He was placed in Otani mausoleum.