Yamada Etai (山田恵諦)

Etai YAMADA (December 1, 1895 - February 22, 1994) was a Buddhist priest of the Tendai sect in Japan. He served as the 253rd Tendai-zashu (the head priest of the Tendai sect) for 20 years. He held the Religious Summit Meeting on Mt. Hiei, and promoted the Brighten the World at Your Corner Activities. He was called 'Flying head priest' because he was active.

In 1895, he was born in Taishi-cho, Ibo-gun, Hyogo Prefecture. He became a priest at the age of 10. He entered Mt. Hiei at the age of 16. In 1920, he graduated from Tendaishu Seibu University.

He became the 253rd Tendai-zashu in 1974, after serving as the head of the academic department of the Tendai sect, the director of educational institution of Tendai sect and the head priest of Shiga-in, honbo (priests' main residence) of Enryaku-ji Temple.
He was the president of 'the Brighten the World at Your Corner Activities.'
He held positions such as the honorary chairman of Japanese Religions Representative Conference and the president of the All Japan Buddhist Federation.

On August 3, 1987, he hosted the Religious Summit Meeting on Mt. Hiei, in celebration of the 1200th anniversary of foundation of Mt. Hiei. 24 leaders from the seven biggest religions all over the world including Francis Arinze from the Catholic church gathered at Mt. Hiei, and prayed for the world peace.

He died in 1994. He died at the age of 100.

When the government appealed for 'domestic demand expansion' as economic measures, Etai disagreed in public appearances.
Domestic demand expansion means to promote luxury.'
People cannot get rid of a luxury habit that they have once.'
It's out of question.'
Above were his intention.

On February 22, 1994, he died leaving his last words, 'I can see Buddha.'

[Original Japanese]