Genshi Kimyo-dan (玄旨帰命壇)

Genshi Kimyo-dan was a school which used to exist in the Tendai sect. It is said to have been treated as Inshi jakyo (evil heresies) later and become extinct in the Edo period.


It is said to be a kind of oral transmissions of kanjo (a ceremony to be the successor) to learn enshrining Matarashin which is honzon (principal image of Buddha) of Jogyo Zanmai-do Hall in Hiei-zan Mountain.

Genshi Kimyo-dan is the combination of Genshi-dan and Kimyo-dan. Genshi-dan is Genshi-kanjo to orally transmit the deep meaning of isshin sangan (threefold contemplation in a single mind), and the ceremony to pour Hosui of Hokke onto the top of head of the person receiving. Kimyo-dan is the ceremony to realize that rise of lives of all living things exists in the Three Thousand Realms Contained in One Mind which is the reason for Tendai.

As shown in the 39th article 'Jogyo-do Hall Matarashin no Koto' of "Keiran shuyo shu" (a collection of oral transmissions in the Japanese Tendai Sect which contains four stories about Myoe), it was said that Enchin was inspired by Matarashin on the way back from Tang and ceremonially transferred to Jogyo-do Hall. However, Matarashin was actually considered to have been established as honzon of Genshi Kimyo-dan which was set up from the Heian period to the Kamakura period.

This learning method had its origin in the orally transmitted system of teachings by theTendai sect generated during the medieval period. Of Edan niryu (two schools of the Japanese Tendai Sect; Eshin school and Danna school) from that school, Danna school is said to have succeeded as the head school and Eshin school as the branch. Enkan who experienced this Genshi-dan kanjo in the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan) made efforts to have the doctrine prosper transmitted "Tendai Kanjo Genshi" and "Genshi Kimyo-dan doctrine".

One theory is that Monkan who was from Shingon sect Ono school and communicated with Enkan perfected the Shingon Tachikawa School. As it gradually penetrated, this influence finally reached the Ekobo school which was one of the Tendai sect Danna schools while holy Genshi Kimyo-dan tended to be evil. However, the doctrine and ceremony of Tachikawa school was questioned with descriptions in the documents written by critics and repressing parties.

It took in Jodo-shinko (the Pure Land faith) to Amida Nyorai (Amitabha Tathagata) later, putting Amidabutsu-zo (a statue of Amitabha) on the alter of Hondo (main sanctuary), and treated the breath practitioners to be Pure Land for the descent of Amida where the rise of lives lie. Besides, it preaches that the origin of life is generated from the lunisolar spirit coming into the body from the harmony between the father and mother. These are awakened through seeing the origin of life. However, combined with Hongaku philosophy which was perfected in the Muromachi period, it actively accepted the real world and sexuality and tended to awaken by sex. So, it is often discussed in comparison with the Shingon sect Tachikawa school.

Since Reiku of Anraku-in Temple criticized it in his book "Hekijahen" and provided to Rinojinomiya, the book is said have been forfeited and burned, and the prohibition gradually lead to Genshi Kimyo-dan finally becoming extinct.

[Original Japanese]