Jodo Shinshu Higashi Hongan-ji school (浄土真宗東本願寺派)

Jodo Shinshu (the True Pure Land Sect of Buddhism) Higashi Hongan-ji school is a school of the Jodo Shinshu consisting of more than 300 branch temples and respected temples which separated from the Shinshu sect Otani school containing around 10,000 branch temples. The head temple is Higashi Hongan-ji Temple in Taito Ward, Tokyo Metropolitan Area. The leader of the religious school is called Hossu (high priest), and the present Hossu is the 26th Hossu Koken OTANI (also called Monnyo).

Within the Shinshu sect Otani school whose head temple was Shinshu-honbyo Mausoleum, there was a confrontation between conservatives and reformists over several issues such as differences in the interpretation of doctrine and the direction of the movement, which developed into a theological dispute called Ohigashi-sodo Strife in 1969.

Opposing the reformist group, the 24th Hossu Kocho OTANI (also called Sennyo) broke off the existing comprehensive relationship with Shinshu sect Otani school in 1978 with the aim of protecting the traditions of Buddhism, and declared that he would move to realize the independence of Higashi Hongan-ji Temple in Kyoto Prefecture. He simultaneously appealed to the quasi head temples and branch temples all over Japan to leave Shinshu sect Otani school. In concert with this appeal, Kocho's eldest son Kosho (also called Konyo) OTANI, the Hoshi (successor of principle, also called Shinmon) of Shinshu sect Otani school, promoted the separation of Tokyo Hongan-ji Temple (also called Asakusa Monzeki Temple), a branch temple of Shinshu sect Otani school in Tokyo, at which he had once worked as a chief priest, with the result that the separation was certified on June 15, 1981.

However, obstructing the separation plan for Higashi Hongan-ji Temple encouraged by Kosho OTANI, the reformist group expedited the revision of the 'Constitution of Shinshu sect Otani school' and promulgated a new constitution which came into force on June 11, 1981. Following the new constitution, the reformist group abolished the position of 'Hossu,' effectively the Shishu (leader) who had passed down the tradition of Buddhism particular to Hongan-ji Temple since its establishment by the founder of the sect, Shinran Shonin, and instead established a new position of 'Monshu' (chief priest), which was regarded as a symbol of integration between sects and which lacked authority, and attempted to install Kocho OTANI in the position, however Kocho rejected the promotion. Furthermore, adopting the idea of 'Shu-hon Ittai' (which means the sect and head temple are undivided and united), the reformist group legally dissolved the religious corporation 'Honganji' (meaning Higashi Hongan-ji Temple), which had maintained an intricate relationship with the religious corporation 'Shinshu Otani ha' (the Shinshu sect Otani school), in order to merge the two bodies on December 14, 1987. Following this, the official name of 'Shinshu-honbyo' (Shinshu-honbyo mausoleum) was given to Higashi-Hongan-ji temple. ).

Reflecting on these circumstances, Kosho declared on February 29, 1988 that he would succeed as the 25th Hossu of Higashi Hongan-ji Temple, saying that he would inherit the tradition of Buddhism belonging to Hongan-ji Temple which had been made defunct due to changes in the rules of Shinshu sect Otani school. At the same time, he formed 'Jodo Shinshu sect Higashi Hongan-ji school,' containing more than 300 temples separated from Shinshu sect Otani school, choosing Tokyo Hongan-ji Temple as the head temple.

Afterwards, he formalized the religious regulations and charter in 1996, as well as establishing the 'branch temple' system. After the death of Kosho in 1999, his eldest son Koken (also called Monnyo) succeeded as the 26th Hossu and changed the name of the head temple 'Tokyo Hongan-ji Temple' into 'Jodo Shinshu sect Higashi Hongan-ji school, Honzan Higashi, Hongan-ji Temple' on April 26, 2001.

[Original Japanese]