Goto Kanji (後藤環爾)

Kanji GOTO (May 19, 1871 - February 23, 1936) was a battlefield missionary priest and a founder of schools in Japan. He served as head regent of Nishi Hongan-ji Temple. His go (pen name) was Soun.


He was born on May 19, 1871 in Seiho-ji Temple in Sukumo-mura (current Sukumo City), Hata-gun, in today's Kochi Prefecture. After graduating from Tokyo Bukkyo Daigakko (Tokyo Bukkyo University), he returned home to assist his father. Also, he studied under Yuzo HAYASHI, a Japanese warrior and politician.

He served in Honzan (main temple) in Kyoto. He was a battlefield missionary priest in the Third Force (the Japanese army) during the Russo-Japanese War.

Later, he served in Tsukiji Betsuin (branch temple) of the Hongan-ji Temple. He carried out social service activities by founding a great number of hospices and small clinics for refugees when the Great Kanto Earthquake occurred on September 1, 1923. In June of 1926, he served a tour of duty in the above Betsuin, and with the help of Ginjiro FUJIWARA, etc., he rebuilt the new style of Tsukiji Hongan-ji Temple which was designed by Hiroatsu ITO, a professor of Tokyo Imperial University. He also founded Chiyoda Girls School (former Musashino University) and Musashino Girls' School, and he was also active in education for the blind, protection of youths, and foundation of day-care centers, hostels and Asoka Hospital.

He was the head regent of Honzan during September, 1929 and November, 1931. Furthermore, he headed missionaries and engaged in missionary work in Hawaii and North America. He died on February 23, 1936.

[Original Japanese]