Otani Koshin (大谷光真)

Koshin OTANI (August 12, 1945 -) is the 24th Monshu (the chief priest) of the Hongan-ji school of the Jodo Shinshu sect and the head priest of the religious corporation Hongan-ji Temple.

His homyo (name given to a person who enters the Buddhist priesthood) of Jodo Shinshu sect is Sokunyo.


In contrast with Koshin's father Shonyo (Kosho OTANI), the former Monshu who spent his young adulthood during times of war, Koshin grew up during the years of high economic growth following the war as the Shinmon (successor of the Monshu). According to the dialog record which was issued in his youth, it seems that he had a high level of interest for social issues and he had been influenced from the student movement of that period.

After he succeeding the Monshu in his thirties, he has been doing energetic actions such as group preaching at 500 places in Japan and he often goes to overseas Buddhist Churches for group preaching. He is known for his positive statements about social issues and international affairs unlike the other leaders of the biggest religious organizations in Japan except the leaders of newly formed religions.

Especially from the 1990s, about the time the sense of mistrust in religion by society arose because of affairs such as the Aum Shinrikyo, he states his opinion also at the outside of the sect. In 2006, he attended the Inter Action Council as an observer and presented his recommendation to the leaders of religion and former heads of government over the world.

In addition, in 2007, he made dialog with students in the serial lecture of 'Modern society and religion' at Ritsumeikan University.


Born in Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture as the first son of Shonyo the 23rd leader of the Hongan-ji school.

He did tokudo (enter the Buddhist priesthood) and assumed the Shinmon of the Hongan-ji school of the Jodo Shinshu sect.
Graduated from the religious studies program at the University of Tokyo Literature department
Graduated the masters program (Indian philosophy) at the University of Tokyo graduate school of Literature.
Married Noriko TANAKA.
Graduated the master's program (Study of Shinshu) at the Ryukoku University graduate school of Literature.
Assumed the 24th Monshu of the Hongan-ji school of the Jodo Shinshu sect.
Assumed the title of President of the All Japan Buddhist Federation (- 1980).
Assumed the title of President of the All Japan Buddhist Federation (- 1990).
Assumed the title of President of the Japan Federation of Composers.

[Original Japanese]