Shinbutsu (真仏)

Shinbutsu (March 17, 1209 - April 13, 1258) was a Pure Land Sect Buddhist priest in the mid-Kamakura period. He was the second head priest of the main temple of Senju-ji Temple, and also of Bukko-ji Temple. He was the second disciple of the "Niju Yohai (twenty-four apprentices of Shinran and temples which were founded by the apprentices)." He was a child born out of Makabe's wedlock, belonging to the Shiio Clan, and his secular name was Shunji Yasaburo SHIIO.

It is said that Shinbutsu studied under Shinran at Inada Soan (now Sainen-ji Temple in Inada, Kasama City, Ibaraki Prefecture) around 1224 and he had Shinran shave his head to become a priest in 1225. In 1227, Shinbutsu went to Kyoto and became the chief priest of Kosho-ji Temple (Bukko-ji Temple) under the order of his mentor. In 1232, he gave Kosho-ji Temple to Genkai and became the chief priest of Nyorai-do Temple (latter-day Senju-ji Temple) in Takada, Shimotsuke Province; he also travelled around the country to preach Pure Land Buddhism while correcting the wrong teachings that had been spread throughout the Tohoku region. In 1257, he came back to Kyoto, where he had an audience with Shinran, and soon left for the Kanto region. Nyorai-do Temple in Takada, Shimotsuke Province, was the center of Shinran's teaching in the Kanto region, and the Takada Sect was formed around it, and Shinbutsu was a leading figure of the Sect.

[Original Japanese]