Shingi Shingon sect (新義真言宗)

The Shingi Shingon sect is a school of the Shingon sect (whose founding father was Kobo-daishi Kukai), and this school is connected to Raiyu, a high-ranking Buddhist priest of the Kakuban school, which followed the teachings of Kogyo Daishi Kakuban, who brought about the revival of the Shingon sect. This sect was given the name 'Shingi' because its followers proposed new teachings at Mt Koya. The original Shingon sect was then given the name 'Kogi Shingon,' but this is not really appropriate as the name was given not because the sect had old teachings but because it was old relative to the Shingi Shingon sect.

The broad definition of 'Shingi Shingon sect' includes Shingi Shingon sect which considers its Grand Head Temple as Grand Head Temple Negoro-ji Temple, Shingon sect Chisan school with its Head Temple at Chishakuin Temple, Shingon sect Buzan school with its Head Temple at Hasedera Temple, Shingon sect Muro-ji school with its Head Temple at Muro-ji Temple, but the narrow definition indicates the group, 'Shingi Shingon sect' which considers its Head Temple as Negoro-ji Temple.

The major difference is that the original Shingon sect (the so-called Kogi Shingon sect) teaches Varirocana teachings (teaching that Dainichinyorai, the highest buddha in the Shingon sect, himself preaches), whereas the Shingi Shingon sect teaches Adhisthana-kaya teachings (teaching that Dainichinyorai becomes Adhisthana-kaya in order to preach). A heated discussion on religious issues that are irrelevant to normal followers has continued.

In the Heian Period, corruption by priests led to a crisis within the Shingon sect and emergency measures to rebuild the sect were taken by Kakuban, who was a high priest of Koyasan Kongobu-ji Temple. However, there was a critical conflict between the conservatives (main temple/Konsobu-ji Temple side) who wanted to keep existing measures and Kakuban school (Daidenpo-in side). As a result, the Kakuban school left Mt. Koya and transferred their headquarters to Bufuku-ji Temple in Iwate-sho, a manor owned by Daidenpo-in. Kakuba's activity at Negoro started here.

After the nirvana of Kakuban in 1143, Kakuban school led by one of their priests, Raiyu, re-transferred Daidenpo-in to Mt. Koya, but the argument was not settled and 145 years later in 1288, the acting leader of the Kakuban school, Raiyu, took his followers and returned to Mt. Negoro to further develop Kakuban's teaching and established the Shingi Shingon sect that taught 'Shingi' different to that of conventional teachings.

Later, Negoro-ji Temple's size grew and was significantly militarized with priest soldiers, which Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI determined as disrupting the peace, and in the spring of 1585, a large army attacked Mt. Negoro, totally destroying Negoro-ji Temple and executing many of the priests. Not only the temple treasures but also most of the Shingi literature, which led to the temple having the reputation, 'Negoro, place of learning,' was burnt to ashes and the Shingi Shingon sect was virtually demolished. However, in the confusion, some priests reached Hasedera Temple and Chishakuin Temple and survived. Hideyoshi's policy regarding religion was to divide the Grand Head Temple Negoro-ji Temple into two, Chisan school and Buzan school, and decrease the power of the religious city, Negoro. Although reconstruction was permitted in the Edo Period, few of the priests that left Negoro did return.

In the Edo period, as part of their program to settle the wrongs of the Toyotomi government, the Tokugawa clan pardoned the Shingi Shingon sect and together with the reconstruction of Negoro-ji Temple, Kakuban was afforded the honorary title of 'Kokyo-Daishi' from the Emperor Higashiyama.

During the late Edo Period, Hoju-Hojo-Koga-Eisho-Shinkai-Shinyu-Joyu KODAMA became the head, and after the Meiji Restoration, Negoro-ji Temple restored the temple head priest title. The first head priest in the prosperous Chuko period was Buzan school Noke, Shuzen MORINO, and the head priests until that time were mostly heads from Daigo-ji Temple or Ninna-ji Temple, it was a tradition in Negoro-ji Temple to install a Gakuto other than the head priest from external temples. In 1886, Negoro-ji Temple was selected as the main Dojo of the Shingi school. Since 1900, the Noke of the Shingi Shingon sect Buzan school and Shingi Shingon sect Chisan school have acted in turn as the Head Priest of Daidenpo-in Temple with three-year rotations, but this tradition of alternating Buzan and Chisan has also been seen since the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States) from Genyo-Nisshu-Raigen-Genyu-Senyo. After World War II, with the revision of the Religious Corporation Act in 1953, the Shingi Shingon sect was established with Negoro-ji Temple as the Grand Head Temple and still exists up to the present day.

Temple status (not in any particular order)

Grand Head Temple Negoro-ji Temple (Iwade City Wakayama Prefecture)

Daihonzan Tanjo-in Temple (Kashima City Saga Prefecture)

Bekkaku-honzan, Special Head Temple

Jun-Bekkaku-honzan, Associate Head Temple
Betsuin Negoro-ji Temple Betsuin, Ichijo-in Temple (Minami-Satsuma City Kagoshima Prefecture) *currently the Ichijo-in Temple site is designated as a historical site by Kagoshima Prefecture


Education Institutes

Shingi Senmongakuin

[Original Japanese]