The Omuro School of the Shingon Sect (真言宗御室派)

The Omuro School of the Shingon ("True Word") sect is one of the Shingon sect schools in Japan and belongs to the Kogi (old) Shingon sect. Its Sohonzan (grand head temple) is Ninna-ji Temple.

The founder of the sect: Kobo daishi, Kukai
The founder of the school: Cloistered Emperor Kanpyo (Emperor Uda)

Shumon (crest of the sect)

Cherry blossoms with Hikiryo (a design considered to represent good luck, consisting of a circle and one or more parallel lines drawn inside it)

Jikaku (temple status) (within the same status, temples are arranged randomly)

Sohonzan: Ninna-ji Temple (Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City)

Daihonzan (great head temples): Koryu-ji Temple (Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City); Kongo-ji Temple (Kawachinagano City, Osaka Prefecture); Daisho-in (Miyajima) (Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture)

Bekkaku honzan (special head temples): Ryuho-ji Temple (Aoba Ward, Sendai City); Renge-ji Temple (Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City); Sonju-in Temple (Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City); Kume-dera Temple (Kashihara City, Nara Prefecture); Kanno-ji Temple (Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture); Fukuo-ji Temple (Hiroshima City); Rendai-ji Temple (Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture);
Kanryu-ji Temple (Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture); Henjo-in Temple (Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture); Hashikura-ji Temple (Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture); Kokubun-ji Temple (Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture); Shotsu-ji Temple (Utazu-cho, Kagawa Prefecture); Hakuho-ji Temple (Sakaide City, Kagawa Prefecture); Fudogokoku-ji Temple (Mitoyo City, Kagawa Prefecture); Shusseki-ji Temple (Ozu City, Ehime Prefecture); Kainan-ji Temple (Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture); Chinkoku-ji Temple (Munakata City, Fukuoka Prefecture);

Jun bekkaku honzan (associate head temples)

Other temples: Myotsu-ji Temple (Obama City, Fukui Prefecture); Jigan-in Temple (Izumisano City, Osaka Prefecture); Hatsuuma-dera Temple (Tsu City, Mie Prefecture); Rinsho-ji Temple (Sennan City, Osaka Prefecture)

The history of the Omuro School of the Shingon sect began with the establishment of Ninna-ji Temple. This temple developed as the headquarters of the Hirosawa school (one of the two schools in the Kogi Shingon sect), which valued Jiso (the practical aspects of Esoteric Buddhism, including rituals, incantations and prayers). Since Nyudo Shinno (priestly Imperial Prince) Shoshin (Omuro) took the post as its second Monzeki (chief priest), over succeeding generations toward the end of the Edo period, members of the Imperial Family took this post as well. Since Nyudo Shinno Kakusho (Shikondai-ji omuro), who was its fifth chief priest, was designated as Nihon sohomu, or the head of Kosho (Office of Priests), by being awarded an Inji (imperial seal) in 1167, it brought under its umbrella many temples of different sects and vehicles, and thus practically led the Japanese Buddhist society. At its peak, it reigned over more than 60 tatchu (sub-temples) and branch temples.

However, during the medieval period the temple was entirely destroyed by fire in the Onin War and therefore lost its power. Although the Ashikaga, Oda and Toyotomi clans attempted to restore it during and after the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States), it couldn't be fully revived.

However, financially supported by the Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) during the Edo period, it was fully restored to its current state; the halls and pagodas we see today were built in or around that time.

In the Meiji Restoration, its thirtieth chief priest, Sumihito (Ryogenjoin omuro), became a layman by imperial order. Under his new secular name, Imperial Prince Komatsunomiya Akihito worked hard to restore the temple by founding an organization called Ninnakai in 1883. Since its thirty-first monzeki, it had stopped accepting members of the Imperial Family as chief priests.

Although it temporarily came under the umbrella of To-ji Temple ("East Temple," the grand headquarters of the Toji Shingon sect, also founded by Kukai), it broke away from it in 1900 and officially called itself the Omuro School of the Shingon Sect. It abandoned its status as a school of the Shingon sect; in 1926, it called itself the Kogi Shingon sect, along with Kongobu-ji and Daikaku-ji temples. During World War II, the Japanese government's policy on religion forced Kogi (old) and Singi (new) Shingon sects to be integrated into Dai Shingon (literally, "Large Shingon"), but in 1946, after the war it became independent and began referring to itself as the Omuro School of the Shingon Sect.

Its organization

Chief abbot: (Served by the head priest of Ninna-ji Temple. The reprehensive executive of the school. The term is set.
Elected by vote.)

Supreme adviser and the board of advisors (consultative body of the chief abbot, disclosed.)
Shumucho (the general affairs department of a sect)
Head: Served by the head regent of Ninna-ji Temple

Execution (headed by the chief)
Board of directors (consisting of five members)
Department of General Affairs
Department of Education
Department of Finance
Shukai (a legislative organ consisting of 17 members, 14 of whom are publicly elected and three of whom are specially selected)
who serve for four years)

Branch offices are placed in 17 locations, including Mie, Kyoto, Nara, Wakayama, Osaka, Hyogo, Bizen, Mimasaka, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Kagawa, Ehime, Tokushima, Fukuoka and Hizen. Areas without branch offices are directly controlled by the headquarters.

Associated organizations

Ninna-ji goji zaidan (financial group)

Sokai (priest ranks) and Soseki (priesthood)
Sokai (15 ranks)
First rank: Dai (high) sojo (the highest-ranking Buddhist priest position, further divided into three ranks, "dai" (high), "chu" (middle) and "sho" (low), each of which is further separated into 'senior' and 'junior' ("gon"))
Second rank: Gon (junior) dai sojo
Third rank: Chu (middle) sojo
Fourth rank: Gon chu sojo
Fifth rank: Sho (low) sojo
Sixth rank: Gon sho shojo
Seventh rank: Dai (high) sozu (the second-highest ranking Buddhist priest position, further divided into three ranks, "dai" (high), "chu" (middle) and "sho" (low), each of which is further separated into "senior" and "junior" ("gon"))
Eighth rank: Gon (junior) dai sozu
Ninth rank: Chu (middle) sozu
Tenth rank: Gon chu sozu
Eleventh rank: Sho (low) sozu
Twelfth rank: Gon sho sozu
Thirteenth rank: Dai risshi (the third-highest ranking Buddhist priest position, further divided into three ranks, "dai" (senior), "none" (middle) and "gon" (junior))
Fourteenth rank: Risshi
Fifteen rank: Gon (junior) risshi
Priests ranked Gon dai sozu or lower are subject to bylaws. A priest ranked Gon dai sozu must be a graduate of a university run by a school of the Shingon sect.

Kyokai (hierarchy of teaching priests) (shukyo; kokyo; shikyo; shikyo; hokyo)
Chief priest: A priest who has entered the Buddhist priesthood, received a Docho (government document certifying that he/she is a Buddhist priest or nun), gone through Shidokegyo (four types of training), had a denpo-kanjo (ritual in which the Dharma is transferred to a pupil), and completed Rengyo (training in Esoteric Buddhism)

Teacher (priests designated as teachers
To become a chief priest, one has to be designated as a teacher.)

Kyogaku shingikai (educational council) is held (to encourage teachers to study, and to select teachers from priests)

Annual events
January 1: Shusho-e (New Year's service)
January 6: New Year's flower arrangement by the Omuro-ryu School
January 7: New Year's prayer
Early January: Mishiho yohai (worship for incantation and prayer conducted in the Imperial Court)
January 21: Kenmaiku (rice offering)
February 3: A Buddhist mass in which priests take turns reading "Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra" (Setsubun-e (meeting at the traditional end of winter))
February 15: Joraku-e (anniversary of Buddha's death)
Late February: A Buddhist memorial service to pray for the peaceful repose of the dead by purifying the soil (as they are believed to turn into soil)
March 21: Sho mieku (a memorial service for Kobo daishi, who died on March 21) and Higan-e (Buddhist services during the week of the equinox)
From April 1: A 50-day treasure exhibition held at the Reihokan museum in spring
April 8: Bussho-e (a Buddhist mass to commemorate Buddha's birthday)
During the time when cherry blossoms are in bloom: Cherry Blossom Festival
April 18: Kannon festival
Mid-May: The Omuro School's flower-arrangement contest
Late May: A Buddhist mass in which priests take turns reading "Great Perfection of Wisdom Sutra")
June 15: A Buddhist mass to commemorate Kobo daishi's birthday
September 8: Anniversary of the school founder's death
September 21: A Buddhist mass during the week of the equinox
October 1: A 50-day treasure exhibition held at the Reihokan museum in the fall

Monthly events

21st of the month: Mieku (a Buddhist memorial service for Kobo daishi)
28th of the month: A Buddhist mass in which cedar sticks are burned to invite Daikokuten (the god of wealth)
Temporary Buddhist services
A Buddhist mass held every 50 years to commemorate the birth of Kobo daishi, the founder of the sect, and to mourn his death
A Buddhist memorial service for Cloistered Emperor Kanpyo, the founder of the school, held every 50 years
A Buddhist memorial service for successive monzeki, held every 50 years
A Buddhist mass held every 50 years to commemorate the founding of 88 sacred places in Mt. Joju
Senjiki (a memorial service for the temple's successive chief priests)

Its educational institutions

Ninna denpo sho (place to teach Buddhism)
Ninna Mikkyo Gakuin (school of Esoteric Buddhism): Founded in the precinct of Ninna-ji Temple in 1972
Headquarters building of the Omuro-ryu Flower Arrangement School
Shuchiin University (run together with a third-party organization)
Rakunan High School and Junior High School (run together with a third-party organization)

Its facilities

Reihokan museum in the precinct of Ninna-ji Temple, whose treasures are unveiled to the public for a certain period of time; visitors are charged for admission.

Omuro Kaikan Hall: A lodging facility in the precinct of Ninna-ji Temple
Omuro rojin ikoi-no-ie (peaceful home for elderly people): Run on behalf of Kyoto City

Its doctrine
It follows the doctrine of the Kogi Shingon sect.

[Original Japanese]