March 21, 2017
On November 19th, 2016, Her Holiness Shinso Ito officiated a special Homa (or a “Fire Ritual”) service, to commemorate the restoration of Shinchoji, a temple that is recognized as the founding temple in Shinnyo-en history. Her Holiness officiated the “eye-opening ceremony” for the main Buddha statue at the temple.
The rebuilding of Shinchoji was realized just next to another sacred Shinnyo-en temple, the Sesshin Training Hall, which was restorated and consecrated the previous year at a location near the main Head Temple.
These rebuilt temples are intended to serve as a spiritually interactive gathering spaces for practitioners and visitors, and are not just a mere museum-like venue. In Shinnyo-en teachings, the temple space is meant to inspire visitors with the spirit and intentions of the founders, and allow people to apply those insights into their own daily lives.
Shinchoji Temple was originally inaugurated in 1938 by Shinnyo-en’s founder Shinjo Ito. When the original Temple structure was to be replaced by a modern and larger Temple facility in 1968, the orginal wooden structure was dismantled and transferred to the City of Ome, where it was reassembled at Shiofune Kannon, a Buddhist Temple compound affiliated with the Daigoji Monastery, the place where Shinjo Ito had undergone his priestly trainings. Thanks to the efforts made by Shinnyo-en’s Youth Association the original Temple structure was handed back to Shinnyo-en in 1998 and finally restored and rebuilt at its present location in 2016, the 80th year since the founding of Shinnyo-en.