Monika Schrimpf



1906:  Itō Shinjō was born.

1912:  Itō Tomoji was born.

1936:  This year is the official foundation date of Shinnyo-en; Itō Shinjō began his clerical training at the Daigoji branch of Shingon Buddhism.

1936:  Itō Shinjō and Tomoji’s eldest son Tomofumi (also called Chibun; born 1934, posthumous name Kyōdōin) died suddenly.  After his death, he was believed to transfer people’s illnesses onto himself (bakku daiju)

1938:  The temple Shinchōji was built in Tachikawa.

1942:  Itō Shinjō and Tomoji’s daughter Masako was born, present leader of Shinnyo-en as Itō Shinsō.

1943:  Itō Shinjō completed his Shingon Buddhist training at Daigoji and received the monastic consecration kontai ryōbu denbō kanjō.

1948:  Makoto Kyōdan was founded.

1950:  A former disciple accused Itō Shinjō of physical abuse. As a result of the trial, Shinjō was sentenced to a suspended three-year prison term (Makoto kyōdan jiken)

1951:  The group’s name was changed to Shinnyo-en.

1952:  Itō Shinjō and Tomoji’s son Yūichi (born 1937, posthumous name Shindōin) died from a bone degeneration disease in his hip joints. Like his brother, he was believed able to transfer people’s illnesses on to himself.

1953:  Shinnyo-en acquired the legal status of a religious corporation.

1966:  Shinnyo-en received and enshrined Buddha relics from the Buddhist temple Wat Paknam in Thailand.

1966:  Itō Shinjō and Tomoji participated in the Japanese delegation to the Eighth International Congress of the World Fellowship of Buddhists held in Chiang Mai.

1967:  On a tour through Europe, Itō Shinjō and Tomoji had a private audience with Pope Paul VI.1967:  Itō Tomoji died (posthumous name, Shōjushin’in).

1968:  The new head temple Oyasono in Tachikawa was completed.

1971:  The first training centre overseas was founded in Hawaii, followed in 1973 by the first overseas temple in Honolulu.

1989:  Itō Shinjō died (posthumous name, Shinnyo Kyōshu Kongōshin’in) and was succeeded by his daughter Itō Shinsō (official title, Shinnyo Enshu).

1990:  The Universe Foundation (Yuniberu Zaidan) was established, a non-profit foundation for the promotion of care for the elderly.

1991:  The ITO Foundation for International Education Exchange (Itō Kokusai Kyōiku Kōryū Zaidan) was established. It is a non-profit foundation that promotes international students’ exchange by granting scholarships to Japanese students studying abroad and to overseas students studying in Japan.

1994:  The Shinnyo-en Foundation was established. It is part of Shinnyo-en USA and supports educational programs in cooperation with community-based educational institutions.

1998:  The Izumi Foundation, which provides medical help in developing countries, was established.

1999:  The first Lantern Floating Ceremony in Hawaii took place.

2004:  The Nā Lei Aloha Foundation in Hawaii, which among others organizes the Lantern Floating Ceremony, was established.

2006:  The new temple Ōgen’in was completed in Tachikawa.

2006-2008:  An exhibition of Itō Shinjō’s art, “The Vision and Art of Itō Shinjō,” was held in Japan, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Milano, and Florence.

2012:  The temple Yushin’in in Tokyo opened as a training centre and a place for academic and cultural events.

2013:  An autumn equinox ritual was performed at St. Bartholomew in New York by Itō Shinsō, followed by a Lantern Floating Ceremony in Central Park the next day.

2013:  Torikai Takashi (born 1953), deputy-director of the Department of Doctrinal Affairs, was announced to be Itō Shinsō’s successor designate.

2018:  The public opening of the Hanzōmon Museum in Tokyo took place. There is a permanent display of Buddhist art owned by Shinnyo-en is complemented by special exhibitions of Buddhist art.