Lady Eshinni & Kakushinni Memorial
Jodo Shinshu, which literally means “True Teaching of the Pure Land Way,” was founded by Shinran Shonin. In 1224, Shinran Shonin completed the first draft of his major work “The True Teaching, Practice, and Realization of the Pure Land Way (Kyo-Gyo-Shin-Sho).” The Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha regards Shinran Shonin who revealed the essential teaching of Primal Vow and the Name of Amida Buddha in his writing “Kyo-Gyo-Shin-Sho,” as its founder and the completed year as the founding year. At the heart of its foundation were two women: Lady Eshinni (Shinran Shonin’s wife) and Lady Kakushinni (Shinran Shonin’s daughter).
Lady Eshinni gave Shinran Shonin her complete dedication and support. Her dedication is witnessed by her letters which were discovered in the archives of Hongwanji in 1921. Lady Eshinni is considered as the mother of Jodo Shinshu.
Lady Kakushinni established the foundation of Hongwanji to transmit Nembutsu teachings for many generations. After Shinran Shonin’s passing, she built a small temple in Higashiyama, Otani in Kyoto to enshrine Shinran Shonin’s ashes and portrait. This temple gradually developed and became Hongwanji.
The World Federation of Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha BWA respectfully adopted the following resolutions;
1967 (Honolulu, Hawaii): Encourage BWA members to read “Letter of Eshinni” written by Lady Yoshiko Ohtani
1978 (Sao Paulo, Brazil): Established “Eshinni Day”: Donation of the day to help youth activities
1986 (Kyoto, Japan): Designated “Eshinni Day” as World Peace Day
2002 (Sau Paulo, Brazil): Celebrate and Honor the life of Kakushinni
It is a time to remember and honor Lady Eshinni and Lady Kakushinni who have greatly contributed to establish the foundation of Hongwanji. Let us gather at temple the opportunity given by Lady Eshinni and Lady Kakushinni for listening to Buddha-Dharma, their spiritual foundation.