Otani Eijun (大谷瑩潤)

Eijun OTANI (1890-May 23, 1973) was a priest of the Jodo Shinshu (the True Pure Land Sect of Buddhism) of Buddhism
He was a renshi (a brother) of Koen OTANI who was the chief priest of the Otani School of Shin sect Buddhism. He was the chief priest of the Hakodate Branch Temple of the School. He served as the head of the temple office of the School. His posthumous honorary title was Shinshoin (信正院). His Dharma name (in Jodo Shinshu) was Gentaku (現澤). He served as a member of the House of Representatives (for a term) and as a member of the House of Councillors (for two terms). He was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold and Silver Star with Jushii (Junior Forth Rank).

Biography

He was born as the 11th son of Count Koei OTANI (also known as Gennyo) who was the 22nd hoshu (head priest) of the Higashi Hongan-ji Temple. Takako, wife of Koei, came from the Ogasawara clan who held the lordship of the branch domain of the former Kokura Domain. In 1910 Eijun became the chief priest of the Hakodate Branch Temple of the School. From 1941 to 1945 he served as the head of the temple office. In 1953 he founded 'the Memorial Committee for Martyred Chinese Captives' together with other priests of the School. As the president of the committee he endeavored to return the bones of Chinese captives who died in Japan where they had been forced to live during the Sino-Japanese War. In May 2000 a stone monument commemorating his achievements was erected in the precincts of Xuanzhongsi Monastery in Jiaocheng Country, Shanxi Province, China. Eijun OTANI as a politician successfully ran in the 23rd general election for the House of Representatives under the large-constituency system in 1947. Having served a term as a member of the House of Representatives, he became a member of the House of Councillors. In June 1950 he stood in the national constituency for the second regular election for the House of Councillors and won a seat. He served two terms of 12 years. He did not become a cabinet member though he served as Vice-Minister for the National Public Safety Commission under the third Hatoyama administration. He joined the Liberal Party (in Japan) (which later became the Liberal Democrat Party). In 1960, however, he left the party and joined Sangiin Doshikai (a fraction in the Upper House) in protest of the revision of the Japan - U.S. Security Treaty. He was succeeded by his first son named Ennei OTANI who became the head priest of the Hakodate Branch Temple of the School. After the demise of the 24th head (chief) priest Kocho OTANI Ennei acted as deputy chief priest. Eijun's fourth son named Takeshi OTANI served as Chairman of the Japan-China Travel Service and as Adviser to the Japan-China Friendship Association.