Shimaji Mokurai (島地黙雷)

Mokurai SHIMAJI (March 10, 1838 - February 3, 1911) was a priest of the Jodo Shinshu (the True Pure Land Sect of Buddhism) Hongan-ji school who actively worked in the Meiji period.
He was born the 4th son of Sensho-ji Temple, Wada, Suo Province (Yamaguchi Prefecture.)
He called himself Uden, Hokuho, Rokuroku-dojin, etc. He was a head regent of Nishi Hongan-ji Temple.

He founded Kaiseikyoku school in Hagi with Tetsunen OZU and educated believers of the Shinshu sect.

In 1868, he advocated reforms of Nishi Hongan-ji Temple with Renjo AKAMATSU in Kyoto, such as abolishment of the Bokan system (bokan was a priest who served the Monzeki families) and promotion from adherents, and in 1870, he became a 'sansei' (a post in the office) of Nishi Hongan-ji Temple.

In 1872, he was appointed a member of the Iwakura mission at the request of Nishi Hongan-ji Temple and made an inspection tour of Europe and so on. He visited the birthplace of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, and on the way home he visited and prayed at the cultural ruins of Shakyamuni. The logbook, "Kosai Nissaku" (A Diary of the Voyage to the West) remains today. He also advocated politico-religious separation, freedom of faith in 'Sanjo-kyosoku Hihan' and worked for the revival of Buddhism which was placed under Shintoism, and the separation from Daikyoin (Great Teaching Institute). He also engaged in work as a prison chaplain and missionary work in the army.

In 1888, he became a member of Seikyo-sha, which published a Magazine "Nihonjin" (Japanese).

In 1892, he became the 25th resident priest of Kitayama Gankyo-ji Temple in Morioka City. His adopted son Daito SHIMAJI became the 26th resident priest.

Meanwhile, he founded Joshi Bungei Gakusha (today's Chiyoda Jogakuen.)

He also had exchanges with Azusa ONO, etc. and contributed to the establishment of Waseda-daigaku Bukkyo Seinen Kai (Waseda University Young Men's Buddhist Association).

In 1911, he died at the age of 79. His complete works of 5 total volumes have been published since 1973.

His works

Yasokyo Isseki-banashi (Literally, A Night Story on Christianity): 1881

Shinin Shohogi: Shuon-sha, 1882

Ho-no-tekagami: Keiai-sha, 1887

Hyochu Tsurezuregusa-sho: Byakuren-kai, 1888

Sangoku Bukkyo Ryakushi (A Brief History of Buddhism in three countries): co written with Tokuno ODA, Komei-sha, 1890

Ho-no-shonen: Kendo-shoin, 1891

Daigokuden Gobutsujiko Ryaku Narabini Kengi: co-written with Kaien ATSUMI, Hakusei-do, 1893

Shinsui-osho Shozo Sanshi: Kendo-shoin, June 1894

Ho-no-sono: 1897

Shinshu Taii: Tetsugakukan, 1899

Hanju Sankowa: Bukkyo Tosho Shuppan, 1901

Kanmuryoju-kyo Kogi: Koyukan, 1909

Complete works of Mokurai SHIMAJI, Total 5 volumes: compiled by Kenko FUTABA and Hirotaka FUKUSHIMA, Hongan-ji Shuppan-kyokai, 1973 - 1978