Religion in Modern Asia Newsletter

Youthful Archbishop


OTANI Narishige, 20, has succeeded to the position of Monshu or Archbishop of the Otani branch of the Jodo Shin (True Pure Land) sect of Japanese Buddhism. Currently a sophomore at Waseda University in Tokyo, Otani is said to enjoy his membership in a rock band club at the university. The Otani branch is one of the biggest sects of Japanese Buddhism, with some 5.5 million adherents claimed by the sect.

Most archbishops of Buddhist denominations are in advanced age, making cases like Otani's quite unusual. Such youthful appointments become possible, however, since in most cases within the modern history of Japanese religion, the position of religious leader is transmitted from the current leader to his or her direct descendant. In any event, the young Otani is shortly to begin training to prepare him for the position of archbishop.

-- Oct 1, 1993, Nobutaka INOUE

Last updated: 2001/11/28 14:33:43

Copyright © 2001 Institute for Japanese Culture and Classics, Kokugakuin University. All Rights Reserved.