Present Temple Priest
The present 15th temple priest Shaku Jogon is Koju Fujieda by lay name. He was born in 1933 as the eldest son of Joshin, but Joshin
was killed in the last war. So he had to succeed to the temple priest soon after graduating from Kyoto University English literature
department. As is usual with small temples, he started two professions
at the same time; he became a teacher of English at Fujishima Senior High
School, then at Fukui Technical College, and lastly at Fukui Medical School.
He studied Shin Buddhism at Ohtani University for a year in his college
days and later he attended a good number of Buddhist seminars held at various
temples. Even after retiring from Fukui Medical School, he finished the
master course at Bukkyo (Buddhist) University, by correspondence education.
During his 60 years as the temple priest, he has not only run various temple services as a matter of course, but engaged himself in a number of Dharma spreading activities (See Dharma section) including publications (as shown below).
At his main temple Goshoji, he chaired the Izumoji Sect Assembly for about ten years and has been appointed to give Dharma talks a couple of times a year.
It was lucky for him to be able to make pilgrimage to Buddha's sacred places in India twice; for the first time as the attendant to the pre-previous chief abbot Ven. Zenge and for the second time as the leader of the tour after his retirement from Fukui Medical School. (Incidentally, while he was an English teacher, he was dispatched by the government to England and America to study English education. That was another happy chance to see the world.)
As a hobby he sometimes tries to contribute English haiku, rarely adopted though. Anyway he likes to compose some writing or another using his PC.
The above-mentioned chief temple priest is supported by the other three temple priests Shaku Joken (Junkyo Fujieda), Shaku Josen (Shobun Fujieda) and Shaku Jojun (Naoki Fujieda) as well as by the temple wife Shaku Myosho (Masako Fujieda) and his eldest daughter Eri Fujieda who
is supposed to succeed to his post in the near future.
The Present Priest's
English Publication on Buddhism:
The temple priest has been engaged in writing books and compiling various teaching materials mostly concerning Buddhist Dharma. Most of them are in Japanese, but some are in English as are introduced below:
１）Dewdrops of Dharma (Published from Nagatabunshodo, Kyoto: \900)
The temple priest started to send Dharma cards in Japanese and English to the temple followers and his friends more than ten years ago. Later an anthology of the first forty-eight good cards was published entiltled as Buppo no Shizuku in Japanese together with its English version Dewdrops of Dharma: Forty-eight Buddhist Viewpoints. The latter was edited and prefaced by Rev. & Dr. Alfred Bloom, authoritative Shin Buddhist leader in America.
Sicce each card is printed in two pages, it is very easy to read, but Dr. Bloom remarks in his preface:
"The text offers insights drawn from the tragedies and joys of everyday life. They are presented in the Buddha's compassion. The essays console and challenge; giving thoughtful reflections for everyday contemplation. Though natural dewdrops dramatize impermanence as they disappear with the morning sun, Dewdrops of Dharma bring enduring truth into the maelstorm of our modern life."
２）Towards the Seat of Dharma Hearing (Free PDF book: click here)
This PDF book was introduced in the Newsletter of IASBS.
３）Another Point of View (New free PDF book: click here)
４）Bookmarks of Dharma Hearing (Click and download)
５）Itadakimasu (Picture Story １: DVD = Published from Nagatabunshodo, Kyoto: \2100)
How do you begin each meal? Do you say grace? Perhaps you may thank the cook. In Japan it is customary to begin a meal with a simple praise ‘Itadakimasu’ or ‘I will eat this meal with thanks’. But often, a customary practice can become just a matter of form. Children who are not accustomed to saying Itadakimasu, may sometimes question its meaning and thus revive the true spirit of the custom.
Such is the case in the first DVD when the children question their teacher as to why they must say
Itadakimasu. From the teacher’s explanation one can learn an important Buddhist belief.
We hope you will enjoy this DVD presentation and share it with your family and friends.
6）Ground Ｃherry Zizo (Picture Story ２: DVD)
The world is such today that in the course of our daily lives, we often experience the unexpected. We may try every means to prevent them, but still, life-changing accidents do happen. What can we do when these things take place? We may try to blame others or ourselves, but in the end, we must accept and make peace with the consequences. Buddhism accepts such human sorrow in a way that may eventually bring resolution and peace. You will see how this works in ‘Ground Cherry Zizo,' a story for the young and old alike.
7) Earnest Dharma-Hearers' Traits, As Seen in a Survey on Dharma Hearing (An article printed in THE PURE LAND No.27, 2012-2013, Published from INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SHIN BUDDHIST STUDIES)
(If you want to read the whole article, contact with me by e-mail.)
Dharma Card (Ryokeiji Issue, monthly)
Heart Bookmark Essay (Fukui Newspaper, monthly)
Gumo Essay (Byakugo Association, Quarterly)
(Individual essays are shown in Dharma Corner.)