2021 New Year’s Greetings from His Eminence Gomonshu Kojun Ohtani

The Gomonshu is the spiritual head of our denomination based in Kyoto, Japan. The current Gomonshu is His Eminence Monshu Kojun Ohtani, the 25th-generation descendant of Shinran Shonin to head the Hongwanji. Here is his New Year’s message.


New Year’s Greeting

Gomonshu Kojun Ohtani (2021)

Happy New Year, everyone! At the beginning of this New Year, I would like to extend my best regards to you all.

Throughout the last year, the world suffered from the pandemic of COVID-19, which brought tremendous hardship to many people, and we still are not able to see when normalcy would return to our world. On this occasion, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to those who fell victim to the disease and express my sympathies to those who are currently undergoing treatment.

Meanwhile in the US, the media has widely reported systematic discrimination against African Americans, social unrest and division among the general public brought on by the presidential election. It concerns me that many people have been left isolated in the midst of hardship.

‘Dependent origination’ is a universal truth that Buddha Sakyamuni presented. This fundamental Buddhist principle expresses that every thing, matter, and phenomenon arises from various causes and conditions. None of us lives by ourselves. We are living while being interconnected and mutually supported by one another. Considering the reality of a divided society, it is important that everyone deeply reflects on the principle of Dependent Origination that represents the true state of the world.

Even though having been introduced to the truth by Buddha Sakyamuni, ordinary people like us are still not able to accept it as it is. Therefore, to guide us to cope with the suffering caused by our own ignorance, Shinran Shonin clarifies Amida Buddha’s compassion that always embraces us all. When the world is facing this unimaginable crisis, it is crucial that each of us experiences Amida Buddha’s great compassion ourselves, and live each day to the utmost, having that joy and sensation in our hearts as the basis of our life.

I have been told that in this difficult time and situation, many of your sangha have been adopting new measures for sharing the Jodo Shinshu teaching that had not been previously considered. I find such efforts truly reassuring. It is my hope that your temples will continue serving as your spiritual home, and therefore, I sincerely ask for your understanding and cooperation to allow them to be so. With my heartfelt appreciation for each one of you, I would like to conclude my new year’s greeting.

January 1, 2021

Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha



昨年は新型コロナウィルス感染症(COVID-19)が世界的に大流行し、多くの方が犠牲となられましたが、いまだその収束が見通せません。ここに、新型コロナウィルス感染症によりお亡くなりになられた方々に謹んで哀悼の意を表しますとともに、罹患されている皆さまに心よりお見舞い申しあげます。 また、アメリカにおいては黒人差別の問題が提起され、大統領選挙も社会に混乱をまねき、社会の分断が指摘されています。このような中で、悩みや苦しみを抱えている方、孤独な状況に置かれている方も多くおられるのではないかと思います。




2021 年 1 月 1 日

門主 大谷光淳

See Also
2021 New Year’s Message from Bishop Eric Matsumoto
2021 New Year’s Greetings from President Warren Tamamoto