Tokudo in Japan

Gesshin Claire Greenwood  |  October 1, 2019

Current student Akiko Rogers shares with us this piece on ordaining at Hongwanji in Kyoto, Japan. You can read more about her family and journey to become a minister here.

In July, twenty international Jodo Shinshu ministerial aspirants undertook tokudo training to become ordained in the Hongwanji-ha tradition. Our group included eleven current and former IBS students, and, all total, the international group represented four districts including the Buddhist Churches of America, Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada, the European district, and the Taiwan district.

We began our training on July 4th with two days of pre-training hosted by the Hongwanji International Center in Kyoto, followed by eleven days of training at Nishiyama Betsuin training center, also in Kyoto. The training included attending both academic lectures and ritual training, plus participating in three daily services and group chores, and passing required assignments. Thanks to the compassionate guidance of all the teachers involved, all twenty of us were able to better learn the intricacies and importance of liturgy and ritual, deepen our understanding of the Dharma, and appreciate a variety of ways of sharing the teachings with others. It was deeply moving to have our official ordination conducted by the Gomonshu in the Amida Hall of Nishi Hongwanji, our tradition’s head temple, and feel our connection to all those who have come before us on this path.

Tokudo ordination is just the beginning of our path as ministers in the Hongwanji-ha tradition and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve our sanghas and share the great compassion and wisdom of Amida Buddha.

On behalf of our tokudo group, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all those in the IBS, the Center for Buddhist Education, the Hongwanji International Center, the regional districts, and our local sanghas that have supported each of us on this journey towards ministry.

Humbly in gassho,

Akiko Rogers

Aki Rogers and other tokudo participants in Kyoto, Japan