Ekan Ikeguchi

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Ekan Ikeguchi (池口恵観, born November 15, 1936) is a Shingon Buddhist priest, currently the abbot of Saifukuji in Kagoshima. He holds a doctorate in medicine from Yamaguchi University and is an expert in the goma fire ritual. He has spoken at Harvard University and performed a ritual at the World Trade Center site in October 2001.[1] Ikeguchi recently returned to the United States in November 2012 to preside over the goma fire ritual in Los Angeles to commemorate Koyasan Buddhist Temple's 100th anniversary.

In 1961 he was arrested for attempting a coup d'etat on the Japanese government.

His disciples include sex novelist Shōko Ieda, prominent publisher Haruki Kadokawa, manga master Kazuo Koike, and baseball players Takahiro Arai and Tomoaki Kanemoto.

Since becoming abbot of Saifukuji he installed a shrine to North Korean leader Kim Il-sung. He frequently travels to North Korea,[2] explaining that it is his way of apologizing for the brutality of Korea under Japanese rule.[3] On the death of Kim Jong Il, he said, "I am overcome with sadness to hear of the passing of His Majesty Great Leader Kim Jong Il."[4]

In March 2013, he attempted to purchase the bankrupt headquarters of Chongryon for $48 million. [5] He explained that the North Koreans asked him to maintain the building for Chongryon.[6] He was unable to secure funds for the purchase, and In November 2014 Marunaka Holdings Co. purchased the property for ¥2.21 billion. [7] Marunaka Holdings reportedly plans to ask Chongryon to vacate the property, despite protests from Pyongyang.


  1. ^ http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/2001/10.04/28-goma.html
  2. ^ デヴィ夫人らが訪朝 金日成主席の記念行事出席、産経新聞、2012年4月11日
  3. ^ 「日朝関係の好転は難しい」…先月訪朝した池口恵観大僧正、中央日報 2009年10月15日
  4. ^ 「日朝友好見守って」、真言宗の池口恵観氏が朝鮮会館で読経、朝鮮新報、2011年12月29日
  5. ^ http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20130326/k10013457131000.html
  6. ^ http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/03/29/national/court-temple-can-buy-chongryons-hq/#.UVuofKJSjqA
  7. ^ http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/22/national/marunaka-holdings-completes-purchase-of-chongryon-hq/#.VKvoXZ2COnM