Omori Sogen

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Ōmori Sōgen Rōshi
Senior posting
Based inTenryū-ji
PredecessorSeki Bokuo

Ōmori Sōgen (大森 曹玄, 1904–1994) was a Japanese Rinzai Rōshi, a successor in the Tenryū-ji line of Rinzai Zen, and former president of Hanazono University, the Rinzai university in Kyoto, Japan. He became a priest in 1945.


Ōmori Sōgen was a teacher of Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryū swordsmanship,[1] and a calligrapher in the Taishi school of Yamaoka Tesshū. He became well known for his unique approach to Zen practice integrating insights from his martial and fine arts training with traditional Zen methods; this approach has been described as a unity of Zen, Ken ("sword", referring to martial arts or physical culture), and Sho ("brush", referring to calligraphy or fine arts).

Ōmori founded Seitai-ji monastery in Japan and Daihonzan Chozen-ji in Honolulu, Hawaii, the first Rinzai headquarters temple established outside Japan according to Rinzai canon law.

Dharma successors and descendants of Omori Roshi are active in both Japan and the West. In the United States, along with Chozen-ji, Daiyuzenji has been established in Chicago, and Korinji near Madison, Wisconsin. In Germany and Austria, there are active groups connected to Sasaki Gensō Rōshi and Hozumi Genshō Rōshi.

Ōmori is the author of more than 20 books in the Japanese language.

Ōmori was also well known for his right-wing ultra-nationalist[2] political activism and influence in government circles prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.

Notable students[edit]

  • Tanouye Tenshin Roshi
  • Hozumi Gensho Roshi
  • Hosokawa Dogen Roshi
  • Shiohira Hideki Sensei


  • Sogen, Omori; Trevor Leggett; Dōgen Hosokawa; Roy Kenichi Yoshimoto (2002). An Introduction to Zen Training: A Translation of Sanzen Nyumon. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-3247-1. OCLC 47745820.
  • Terayama, Katsujō; John Stevens; Omori Sogen (1983). Zen and the Art of Calligraphy: The Essence of Sho. Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 0-7100-9284-9. OCLC 8670132.
  • Sogen, Omori; Tanouye Tenshin (1989). Zen & Budo. Daihonzan Chozen-ji / International Zen Dojo Honolulu. ISBN 1877982024.


  1. ^ (in Japanese) Jiki Shinkage-ryū Kenjutsu with Ōmori Sōgen. Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine Japan, Nihon Kobudo series, filmed during the 1970s by the Japanese Ministry of Education in a series on many of the traditional koryū. DVD, 2005.
  2. ^ Zen war stories, Daizen Victoria, p85


Further reading[edit]

  • Hosokawa, Dōgen (1997). Omori Sogen: The Art of a Zen Master. Kegan Paul International : Distributed by Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-7103-0588-5. OCLC 37322207.

External links[edit]