Shinjō Itō

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Shinjō Itō (伊藤 真乗, Itō Shinjō, March 28, 1906 – July 19, 1989) is the founder of the Buddhist school Shinnyo-en.

He was born in Yamanashi Prefecture in Japan. After a career as an aeronautic engineer, he dedicated himself to a religious life. He trained at the Daigo-ji monastery and became a Great Master (Great Acharya) of Shingon Buddhism, and founded Shinnyo-en in 1936.

Besides his work as a Great Buddhist Master and teacher, Ito is also known as a talented Buddhist sculptor and photographer. His works were featured in a Centennial Exhibition throughout Japan in 2006 and a major exhibit at the Milk Gallery in New York City in 2008. Other exhibitions include a solo exhibit at the Westwood Art Forum in Westwood, Los Angeles, California from May 8, 2008 – June 29, 2008.


  • Ito, Shinjo, Shinjo: Reflections, Somerset Hall Press, 2009.


  • S. Yabucchi, M.R. Miles, T. Enomoto, "The Vision and Art of Shinjo Ito", Alinari 24 Ore, 2008. ISBN 978-8863020021

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