Shinzan Miyamae Roshi

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Shinzan Miyamae Roshi
Shinzan Miyamae.jpg
Junichi Miyamae

Niigata, Japan
ReligionZen Buddhism
SchoolRinzai (Zendo Kyodan)
Senior posting

Shinzan Miyamae (宮前 心山, born 1935) is a Rinzai Zen Buddhist rōshi. He restored Gyokuryuji, the hermitage of Edo-period Zen Master Bankei Yotaku Zenji in central Japan and has taught there since 1990.


Shinzan Miyamae was born Niigata, Japan, in 1935. He obtained an economics degree from Doshisha University with a degree in economics, [1] and was later ordained a Zen monk by Mitsui Daishin Rōshi (1903–1992).[2]

Later he founded Zendo Kyodan (禅道教団 – Zenways Sangha), a primarily lay-based Rinzai organization[3] and restored Gyokuryuji, the hermitage of Bankei Yōtaku (1622–1693) with the intention of focusing on what he considered the true orientation of the Rinzai School, the development of spiritual insight.

The Buddhist establishment in Japan considers him a maverick over his willingness to teach former members of the Doomsday Cult Aum Shinrikyo.[4] Former senior member Kazuaki Okazaki converted to Zen Buddhism under Shinzan Rōshi's guidance. Kazuki was found guilty of involvement in the murder of a lawyer and his family. Once his death sentence was confirmed, Japanese law only allows prison visits by family members. In order to continue teaching Kazuaki, Shinzan Rōshi adopted him as his son.[5]

Long critical over the system of excessive charges for funerals (equivalent charges to $5000–6000 US dollars are not unusual) Shinzan Rōshi withdrew from the Myoshinji branch of the Rinzai Zen School in 2005.[6] In May 2007 he named Julian Daizan Skinner Rōshi as his successor, presenting him with inka.[7] In November 2009 he named Melody Cornell Eshin Rōshi as successor and in June 2017 he also named Matt Shinkai Kane as successor, presenting them both with inka (transmission). In May 2018 he confirmed his Dharma transmission to Tomio Yugaku Ameku and Barbara Jikai Gabrys, naming them both as his successors and presenting them with inka. [8]

In July 2015, the Zenways Sangha published the book The Zen Character: Life, Art and Teachings of Zen Master Shinzan Miyamae to coincide with Shinzan Rōshi's 80th birthday and an exhibition of his calligraphy in London. The book contains details of his artwork, together with a biography and excerpts from his teachings over the years.

In 2017, Shinzan Roshi was featured in the film Traces of the Soul, exploring the world of contemporary calligraphy through the eyes of twelve international artists. The film reveals how the art, philosophies and life stories of these artists, whose diverse work is rooted in the ancient traditions of calligraphy, reflect and engage with the modern world.


  1. ^ The Middle Way, Journal of the Buddhist Society, Vol 86 No.1 May 2011 p89
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  4. ^ Sit Down and Shut Up; Brad Warner pp54
  5. ^ "Last of trials to close out Aum Shinrikyo rampage". Archived from the original on 2012-07-15. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  8. ^