Wafu Nishijima 1919-2014
Master Nishijima practiced
Buddhism for more than seventy years. He was
a student of Master Kodo Sawaki, an
itinerant priest famous for his efforts to
restore Zazen to its rightful place at the
center of Buddhism.
Master Nishijima was
ordained as a priest by the late Master
Rempo Niwa, formerly head of the Soto
Sect, and wrote many books on Buddhism in
both Japanese and in English. He gave
instructions on Zazen and lectures in
Japanese and English for over forty years
in Japan and overseas.
A Brief Personal History
- 1919: Born in Yokohama
- 1940: Met Master Kodo Sawaki and began
to study Buddhism under him.
- 1946: Graduated from Tokyo University,
majoring in Law.
- 1947: Entered the Ministry of Finance
- 1950: Left the Ministry of Finance to
become a manager of Japan Securities
- 1973: Ordained as a Buddhist priest by
the late Master Rempo Niwa, former Head
Abbot of Eiheiji Temple, the head temple
of the Soto Sect.
- 1975: Became internal auditor of Japan
Securities Finance Co.
- 1977: Received the Transmission of the
Dharma from the late Master Rempo Niwa.
- 1979: Became Advisor of Ida Ryogokudo
Co. after retiring from Japan Securities
- 2014: Passed away in Tokyo aged 94.
|Master Nishijima worked for the
promotion of Buddhism for over forty years. For
four decades he gave regular lectures and
instructions on Zazen practice in various
places. His gave regular weekly lectures in both
English and Japanese at the Tokyo University
Young Buddhists Association. He also gave
lectures in Japanese at the Eastern Institute
and the Asahi Culture Center in Tokyo, and at
Matsushita Electric Co. in Osaka.
In 2005, he retired from his regular
lecturing schedule and devoted his time to his
writing, particularly his translation of Master
Nagarjuna's Fundamental Song of the Middle
Way. He also published a blog
about Buddhism and current events in
English and Japanese.
Master Nishijima continued to give occasional
lectures and teach his students until his health
deteriorated in December 2010. He passed away on
January 28, 2014 at a hospital in Tokyo after a
three year illness.
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