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Master Gudo 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 Finance Co.
  • 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 Finance Co.
  • 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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