Sacred Texts  Buddhism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Shinran and His Work, by Arthur Lloyd, [1910], at

p. 145

Chapter XXI.

Morning and Evening Prayers.

There are in Shinshuism two kinds of places of worship, ji-in and zaike. The first is a large temple served by numerous priests, and exhibiting as it were a model of contiguous worship for the sect. The second is the house in which a priest and his family dwell, together with a small semi-private chapel attached to it. To take an example from Tokyo: we have here two Hongwanji Temples. (ji-in), the one at Asakusa, the other at Tsukiji. These two big Temples are served by a large number of resident clergy, who take their turns in the ministration, and live in a sort of 'cathedral close' near by the large Temple. Each of these houses has its own private sanctuary, which it is the occupant's duty to serve, whenever his duty does not call him to take his turn at the ji-in. These Canons’ residences are zaike, so are also many (or most) of the Shinshu parsonages which are to be found scattered about the country.

The worship of a ji-in is necessarily varied and elaborate, approximating more or less to what we might call a cathedral pattern. There is, however, a simple form of morning and evening prayer which is common to both ji-in and zaike. It consists of a recitation of the Shōshinge, together with six (sometimes only three) verses of a wasan hymn, and a certain number of Nembutsu ejaculations interspersed between each verse. To these may be added other

p. 146

hymns in honour of the Buddha, as also the reading of the Amida-Sutras and of Rennyo Shōnin's Ofumi. It would be impossible to tabulate these daily services of which there are many minor local variations.

The Shinshu Hyakuwa mentions only the morning and evening service in temples and parsonages. But there are (and, in the days of faith now gone, there were many more) laymen's houses in which the Shoshinge and Wasan hymns are repeated morning and evening. This is very much more the case in the country, where life goes slowly and uneventfully along, than in the busy towns, and in the centres of the now fully awakened intellectual life of the country.

Next: Chapter XXII. Fasts and Festivals.