How did Shinnyo-en begin?

How did Shinnyo-en begin?

Shinny-en was founded by Shinjo Ito in 1936 and his wife Tomoji (known as Shojushinin). In the 1930′s Master Shinjo was an aircraft engineer in Tachikawa, Japan. After receiving a centuries-old sculpture of Achala – a personification of the Buddha’s spirit of determination –  the couple dedicated their lives to the spiritual well-being of others. They decided to embark on a religious path on February 8, 1936. This was the beginning of what came to be known as Shinnyo-en.

Master Shinjo underwent intense training at the 1,100-year-old Daigo monastery, one of Japan’s most important schools of Shingon esoteric Buddhism, becoming certified as a Great Master (Acharya), which qualified him to start his own temple. Through the years, both Master Shinjo and Shojushinin endured many trials and hardships, including the loss of their two sons, Chibun and Yuichi, both of whom has shown great spiritual resolve, and who had assisted their parents in establishing the order. Shinnyo-en was recognized as an independent Buddhist order in 1953. The Daigo school of Shingon Buddhism also recognizes Shinnyo-en as an independent order of esoteric Buddhism.