Lady Eshinni

Is the wife of Shinran Shonin.

Many regard Eshinni as “Mother” of Jodo Shinshu.

Lady Kakushinni

Is Shinran Shonin's Daughter and caregiver in his final years. The establishment of the Hongwanji is all due to her direct descendants.

While Shinran Shonin is the founder of Jodo Shinshu, if it were not for Lady Eshinni, the wife of Shinran Shonin, and Lady Kakushinni, the daughter of Shinran Shonin, we might never have heard his teachings. This is why the BWA honors these two women with a special memorial service each year.

 

Eshinni supported Jodo Shinshu as she helped her husband – as a spouse and financially – allowing him to spread the Dharma. She also clearly followed her husband’s view that marriage was not an impediment to being a nun and to following her religious beliefs. Congregations began to follow the couples example, whereby men and women lead Shin temples as husband-and-wife teams. Many regard Eshinni as “Mother” of Jodo Shinshu.

 

Kakushinni was not only her father’s caregiver in his final years, after Shinran’s death, she is revered for planting the seeds of organization and propagation that were to grow into today’s Hongwanji. She joined with other devout followers after Shinran’s passing to keep his memory and his work alive. Using land made available to her by her marriage into the Ohtani Family, it was Kakushinni who donated the land to build a mausoleum that allowed people to come and pay their respect to Shinran Shonin as the founder of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. The caretakers of the mausoleum would be the direct descendants of both Shinran Shonin and Kakushinni. The mausoleum would be converted into a temple by her grandson Kakunyo Shonin who named the new temple Hongwanji. The establishment of the Hongwanji as well as the long line of Gomonshu or leaders of our Jodo Shinshu sect are all due to her direct descendants.

 

Gardena Buddhist Church Buddhist Women's Association honors these two women with an annual memorial service to remember and rejoice in their accomplishments that we are still able to participate in and enjoy even today.