Difference between Hongwanji and Otani-ha

Post Reply
Posts: 175
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:15 am

Difference between Hongwanji and Otani-ha

Post by KiwiNFLFan »

When I was in Kyoto, I visited Higashi Honganji but not Nishi Honganji. Time was limited and I didn't realise at the time that they represented different subsects of Jodo Shinshu. I got the service book from the Higashi Honganji, and noticed that there are a few subtle pronunciation differences in the Shoshinge.

So what are the main differences between the Otani-ha (Higashi Honganji) and Hongwanji (Nishi Honganji)? Are they doctrinal, or simply political? Do members of each tradition practice differently?

Also, why are there more Nishi Honganji (BCA) temples in the USA than Otani-ha temples?
User avatar
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:40 pm

Re: Difference between Hongwanji and Otani-ha

Post by FiveSkandhas »

The transition from Tokugawa Bakufu to Meiji Government was a rough process that took years to complete.

Hongwanji-ha aligned itself with the anti-Bakufu forces early in the conflict and remained supporters.

Ōtani-ha remained loyal to the Tokugawa Bakufu to the end, which led to hostility from the Meiji government toward them, especially in the early years of the Meiji period.

Therefore the Nishi side, being close to the highly nationalistic new Meiji government, thus became more Japan-centered, inward looking, and accepting of the new political and social culture under Meiji leadership.

The [Otani] side, being alienated from the Meiji government, became marginalized and therefore more cynical toward the new regime, and also outward looking and open to Western ideas.

From this PDF file, which also has more info on a few subtle doctrinal points of contention:

http://www.buddhistchurchesofamerica.or ... tation.pdf
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
User avatar
Posts: 267
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:50 pm

Re: Difference between Hongwanji and Otani-ha

Post by Tatsuo »

Thank you for sharing this! :anjali:

Post Reply

Return to “Jodo Shin Shu”