The meaning of "Ningen Zen" is "Zen cultivation of the human spirit" and "Kyodan" is Sangha in Sanskrit, a group of Buddhist followers.
This Kyodan aims to establish eternal peace in the world by turning the wheel of the Four Great Vows throughout each life.
The origin of Ningen Zen Kyodan can be traced back to the beginning of the Meiji Era(1868-1912).The Zen lay practitioners Yamaoka Tesshu, Takahashi Deishu and other top leaders of our country asked Soryu-kutsu Imakita Kosen Roshi, the chief abbot of Engaku-ji Temple in Kamakura, to establish a group for intensive Zen meditation (the later Ryobo-Kai) in order to train promising figures, being anxious for the future of the State.
Later in the Taisho Era (1912-1926) this group was reestablished by Ryobo-an Shaku Sokatsu Roshi, the heir of Ryoga-kutsu Shaku Soen Roshi, as "Layman's Zen", newly opened the gate of the qualification of the transmission of Dharma Seal to laypersons. This was a revolutionary significance in the history of Zen Buddhism.
It was Koun-an Tatsuta Eizan Roshi (1893-1979) who further developed the group into "Ningen Zen Kyodan" of non-priest or non-secular humanity, after the Second World War.
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