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Head priest of Jigenji temple, Sendai
Ryojun Shionuma is the head priest (“Ajari”, which is a title given to the most holy priest) of Jigenji temple, located in Akiho district of Sendai city, Miyagi prefecture. He became the second person in history to complete the Sennichi Kaihogyo (the Omine Thousand-Day Circumambulation Practice), which involves a 48-kilometer climb and walk into the mountains for one thousand days. In the following year, he completed the practice of Shimugyo (the Four Deprivations), which involves reciting two hundred thousand mantras for nine days straight, with no food, water, sleep, or lying down. Words by Shionuma, who risked his life to complete ascetic practices, inspires people not only domestically, but globally. He spreads the teachings of Buddhism, such as the spirit of omoiyari (thoughtfulness), and the spirit of wa (harmony) of Japan from Tohoku to the world.
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