258th head of Tendaishu sect officially installed in rare ritual in Japan’s Shiga Pref.

The Yoniuri Shimbun
Kokei Oki speaks at the Hieizan Enryakuji temple complex in Otsu on Tuesday.

The 258th head priest of the Tendaishu sect of Buddhism was officially installed in a rare ritual Tuesday.

Kokei Oki, 97, drew upon the teachings of Saicho — who established the sect in the ninth century — during the ceremony held at the Hieizan Enryakuji temple complex in Otsu.

Oki nominally became head priest in November, following the death of his predecessor, Koei Morikawa.

As part of the Dentosojo Shiki ritual, Oki entered the Konponchudo pavilion shortly after 10:30 a.m., made his way to a portrait of Saicho and carefully added his name and title to a long list of successive head priests.

Oki subsequently gave an address during which he outlined his objectives while in the post. “I won’t just sit back and observe the present turbulent situation,” he said, alluding to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. “I’ll aim to achieve a society filled with compassion, as taught by the sect’s founder.”

Oki, a native of Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, served as head priest of Shoshazan Engyoji temple in the city from 1984.