Introduction to Shogen Junior College

Introduction to Shogen Junior College
   Nestled in the hillsides overlooking the farmlands of central Japan, Shogen junior college provides a unique opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the study of Zen and Japanese culture. The school`s motto is 行学一体 gyogaku ittai  “study and practice as one.”
   Along with classes on Buddhism and Zen, classes are offered in flower arrangement, calligraphy, tea ceremony, and other traditional Japanese arts. Foreigners without a Japanese language background can also take intermediary level Japanese classes along with classes on Zen and Buddhism in English. In either case students are expected to engage in their studies with both body and mind.
   The daily schedule is modeled on Zen temple life. Resident students begin their days with chanting, meditation and formal meals and help in work on the grounds and gardens of the college. Many of the instructors are priests and the famous Rinzai Zen monastery Shogenji is located down the street from the college.
   The president of Shogen junior college is Yamakawa Sogen Roshi, head abbot of Shogenji and one of the most highly esteemed Zen masters in Japan. Each term, students receive the opportunity to have one on one meetings with Yamakawa roshi and receive his private guidance regarding Zen and their studies. Students also assist at the monastery during various events throughout the year, and for those who are inclined to immerse themselves in strict Zen practice, the opportunity may be given to train at Shogenji.
The Great Aspiration of Japan`s Smallest College
   In 1954, the then abbot of Shogenji, Itsugai Roshi decided to build Shogen junior college. Postwar Japan was in turmoil. In an attempt to modernize, the country was making economic growth the top priority. Itsugai Roshi believed that what was needed in those difficult times was the "cultivation of a Dharma field”. A place where the teachings of Buddhism and Zen can serve as a guide for people.
   In 1955, the school was opened with the ambition to "revive Japan from the town of Ibuka." The faculty worked free of charge, and the students` tuition was covered by donations. And hence, the smallest junior college in Japan was launched.
   Since then, for over sixty years the junior college has proved itself relevant to the times. Not only Japanese, but Taiwanese, Chinese, Europeans and Americans have attended the college and integrated the wisdom of Zen into their lives.

今を生きる Ima wo ikiru

今を生きる Ima wo ikiru
Work the root! NOW
We are living in unprecedented times.
How should one live?
The founder of Shogenji, Kanzan Egen (1200-1280)
left behind the phrase
“Work this root!”
How should you live?
Live NOW!
Look under your very own feet
and calmly do what you need to do.
Yamakawa Sogen - Roshi
Contact us
If you are interested in attending Shogen junior college or have questions,
you may contact us at jimkyoku@shogen.ac.jp
<<学校法人正眼短期大学>> 〒505-0008 岐阜県美濃加茂市伊深町876-10 TEL:0574-29-1372 FAX:0574-29-1320