The question of lineage is important because you need to know whether someone has authenticity, authority, training and support. Tendai UK is an official Tendai sangha and has the full support of Rev Prof Shoshin Ichishima, an official Mt Hiei registered Tendai Priest, official Tendai Scholar (Kangaku 勧学) and teacher for many Western Priests, including our founder Ven Ganshin . We are connected to his temple, Senzoji 天台宗泉倉寺, in Chiba-ken which itself is an official temple affiliated with Mt Hiei.

Ven Shoshin Ichishima – third from the left, sat next to the Ozazu (in orange), the head of Tendai Shu

Our lineage of Tendai belongs to the Sanmon-ha 山門派, also known as the Mountain Order. This line of Tendai comes from Ennin 圓仁 (Jikaku Daishi 慈覺大師) and Ryogen 良源 (Jie Daishi 慈恵大師) and is the branch that currently resides in Enryaku-ji 延暦寺 on Hieizan 比叡山 (Mount Hiei).


Saicho 最澄 767 822 – founder of Japanese Tendai Shu.

Mount Hiei’s Enryakuji (比叡山延暦寺) was founded by Saicho (Dengyo Daishi) in 788 (7th year of Enryaku era). Around this time Dengyo Daishi Saicho Shonin (伝教大師最澄上人) built a temple known as Ichijo Shikan’in 一乗止観院 (Hall of Calm and Insight of the One Vehicle) now known as Konponchūdō 根本中堂, and it was his sincere wish and prayer that this dojo, for the sake of all sentient beings, would become the training centre of “The Treasure of the Nation” 国宝的人材 for the peace and prosperity of the nation.


Jikaku Daishi

Ennin 圓仁 794 864 – the 3rd Ozazu (head) of Tendai Shu. He brought back full esoteric transmission from China.






Ryogen Daishi

Ryōgen 良源 912 985 – the 18th Ozazu, revised and formulated the training for Tendai monks, mastered esoteric manners, rebuilt many temples after they were burnt down as well as being a proponent of the Nenbutsu.






(Portraits courtesy of 馬堀喜孝, Japan Portrait Art Association)

Other schools of Tendai include;
Tendai Jimon Shu 天台寺門宗 (Onjo-ji)
Tendai Shinsei Shu 天台真盛宗 (Saikyō-ji)
Wa-shu 和宗 (Shitenno-ji)
Shokannon Shu
Kodo Kyodan Buddhist Fellowship
Myoken Shu
Nenpo Shinkyo

Our Honorary Teachers

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