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»Let's Talk Buddhism   »Hana Matsuri
Let's Talk Buddhism No.8   August 27th, 2004
The Daily Life of a Female Buddhist Priest   by Rev. Ikko Hibino
Let's Talk Buddhism
I was born in a Buddhist temple located in Kuramae. My father was the head priest of the temple.
When I was a university student, I majored English literature.I studied the English poet William Wordsworth because my father recommended him to me.
One day I decided to enter into a theater group called NLT.
I enjoyed studying and performing European and Western plays.The theater was my love at that time.
I wanted to become a theater producer.
At the year of my graduation my father died by heart failure. He was 52 years old. I respected him. It was decided that my uncle would succeed my father as the head priest until I get married to a priest.At that time everyone believed that I would get married to a priest and succeed my uncle to become the head priest of the temple. Nobody had an idea that I would become a priest to succeed my father.
Let's Talk Buddhism
So some years later I decided to go abroad to think more about myself in different surroundings. I went to England, and attended a language school. After that, I went to France, and attended a language school there as well. One day I had a chance to introduce Japanease culture in French junior high school.
The students were especially interested in knowing "What is Buddhism?". At that time, I didn't know, and I couldn't answer their question. When I was with French teachers they asked me if a woman can become a priest in Buddhism. These questions made me consider studying Buddhism, and gave me the idea of becoming a priest.
Let's Talk Buddhism
Next year I came back to Japan and entered in a training course held by the headquarters of Jodo Buddhist school. The course involved 3 yearly sessions of training. After completing the three sessions of training, there was also one final retreat course. During the third course I was happy that I was doing what my father had been doing. I gradually became more fascinated by the teaching of Buddha. I decided to become a priest. I appreciate the guidance of Buddha.

Rev. Ikko Hibino was born in Tokyo in 1949 and graduated from Atomi Gakuen Women's College, specializing in British Literature.She has taken the head priest of the Kayadera temple since 2002.
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