Disaster Situation of Each Buddhist Denomination

Source: The Bukkyo Times January 1, 2012

Tendai Denomination: 1/4 of all temples nationwide, approximately 800, were damaged and 3 completely washed away by the tsunami. There were no fatalities among priests, but two members of temple families are unaccounted for. 20 temples were either partially or completely destroyed.

Shingon Denomination Koya Sect: As there are not many temples located in northern Japan, there were no fatalities or destroyed temples. About 180 temples were damaged.

Shingon Denomination Buzan Sect: More than 1/3 of all temples nationwide, approximately 1,050, were damaged, including main halls knocked out of line and minor damage like fallen roof tiles. 20 temples exist within a 30 km radius of the Fukushima #1 nuclear facility, so many of their priests and families have evacuated.

Shingon Denomination Chisan Sect: More than 1/3 of all temples nationwide were damaged with 639 temples’ gravestones knocked over, 342 temples partially destroyed. 5 temples half destroyed, and 18 temples completely destroyed. 2 people died.

Jodo Denomination: 1 priest and 1 family member died. 5 temples were completely destroyed with many more than half destroyed. 8 temples are inside the 30 km radius of the Fukushima #1 nuclear facility, so many of their priests with families have evacuated.

Jodo Shin Denomination Honganji Sect: 277 temples, both large and small, were damaged. Within that number, 2 temples were completely destroyed by the tsunami.

Jodo Shin Denomination Otani Sect: 352 temples, both large and small, were damaged. Within that number, 3 temples were completely destroyed, and 1 priest was swept away in the tsunami.

Rinzai Denomination Myoshinji Sect: There was a wide range of damage with one person dead, 4 temple main halls destroyed, 3 temple main halls partially destroyed, 3 priest residences destroyed, 4 priest residences partially destroyed, and parts of both main halls and priest residences as well as temple buildings and graveyards damaged

Soto Denomination: The majority of more than 1,200 temples in Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures suffered damage. Within this number, 45 temples were completely destroyed. 10 priests and family members died and 3 more are unaccounted for. In the traditional Buddhist world, the Soto denomination suffered the greatest amount of damage. 9 temples are presently evacuated due to the nuclear incident.

Nichiren Denomination: 700 temples both large and small suffered damage. Within that number, 13 were totally destroyed (1 washed away by the tsunami, 1 completely burned by fires wrought by the tsunami), and 6 partially destroyed. Other outstanding damage to affiliated groups: Hokke Honmon Lineage had 15 temples damaged, within which 4 were seriously damaged. Honmon Butsu Ritsu Denomination had over 40 temples damaged, within which 1 temple’s main hall was destroyed. Unprecedented damage to roughly 100 temples that were destroyed completely by the tsunami and over 20 priests or temple family members dead or unaccounted for.

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