Shodo Harada

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Shodo Harada
Shodo Harada.jpg
Religion Zen Buddhism
School Rinzai
Education Tokyo university of Civil engineering and management
Other names Harada Roshi
Dharma names Taigen Shodo
Nationality Japanese
Born 23 September . 1940
Nara, Japan
Senior posting
Based in Sogenji
One Drop Zendo (Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery)
Title Rōshi
Predecessor Mumon Yamada
Religious career

Shodo Harada (原田 正道, Harada Shōdō, c. 1940),[1] or Harada Rōshi, is a Rinzai priest, author, and head abbot of Sōgen-ji — a three-hundred-year-old temple in Okayama, Japan. He has become known as a "teacher of teachers",[2] with masters from various lineages coming to sit sesshin with him in Japan or during his trips to the United States and Europe.


Shodo Harada was born into a Zen temple in 1940 in Nara, Japan.[1][3] While still in high school he encountered his teacher, Mumon Yamada, while running an errand for his father to Myōshin-ji.[1] He was impressed by how little he knew of Buddhism at this encounter.[1] After college he entered Shofukuji and began his training in 1962 under Rinzai master and Japanese calligrapher Mumon Yamada,[2] from whom he received Dharma transmission in 1982.[1][3]

In 1982 he was sent by Mumon to Sogen-ji to help an elderly abbot tend to the building and training schedules. In September 1989, Harada came to the United States to provide instruction for students and in 1995 founded One Drop Zendo (or, Tahoma One Drop Zen Monastery) on Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington, where the practice mirrors the practices found at Sogen-ji. Nearby the Tahoma One Drop Monastery, Harada has opened a hospice known as Enso House in 2001.[4][5]

Among those Western teachers that study with Harada Roshi are Hogen Bays, Jan Chozen Bays, Mitra Bishop, Alan Hozan Senauke, and Paul Haller.[2][2][6][7]

Roshi flew to the United States to perform the Jukai ceremony of Damien Echols.[8] Echols (a member of the West Memphis Three) was wrongly convicted[9] of the 1993 murders of three eight year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Whilst in prison, Echols began practicing Buddhism.[10]


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Shodo Harada Roshi: A Short Biography". One Drop Zendo. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Ford, James Ishmael (2006). Zen Master Who?: A Guide to the People and Stories of Zen. Wisdom Publications. p. 116. ISBN 0-86171-509-8. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Shodo Harada Roshi". Sweeping Zen. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  4. Senauke, Hozan Alan (Winter 2006). "Shodo Harada Roshi: Nuclear Reactor of Zen". Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  5. "Enso House Overview". Enso House. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  6. Seager, Richard Hughes (1999). Buddhism In America. Columbia University Press. pp. 191–192. ISBN 0-231-10868-0. 
  7. King, Robert Harlen; Elizabeth M. King (2004). Autumn Years: Taking the Contemplative Path. Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 44–45. ISBN 0-8264-1639-X. 
  8. Echols, Damien. Life After Death (novel), chapter 1, page 17, published in 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  9. Lang, Brent. "‘West Memphis Three’ Killers Freed After 18 Years",, published August 19, 2011. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
  10. Echols, Damien. Life After Death (novel), chapter 1, pages 16-20, published in 2012. Retrieved May 23, 2015.

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