My Teacher’s House
Shinyu Miyaura and the History of Antaiji in Hyogo According to Muho Noelke
(by Edward Moore)
IV – Protector of Antaiji (1)
While there were powerful figures like Kodo Sawaki and Koho Watanabe, and reserved intellectuals like Kosho Uchiyama and Muho Noelke, Shinyu Miyaura was in a category of his own. Unlike his predecessor Watanabe, he was neither a visionary nor a charismatic leader, but someone who simply valued the importance of Antaiji above all else. Miyaura never made changes to the original schedule, nor took on any major projects like those during Watanabe’s time – bar the building of the zendo. To him, everything was fine just as it was. But during his abbacy, Antaiji struggled with a shortage of people and Watanabe’s criticisms began to flood in. This even culminated with the former abbot forcing Miyaura to step down, not long before his death in 2002. As someone who took on the role of Antaiji’s protector, this mounting pressure eventually got the better of him. (Edward Moore)
Edward: When was Miyaura born?
Muho: In 1948.
Edward: What part of Japan did he grow up in?
Muho: Tokushima, on Shikoku.
Edward: Did he have a standard childhood?
Muho: Maybe for where he grew up it was kind of standard. But after the war, the first 10 years or so, Japan was poor, and he was the youngest out of seven children. Quite unusual for that time in Japan. He felt that because of the area he grew up and with so many siblings, he didn’t have the same chances if he were born in a smaller household in the city.
Miyaura went to high school but not university. It never occurred […]