Dragon's Gate Temple Library


About Dragon's Gate Temple

Dragon's Gate Temple is a Buddhist Temple in the Jodo Shinshu tradition. Jodo Shinshu is a Japanese school of Sukhavati, or Pure-Land, Buddhism. As such, we are not a monastic organization. We concentrate on the practices the Buddha taught for householders, largely centering around the symbol of Amida Buddha.

The Temple is located in the home of its minister, Rev. Hugh Ryunyo King. The Jodo Shinshu Temples in Japan began as the home shrine in the minister's house. Even today, the Temples in Japan are the property of the minister, and are usually passed down from father to son.

Rev. King received Tokudo (ordination) at the Nishiyama Betsuin temple of the Hongwanji school of Jodo Shinshu, Kyoto, Japan on March 15th, 1972. He has been active in temples in California and Alberta, Canada. On July 1st, 1975 he was authorized to speak at Temple services by then Bishop Kenryu Tsuji of the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA), and on February 10th, 1976, Bishop Tsuji gave him the Buddhist name Ryunyo.

 The name Ryunyo, Ryu Nyo , consists of the first syllable of Ryuju, the Japanese name of the great Buddhist scholar and philosopher, Nagarjuna (pictured to the left), and the second syllable of Rennyo, one of the most active Patriarchs of Jodo Shinshu. The literal translation is, for Ryu, dragon or sage, and for Nyo, suchness. In Chinese, Mandarin dialect, it is pronounced Long Ru, and in Sanskrit, would be Nagatathata.

The BCA and BCC (Buddhist Churches of Canada) temples are doing a good job of maintaining Buddhism within the Japanese community, but have a hard time extending it outward to the many people who could benefit from it.

The first reason for this problem is the difficulty of finding English equivalents for Buddhist terms. When Buddhists came to this country, they looked at the local religions to learn what terms to use and what customs to adopt. They assumed that the other churches were doing the same sort of thing that we do. So they picked words that are misleading to anyone not brought up in Jodo Shinshu. For instance, the use of the term "faith" to refer to the practice of reliance.

Secondly, much of Buddhism is interwoven into Japanese culture. You are assumed to know many of the important basics before you ever set foot in a Temple. Here in America, that is not the case. For this reason, too, Buddhism will have to be taught differently to Westerners.

Because of these problems, Rev. King established Dragon's Gate Temple. On July 12th 1997, Dragon's Gate Temple was legally registered. We are concentrating on English translations, explanations, and Sutras arranged for chanting in English.

Since that time, Rev. King has continued to work with the local BCA organization as well as publishing and distributing pamphlets and some of the Sutras, giving classes and conducting services in various locations around California, running the website, and encouraging others in person or on the net.

On July 5th of 2009, Rev. King was also ordained as a teacher of Tendai Buddhism in the Hongaku Jodo Compassionate Lotus tradition, in the lineage of Ven. Master Dokyo Chozen, Sensei'

If you are interested, please contact us for more information at

May all beings attain Perfect Peace.

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