Her Holiness Shinso Ito

Her Holiness Shinso Ito is head of Shinnyo-en. Recognized as Master Shinjo Ito’s most accomplished disciple, she succeeded him after his passing in 1989 as the head of Shinnyo Buddhism. She is one of the few women to become a Buddhist master and attain the highest priestly rank of Daisojo.

Profoundly aware that a spiritual path must be meaningful for people living today, Her Holiness teaches an engaged form of Buddhism where practitioners see their daily surroundings as their training ground for cultivating their innate “buddha nature” – the seed of enlightenment that can blossom through giving joy to others.

Her inspiring message of peace and enlightenment is infused with palpable joy and gentleness.

Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaiʻi 2023 Address

Aloha! Welcome to Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaiʻi. To all our guests, our volunteers and staff who have helped us to hold today’s event, and everyone taking part by gathering at the beach or watching on other platforms, I wish to offer my deepest thanks.


All people share the wish for peace and comfort, to spend our days in happiness. But we cannot achieve it by ourselves alone, no matter how hard we try. Think about where our happiness in life really comes from: those who have made us who we are today, our ancestors who came before us, whose lives endure inside our own, and our irreplaceable family and friends, who give us strength and courage. Our gratitude for them clears our often clouded vision, revealing the truth: we were never divided. Our actions of love and care that inspire us will fill our lives with joy.


The founders of Shinnyo-en, Masters Shinjo and Tomoji, paved a way for each person to bring out their inner light of shinnyo. We are all connected, from the past, in the present, and on into the future. Actions that bring out this light can introduce harmony into the world.


When reality is harsh and challenging, when we face heartbreak and loss, in such moments we must look to the stories in our lives that remind us of our connections with one another. Our sadness will be halved through sharing, but our joys will be doubled. In spirit we are unbroken, already whole, in oneness with shinnyo. This fundamental harmony creates a positive influence that opens up the door to a hopeful future.


I will now conduct a rite of empowerment. May it inspire each of us to let our light of shinnyo extend from the vast oceans of Hawaiʻi to reach all corners of the world.

Inspirational messages from the Head of Shinnyo-en

By letting our potential shine through, each of us can become a star that illuminates the world around us.

Cherish every bond you share with someone else.

Physical distance may separate us, but we are all connected by the same ocean.

Acts of remembrance are also opportunities to reflect on the meaning of the life weʻve been given.

Imagine what can happen when there are more of us, coming together with the shared purpose of creating a better world.