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Hi, I'm seriously interested in taking ordination at Koyasan. What degree of Japanese language is necessary to do so? Also, if I'm not mistaken, most of the Shingon literature is written in classical literary Chinese, so it would be necessary to learn this as well? I'm wondering if it would take 3-4 years of study to just be able to meet the required language proficiency. Thanks.
International students who have completed at least twelve years of education and are sufficiently proficient in Japanese are encouraged and welcome to study at Koyasan University in any of its academic programs. The medium of instruction in all courses and programs is Japanese, and Japanese language proficiency is required of all students as demonstrated by the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) or equivalent. There are currently no courses or programs taught in any language other than Japanese at Koyasan University
JLPT N1 level is required for Graduate School admissions.
JLPT N2 level is required for Undergraduate transfer admissions into the junior year.
JLPT N3 level is required for Undergraduate admissions into the freshman year.
In certain cases an equivalent level of demonstrated Japanese proficiency may be accepted.
https://www.koyasan-u.ac.jp/eng/Training for the Shingon Buddhist Priesthood
Training for the Shingon priesthood is also available at Koyasan University’s dedicated facilities, Daibodai-in Dojo. The major steps in this training follow.
(1) Ordination (得度 Tokudo)
This is a ceremony for entering the Shingon Buddhist priesthood as a novice. In Buddhism, ordination comes at the beginning of the training, not at the end. A formal master (shiso) is required, who must be the abbot of a registered Koyasan Shingon-shu temple willing to take the applicant on as a formal disciple. With the approval of the master the applicant may receive ordination at the master’s temple, or at the ordination offered through Koyasan University.
(2) Precept Reception (受戒 Jukai)
The moral precepts required of a Buddhist priest are given in a three-part ceremony held over three days either at Koyasan University or through Kongobu-ji temple.
(3) Four-part Intensive Monastic Training (四度加行 Shido Kegyo)
Shido Kegyo consists of instruction in and the intensive practice of four kinds of deity yoga and various other ancillary practices, requiring over 100 days of full-time and live-in monastic training for completion. It is an absolute requirement for a Koyasan Shingon-shu Buddhist priest. Shido Kegyo at Koyasan University is taught in the Chuin-ryu lineage and conducted at the Daibodai-in Dojo training facility on campus. The trainees must live in the attached Hakuun-ryo Dormitory during this period, in which all contact with the outside world is forbidden. During Shido Kegyo the entire day is spent in highly structured and intensive Buddhist practice and meditation. At Koyasan University this training is divided into two sessions of over 50 days, each offered during the spring (mid February to late of March) and summer (early August to late September) breaks. The Koyasan University Shido Kegyo program is open only to matriculated students and alumni.
(4) Dharma Transmission Abhisheka (伝法潅頂 Denbo Kanjo)
After satisfactorily completing the three previous stages, the student may apply to receive the formal transmission of Dharma in an important initiation ceremony called Denbo Kanjo. This ceremony is also offered through Koyasan University each once a year. Denbo Kanjo is required to receive further advanced training at Koyasan University or elsewhere and engage in its practice. Those who have received Denbo Kanjo at Koyasan University and have completed certain designated courses may also apply for clerical rank through the main temple at Koyasan, Kongobu-ji temple.
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