The The Jōdo Shinshū (“True Essence of the Pure Land Way”) was founded by Shinran Shōnin in the 13th century. It is a denomination for Buddhist lay people who completely entrust themselves to the other Power of the Buddha. Although Jōdo Shinshū is the Buddhist denomination with the most followers in Japan it is quite unknown in the West. One of the first who introduced Shinran’s teachings to Western people was Daisetsu Suzuki (1870-1966), the great transmitter of Zen Buddhism. From him stems also the English term “Shin Buddhism”.
The BGJ-D e.V. (Buddhist Association Jodo Shinshu in Germany [registered association]) is due to German legal definition a “registered association working on public good” (“gemeinnütziger eingetragener Verein”) that persues the goal to explain the Jōdo Shinshū within the framework of Buddhism in general and Japanese culture in pariticular, and to make it understandable to people in Germany. The association intends not only to deepen the understandig of Shin Buddhist teachings in Germany, but also is making effort to promote mutual understanding between peoples of different nation and religious conviction. (statute § 2) As a member of two Buddhist umbrella organziations, the German Buddhist Union and the European Buddhist Union, the BGJ-D promotes cooperation between various all Buddhist denominations transmitted to Europe.