HISTORY OF THE PURE LAND BUDDHIST
FELLOWSHIP - FORERUNNER TO THE SHIN
BUDDHIST FELLOWSHIP UK AND THE JOURNAL
PURE LAND NOTES 1977 - 2008
REV DAICHI GARY ROBINSON
Land Buddhist Fellowship was the successor to the Shin Buddhist
Association of Great Britain, which was founded by Jack Austin
and Rev Hisao Inagaki in around about 1977.
the Development Officer for the World Congress of Faiths, and
Hisao was Lecturer in Buddhism at the School of Oriental and African
Studies at London University.
corresponded with Rev Saizo Inagaki, Hisao's Father, and had arranged
for the Ven Kosho Otani, then the Monshu of the Nishi Hongwanji,
to take part in a big interfaith conference held at the University
of Kent at Canterbury in 1976.
this event, in the August of that year the Monshu and his wife
came to London, where he conferred Kikyoshiki on a number of people
who were interested in Jodoshinshu, including Jack, Max Flisher
and Jim Pym.
Jack went on an extended trip to Japan, where he was ordained
as a priest of the Nishi Hongwanji branch of Jodoshinshu Buddhism.
return, weekly and monthly meetings were held, mostly meeting
in members' houses. A committee was formed, which met regularly,
and even went as far as applying for charitable status. In the
early 1980's Jack's health deteriorated, and it was no longer
possible to continue with the SBA meetings, and so it was dissolved.
However, a small group, including Max and Jim, met regularly but
informally at Hisao Inagaki's house. This was the foundation of
the Pure Land Buddhist Fellowship, though the PLBF was never an
were scattered, Max Flisher commenced to circulate a single sheet
of news as mentioned above. Earlier, Jack and Hisao had made links
with a number of people in mainland Europe, including Adrian Peel
(founder of Jikoji in Antwerp), and Jerome Ducor in Switzerland,
as well as other European Shin devotees, and it seemed reasonable
to send them the sheet of news.
was its first editor and publisher of the PLBF newsletter and
it was he that expanded it to several folded A5 sheets. In those
days it was still known as "PLBF News". After Max, Jim
took over the editorship around about 1983, and started to call
it "Pure Land Notes", modelling it on the very successful
"Zen Notes" published by the Zen Centre in New York.
to publish PLN until 2005 when, due in part to his relocation
to Scotland, no newsletter or journal had been produced for a
while and so, in agreement with Jim and initially using some of
the new technology driven forms of communication, I purchased
the domain name www.purelandnotes.com and launched a web-site
with that title.
and despite the welcomed 'return' of old PLBF members and friends,
and even more interest from people new to Pure Land Buddhism,
it soon became clear from emails, letters and phone calls made
in response to the appearance of our new website, those who were
most genuinely interested in the subject of Jodo Shinshu or Pure
Land Buddhism most of all wanted the reinstatement of a more tactile
and personal printed journal. And so, rather paradoxically or
at least against the trend at that time PLN went from online to in print in the summer of 2008.