Buddhist History

Historical Events

  • 1253-04-28 Nichiren, a Japanese Buddhist monk, propounds Nam Myoho Renge Kyo for the first time and declares it to be the essence of Buddhism, in effect founding Nichiren Buddhism.
  • 1279-10-12 Nichiren, a Japanese Buddhist monk, founder of Nichiren Buddhism, inscribes the Dai-Gohonzon
  • 1282-10-13 Nichiren Daishonin, founder of the Nichiren School of Buddhism, dies, his ashes are interred at Taisekiji Temple.
  • 1324-01-21 Zen Buddhist religious debate between Tendai & Shingon
  • 1536-08-13 Buddhist monks from Kyōto's Enryaku Temple set fire to 21 Nichiren temples throughout Kyoto in the Tenbun Hokke Disturbance. (Traditional Japanese date: July 27, 1536).
  • 1639-09-25 Suzuki Shosan, Samurai monk of Zen Buddhism, found awakening
  • 1886-11-01 Ananda College, a leading Buddhist school in Sri Lanka was established with 37 students.
  • 1889-05-10 17th Preakness: W Anderson aboard Buddhist wins in 2:17.5
  • 1904-07-15 1st Buddhist temple in US forms, Los Angeles
  • 1930-11-18 Sōka Kyōiku Gakkai, a Buddhist association later renamed Soka Gakkai, is founded by Japanese educators Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda.
  • 1948-04-07 A Buddhist monastery burns in Shanghai, China, leaving twenty monks dead
  • 1955-10-27 Satomi Myodo, renews Zen nun vows & takes Buddhist name of Daien Myodo
  • 1956-05-24 Conclusion of the Sixth Buddhist Council on Vesak Day, marking the 2,500 year anniversary after the Lord Buddha's Parinibbāna

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1956-10-14 Indian social reformer B.R. Ambedkar and 500,000 supporters convert to Buddhism in Nagpur

Jurist and Social Reformer B.R. Ambedkar
Jurist and Social Reformer
B.R. Ambedkar

VietnamVietnamese Monk Burns Himself Alive

1963-06-11 Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức immolates himself at a Saigon intersection, creating one of the Vietnam War's most iconic images

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Thích Quảng Đức moments after setting fire to himself in Saigon as an act of protest
Thích Quảng Đức moments after setting fire to himself in Saigon as an act of protest
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  • 1963-08-21 Martial law declared in South Vietnam, following raids on Buddhist pagodas
  • 1966-05-15 South Vietnamese army battle Buddhists, about 80 die
  • 1966-05-26 Buddhist sets himself on fire at US consulate in Hué, South Vietnam
  • 1979-06-12 Opening ceremony at Cambridge Buddhist Association meditation in Boston
  • 1979-11-11 Boston Court issues occupancy permit for Cambridge Buddhist Center

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1987-09-16 Pope John Paul II's ends his Los Angeles tour with an interfaith meeting at Dodger Stadium with leaders of Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • 1994-07-17 French youngster (4) becomes Buddhist Lama Tulkou Kalou Rinpoche
  • 2007-09-18 Buddhist monks join anti-government protesters in Myanmar, starting what some called the Saffron Revolution.

Famous Birthdays

  • 0563-04-08 Gautama Buddha's birthday, the founder of Buddhism, is commonly celebrated on this day (or May)
  • 1200-01-19 Dōgen, Japanese Buddhist priest and founder of the Sōtō school of Zen, born in Kyoto, Japan (d. 1253)
  • 1222-02-16 Nichiren, Japan, Buddhist priest/saint
  • 1686-01-19 Hakuin Ekakuborn, Japan, Zen Buddhist
  • 1870-10-18 D T Suzuki, Kanazawa Japan, Zen Buddhist scholar
  • 1879-07-12 Han Yong-woon, Korean Buddhist reformer and poet, born in Yucheon, Hongseong, South Korea (d. 1944)

Person of interestB.R. Ambedkar

1891-04-14 B.R. Ambedkar [Baba Saheb], Indian politician, jurist (architect of the Constitution of India) and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist Movement, born in Mhow, India (d. 1956)

Jurist and Social Reformer B.R. Ambedkar
Jurist and Social Reformer
B.R. Ambedkar
  • 1898-11-11 Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle, German Jesuit priest and Buddhism Zen teacher, born in Nieheim, Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia (d. 1990)
  • 1901-02-15 Christmas Humphreys, England, lawyer/writer/Buddhist (Awakening of Zen)
  • 1918-06-17 Ajahn Chah, Thai Buddhist meditation master, born in Ubon, Thailand (d. 1992)
  • 1922-05-15 Jakucho Setouchi, Japanese writer and Buddhist nun
  • 1925-08-26 Sangharakshita, Buddhist Philosopher, Founder of the Western Buddhist Order
  • 1926-10-11 Nhất Hạnh, Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, born in Huế, Thừa Thiên-Huế Province, Vietnam
  • 1931-02-24 Maezumi Hakuyu Taizan Koun, teacher Rinzai/Soto lines of Zen Buddhism

Person of interestTenzin Gyatso

1935-07-06 14th Dalai Lama, Tibetan spiritual leader of Tibet's Lamaistic Buddhists, born in Taktser, Qinghai, China

14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso
14th Dalai Lama
Tenzin Gyatso
  • 1939-01-18 Bernard Glassman, American Zen Buddhist roshi (Zen Center of NY), born in Brighton Beach, New York
  • 1976-08-06 Parmeso Emekrasha, Buddhist Monk
  • 1980-11-25 Kushan Liyanarachchi, Sri Lankan, prominent Live Buddhism Practitioner

Famous Weddings

  • 2003-01-11 "The Sixth Sense" actress-singer Toni Collette (30) weds musician Dave Galafassi in a Buddhist ceremony near Sydney, Australia

Famous Deaths

  • 1253-09-22 Dōgen, Japanese Buddhist priest and founder of the Sōtō school of Zen, dies at 53
  • 1262-11-28 Shinran, founder of Japan's True Pure Land Buddhist sect, dies
  • 1282-10-13 Nichiren Japanese founder of Nichiren Buddhism (b. 1222)
  • 1655-07-28 Suzuki Shosan, Samurai/monk/propagator of Zen Buddhism, dies at 76
  • 1944-06-19 Han Yong-woon, Korean Buddhist reformer and poet, at 65

Person of interestB.R. Ambedkar

1956-12-06 B.R. Ambedkar [Baba Saheb], Indian politician, jurist (architect of the Constitution of India) and social reformer who inspired the Dalit Buddhist Movement, dies after suffering from diabetes at 65

Jurist and Social Reformer B.R. Ambedkar
Jurist and Social Reformer
B.R. Ambedkar
  • 1958-04-02 Josei Toda, Japanese second president of the Buddhist association Soka Gakkai (b. 1900)
  • 1959-09-26 S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, 4th Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1956-59), assassinated by a Buddhist monk at 60
  • 1963-06-11 Thích Quảng Đức, Buddhist monk, immolates himself on a street in Saigon at the age of 65-66
  • 1966-07-12 D T Suzuki, Zen Buddhism scholar, dies in Tokyo Japan at 96
  • 1990-02-26 Maurine Stuart, Zen teacher (head of Cambridge Buddhist Association), dies
  • 1990-07-07 Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle, German Jesuit priest and Buddhism Zen teacher, dies at 92
  • 1992-01-16 Ajahn Chah, Thai Buddhist meditation master, dies at 73
  • 1994-06-03 Parmeso Emekrasha, buddhist Monk, dies
  • 1995-05-14 Maezumi Hakuyu Taizan Koun, teacher (Zen Buddhism), dies at 64
  • 1995-06-07 Hsuan Hua, influential Buddhist master in the United States (b. 1918)
  • 2008-02-09 Trichen Jurme Kunzang Wangyal, the eleventh Mindrolling Trichen, Tibetan Buddhist lama of the Nyingma school (b. 1930)
  • 2009-02-03 Sheng-yen, Buddhist monk and founder of Dharma Drum Mountain. (b. 1930)