Shinso Ito Scholarship Awarding Ceremony Empowers Buddhist Scholars in Sri Lanka

In a groundbreaking initiative for Buddhist scholarship, Shinnyo-en Sri Lanka, in collaboration with the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka, has empowered over 75 deserving candidates with scholarships to pursue postgraduate studies in Buddhism.  The historic Shinso Ito Scholarship Awarding Ceremony marked the first postgraduate scholarship program of its kind within the university’s 43-year history, fostering the next generation of researchers dedicated to preserving and promoting Buddhist philosophy.

Shinnyo-en is a Buddhist tradition that originates from Japan which emphasizes the potential for enlightenment within each individual. Founded by Buddhist Masters Shinjo Ito and Tomoji Ito, the tradition focuses on simple altruistic practices in our daily lives that nurture and bring out our natural goodness and foster harmony in the relationships we share with others. Embodying this spirit, their daughter Most Venerable Dr. Shinso Ito carries forward and expands their work as the Head Priest of the Shinnyo-en Buddhist order.

The scholarship programme underscores the deep ties between Shinnyo-en Japan and Sri Lanka. Most Venerable Dr. Shinso Ito, Head Priest of the Shinnyo-en Buddhist order, was honored with a Doctorate of Philosophy by the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka in 2022 for her lifelong dedication to Buddhist leadership. Shinnyo-en’s commitment is further evident in initiatives like the Shinnyo-en Lanka Preschool which was established in 1988 by Master Shinjo Ito to provide free, high-quality preschool education to the children of Sri Lanka. In 2013, representatives from the three main orders of Sri Lankan Buddhism—the Asgiriya Chapter of the Siam Nikaya, the Amarapura Nikaya, and the Ramanna Nikaya—all jointly conferred on Dr. Shinso Ito titles that are given to “the most knowledgeable and venerable in the field of Mahayana Buddhism” in honor of her achievements as a master of Mahayana Buddhism and leader of Shinnyo‑en’s philanthropic activities in Sri Lanka.

“Shinnyo-en’s relationship with Sri Lanka is one of deep respect and shared values. We are filled with hope and anticipation for the achievements of these talented scholarship recipients.” said Ikeda Mikinori, Director of Shinnyo-en Lanka Preschool. “Through their research and leadership, may the teachings of the Buddha continue to resonate and bring benefit to Sri Lanka and beyond.”

The ceremony was attended by senior representatives of both Shinnyo-en Japan and the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka, emphasizing the deep collaboration and respect between the organisations.

Shinnyo-en Sri Lanka envisions a future where the knowledge and insights cultivated by these scholars extend beyond Sri Lanka’s borders. Their contributions promise to enrich the global Buddhist community and strengthen the understanding of Buddhism’s transformative potential for individuals and societies alike.

Shinso Ito Scholarship Awarding Ceremony Empowers Buddhist Scholars in Sri Lanka

Shinnyo-en Lanka Preschool was established in 1987 with 100 children. It provides free preschool education for children aged 3 to 5 years. The preschool follows a curriculum which combines the AMI method and the National policy on Preschool Education, emphasizing self-directed activities, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. Shinnyo-en Lanka Preschool aims to build self-confidence and independent thinking from an early age while fostering rich sensorimotor experiences and imaginative play. The Preschool’s focus is on social, emotional, and physical development, laying strong foundations for future learning and it follows a well-planned academic calendar with high-quality activities based on pre-established lesson plans.   For more details about Shinnyo-en Lanka Preschool and updates, visit or follow us on Facebook at and Instagram @shinnyoenlanka.

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