Skip to content Skip to footer

A Commentary with the Text of the Tannisho: Strategies for Modern Living


Written by the late Dr. Alfred Bloom, one of the most prominent teachers of Jodo Shinshu Pure Land Buddhism.  Compiled by a disciple of Shinran Shonin (1173-1262), the founder of Jodo Shinshu, the Tannisho refutes misinterpretations that arose after Shinran’s death, and presents corrections with striking insight.  Subtitled Strategies for Modern Living, this book presents Dr. Bloom’s interpretations that give contemporary relevance to the Tannisho, which is recognized as a great classic of religious writing.

SKU: SFML001C Category: Product ID: 591
PDF Download



  • THIS IS A SPECIALIZED AND ADVANCED PUBLICATION at 187 pages and we do not recommend it for people first learning about Buddhism.
  • LIMITED SUPPLY. We are down to our last box of this publication but will continue to fulfill requests for the printed book while supplies last.
  • AVAILABLE also as a PDF. For your convenience, if you would like immediate access, you can click on the PDF Download logo above.

This work, originally published in 1992, includes the original text of the Tannisho with Dr. Bloom’s commentary relating to the challenges of modern society.

In the Tannisho, Shinran Shonin’s loyal disciple, Yuien-bo, collects key teachings to refute misinterpretations that arose after Shinran had passed away. In his Commentary, Dr. Bloom teases out the way Shinran’s insights speak to us today and can provide guidance in our daily lives.

Web Editor’s Note: The importance of this project to Rev. Dr. Numata is best identified in Dr. Bloom’s foreword, reproduced following.


I have long desired to make available to the people in the West the Tannisho, a Buddhist text expounding on the words of Shinran (A.D. 1173-1262), the founder of the popular Jodo Shin Sect. The book introduces Buddhism as a religion beyond good and evil. Several years ago the opportunity presented itself in the form of a commentary entitled Tannisho: A Resource for Modem Living, written by Dr. Alfred Bloom, currently Dean of the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, California. This commentary is composed of radio talks given during the Moiliili Hongwanji Temple weekly broadcasts in Honolulu. Since I believe that this commentary accompanied by an English translation of the Tannisho would make an ideal publication, I asked the staff of the Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research to make an English translation and publish Dr. Bloom’s commentary as a new book.

I hope this book will make clear how the deep spiritual insights of the Tannisho can bring as much comfort to the troubled hearts of modern Westerners as they brought to troubled hearts in thirteenth century Japan. For as Shinran Shonin would be the first to tell us, times may change but human nature does not. I wish to express my deepest appreciation to: Moiliili Hongwanji Temple for sponsoring Dr. Bloom’s radio talks on the Tannisho; Dr. Alfred Bloom for the permission to republish his work; the Buddhist Study Center in Honolulu, which first published the commentary; Ms. Ruth Tabrah, editor for the Buddhist Study Center, for her dedicated efforts to prepare the radio talks into book form; and the staff of the Numata Center for Translation and Research, Dr. Nobuo Haneda, the Reverend Seishin Yamashita, and the Reverend Shojo Oi, for vn the translation of the Tannisho, the preparation of the extensive glossary and index, and other editorial work. It would give me great pleasure if this book would enable even one more person in the West to gain insight into the teachings beyond good and evil, and bring happiness and serenity into his or her life.

~ Yehan Numata, Founder, [Society for the Promotion of Buddhism]


Description. A Commentary with the text of the Tannisho presents the Tannisho with an illumintating commentary by the late Dr. Alfred Bloom, former Dean of the Institute of Buddhist Studies and Professor of the University of Hawaii. The Tannisho is considered a classic of Japanese Buddhism and is central to the Jodo Shinshu Pure Land tradition.

This commentary was a favorite project of our founder, the late Rev. Dr. Yehan Numata, and we are especially happy to keep the publication alive in this fashion.

— Pure Land Schools

Additional information

Dimensions9 × 6 × 1 in
Publishing Date1992
AuthorAlfred Bloom as to commentary; Yuien-bo as to Tannisho
TranslatorAs to Tannisho, Nobuo Haneda, Seishin Yamashita, Shojo Oi, & Numata Center Staff