Yoshimoto Ishin (1916-1988) developed the Naikan method in the 1940s in
Japan. It was his wish that people would find deep insight.
Mr. Yoshimoto was deeply religious and
adherent of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. On his spiritual path he
mastered Buddhist teachings and at age twentyone he attempted a very
demanding Shin Buddhist practice called mishirabe. Mishirabe
requires going for several days without food, water or sleep, until one
either achieves enlightenment or gives up. Mr. Yoshimoto's first
attempts failed, but in 1937 on his fourth attempt he suceeded in
achieving enlightenment. He felt a strong urge to make such
introspection available to others. Realizing that mishirabe
in its original form would be too difficult for most people, he
developed Naikan as a method that could be more widely experienced. In
contrary to mishirabe Naikan allows you to eat, drink and
sleep. Another change was to create a non-religious method.
Mr. Yoshimoto started up a leather company which was very successful.
His experiences as a businessman also influenced the development of
Naikan. The balance of income and outgoings is crucial for a company.
The principle of income and outgoings also applies to human
relationships, which led to the first two questions of Naikan: 1. What
have I received from this person? 2. What have I given to this person?
Unfortunately there is no information about how Mr. Yoshimoto developed
the third question of Naikan. Maybe it was also inspired by his
business experience. To find weak points and malfunctions is a
management task. Maybe there is a correlation to the third question of
Naikan: What troubles and difficulties have I caused?
Spread of Naikan
Mr. Yoshimoto introduced Naikan to his
employees. In 1955 Naikan practice started in Japanese prisons.
Yoshimoto Ishin directed a Naikan center in Nara together with his wife
Kinuko. In the early 1970s various Naikan centers in Japan
opened. In the late 1970s Naikan was introduced to Europe. Especially Prof. Akira Ishii has introduced the Naikan
method to many countries all over the world.
Naikan - a wonderful journey into your inner self!