Shunko Enjo Mike Jamvold
Shunko with Mitsu Suzuki - Fall 2015?
thanks Jirai Reinhard Mehl
Shunko at Bukkoku-ji
thanks Jirai Reinhard Mehl
photo above and names from this page - except Shunko was incorrectly identified as on the far left - but that's the gang Shunko hung with so am leaving it. The photo was a part of a SF Chronicle article about Hartford Street Zen Center and Issan Tommy. - Thanks Daishin Sunseri for clarification. - dc
Maybe around 1988 at Harford St. ZC? - DC
Above (with daughter of friend) and below
Photos sent by Michael's Kyoto Japanese Class
friend from China,
2014, September. Fushimi-inari Shrine
2014 Spring, at Dragon Mt. Temple, Crestone, Colorado
2015, Autumn, we went to visit KICC.
[Don't understand why this is sideways and distorted Am looking into it. - DC]
03/12/2015, We celebrate my Birthday in our favorite Pizza Restaurant. [above and below]
2014/04/09, in Japanese class. He tried to study more Japanese.
Shunko at Chokokuji Bell Tower Dedication - sent by David Grant
Dear friends of Shunko,
We put Shunko to rest in proper Japanese monk style today. I’m sure he would be pleased. Ever since a long time ago, he has come to Hiroshima to do takuhatsu and stayed with me. He left here on January 2nd very tired with a bad cough. Here is the photo I took of him that morning. - Ron Klein
From Andrew Atkeison
Feb. 10, 2016
Today I went to the funeral of Shunko Mike Jamvold. It was a trip, definitely a spiritual experience and I met some wonderful and very interesting people too … Fukojoji is a distance from where I live in Kyoto so I left fairly early in the morning. I had to take the train and then a taxi but I still arrived with a few minutes to spare. The head priest of the temple, Jirai Rinehart Mehl is a Rinzai Roshi and an amazing man. He met me at the doorway and since I was early we had a little time to chat.
During the course of the day, I met several other very interesting and accomplished people. One older American guy named Ron Klein, a German fellow named David Grant, an Italian named Avi Lugasi and one lovely Japanese woman whose name is Naho Inada. I have their cards.
But the most serendipitous thing was … at the temple when all the chanting finally wound down … after taking my turn to offer incense … I rotated to the back of the room and sat down next to this sweet looking older Japanese woman, about my age, wearing a blue Rakusu … I noticed that she looked really familiar … like I knew her from somewhere ... but I couldn’t remember where ... I was thinking … hmmm maybe I knew her from the overnight training I did at Sojiji last October. We sat there for a while and then after the service was finally over … this kindly old Roshi started walking in our direction and he held out his hand … WOW ... O.M.G. .... it was Hoitsu Suzuki Roshi ... and the sweet lady I thought I knew was Chitosi san! ... We all three of us just couldn’t believe it … we were so happy to see each other … then everyone gathered outside.
I had gone to the toilet and almost missed my ride to the crematorium … by total chance I was ushered into the very last car that had already begun driving off … but someone halted it … and I got into the front seat. It had tinted windows so I didn’t pay any attention to who was in the back seat … we drove along for a while and I was lost very deep in my thoughts … kind of half way listening to them converse in Japanese … they were saying something about Shunko had been married twice … finally I turned around in my seat … and it was Hoitsu and Chitosi in the back seat. Because of the distance they were heading back to Yaizu but Chitosi said I could visit any time ... “Any time OK"... so I plan to stop by Rinsoin in March on my rail pass towards the end of my stay here.
Andrew Atkeison in the middle. Jirai Reinhard Mehr 2nd from right.
The rest of us continued on to the crematorium … After we did the last little ceremony there in a small chapel room, the box containing Shunko was automatically … mechanically … slid off the gurney into the oven … then, in order to wait to pick up the ashes, the group of us, maybe 10 people … went out and had lunch together … Over lunch I heard several interesting and funny stories about Shunko. And I learned a sobering fact, that he was 66 when he passed away and would have been 67 in April. That is exactly my age and I will be 67 in April. Jirai told me to "be careful". When you pick up the ashes here in Japan … the entire cremated remains are laid out on a gurney … each one us took turns with long bamboo chopsticks picking out a few small pieces of bone and placing them in the urn. It was a most surreal day.
Below, I am attaching a photograph … of the memorial lunch with a plate set containing a slice of pizza for Shunko (his favorite food).
We at the LA One Drop Zendo chanted the Heart Sutra for Shunko on Saturday.
Shunko was one of a kind and remains so in my mind!
Lot’s of love,
The funeral for Shunko is done.
The doctor said that he died already on January 29th.
The formal name for him on the ihai (memorial plate on the altar) is Shunkō Enjō Jōza.
On Monday night Kōgaku Oshō (vice abbott of Bukokuji) came and performed alone a memorial service for him.
The wake was on Tuesday night, 9th of February. We were 14 people at the ceremony, among them 7 priests:
Suzuki Hōitsu Rōshi from Rinsōin, who had come with his wife
Kobayashi Gentetsu Oshō from Chōkokuji, where Shunko lived before he moved to Fukujōji
Hōryū Oshō and Dōgo Oshō, who had trained with him in Bukkokuji
Empukuji Oshō and Jisenji Oshō, priests of 2 temples nearby, who knew him from Fukujōji
Shaka Yūhō Kirschner, who knew him from the beginning of his time in Japan.
The funeral was on Wednesday, 10th of February, and we were about 15 people, this time 5 priests were attending the ceremony:
Dōmae Jimyō Rōshi from Eigenji, together with 2 monks from there
Suzuki Hōitsu Rōshi
Kobayashi Gentetsu Oshō
Genryū Oshō from Gokokuji in Kōchi
Besides them came friends from older and newer times, many of them from far away places like Hiroshima, Kōchi, Kōbe.
After the funeral ceremony we drove with 9 people to the crematorium, chanted a last time and gave then the body into the fire. After 2 hours we picked up a part of the bones and brought them back to Fukujōji and celebrated the first of the weekly ceremonies.
Many people were surprised about how peaceful he looked as if he were just sleeping.
I send also 3 photos from the wake ceremony.
From Patrick McMahon
Just want to add my memory of Mike as a fairly abrasive, but in that memorable character. He once told me what no one had ever said, although I imagine often thought, that I took an inordinate number of words to phrase Dharma questions at talks at SFZC. Maybe I took that to heart, plus a number of other hints, and have limited my words at least in that particular sphere.