was born in Japan in 1954. He studied developmental/clinical psychology at Tokyo University. Besides academic study, he intensively practiced aikido and Noguchi Exercise. When he was a PhD student, at the age of 27, he was recommended by a master of Chinese medicine to attend a week-long Zen sesshin at Enkaku-ji, a traditional Rinzai monastery in Kamakura. Through this experience he was deeply fascinated by zazen practice. Eventually he dropped out of graduate school to study Zen full time and entered Antai-ji, a Soto Zen monastery in the tradition of Kodo Sawaki and Kosho Uchiyama.
In 1987, he was sent by his teacher to be a resident teacher at Pioneer Valley Zendo in Massachusetts. During his stay until 2005, he also taught at Smith College, Amherst College, Mt. Holyoke College, Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, and other colleges and institutions.
In 2010, he was assigned to be Director of the Soto Zen Buddhism International Center in San Francisco. He is currently visiting many Zen centers and temples worldwide to teach Soto Zen teaching and practice. Issho is interested in inventing new and fun ways to articulate the depth of the simple practice of shikantaza