The experience of standing by her father's deathbed prompted Jito Sasaki to quit her university job and become a Buddhist nun devoted to hospice care and the emotional and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients.

Sasaki was born into an ordinary household and majored in ancient history, working as an academic official at her alma mater after graduation in 1991.

Sasaki found the work rewarding, but her views changed soon after her father died of cancer.