Bundo Shunkai (豊道春海)

BUNDO Shunkai (September 1, 1878-September 26, 1970) was a priest of the Tendai sect from the Taisho to Showa period. He was a calligrapher. His real name was Keichu. Pseudonyms he had were Ryukei, Yamondojin and Tenmonkaio. His childhood name was Torakichi KAWAKAMI. He was originally from the Tochigi Prefecture.

BUNDO Shunkai formerly entered the priesthood in the registry of a Buddhism sect at the age of six, and in 1890 became the chief priest of Katoku-in Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo. He started learning calligraphy under Shundo NISHIKAWA in 1891 and created his own calligraphic style of Rikucho-style Chinese characters. He received the silver award for his Senjimon (a poem consisting of one thousand Chinese characters) at the Tokyo Taisho Exposition in 1914. In the same year, he was at the helm of the Zuiun Shodokai (a contest for top level calligraphy instructors throughout Japan), and in 1930 established the Taito Shodoin (a group of calligraphers). After the War, he made every effort to found the Nihon Shodo Bijutsuin (Japan Calligraphy Art Academy) and in 1947 devoted himself to set up the fifth department (Calligraphy) in The Japan Fine Arts Exhibition. He became a member of The Japan Art Academy in 1947, and was selected to be a Daisojo (a Buddhist priest of the highest order) of the Tendai sect in 1962 and a Bunkakorosha (Person of Cultural Merits) in 1967.

[Original Japanese]