Chugan Engetsu (中巌円月)

Chugan Engetsu (January 28, 1300 - February 9, 1375) was a priest of the Rinzai sect during the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan). He was born in Kamakura in Sagami Province, and his secular surname was Tsuchiya. Chugan was his dogo (a pseudonym as a priest) and his shigo (a posthumous name) was Zenji (Master of Zen Buddhism).

After he entered Jufuku-ji Temple (the Kencho-ji Temple school of the Rinzai Sect) in Kamakura during early life, he learned Esoteric Buddhism at the Daigo-ji Temple and studied under Tomyo Enichi of the Soto sect. In 1325 he went to Yuan in China and returned to Japan in 1332. After that, he successively held the chief priest posts of the temples such as the Manju-ji Temple, the Kennin-ji Temple and the Kencho-ji Temple, forming a group in the Rinzai sect.

He regarded Emperor Jinmu as 'a descendant of Wu (Chunqiu era) Taibo' and insisted on 'the theory that the Emperor had a Chinese origin' (Shichihei YAMAMOTO, "The creators of Arahitogami, a god who appeared in this world in human form").

[Original Japanese]