Cloistered Imperial Prince Kakusin (覚深法親王)

Cloistered Imperial Prince Kakusin (May 29, 1588 - March 15, 1648) was a Pure Land Sect Buddhist monk who lived during the early Edo period. He was the first son of Emperor Go-Yozei. His mother was lady-in-waiting Chikako NAKAYAMA. He served as the 21st monzeki (head priest from the imperial family) of Ninna-ji Temple. His posthumous name was Ryonin.

On June 17, 1594, he was granted the title of Shinno (Imperial Prince) with the intention that he would be the next to ascend to the imperial throne. One theory proposes that Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI was behind the decision to grant him the status of Shinno, and it is said that there were plans to relocate Emperor Go-Yozei to Beijing as Emperor of China and install Ryonin as the Emperor of Japan in the event that the Japanese invasion of Korea (1592–1598) became successful and conquered the Ming Dynasty of China. The Imperial palace of the Retired Emperor Ogimachi, who died two years later, was given to him as Togu Gosho (Crown Prince's Palace) to be granted as the future emperor.

However, when Hideyoshi died in 1598, Emperor Go-Yozei suddenly indicated his intention to disinherit Imperial Prince Ryonin from ascending to the throne. Despite the fact that both the imperial court and the Toyotomi regime were strongly opposed to this, Ieyasu TOKUGAWA who seized political power after winning the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 accepted the intension of Emperor Go-Yozei on the condition to disinherit Imperial Prince Ryonin, who was strongly in favor of the Toyotomi regime, and Imperial Prince Kotohito (who later became Emperor Go-Mizuno), the third son of Sakiko KONOE who was a court lady and the emperor's lawful wife, to be the next in line for the throne instead.

In April 7, 1601, Imperial Prince Ryonin studied at the Shinko-in sub-temple of Ninna-ji Temple where he took the tonsure and entered the Buddhist priesthood. In 1614, he was given the rank of Ippon (first rank of an imperial prince) and the highest position of Buddhist priests. Highly skilled in the art of calligraphy, he revised eight volumes of 'Shogyo Mokuroku' (Catalog of sacred texts).

[Original Japanese]