Daisetsu Sono (大拙祖能)

Daisetsu Sono (April 7, 1313 - October 1, 1377) was a Buddhist monk of the Rinzai Sect in the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan). His secular family name was Fujiwara. His imina (real personal name) was Sono. His dogo (a pseudonym as a priest) was Daisetsu. He was born in Kamakura, Sagami Province. His shigo (a posthumous name) was Koen Meikan Zenji.

He climbed Mt. Hiei when he was 14 years old and vowed to follow the religious precepts at Enryaku-ji Temple's Kaidan (Buddhist ordination platform). Thereafter, he studied under Futaba Sogen of Kyoto Tofuku-ji Temple, Okawa Dotsu of Kamakura Daikei-ji Temple and Tengai Shiko of Engaku-ji Temple and he also practiced Zen meditation under Kengai Koan, Tomin Enichi and Muso Soseki. He went to Yuan, China in 1343, practiced Zen meditation under Mugon Shosen, Toyo Tokki and Sengen Gencho and was awarded inka (certification of spiritual achievement) by Sengen. After returning to Japan, he successively played the role of chief priest of Manju-ji Temple in Bungo Province and Kichijo-ji Temple in Kozuke Province. Following this he was able to convert Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA, the third Shogun, and was invited to Kamakura Engaku-ji Temple and Kencho-ji Temple, but he firmly declined these invitations and instead resided at Ryogon-ji Temple in Kasama district, Hitachi Province.

[Original Japanese]