Tetsugen Doko (鉄眼道光)

Doko TETSUGEN (February 12, 1630 - April 27, 1682) was a Zen priest of the Obaku School in the early Edo period. His shigo (a posthumous name) was Hozo Kokushi. He was born in Moriyama-mura, Masuki-gun, Higo Province. Initially, he called himself Tetsugen.


He was born as a son of Joshin SAEKI, who was a Buddhist priest attached to Moriyama Hachiman-gu Shrine.

Initially, he studied Jodo Shinshu (the True Pure Land Sect of Buddhism) due to the influence of his father. When he entered the priesthood (at the age of 13 years old), his then-mentor was Kaiun, a priest of Jodo Shinshu. However, as he was ashamed of becoming a high-ranking priest among Hongan-ji Temple priests, thanks to the high status of his temple, irrespective of his talent and virtue, he converted to Zen Sect in 1655 while practicing Zen meditation under Ryuki INGEN and succeeded the teachings of Shoto MOKUAN, a disciple of INGEN. Thereafter, he founded Zuiryu-ji Temple (Osaka City) in Nanba-mura, Settsu Province.

He endeavored to help residents of Kinai (the region in the vicinity of the capital) who were tormented by starvation and distributed, without stinting, the alms that were donated for the publication of Daizokyo (the Tripitaka). It is believed that he took such action twice. "Tetsugen Zenshi Kana Howa" (Buddhist sermon by Tetsugan Zenshi) is a book written for the purpose of preaching the teachings to females. He didn't decide the successor to his teachings until the end of his life and asked Hoshu, his junior disciple, to take care of the temple. Thanks to his praiseworthy activities, he was listed in volume 2 of "Kinsei kijin den" (Biographies of Eccentrics of Recent Times).

Obaku Edition of Daizokyo (Tetsugen Edition)

He swore by Buddha to publish "Daizokyo" in 1664 and collected alms in 1667 by making a pilgrimage throughout the nation. Although he had given up twice due to the above-mentioned circumstances, he finally succeeded in collecting alms at his third attempt and established Inkyobo (later Baiyo shoin) at Nijo, Kiya-machi, Kyoto, started to carve a woodblock in 1668 based on the Banreki edition of Ming, China, and finally completed it in 1678. 1,618 copies, 7334 volumes. He reported to the Emperor Gomizunoo. This Daizokyo is called Obaku edition Daizokyo or Tetsugen edition. Although its woodblock was carved based on the Banreki edition, no border lines were carved between the lines. The woodblock has been kept in Hozoin Temple on Mt. Obaku through the ages and Baiyo shoin has been printed as and when requested.

[Original Japanese]