Dosho (道正)

Dosho (April 2, 798 - March 20, 875) was a Buddhist monk during the early Heian period. His secular surname was Hata. He came from Kagawa Country in Sanuki Province.

When he was fourteen, he studied the Sanron doctrine under Meicho of Gankoji Temple in Nara. In 818, he was ordained as a Buddhist priest by receiving the commandments of Buddhism at Todaiji Temple, and in 828, he studied Shingon Mikkyo, a form of Esoteric Buddhism, from Kukai at Jingoji Temple (or Toji Temple) and underwent the ritual of consecration. Thereafter, he served as an instructor and officiating priest at various religious services including the Yuimae at Kofukuji Temple, and during the Showa era (834 - 848), he reconstructed the Oigawa River embankment, thereby called a second Gyoki. During this period, in 836, he successively served as the chief administrator of Koryuji Temple and Ryujoji Temple. In 864, he was appointed Gonrisshi, an administrative position, four years later as Risshi, a higher administrative position and in 874 up to Shosozu. In the same year, he restored Saga Fujiidera Temple and renamed it Horinji Temple (Saikyo Ward in Kyoto) and became the Restoration patriarch.

In 830, when he attended Butsumyoe, a religious service, he had a talk with Emperor Junna.
The emperor asked him 'Which is the greater sin: the taking of life by a sovereign or the taking of life by a retainer?'
Dosho answered, 'The sovereign is more sinful because he kills animals for his luxury, but some retainers are forced to kill animals for making their living.
But the sovereign forbids that.'
Based on his answer, the emperor lived in frugality and forbade the taking of life for luxury, and relaxed Santaku no Kin to permit the poor and needy to make their living by hunting and fishing ("Nihon Sandai Jitsuroku" "Genkoshakusho".)
Later, when Prince Tsunesada, a son of Emperor Junna, was disinherited in the Jowa incident and took the tonsure, Dosho made him his disciple.

[Original Japanese]