Eri (会理)

Eri (852 - 935) was a Shingon Sect Buddhism monk who lived during the mid-Heian period. His place of birth is not known.

After entering the Buddhist priesthood, he studied Shingon Esoteric Buddhism from Shuei and Shobo before he received the dharma from Zennen. In the year 928, he was promoted to the rank of Gon Risshi (generally in Shingon sect, fifteenth-ranking Buddhist priest, literally, "supernumerary master of discipline") and appointed the second abbot of To-ji Temple, and he also conducted Kujaku Kyobo (the ritual for averting disasters, particularly in prayers for rain, against illness in the imperial family, and for safe childbirth of the empress) and nenbutsu (Buddhist invocation) rituals when Emperor Daigo fell ill. He later ascended to the rank of Gon Shosozu (Junior lesser prelate).

Eri excelled in the carving and painting of Buddhist images, and surviving examples of his work include the statue of the Thousand-armed Kannon housed in the dining hall of To-ji Temple and the Yakushi Nyorai statue of Kamidaigo-ji Temple. He also painted the pillar paintings of the Great Buddha Hall at Todai-ji Temple and the image of the patriarch at the Kanjo-in sub-temple of To-ji Temple, but his activities were not confined only to Shingon Sect temples as he was also active on Mt. Hiei and the southern capital of Nara.

[Original Japanese]