Gene (玄恵)

Gene (the year of his birth unknown - April 9, 1350) was a Buddhist monk of the Tendai sect and a Confucian scholar who lived during he period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan). His pseudonyms were Dokuseiken and Kenso. Sometimes different letters 玄慧 were used instead of 玄恵 to describe his name. It is said that he was a younger brother of Shiren KOKAN.

He learned the Tendai doctrine and was installed as Hoin (the highest rank of priest) Dai Sozu (the second highest position, upper grade, of priest); on the other hand he knew very well about Confucianism as well as Chinese poetry and prose. According to the 'Taihei ki' (the record of Great Peace) he taught calligraphy at the secret meetings for overthrowing the government, and he gave lectures about the new Confucianism in the Song Dynasty China and classics to Emperor Godaigo and the noble officials. On top of this, he is said to have taken part in drafting the Kenmu Code at the request of the Ashikaga clan after the collapse of the Kenmu Restoration, but neither of those were confirmed.

Also it is likely that he was the author of 'Teikin Orai' (collection of letters for family education) used as a textbook for calligraphy and reading in Terakoya schools in the Edo period.

[Original Japanese]