Genpin (玄賓)

Genpin (734 - July 27, 818) was a priest of Hosso sect (The Dharama-Characteristics Sect of Buddhism) from the Nara period to the early Heian period. He was from Kawachi Province. His family name before entering the priesthood was Yuge.

He studied Hosso sect's teachings under Senkyo at Kofuku-ji Temple and then retired to Aimi County, Hoki Province, and moved to Tetta County, Bicchu Province. In 805, he prayed for Emperor Kanmu's recovery from illness, and in 806, Genpin was appointed as Daisozu (the highest grade that can be held by one who has reached the second highest rank in the hierarchy of Buddhist priests) but declined it. Emperor Saga, a son of Emperor Kanmu, had also deep confidence in Genpin and, by his order, Genpin prayed for the recovery from illness of Emperor Heizei, Emperor Saga's older brother in 809, and received summer and winter gifts such as books and cloth for seven years starting in 811. In 816, Genpin made the government of Tetta County, Bicchu Province accept iron instead of rice as tax while he was alive, which reduced the people's burden.

[Original Japanese]