Hozan Kenchin (宝山乾珍)

Hozan Kenchin (1394 - February 14, 1442) was a priest during the Muromachi Period. He was a youngest son of Tadafuyu ASHIKAGA, whose sons were reportedly all priests except the oldest one, Fuyuuji ASHIKAGA.

Brief Personal History:
He entered the priesthood in early life, and became a disciple of Zekkai Chushin. After being a chief priest of Keitoku-ji Temple, Toji-ji Temple and so on, he became the 44th chief priest of Sokoku-ji Temple at the age of 39 on May 8, 1432. This pace of advancement was extraordinarily fast, though it is not clear whether this is because of his origin or because of his endowment. Even after that, he was assigned to tassu (a priest who takes care of a sub-temple) of Shokoku-ji Rokuon-in Temple on October 11, 1433, to the 94th chief priest of Tenryu-ji Temple on November 3, 1435, and again to the chief priest of Shokoku-ji Temple on April 19, 1436. In 1441, when the Kakitsu War began and his nephew Yoshitaka ASHIKAGA was backed up by Mitsusuke AKAMATSU during the war, Yoshitaka's younger brother Yoshimasa ASHIKAGA (secular name) was beheaded and his head was sent to Kyoto at the end of July, since Kenchin resigned as the head of Rokuon-in Temple. The reason for his resignation was reported that it was because his close relatives were involved in the war. Kenchin himself died on February 14 in the next year. His sudden death suggests the possibility of some events behind the scenes. He died at the age of 48. He was posthumously named Enjokosai-zenshi.

[Original Japanese]