Jihen (慈遍)

Jihen (date of birth unknown) was a gakuso (scholar monk) of the Tendai sect and a Shintoist who lived during the end of the Kamakura period until the period of the Northern and Southern Courts. It is said that his father was Kaneaki Urabe(YOSHIDA), and his brother was Kenko YOSHIDA who wrote 'Tsurezure gusa' ('Essays in Idleness'). Jihen's secular name was Kanekiyo. Since many additions were made to the Urabe clan's family tree by future generations, Jihen's career remains unclear for the most part.

At a young age he entered into priesthood as Kojin's disciple; he later served the Tendai-zasu (the head priest of the Tendai sect) Jigen sojo who the Emperor Godaigo confided in, and was appointed hoin (the highest rank in the hierarchy of Buddhist priests). At the same time, he took in Ise Shinto (a school of Shinto thought to be established by priests of the Grand Shrine of Ise (Ise no Jingu) in the medieval period). He sided with the Southern Court and took the stance of regarding the emperor as the eternal monarch of Shinkoku (divine land) Japan.

His writings include 'Kujihongi Gengi,' 'Toyowashihara Shinpuwaki,' and 'Tenchijingi Shinchinyoki.'

[Original Japanese]