Jokei (貞慶)

Jokei (June 29, 1155 - March 3, 1213) was a Buddhist monk in the Hosso Sect in the early Kamakura period. He was born in Kyoto. His grandfather was FUJIWARA no Michinori (Also known as Shinzei), and his father was FUJIWARA no Sadanori. His go (pen name) was Gedatsu-bo. He was posthumously titled Gedatsu-shonin by Imperial edict. He was called himself by Kasagidera Shonin.

He entered the priesthood at Kofuku-ji Temple and studied Hosso Sect Buddhism and Ritsu Sect Buddhism under his uncle Kakuken. In 1182, Jokei, as a promising learned priest pursuing his studies, passed the Ryugi (oral examination for a novice priest as a gateway to be a Buddhist priest) to serve the Yuimae (big Buddhist Mass) and also served other big Buddhist Mass of Gosaie (ritual for the Sutra of Golden Light performed at the Imperial Palace) and Kinomidokyo (Seasonal reading of the Great Perfection of Insight Sutra). In 1193, though, Jokei, disgusted at the depravity of the monks, retired from the (official) monk circle to the Kasagi-dera Temple to which he had professed his worship of Miroku (Buddha of the Future, Bodhisattva of the Present). Thereafter, Jokei further deepened his faith in Miroku by establishing the Ryukokai (literally, gathering of dragon incense) and the Miroku Koshiki (Buddhist rite dedicated to Miroku), while improving the appearance of the Kasagi-dera Temple by constructing the Hannyadai (a monastic building meaning "Wisdom Heights") and the Jusanjunoto (13-storey pagoda). In 1205, he drew up a report to the throne titled Kofuku-ji Sojo in which he criticized Honen's Senju Nenbutsu (the Single-Minded Recitation of the Nenbutsu) and asked for it to be stopped. In 1208, he moved to the Kaijusen-ji Temple and also got interested in Kannon (Deity of Mercy) Worship.

Other than 'Gumeihosshinshu' (literally, spiritual awakening of those who are folly and in lost), Jokei wrote many books on the Hosso, the Ritsu, and the Miroku worship.

[Original Japanese]