Kaisen Joki (快川紹喜)

Kaisen Joki (year of birth unknown - April 25, 1582) was a priest of the Rinzai Sect of Buddhism from the Warring States period and the Azuchi-Momoyama period. He was from Mino Province and his secular surname was Toki. His Imina (personal name) was Joki. His Azana (adult male's nickname) was Kaisen.

He inherited the position of Jinyu Shoju ho of Myoshin-ji Temple. After serving at a temple in Mino Province, he became the 43rd priest of Myoshin-ji Temple; he later moved from Sofuku-ji Temple in Mino Province (Gifu City) to Kai Province. He was welcomed by Shingen TAKEDA, entered Shioyama Erin-ji Temple and gave Shingen the priest name, Kizan. Nobunaga ODA conquered and killed the Takeda clan, making Takeda's domain chaotic. Since there was a social consensus in the Middle Ages that temples and shrines were sacred, Kaisen gave shelter to Yoshiharu ROKKAKU and others who fought against Nobunaga in Erin-ji Temple. Since the temple members refused Nobutada ODA's order to hand them over, Nobutada put fire on the temple and Joki and other priests were killed.
Joki has been famous for his farewell poem (composed before his death), saying "Meditation does not always require a quiet place. If you have established your own philosophy, nothing will trouble you as if you would feel fire cool.(安禅必ずしも山水を用いず、心頭滅却すれば火も亦た涼し" (The original text written by Jukukaku TO says "as if fire itself would be cool.(火も自ずから涼し) "
It is suggested that the farewell poem was not made by Kaisen; "Koranki," said that the poem was written by Takayama Osho, who held a dialogue with Kaisen; that poem was not found in any documents of that period but in modern documents.

It is also considered that Kaisen Joki and Mitsuhide AKECHI, who was also born in Mino Province, belonged to the same Toki clan. Therefore, some believe that Joki's death influenced Mitsuhide's attack on Nobunaga and Nobutada at Honno-ji Temple in the Honnoji Incident.

He is also known for writing "Carp climbing the waterfall with intense mind shall fall when tension is released (meaning don't let your guard down)."

One of his disciples was Kosai Sootsu, who was famous for tutoring Masamune DATE..

[Original Japanese]