Kancho (寛朝)

Kancho (916 - July 13, 998) was a Buddhist monk of the Shingon Sect in the middle of the Heian period. His father was Imperial Prince Atsumi, who was a son of Emperor Uda. He was also one of the leading figures in Shingon Shomyo (Buddhist liturgical chant) composition.
Since he was the chief priest of Hensho-ji Temple (Kyoto City) by Sarusawa-ike Pond in the Hirosawa area outside the capital city of Kyoto, he was called 'Sarusawa no Sojo (priest),' 'Hirosawa Sojo,' or 'Hensho-ji Sojo.'

He entered the priesthood under the guidance of his grandfather Cloistered Emperor Uda, and Kanku carried out kanjo (a ceremony to be the successor) for him. He was appointed to betto (superior) of Ninna-ji Temple, betto of Sai-ji Temple, betto of To-ji Temple, gon-risshi (fifteenth-ranked Buddhist priest of the Shingon Sect, literally meaning "supernumerary master of discipline"), homu (Director of temple affairs) of To-ji Temple, and To-ji choja (chief abbot of To-ji Temple), and in 986, he became the Shingon Sect's top and Japan's third highest-ranked Buddhist priest. Meanwhile, he served as a preceptor when Emperor Enyu received religious precepts. On December 2, 989, he established Hensho-ji Temple by Hirosawa-ko Lake under the order from Emperor Enyu. FUJIWARA no Sanesuke's diary called Shoyuki contained an entry about the memorial service at the time of temple establishment, describing a large number of Kugyo (top court officials) such as Cloistered Emperor Enyu attending the service. He had extensive knowledge in practical training and logical study of doctrines of Esoteric Buddhism and wrote 'Kongokai-shidai' (writings about Vajradhatu) and 'Fudo-shidai' (writings about Fudo). He was also familiar with chants and so made tone adjustments for 'Rishu-kyo' (Principle of Wisdom Sutra); therefore, he was considered the originator of the restoration of Tomitsu (eastern esotericism) shomyo (chant).

When TAIRA no Masakado started a rebellion in the Kanto area, Kancho went there to pray. There, Kancho prayed to Fudo Myoo (Acala, one of the Five Wisdom Kings), and later, Shinsho-ji Temple on Mt. Narita, famous for having 'Narita Fudo Temple,' was built with Fudo Myoo as the honzon (principal image of Buddha).

[Original Japanese]