Keien (Tendai sect) (慶円 (天台宗))

Keien (Kyoen, 944 - October 9, 1019) is a Buddhist priest of the Tendai sect during the mid Heian period. He served as Tendai-zasu (the highest post of Tendai sect).
He was called 'Zanmai-zasu.'

He is said to be a son of FUJIWARA no Masabumi, Kokushi (provincial governor) of Harima Province and a maternal uncle of FUJIWARA no Sanesuke. He is also said to be a son of Dainagon (chief councilor of state) FUJIWARA no Michiakira, father of Masabumi, or a son of FUJIWARA no Tsurasada, Owari no kuni no kami (governor of Owari Province).

He entered Enryaku-ji Temple when he was small and studied under Kikei. He entered the Buddhist priesthood (tokudo) and received religious percepts (jukai) in 954. He participated Kangakukai (study session) on October 27, 964, and was appointed Gon no Risshi (a provisional rank in the lowest managerial position) in 995, after being recognized his achievements as naigu (a priest serving at the Imperial Court). Then he was appointed Gon no Shozozu (a provisional junior rank in the second highest managerial position) in 1000, and two years later Daisozu (the highest grade that can be held by one who has reached the second highest rank in the hierarchy of Buddhist priests). He was appointed Gon no Sojo (the provisional lower priest in the highest position) in 1011, Sojo (a priest ranked in the highest managerial position) on March 4, 1013, then Daisojo (a priest of the highest rank in the highest managerial position) on February 4, 1014. He was appointed the 24th Tendai-zasu on January 25, 1015. He also served as zasu (a head priest of a temple) of Hossho-ji Temple and betto (administrator of a Buddhist temple) of Fumon-in Temple. On September 20, 1019 he retired from Daisojo because of ill and passed away on October 9.

FUJIWARA no Sanesuke who is said to be Keien's nephew appreciated Keien as 'a skillful man' and frequently visited Keien from when he was young and left Ryoen (Tendai sect), his child born out of wedlock, to Keien's care. As he recommended Keien to drink milk on September 10 just before Keien died, he respected Keien throughout his life, and many references to Keien are found in his diary "Shoyuki." Also Keien was on close terms with FUJIWARA no Yukinari and he is referred to in "Gonki" (Yukinari's diary). Furthermore, it is stated in "Hyakurensho" (a record of the Kamakura period) that in 1003 the Emperor Ichijo gave award to Keien when a dice for sugoroku (dice game) got into the nose of Imperial Princess Bishi who was four years old at that time and Keien did incantation to take it out. FUJIWARA no Yukinari who attended deathbed of the Retired Emperor Ichijo testifies that Keien was served as kaishi (a priest who imparts the Buddhist commandments) in 1011 when the Retired Emperor Ichijo entered into priesthood just before his death and Keien's incantation temporarily revived the Retired Emperor at the last minute of his life ("Gonki").

On the other hand, Keien was on bad terms with FUJIWARA no Michinaga who was most powerful at that time, and it is stated in "Mido Kanpakuki" (diary of FUJIWARA no Michinaga) that Keien regarded Michinaga as 'like an enemy.'
Michinaga and Keien were on familiar terms in the beginning. However, in 1012 Michinaga's climbing Mt. Hiei on the horse caused resentment among Buddhist priests and the mass of people, and just after that Keien refused to do Shuho (an esoteric ritual) of incantation and prayer in resistance when Michinaga became sick. This is said to be the cause of their discord. Thereafter Keien showed his attitude not to fawn upon Michinaga's power by for example praying for recovery of Emperor Sanjo. But after Keien did Shuho for recovery of Emperor Goichijo and Imperial Prince Atsunaga who were grandchildren from Michinaga's daughter married into another family, they are said to have started to reconcile.

[Original Japanese]