Koin (公胤)

Koin (1145 - July 13, 1216) was a waka poet and a priest of the Tendai sect who lived from the end of Heian period until the early part of the Kamakura period. He was a descendant of the Murakami-Genji (Minamoto clan); his father was MINAMOTO no Noritoshi, who was Naka no in Ushosho (major general of the institution for guarding the Emperor of second class). His go (pen name) was Myo-o-in. His cousin was Shunkan.

He entered Onjo-ji Temple (Mii-dera Temple) to study the Tendai sect and Esoteric Buddhism under his uncle, Gyoken (行顕), and became ajari (a master in esoteric Buddhism; a high priest). In 1183, he was appointed risshi (the third rank of priest following Sojo and Sozu). He often left the capital to visit Kamakura as the result of the Genji (Minamoto clan) shogunate family becoming his believers. Later, upon request by Masako HOJO, he took care of Kugyo, who was a bereaved child of MINAMOTO no Yoriie, as his pupil. Meanwhile, he enjoyed great prestige from the Retired Emperor Gotoba, and was appointed chori (chief priest) of Onjo-ji Temple, betto (head priest) of Hosho-ji, and was conferred the rank of Sojo (a priest ranked in the highest managerial position). In the earliest years, he wrote 'Jodo ketsugi-sho' (Deciding the Meaning of the Pure Land) in which he criticized Honen's '{Senchaku hongan nenbutsu shu}' (Holy Writings of the Jodo Sect) which was written in 1198; but in later years, he is said to have devoted himself to nenbutsu (Buddhist invocation). He is also known for encouraging Dogen, the founder of the Soto sect, to become a disciple of Eisai of the Rinzai sect.

He was also a waka poet and had one of his poems (Poem No. 1935) selected for "Shinkokin Wakashu" (New Collection of Ancients and Modern Poems).

[Original Japanese]