Kokei (皇慶)

Kokei (1648 to August 30, 1705) was a monk of the Sanronshu Sect who lived in the early Edo period. He was from Tango Province.

In 1660, he studied Sanron (Three Shastras (Three Treatises)) under Eikei of Todai-ji Temple. After the Daibutsu-den (the Great Buddha hall) was burnt to the ground due to a fire caused by war in 1567, he grieved over the loss and obtained permission from the bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) to launch a nationwide solicitation campaign. In 1692, the restoration of the Great Buddha was completed, and he conducted the ceremony to consecrate a newly made Buddhist statue. In 1693, he was accredited with the restoration and granted an audience with the fifth Tokugawa shogun, Tsunayoshi TOKUGAWA, through the intermediary of Ryuko GOJIIN. Although he continued the solicitation campaign in Saigoku (western part of Japan (esp. Kyushu, but ranging as far east as Kinki)), he died in Edo in 1705, before the celebration of the construction of Daibutsu-den. The celebration of the construction of Daibutsu-den was held in 1709, 4 years after the death of Kokei. The present-day Daibutsu-den, chumon (inner gate), kairo (cloister), and Tozai rakumon (east and west gates) were restored on this occasion.

[Original Japanese]