Rankei Doryu (蘭渓道隆)

Rankei Doryu (1213 - August 13, 1278) was a Zen priest and the founder of the Daikaku-ha school who came to Japan from China at the time of the Southern Sung Dynasty in the middle of the Kamakura Period.

Doryu was his imina (personal name), and Rankei was his dogo (pseudonym as a priest). He came from Western Shu (present-day Shichuan Province, China) during the Southern Sung Dynasty. His shigo (posthumous name) was Daikaku Zenji.

He became a priest at the age of 13, studied under Bushun Shiban and Hokukan Kyokan, and then assumed the principles of Wu-ming Hui-hsing (Mumyo Esho) who in turn assumed the principles of Songyuan (Shogen Sugaku). In 1246 when he was 33 years old, he met Gatto Chikyo, a priest at Sennyu-ji Temple who came to Sung, and through his relationship with Gatto he came to Japan with his disciples.

He stayed temporarily at Enkaku-ji Temple in Chikuzen, at Raigo-in at Sennyu-ji Temple in Kyoto and at Jufuku-ji Temple in Kamakura. He was successful in spreading the fundamental Sung-style principles of the Rinzaishu sect. Furthermore, Regent Tokiyori HOJO became one of the sect's believers.

In 1253 when Kencho-ji Temple was built, he was invited to the temple by regent Tokiyori HOJO to become kaisan (the founder of the temple and first chief priest).

For a period of time, he was suspected of being a spy from Yuan (Yuan Dynasty). For this reason he fled to Izu, and reformed the Buddhist principles of Shuzen-ji Temple.

Later, he became the chief priest of Kennin-ji Temple in Kyoto, of Jufuku-ji Temple in Kyoto, and of Zenko-ji Temple in Kamakura. For a period of time, following his exile to Kai Province (present-day Yamanashi Prefecture) due to a false charge, he restored Toko-ji Temple (located in Yamanashi Prefecture). He returned to Kencho-ji Temple again, and there he died.

[Original Japanese]