Ando Rensho (安東蓮聖)

Rensho ANDO (1239 - February 18, 1329) was a busho (Japanese military commander) in the late Kamakura period who was a low-level bureaucrat (Miuchibito (private vassals) of the Tokuso family of the regent Hojo clan of the Kamakura bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun). None of his father, mother, or imina (personal name) is unknown. His common name was Heiemon. Rensho was his homyo (a name given to a person who enters the Buddhist priesthood) as a priest of Ritsu sect, and was written in Kanji characters as 蓮聖 or 蓮性. His rank was Uemon no jo (the third ranked official of the Right Division of Outer Palace Guards). Since he was called as ANDO Heiemon Nyudo, he is considered to have been a member of Taira clan (the same kanji character is used for "Hei" and "Taira"). One of his children was Ene ANDO (Haruemon Sukeyasu ANDO).

There are many theories about his honganchi (the place where one's family register was placed), including Kitaandosho, Suruga Province (Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture), Tosaminato Tsugaru district, Mutsu Province (Goshogawara City, Aomori Prefecture), and Saganogo, Bungo Province (Oita City, Oita Prefecture). His territories covered the coast of the Seto Inland Sea, mainly in Settsu and Izumi Provinces, and he dealt with management of Tokuso ryo (estate owned by the head of the direct line of Hojo clan) in western Japan, shipping, and finance. He was regarded as a typical example of Miuchibito turned into Utokujin (wealthy person).

As a hikan (low-level bureaucrat) of Tokiyori HOJO, he played the role of messenger to Eison at Saidai-ji Temple (Nara City) in 1262 and in the following year, he adjudicated when Tokiyori donated the tax-exempt rice field of fudangyo-shu (people who read Buddhist scriptures every day) to Zenko-ji Temple in Shinano Province.
On the other hand, with the assistance of priests of Enryaku-ji Temple in Kyoto, he was running a money-lending business during Bunei Era; in 1271, he violated the Bakufu's kinzei (prohibition) by seizing ships of the Ninna-ji Temple to transport tribute at Katata-no-ura, Omi Province, and therefore was sued by zassho (a person in charge of miscellaneous tasks) of the territory of the Daigo-ji Temple in Yamadago Ishigurosho, Etchu Province
He was a Miuchibito with the face of a villain.

In 1273, he was appointed to sobugyo for building the Tada-in Temple in Settsu Province. In 1277, he bought the position of betto (the head priest) of Kumeda-dera Temple in Izumi Province. He donated his territories to the temple to restore it as a temple of Ritsu sect, and in 1282, he invited Eison to hold do-kuyo (a memorial service of the temple).

In 1284, under the shugo (military governor) Kanetoki HOJO, he was appointed to shugodai (provincial governor) of Settsu Province. In 1302, he refurbished the Fukudomari Port in Harima Province at his own expense of hundreds of kan (obsolete unit of currency).

In 1329, he died at his own house in Gojo Ward of Kyoto at the age of 91. Kempon Chakushoku Ando Rensho Zo' that has been handed down in the Kumeda-dera Temple is designated as a national important cultural property.

[Original Japanese]