Onishi Ryokei (大西良慶)

Ryokei ONISHI (December 21, 1875 - February 15, 1983) was a Hosso Sect Buddhist monk who served as head priest of Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto and in his later years was also renowned for holding the record as the oldest person in Japan. He passed away in 1983 aged 108 years.

He was born in Nara Prefecture and went under the pseudonym 'Muin.'
In 1889, he went to Kofuku-ji Temple in Nara where he entered the Buddhist priesthood under Teicho CHIHAYA. In 1890, he studied the yuishiki (consciousness-only theory) under Join SAEKI of Horyu-ji Temple. In 1899, he became the 231st head priest of Kofuku-ji Temple and was appointed chief abbot of the Hosso Sect in 1904.

In 1914, he was appointed head priest of Kiyomizu-dera Temple but retained his position as head priest of Kofuku-ji Temple. In 1965, he established the Kita Hosso Sect headquartered at Kiyomizu-dera Temple and assumed the position of chief abbot. He had a deep knowledge of Buddhist sects other than the Hosso Sect and successively held several important positions within the world of Buddhism. His Buddhist sermons known as Ryokei no Sechi were highly popular.

He is also famous as the godparent of the first quintuplets in Japan, which were born in Kagoshima Prefecture in 1976.

[Original Japanese]