Sokuhi Nyoitsu (即非如一)

Sokuhi Nyoitsu (June 27, 1616 - June 26, 1671) was a priest of the Obaku School (Obaku Sect) Rinzai Sect, and came from the Ming Dynasty in China in the early part of the Edo period. He came from Fuqing, Fuzhou, Fujian. His secular surname was Rin. His azana (adult male nickname) was Sokuhi.


His father was Ei RIN, and the Rin clan identified themselves as the descendants of Kiitsu RIN who was a Confucian in the age of the Sung dynasty.

At the age of 18, he entered into priesthood under Seirai in Ryuzan-ji Temple. Because HIIN Tsuyo took up a new position as chief priest of a temple on Mt. Obaku, Sokuhi Nyoitsu received the ten commandments and became Shami (Buddhist novice). In 1637, he studied under Ingen Ryuki (Yinyuan Longqi) in Manpuku-ji Temple on Mt. Obaku in Fuzhou, China, and received Bosatsu-kai (Bodhisattva Precepts). In 1651, he succeeded to the teachings. He moved to Susho-ji Temple in Soraku.

In 1657, he was invited to Japan by Ingen. He lived in Sofuku-ji Temple, Nagasaki, improved its buildings and became a restoration patriarch there. In 1663, he moved to Manpuku-ji Temple in Uji, Yamashiro Province, and became shuso (the leader of monks practicing asceticism) of the Manpuku-ji Temple together with his priest brother, Mokuan Shoto. He served as Kyoju Ajari (a master in Esoteric Buddhism; a high priest) for the first Obaku Sandan kai (Triple Ordination Platform Ceremony). In the following year 1664 on the way back to his country, he was invited by Tadazane OGASAWARA (the lord of the Kokura domain, Buzen Province) and others, and in 1665, he founded Fukuju-ji Temple, and became its kaisan (a founder of the temple as the first chief priest). After that, he lived in Sofuku-ji Temple as a retreat for his old age, and died there. Died at 56.

He was also known as noshoka (master of calligraphy), and called one of Obaku no Sanpitsu (three master calligraphers in the Obaku Sect) together with Ingen Ryuki and Mokuan Shoto.

[Original Japanese]