Zomyo (増命)

Zomyo (843 - December 12, 927) was a Tendai Sect Buddhist monk who lived during the first part of the Heian period. His father was Sadaishi (First Secretary of the Left) Yasumine KUWANOUCHI. After his death, he was posthumously granted the name Jokan Sojo. He served as the tenth Tendai Zasu (head priest of the Tendai Sect) from November 11, 906 until June 28, 922.

Zomyo studied under Ensai of Saito-in Temple on Mt. Hiei, learnt the Tendai Sect teachings from Ennin, and was consecrated by Enchin. In the year 868, he wrote "Shuron Gohakko" (eight lectures of disputes about teachings of the sect) for the then Emperor Seiwa at the young age of 26. He became the head priest of Saito-in Temple in the year 888 and put great effort into restoring the temple which was in a far more dilapidated condition than other temples on Mt. Hiei. He was made Chori (chief priest) of Onjo-ji Temple in the year 899 before going on to be appointed Tendai Zasu in 906. When Cloistered Emperor Uda entered the Buddhist priesthood, Zomyo gave him the Buddhist precepts and conducted his ordination, with the Cloistered Emperor frequently visiting Zomyo at Saito-in Temple and Senko-in Temple at which he was based. He often conducted prayers for the health of the emperor at the imperial palace (it was during this time that rumors regarding the vengeful spirit of SUGAWARA no Michizane were prevalent, and he held a 100 day long ritual following the sudden death of Crown Prince Yasuakira. Also, prayers that he held after becoming aware that a monk from Tang Dynasty China was suffering from a chest complaint led to his full recovery). In the year 915, he ascended to the rank of Shosozu (junior secondary prelate) before being promoted to Sojo (high-ranking Buddhist priest) in 925. Zomyo reported to the emperor in the year 927 and attempted to convince him to grant Enchin, the priest who ordained him, the name Chisho Daishi. He passed away in the same year, so did not live to see his master be granted the name.

[Original Japanese]