Anjo no Goei (安城御影)

Anjo no Goei (or Miei) is a color portrait on silk of Shinran Shonin attributed to Hogen (the second highest rank for Buddhist priests) Choen in 1255 during the Kamakura period. It is said that the picture was painted when Shinran was eighty-three years old. It is owned by the Nishi Hongan-ji Temple.

Anjo no Goei (1,276mmX401mm) has two sanmon; one is "無量寿経仏説無量寿経(願生偈)" (Muryoju-kyo Bussetsu Muryoju-kyo Sutra (Ganshoge)) in the upper part, and the other '正信念仏偈' (Shoshin nenbutsuge, verses written by Shinran) in the lower part. It is said that the sanmon was written by Shinran himself and that it has been used as a standard for his manuscript.

The source of the name is the fact that it was transmitted in Anjo (present Anjo City) in Aomi no kori, Mikawa Province. Senkai, who was a disciple of Shinbutsu, and was one of twenty-four high-ranking disciples of Shinran, made Hogen Choen paint the portrait. As it used to be owned by the Gansho-ji Temple (located in Aza Hongo, Hegoshi-cho, Okazaki City) it is called Anjo no Goei (written as 安城御影 (or 安静御影)).

In "Zonkaku Sodenikki" written by Zonkaku, who was the first son of Kakunyo, and was the third head priest of Hongan-ji Temple, there is a detailed description of situations when Shokubo of Gansho-ji Temple, who owned the goei at that time, showed him the Anjo no Goei.

It is known as the three Goei of Shinran Shonin together with 'Kagami Goei' (national treasure) and 'Kumagawa no Goei' (national treasure).

In 1952, original and duplicate were designated to national treasure attached to the 'monochrome ink portrait on paper of Shinran Shonin' (Kagami Goei). Two duplicates were produced in the age of Rennyo, who was the eighth head priest, and one was owned by the Nishi Hongan-ji Temple together with the original and the other was owned by the Higashi Hongan-ji Temple and designated as important national cultural property.

[Original Japanese]