Doson (Prince of Prince Mochihito) (道尊 (以仁王王子))

Doson (1175 - 1228) was a member of the Imperial Family and a priest during the end of the Heian period. He was the second prince of Prince Motohito (the third prince of Emperor Goshirakawa). His mother was the daughter of Moriaki TAKASHINA, Iyo no Kami (Governor of Iyo Province) (some people say that his mother was Sanmi no tsubone, the daughter of TAIRA no Motomori, Iyo no Kami). He was a younger paternal half-bother to Hokuroku no miya. He was also referred to as Wakamiya or Yasui no miya.

He was captured by the Taira family when his father, Prince Motohito rose in arms in 1180. It is said that a dispute between TAIRA no Kiyomori and TAIRA no Munemori occurred to decide how Doson would be treated. Since he was a member of the former Imperial Family (Prince Motohito was forced to be demoted to a subject as 'MINAMOTO no Mochihito' by the Taira clan), applying a death penalty to him was not possible; after all, it was concluded that he would become a priest and enter Ninna-ji Temple. Inpumonin Imperial Princess Ryoshi (the first princess of Emperor Goshirakawa) took Doson in and brought him up in Rengeko-in Temple that was originally her home. From this, the founder of the temple was said to be Doson.

In 1193, he was appointed to an isshin-ajari (a special class of teaching priests, who are noble and permitted to play the role of ajari). In June 1204, he was appointed to hoin (the highest rank among Buddhist priests), and then he was appointed to gon no sojo (the highest ranking priest, next to sojo) in December. In 1206, he became a Betto (the head priest) of Todai-ji Temple, and he became a To-ji choja (the chief abbot of To-ji Temple) in August in the following year, 1207. He became a Betto (the head priest) of Ninna-ji Temple in January in the following year. In 1209, he assumed the post of Sojo (high‐ranking Buddhist priest). In 1221, he was promoted to a Daisojo (a Buddhist priest of the highest order). In September 1228, he passed away. He served as a gojiso (a priest who prays to guard the emperor) of the emperors; Emperor Tsuchimikado, Emperor Juntoku, Emperor Gohorikawa, for three generations.

[Original Japanese]