Priest-Imperial Prince Kakusho (覚性入道親王)

Priest-Imperial Prince Kakusho (1129 - December 30, 1169) was a member of the Imperial Family, a monk and a poet during the late Heian period. His secular name is Imperial Prince Motohito. His father was the Emperor Toba. His mother was the daughter of FUJIWARA no Kinzane, Taikenmonin FUJIWARA no Shoshi. He was the 5th monseki (chief priest) of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, Ninna-ji Temple. He was also called Shikondai-ji Temple omuro (head priest) or Izumi dono omuro.

After he was ordered to become an Imperial Prince, he entered the Ninna-ji Temple and become a monk and received kanjo under the 4th monseki monk-Imperial Prince Kakuho. He first referred to himself as homyo (sacred name) Shinho and changed it to Kakusho later. He was posted to kengyo (temple administrator) of the Ninna-ji temple and the Hossho-ji Temple, etc. In 1151, he took his nephew, Imperial Prince Morihito (latter day Emperor Nijo) under his care, asked by his father, Emperor Toba and trained him, however, Prince Morihito was suddenly nominated as Crown Prince and left Kakusho. In 1153, he was assigned to homu (a clerk) of the Ninna-ji Temple, and later worked as kengyo of Sonsho-ji Temple and Shitenno-ji Temple, etc. In 1167, he was first designated as sohomu-shoku (a position in charge of general affairs of the temple) and was given a kosho (an office administer temples). His ability to perform incantations was well known, and it is said that he performed Kujaku kyoho (a ritual performed to avert disasters, pray for rain, avert illness in the imperial family, and pray for safe childbirth for the empress), Sonsho ho (a ritual performed to ensure longevity and the absolution of sins) and Aizen o ho (a Buddhist Tantric ritual performed to pray for the love and respect of others) 24 times under the royal command.

He is also superior as a poet and compiled his poetry book "Shukkan shu." His poem was selected and put into Senzai waka shu (Collection of Japanese Poetry of a Thousand Years).

In Heike monogatari (The Tale of the Heike), etc, there is an entry that he loved TAIRA no Tsunemasa tenderly and gave a fine article of biwa (Japanese lute) to him when Tsunemasa was a little child, and in Kokon chomon ju (A collection of Tales Heard, Past, and Present) was a story that Kakusho loved two kids, Senju and Mikawa which reflects his personality.

[Original Japanese]