The Monk Imperial Prince Shukaku (守覚法親王)

Monk-Imperial Prince Shukaku (April 3, 1150 - September 13, 1202) was a member of the Imperial Family and a monk from the late Heian period to the early Kamakura period. His father was the Emperor Goshirakawa. His mother was a daughter of FUJIWARA no Suenari, FUJIWARA no Seishi (Nariko). He was the 6th monseki (chief priest) of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, Ninna-ji Temple.

In 1160, he became a priest under the lead of priest-Imperial Prince Kakusho, and received a denpo kanjo (a ceremony similar to baptism) in 1168. In the next year in 1169, he succeeded Ninna-ji omuro (the head priest of Ninna-ji Temple) (monseki) after the death of priest-Imperial Prince Kakusho. He gave the invocation for delivery when the first prince of the Emperor Takakura, Imperial Prince Tokihito (latter day Emperor Antoku, the grand son of the Emperor Goshirakawa) was born. He was taught both religious doctrines of the Ono school and the Hirosawa school. He died at Kita-in, Ninna-ji Temple in 1202.

He was good at waka poems and left a collections of poems; "the collected poems of monk-Imperial Prince Shukaku" and "Kita-in omuro shu." He also wrote books on Buddhism, "yamokusho," "saki" and "uki," etc. He also left the diary "Kita-in onhitsugi ki." Further, it is said that "Kanshoku hisho" (a text describing rules of ceremony and etiquette to be observed in the imperial court and by samurai that was written during the early Heian period in around 1200)" of TAIRA no Motochika was written for him.

In the chapter of 'Tsunemasa Miyakoochi' (the rustication of Taira no Tsunemasa) in "Heike monogatari" (The Tale of the Heike) and "Genpei Josui ki" (the history of flux and reflux of Genji and Heishi), there is a story that TAIRA no Tsunemasa dropped in at Ninna-ji Temple when he rusticated Kyoto and returned the biwa (Japanese lute) "Aoyama" given by the precedent chief priest, priest Imperial Prince Kakusho, Tsunemasa and monk-Imperial Prince Shukaku exchanged waka poems feeling the sorrow of parting.

[Original Japanese]