Kensho (顕昭)

Kensho (1130 - 1209?) was a poet-monk who lived from the late Heian period to the early Kamakura period. He was also called Suke no Kimi or Suke no Ajari. His father and mother are unknown, but he was adopted by FUJIWARA no Akisuke. By 1191, he was raised to Ajari (a master in esoteric Buddhism; a high priest) and in his later years Hokkyo (the third highest rank for Buddhist priests) was conferred on him.

As a boy, he studied in Mt. Hiei but left there, and later he entered Ninna-ji Temple, writing many books on waka poetry such as 'Shochusho.'
Most of them were presented to Ninnajinomiya, the Cloistered Imperial Prince Shukaku.

After the death of Akisuke and Kiyosuke, he was a leading figure in the poetry circles of the Rokujo-Fujiwara family. He participated in the uta-awase (poetry contest) twenty times or more. Roppyakuban Chinjo' is an essay on waka poems in which he confuted FUJIWARA no Toshinari, a judge of 'Roppyakuban Uta-awase' (The Poetry Match of 600 Rounds). He was also a judge of 'Sengohyaku ban Uta-awase' (One thousand five hundred Poetry Matches).

He treated 'Manyoshu' (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) with respect, considering refined elegance important, and therefore he was in conflict with FUJIWARA no Teika (the son of Toshinari), but he accomplished great achievements in the study of poetry of the Rokujo-Fujiwara family.

[Original Japanese]