Dojo (priest) (道場 (僧侶))

Dojo (dates of birth and death unknown) was a Buddhist priest in the Asuka period. He appeared in "Nihon Genho Zenaku Ryoiki" (a set of three books of Buddhist stories, written in the late 8th and early 9th century, usually referred to as the Nihon Ryoiki) as 'Dojo Hoshi' (Buddhist monk Dojo). He came from Aichi County in Owari Province (today's Aichi Prefecture).

During the reign of Emperor Bidatsu in the latter half of the 6th century, he was born as a powerful baby as a result of his farmer father saving the life of a lightning spirit who had fallen during his farming work. When he was 10 years old, he went to Kyoto, challenged a muscular Imperial person who lived in the northeastern corner of the Imperial Palace to a test of strength and defeated the man. Later he became a doji (child acolyte of Buddhism) of Gango-ji (Asuka-dera) Temple and got rid of Gagoze (monster), a man-eating ogre, which lived in a shoro-do (bell tower). The hair of the ogre which the doji defeated has been handed down to the present day at Gango-ji Temple. The doji became an ubasoku (a person who practiced Buddhism without becoming a monk) of Gango-ji Temple. It is believed that the ubasoku forced back an Imperial man preventing Gango-ji Temple from drawing water for the temple's rice paddies, so the ubasoku was allowed to receive a Buddhist ceremony to become a priest and came to be called Dojo Hoshi.

[Original Japanese]