Ezen-ni (恵善尼)

Ezen-ni (year of birth and death unknown) was a Buddhist nun who lived in the late 6th century. She was one of the first nuns in Japan. Her father was NISHIGORI no Tsubo. Her secular name is Ishime.

In 584 (in the 13th year of Emperor Bidatsu's reign), following Zenshin-ni becoming a nun, Ezen-ni together with Zenzo-ni became nuns as her disciples. She dwelled in Sakurai-dojo Temple in Yamato Province. In 585, Ezen-ni was stripped of all of her clerical garments and whipped in front of people due to an anti-Buddhist movement by MONONOBE no Moriya. At the time when the Minister SOGA no Umako became ill, he hoped to cure his disease through Buddhism, which led to the allowance of the three nuns to enter the nunhood again and pray for his cure by an imperial sanction. In 588 (in the 17th year of Emperor Bidatsu's reign), Ezen-ni sailed to Baekje on the Korean Peninsula to receive a formal religious precept, then came back to Japan in 590.

[Original Japanese]