Jicchu (実忠)

Jicchu (726 - year of death unknown) was a Buddhist priest who lived in the Nara period.

He became a pupil of Roben and studied Kegon (Huayan [Flower Garland] Buddhism), and then in 760, became his master's mokudai (deputy). Commencing with Todai-ji Temple, he took part in the planning of construction of Saidai-ji Temple and Sairyu-ji Temple in Nara. He had the halo made for the Great Buddha at Todai-ji Temple, Nara, as well as building a Shotoden to store the Hyakumanto (known as the Hyakumanto Dharani: the one million pagodas and Dharani prayers) and Zuto (pyramid-like pagoda made of clay and stone). Subsequently, he successively held various posts at Todai-ji Temple, including jishu (literally, head priest, referring to director of the temple or abbot), joza (literally, elder or president, referring to an ecclesiastical official, one of the three officials who assumes leadership in the affairs of a monastery) and zojisho-chiji (literally, director of affairs of temple construction department) among Todaiji shochin and sanko (or sango, literally, the three bonds, referring to the directors of a monastery), thus playing an active part in handling practical business matters for the temple. Jicchu was supposedly the one who commenced the Juichimen [Kannon] Keka-e (the repentance ceremony of Eleven-faced Kannon, commonly known as shuni-e or Omizutori) at the Nigatsu-do (literally, hall of the second month) of the Todai-ji Temple.

His writings include "Todaiji gon-no-betto Jicchu nijukyu kajo" (literally, the 29 rules prescribed by Jicchu, Acting Chief of the Todai-ji Temple) dated 815, where he enumerated the work he had undertaken during his lifetime.

[Original Japanese]