Kitagata Shinsen (北方心泉)

Shinsen KITAGATA (1850 - 1905) was a Buddhist monk of Otani School of Shinshu Sect. He was also known as a calligrapher. Shinsen was his ordained name, his secular name was Kizashi.

He was born on June 8, 1850 as a son of the chief priest of Jofuku-ji Temple in Kanazawa City, Kaga Province. He became the 14th chief priest of Jofuku-ji Temple in 1868.

In 1877, he became a Higashi Hongan-ji Temple office staff for propagation in China, and he took students along with him and set off to Shanghai in Qing. While he was in Qing he formed friendship with Qing writers such as Kotetsubai, and furthermore, he became influenced in calligraphy by observing ancient writings such as the Kinsekibun (words written on metal or stones).

He visited Qing again in 1899 and he founded Jingling-dongwen-Xuetang in Nanjing City, but he returned to Japan because of the Giwadan War. After that, he built Hokku-ji Temple.

In 1902, he was dismissed from his position as the chief priest and his name was removed from priesthood because he was involved in the reform movement at Higashi Hongan-ji Temple (the punishment of removing his name was later rescinded).

[Original Japanese]