Shoku (性空)

Shoku (910 - April 6, 1007) was a monk of the Tendai sect of Japanese Buddhism lived in the mid Heian period. His father was Jushinoge (Junior Fourth Rank, Lower Grade) Yoshimoto TACHIBANA. Shoku's secular name was TACHIBANA no Yoshiyuki. He was born in Kyoto. He was also referred to as Shosha Shonin (High Priest).

At the age of 36, he entered into priesthood taking Jikei Daishi (Gansan Daishi) Ryogen as his teacher. Shoku practiced asceticism on Mt. Kirishima in Hyuga Province and Mt. Sefuri in Chikuzen Province. He entered Mt. Shosha in Harima Province in 966, and founded Engyo-ji Temple (one of the thirty-three sacred grounds in Saigoku [western part of Japan]) after accepting the conversion of Kokushi (provincial governor) FUJIWARA no Suetaka to Buddhism. The Cloistered Emperor Kazan, a monk Genshin (also called Eshinsozu), and YOSHISHIGE no Yasutane visited the temple. In 980, along with Zoga, Shoku attended the rakkei hoyo (a memorial service to celebrate the construction of a temple) of Konpon-chudo Hall of Mt. Hiei. From his youth, he was known as a Hokkekyo jikyosha (devotee of the Lotus Sutra) belonging to the hijiri (wandering monk) group with a background of Mountain Buddhism. It is also said that he had worked many miracles since he was alive. In 1007, he died at the age of 98 (80) at Miroku-ji Temple in Harima Province (now Himeji City).

[Original Japanese]