Kobo Daishi Kukai (774-835)
Kobo Daishi Kukai was a priest of Buddhism in early Heian Period
and the founder of Shingonshu (Shingon Sect)
of Buddhism in Japan.
Kukai was from Sanuki province (Kagawa prefecture). His family name was Saeki. Kobo Daishi was his posthumous title. Kukai has been believed over several millions of Japanese faithfully for thousands years.
In 804, Kukai went to China (Tang Dynasty) to study at government expense. He learned the esoteric Buddhism by a senior priest Eka at Seiryuji Temple and he wandered from place to place to collect many documents about Buddhism and articles used on a Buddhist altar. Two years later, he came back and stayed Kanzeonji Temple in Chikushi (Fukuoka prefecture) for a year, then he started his work as his missionary at Takaosanji Temple in Kyoto. Kukai built Kongobuji Temple at Mt.Koya in 816 and he was given Toji Temple (Koyougokokuji) in Kyoto by the Emperor Saga in 823 as the exersise hall of Shingon for his missionary work. In 817, he became Daisozu, the head priest of the Buddhist Sect in Japan. He also worked on social welfare hard. He opened the first school for common people called Sogeishuchiin in 828.
Kukai was accomplished in various arts. He carved many Buddhist statues, paint Buddhist pictures and made Buddhist altar fittings. Besides, Kukai was good at writing poems and especially famous for one of the great calligrapher. Some his works have remained in Kongobuji and Toji Temple now. And his calligraphic works exist, 'Fushinjo' in Toji Temple, 'Kanjo Rekimei' in Jingoji Temple and 'Sanjucho Sakushi' in Ninnaji Temple were really written by him.
He wrote many books of Buddhism, his works are 'Sankyoshiki', 'Himitsu Mandara Jujushinron', 'Bunkyohifuron', 'Tenreibanshomeigi', 'Henjyohokki Shoreishu', etc.
Anyway there exist hundreds of his legends throughout Japan. In Ichikawa City
, there are two of his legends, one is that the framed writings hanged
on Niomon Gate in Mamasan Guhoji Temple
is said to be written by him and also be named by him. And another one
is a well in Konadai called 'Rakan no I well' is also said to be found
Shingonshu / Shingon Sect of Buddhism
Shingonshu (Shingon Sect of Buddhism) is one of the Buddhist sects in
founded the sect in early 9th century after he returned from study the
esoteric Buddhism under Eka at Tang Dynasty of China. He built Kongobuji
Temple at Mt.Koya and Toji Temple (Koyougokokuji) in Kyoto as the exercise
hall of Shingon for his missionary work so he taught his disciples there.
Shingonshu has Dainichi Nyorai enshrined as the principal image of worship. The original aim of Shigonshu is to be a Buddha in his / her own body with performing incantations with power of a dharani, so Shingonshu basically uses Dainichikyo (the Grand Sun Sutra) and Kongochogyo to try to find the state of enlightenment of Dainichi Nyorai.
The grand head temple of Shingonshu is Kongobuji Temple in Mt.Koya in Wakayama prefecture.
Shingi Shingonshu / Shingonshu Shingiha
Shingi Shingonshu is one of the sects of Shingonshu
is the founder of Shingonshu, and Kakuban is the founder of Shingiha. Kakuban insisted the new style of teachings differed from the teachings at Mt. Koya built by Kukai. Kakuban built Daidenhoin Negoroji Temple in Wakayama to be the center of his sect. Later, Chizanha in Chisekiin Temple in Kyoto and Buzanha
in Hasedera Temple in Nara went their separate ways.
Shingonshu Buzanha Shingonshu Buzanha is one of the sects of Shingi Shingonshu. Senyo Sojo founded Buzanha supported by Hidenaga Toyotom (the brother of Hideyoshi Toyotomi) at Hasedera Temple in Sakurai city, Nara prefecture in 1587. The grand head temple of Buzanha is Hasedera Temple.