Gyoku (行空)

Gyoku (year of birth and death unknown) was a priest of the Jodo sect of Buddhism in the late Heian and the early Kamakura period. He has been referred to as from Mino (or Mimasaka according to some). His hermitage was called Hohonbo.

He was an influential disciple of Honen. In 1204 the priests on Mt. Hiei petitioned Archbishop Shinsho of the Tendai-zasu (head priest of the Tendai sect) to issue a prohibition against the senju nenbutsu (the single-minded recitation of the nenbutsu). This was temporarily settled by Honen's 'Shichikajo Seikai' (Seven Article Pledge) which was signed by his followers and sent to the Enryaku-ji Temple. The 40th signature was written by Gyoku. A year later (in 1205) however, the priests of the Kofuku-ji Temple once again filed for an injunction against the senju nenbutsu with the "Kofukuji sojo" (Kofukuji Petition). Gyoku was threatened to be expelled with a suit for his 'doctrine of one-calling attainment' (in which he stated that one needed only say the nenbutsu once). Eventually in 1206 he was expelled together with Junsai and was excommunicated by Honen. Expelling these two was not enough, this became Jogen no honan (an event where four apprentices of Honen were executed and seven others including Honen and Shinran were banished by the Retired Emperor Gotoba) in the following year.