Kokua (国阿)

Kokua (1314 - October 4, 1405) was a Ji Sect Buddhist monk who lived from the Northern and Southern Courts period (Japan) to the mid-Muromachi period. He is the founder of the Kokua School and Ryozen School of the Ji Sect.

According to 'Sorinji Engi' (the history of Sorin-ji Temple), he was born in Harima Province as Kuniaki HASHIZAKI but was given the name Koku Amidabutsu after entering the Buddhist priesthood in 1355. He practiced at mountains including Kumano, received a divine message telling him 'Do not loath the impurity of Ise and Kumano pilgrims but allow them to pray regardless,' and spreading this message made him extremely popular. Kokua founded Shobo-ji Temple (Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City) at Ryozen in Kyoto's Higashiyama (Kyoto Prefecture) which became the headquarters of the Ryozen School, and restored Sorin-ji Temple (Kyoto City) which became the headquarters of the Kokua School.