Myogu (明救)

Myogu (946 - August 2, 1020) was a priest of the Tendai Sect in the middle of the Heian period. His father was the Imperial Prince Ariakira, the son of the Emperor Daigo. His siblings included the Okura-kyo (Minister of the Treasury) MINAMOTO no Yasukiyo.

In his childhood, he went to Mt. Hiei to study exoteric Buddhism and Esoteric Buddhism under the Sojo (high-ranking Buddhist priest) Ensho (a priest), who was a Tendai-zasu (head priest of the Tendai sect). He later resided in Jodo-in Temple (Sakyo-ku Ward, Kyoto City) (a temple which was located near the present Jisho-ji Temple (Ginkaku-ji Temple) in Kyoto), giving him a nickname of chief priest of Jodo-ji Temple. He started repairing and praying, in response to various requests, from around 998. He was particularly involved in matters related to Michinaga's family such as treating the disease of FUJIWARA no Michinaga in 998, Daihannya-kyo kuyo (commemoration ceremony of Daihannya sutras) service at Ninna-ji Temple for Michinaga's wife, MINAMOTO no Rinshi in 1002, prayers for the childbirth of chugu (the second consort of an emperor), FUJIWARA no Shoshi in 1008, and the Godan-shuho service at Hossho-ji Temple (Esoteric Buddhism service at Hossho-ji Temple performed on a national crisis or such serious matters) for Michinaga in 1013. He was also often invited to prayers related to the Imperial Court. He was appointed to the Gonsojo (the lowest grade that can be held by one who has reached the highest rank in the hierarchy of Buddhist priests) when he prayed for the recovery of the Emperor Sanjo' eye disease at Urajin Hall of the Imperial Palace in 1013, and was appointed to the sojo (second highest rankling priest below a dai sojo) as well as Tendai-zasu (head priest of the Tendai sect) in 1019. He practiced various esoteric Buddhist methods throughout his life including the Godan-ho (method placed by the five wise men), Anchin-ho (method of an esoteric rite for achieving peace and security of the state or of a new home), Fudo-ho (method of prayer for the aid of Fudo-myoo to end calamity and cause prosperity) and Shichibutsu yakushi ho (the method of the Yakushi and other six related wise men related used for a long life, health and a safe delivery), and he was a sage who is said to have been transmitted the secret art to cure eye diseases from Ryogen. He taught pupils such as Jogen and Jinku, and died on August 2, 1020 at age 75.