Chiun (智蘊)

Chiun (date of birth unknown - June 22, 1448) was a renga poet in the middle of Muromachi era. He was born in the Ninagawa clan (descendant of the Miyaji clan) which had taken over as government office for generations, as the second son of Chikatoshi NINAGAWA. His secular name was Chikamasa NINAGAWA, commonly called Shinemon. His posthumous Buddhist name was Goho.

He had been in Otanosho District, Ecchu Province till Oan era. Having served as Mandokoro kuyaku (officer) for Yoshinori ASHIKAGA, after Yoshinori's death he entered the priesthood and changed his name to Chiun. He learned waka from Shotetsu. It is said that the "Seigansawa" (清巌茶話) in the second volume of "Shotetsu monogatari" (Tale of Shotetsu) was written to dictation by Chiun.

Chiun first participated in "Eikyogonen kitanosha ichinichiichimankurenga" (10,000 poems a day at Kitano Tenman-gu in 1433) (永享五年北野社一日一万句連歌) in 1433, and then participated in many poem parties. He was called a patriarch who rejuvenated renga as well as Sozei.

Besides his renga collection "Chikamasa kushu" (Chikamsa renga private collection) (親当句集), his rengas were selected in "Chikurinsho" (Bamboo Grove Notes) and "Shinsentsukubashu" (the Newly Selected Tsukubashu). He was one of the Renga Shichiken (Seven Sages of Renga) selected by Sogi.

He had a son Chikamoto NINAGAWA, whose diary "Chikamoto's Diary" is considered to be important historical material in understanding the shogunate at that time. In his diary, he wrote about the relationship between his father Chiun and Ikkyu Sojun and Ikkyu's death.

He was the model for one of the main characters in the animation "Ikkyu san," or Shinemon NINAGAWA, however, the relationship between them started in his late years after entering priesthood.

His tomb is in Kyoto Shinnyo-do Temple (Shinyo Town, Jodoji, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City) and his gravestone is in Ninagawa clan's temple Saisho-ji Temple (Ninagawa, Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture).