Donryu (呑竜)

Donryu (June 2, 1556 - September 3, 1623) was a monk of the Jodo (Pure Land) sect of Buddhism during the Warring States period through to the early Edo period. His azana (Chinese courtesy name of adult male) was Koshin and his posthumous Buddhist title is Gen renja nenyo. He was born in Sakitama no kori (or Saitama-gun) County in Musashi Province.

As a young child in his home town he was a pupil of Kyuben of Rinsai-ji (or possibly Rinsei-ji) Temple and entered the Buddhist priesthood, and subsequently studied at Zojo-ji temple in Shiba, Edo. Over time he became the 3rd generation head monk of Daizen-ji temple (one of 18 danrin [key Jodo Sect temples where monks are trained] in the Kanto region) in Hachioji, Musashi Province (present-day Hachioji City). Donryu solidified the foundation of this venue which became established among the danrin temples as a seminary for Jodo sect trainee priests. In 1613, at the order of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA, Daiko-in Temple was constructed in Ota, Kozuke Province with Donryu presiding over its consecration as the kaizan (founder). In 1616, he gave shelter to a child who had violated a shogunal taboo out of filial devotion and therefore incurred a rebuke from the shogunate, but 5 years later, in 1621, he was pardoned. For that reason, he became known by the nickname: Kosodate Donryu (Donryu the Child-carer).