Fusho (普照)

Fusho (year of birth and death unknown) was a Buddhist priest who lived during the Nara period. His mother was a daughter of SHIRAI no Yoroshi.

Originally a priest of Kofuku-ji Temple, Fusho went to Tang Dynasty of China together with Yoei in order to invite denkaishi (teacher who transmits the precepts) to transmit official kai (precepts) to Buddhist priests in 733. He was taught gusoku-kai (Vanaya Precepts) at Daifukusen-ji Temple in Luoyang, China, and asked Dosen to come to Japan. Having stayed in China for 10 years, Fusho was finally granted an audience to Ganjin of Daimyo-ji Temple, Yangzhou, requested his visit to Japan, and returned to Japan together with Ganjin in 754. Yoei died of an illness during their attempt to return to Japan, and it was Fusho who was beside him when he breathed his last. Fusho and Yoei, who shared all joys and agonies, were good friends, and it is said that Fusho cried openly when Yoei passed away. Back in Japan, Fusho stayed at Todai-ji Temple, and in 759 he proposed the planting of fruit trees along streets outside Kyoto to help ease the hunger of travelers. Later he served as Daichin (chief administrative priest of a temple) of Saidai-ji Temple in Nara (today's Nara city).

In the novel by Yasushi INOUE, "Tenpyo no Iraka" (Roofing Tiles of Tenpyo), Fusho plays the main character of the story, and his life, from his arrival in Tang to his return to Japan with Ganjin (instead of '鑑真,' his name was written '鑒真' in the novel) is depicted. Japanese actor Katsuo NAKAMURA played Fusho in the film version of the novel released in 1980.