Min (旻)

Min (year of birth unknown - July 653) was a Buddhist scholar-monk who lived in the Asuka period. His was born Nichibun (or possibly Hifumi).

In 608, following ONO no Imoko who was a Japan's envoy to Sui dynasty China, he traveled to Sui China along with TAKAMUKO (alternatively, TAKAMUKU) no Kuromaro, MINABUCHI no Shoan and others. For 24 years Min studied Buddhism and art of divination, and then returned to Japan in August 632. Subsequently, he gave divination advice based on "Book of Changes" to SOGA no Iruka and FUJIWARA no Kamatari. He had a detailed knowledge of zuisho shiso (literally, auspicious thought, referring to fortunate omens): for example, in 637, when a meteor appeared, he claimed it was the howl of a tengu (goblin) and in 639, when a comet appeared, he claimed it was a portent of famine. Following the Taika Reforms, in 645, Min and TAKAMUKO no Kuromaro were appointed to the role of Kunihakase (national level scholars), and in 649, they devised the Hassho hyakkan-sei system (the Ritsuryo [government structure modeled after the Chinese system] form of government ministries). In the following year of 650, the governor of Anato (Nagato) Province presented the emperor with a gift of a white pheasant which was interpreted as an auspicious omen, leading to the era name being changed from Taika (literally, Great Change) era to the new era name of Hakuchi (literally, white pheasant) era. In May 653 Min fell ill and in spite of a get-well visit by Emperor Kotoku, Min died the following month.

True Name & False Name
The name 'Min' (which is written in Japanese as "旻") as appearing on his grave is thought to be an erroneous representation of his secular name ("日文") where the two characters "日" and "文" have incorrectly been compressed vertically into just one character written as "旻," therefore, his name should correctly read "日文."