Saisho Jotai (西笑承兌)

Saisho Jotai (1548 - March 23, 1608) was a Rinzai Sect monk who was active from the time of the Toyotomi regime to the Edo period. He was also called Shokoku-ji Jotai.

He was originally from Fushimi (present-day Fushimi-ku, Kyoto City). He is known as one of the intellects of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI and Ieyasu TOKUGAWA's governments, playing an important role in drafting Shohatto laws and diplomatic documents, planning education promotion and temple administration, and conducting Buddhist rites such as Buddhist memorial services.

He became a priest at a young age and at first practiced Zen meditation under Ninjo Shugyo (1483 - 1574) of the Issanha sect, but in 1584, he started to live in the ruined Shokoku-ji Temple, then converted to the Musoha sect by becoming a disciple of Chuka Shoshun, rebuilt Shokoku-ji Temple and, the following year, he became the Rokuon Soroku, in charge of choosing head priests of Zen temples. After that, he entered Nanzen-ji Temple but later became the Rokuon Soroku again as well as a political advisor to Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI. He was also close to Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI and Hideyori TOYOTOMI.

He also published "Shueki" (Fushimi print, 1605), and is thus seen as the originator of the popularity of the modern art of divination.