Sogon (宗厳)

Sogon (1575?-1628) was a person from Yi Dynasty Korea. He later entered into priesthood and founded Saiun-in Temple.

Brief Personal Biography

At the time of the Bunroku-Keicho War provoked by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, Sogon was captured by Hideyoshi's retainer Shigekatsu ONOGI and brought to Japan.
According to engi (writing about the history), there is a description which says 'Sogon has a very small penis and already gave up his manhood.'
Therefore, He was suitable for serving ladies of high rank. Iemasa HACHISUKA offered Sogon to Kodaiin. Kita no Mandokoro (legal wife of regent or chief adviser to the Emperor) made him a servant for a daughter of Hashiba Shimousa no kami (Hashiba, governor of Shimosa Province)(Katsutoshi TAKIGAWA). Although Sogon served the daughter faithfully, she died at the age of 17 when Sogon was 30 years old.

Sogon felt the vanity of life then. Sogon entered into priesthood having Manyo Sonsho, the 29th generation of Chionin, as his master. After touring many provinces to practice for eleven years, in 1616, he came back to Kurodani. He kept praying to Amida Buddha in front of graves in Ryuko-in Temple (Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City). Ryoteki (the 27th generation of Konkai Komyo-ji Temple), who was impressed Sogon's eagerness, gave shiun-seki (the stone related to Honen-shonin) to him. Sogon founded Saiun-in Temple. Also, many monks gathered around Sogon, who put his heart and soul into praying to Amida Buddha. Also, it is said that Sogon gathered a lot of donations. After a thousand days nenbutsusoeko, Sogon died in 1628, but even after his death, ten thousand days nenbutsusoeko, thirty thousand days nenbutsusoeko, and forty thousand days nenbutsusoeko (100 years) were kept going.