Yakuin Zenso (施薬院全宗)

Zenso YAKUIN (1526 - 1599) was a doctor who lived from the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States) to the Azuchi-Momoyama period. He was an aide of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI. His last name was also called 'Seyakuin'. He was from the Tanba clan. His sobriquet was Tokuunken.

He was born in 1526 as a 19th-generation descendant of Yasuyori TANBA who was a good doctor in the Heian period. Both his grandfather, Munekiyo and his father, Munetada became Gon no daiso zuhoin. He was originally a chief priest of the Saiju-in Temple in Mt. Hiei, but he returned to secular life after the burning of Mt. Hiei by Nobunaga ODA and became a disciple of Dosan MANASE, then proceeded to master Chinese medicine. He became a court physician by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI's kind treatment, and during the Tensho era, was royally commanded to serve as Yakuinshi and was given the rank of Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) which permitted him access to the Imperial Court as Hideyoshi became the ruler of Japan. He changed his last name to 'Yakuin' at the same time. Yakuin was established by Empress Komyo in the Nara period and lost substance after 800 years, thus he worked to reestablish this and gave medicine to every patient regardless of rank. He was a doctor but, he also served Hideyoshi as his aide and acted as a negotiator with Masamune DATE and Yoshishige SATAKE (the 18th family head). The ban on Christianity promulgated in 1587 (kirishitan kinrei) was written by Zenso. Also, he devoted himself to reconstruction of devastated Mt. Hiei. Later, he was promoted to the rank of Shoshii (Senior Fourth Rank). He passed away in 1599. His age at death was 74 (some people say it was 69). His wife was a daughter of Jitsugen NAGAHARA.

He had a son and a daughter, but both of them passed away earlier than Zenso. Thus, he adopted Sohaku MIKUMO (Hidetaka) of Omi Province. His descendants served as Yakuinshi.