Shingon Hasso 真言八祖
KEY WORD : art history / iconography
Lit. Eight Patriarchs of the Shingon sect. The founders of Esoteric Buddism mikkyou 密教. These mythical and real Indian, Chinese, and Japanese figures include; *Dainichi 大日(Sk:Mahavairocana); Kongousatta 金剛薩 (Sk:Vajrasattva); Ryuumyou 竜猛 (Sk:Nagarjuna); Ryuuchi 竜智 (Sk:Nagabodhi); Kongouchi 金剛智 (Sk:Vajrabodhi, 671-741); Fukuukongou 不空金剛 (Sk:Amoghavajra, 705-74); Keika 恵果 (Ch:Huiguo, 746-805); and, *Kuukai 空海 (774-835). Sometimes the first two patriarchs, both deities, are replaced by the monks Zenmui 善無畏 (Sk:Subhakarasimha, 637-735) and Ichigyou 一行 (Ch:Xixing, 683-727). The oldest extant representation of the eight patriarchs is the set of wall paintings inside the pagoda at Daigoji 醍醐寺, Kyoto, completed in 951. Zenmui and Ichigyou, together with Fukuukongou, Kongouchi, and Keika, comprise another group, Shingon Goso 真言五祖 (the Five Patriarchs of the Shingon sect). Upon his return from China, Kuukai installed at Kyouougokokuji 教王護国寺 (also known as Touji 東寺), Kyoto, paintings of these five patriarchs (805) by the Tang dynasty painter Li Zhen (Jp:Ri Shin 李真, late 8c-early 9c). Later, Kongousatta and Ryuumyou were added to form Shingon Shichiso 真言七祖 (the Seven Patriarchs of the Shingon sect). Another group of Eight Shingon Patriarchs is the purely Japanese combination of the patriarchs Saichou 最澄 (766-822), Kuukai, Joukyou 常暁 (d.866), Engyou 円行 (799-852), Ennin 円仁 (794-864), Eun 慧運 (798-869), Enchin 円珍 (814-91), and Shuuei 宗叡 (809-84).


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