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Saichô (Dengyô Daishi)

767 - 822



Saichô (known posthumously as Dengyô Daishi) was a monk who left the 'Urban Buddhism' of Nara to become a recluse on Mt. Hiei, where he built a small shrine in 788. He was sent by the emperor Kammu with the Japanese Ambassador to China, Fujiwara Kadonomaro, to study in China in 804. He returned in 805 to found the Tendai Lotus sect of Japanese Buddhism. His small monastery, the Enryaku-Ji, on Mt. Hiei was enlarged, and grew steadily in power and influence over the centuries, until it was nearly eradicated by Oda Nobunaga in 1571.

___________________________________________________________________Compiled by C.E. West