Kukai 774-846

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Kukai 774-835, one of the most significant monks in the history of Heian Buddhism. Unlike Saicho, Kukai was native Japanese; he came from an aristocratic family. He was a brilliant and creative man, and as a young man he began by studying Confucianism, but soon mastered Taoism and Buddhism as well.

In 804 Emperor Kammu sent Kukai to China. He landed near the mouth of the Changjiang and traveled by river, canal and road to the great Tang capital of Chang-an where he became a disciple of Hui-kuo 746-805 at the 青龍寺 Qinglongsi. Though Changan had declined following Anlushan rebellion, it was still the greatest city in the world at this time. The Chenyen (Shingon) school of esoteric Buddhism was a popular form of Buddhism at the time in Changan, through the influence of the Indian esoteric master, Amoghavajra, who had translated and circulated a large number of esoteric texts.

In the autumn of 806, Kukai returned to Japan aboard a diplomatic ship and landed at Dazaifu in northern Kyushu. With him he brought
hundreds of volumes of texts of Amoghavajra's translations of esoteric Buddhism as well as many Sanskrit texts. On Mount Koya he established a major temple that remains today the center of Shingon Buddhism in Japan.

Buddha's Wheel Chant 旋火輪の喻を詠ず
Gandhavara City Chant 乾達婆城の喻を詠ず
Happy Middle Age 中壽感興之詩
Heaven's Rain 如泡の喻を詠ず
Mandarin Orange Offering 柑子を獻ずる表
Reasons 過因之詩
Ripe Fruit 現果の詩
Secret Thoughts 般若心經秘鍵之詩
Sitting Alone In The Woods 閑林獨座

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Danjogaran 壇上伽藍
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Kongobuji 金剛峰寺
Okunoin 奧の院
Qīnglóngsì, Green Dragon Temple 青龍寺
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Japan 日本
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Osawaike 湖
Toji Gojuto 東寺五重塔
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