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Jikai's grave at Kan'ei-ji, marked with a statue of Kannon
  • Born: 1624
  • Died: 1693/2/16
  • Japanese: 慈海 (Jikai)

Jikai was a 17th century monk who served as head priest of Ryôun-in (a branch temple of Kan'ei-ji), and head scholar (gakutô) at Kan'ei-ji, among other notable positions.

Born in the Meguro neighborhood of Edo in 1624, Jikai spent time at the Gokoku-in of Kan'ei-ji, Meguro Fudô, Saitô-hôen-in at Mt. Hiei, and Kita-in in Kawagoe, before settling at Ryôun-in at Kan'ei-ji, in Edo. As gakutô of Kan'ei-ji, he held a position second only to the abbot, an Imperial prince known as Rinnôji-no-miya. He oversaw most if not all educational and scholarly matters at the temple, as well as effecting the publishing of a number of documents, including the Jikai-ban ("Jikai version" or "Jikai printing") of the Lotus Sutra and Yakushi Sutra.

Jikai died at the age of 70, and was buried at Ryôun-in. However, when the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan (Tokyo Cultural Hall) was built in 1958, his grave was moved to Kan'ei-ji, where it remains today.


  • Plaque on-site at Kan'ei-ji.[1]
  • "Jikai," Nihon jinmei daijiten, Kodansha, 2009.
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