Poem, by the priest Jien


Poem, by the priest Jien

calligraphy / Nara

Kamakura period, 13th century

Hanging scroll, ink on paper

H 32.7, W 57.7




Priest Jien (1155-1225) of the Tendai sect was one of the leading Buddhist priests in the early Kamakura period. He was appointed as head priest of the Tendai sect for four times. His father was Regent Fujiwara Tadamichi, and Regent Kujō Kanezane was his elder brother. Jien was well known not only as a priest but also as a poet, and many of his poems were included in the Imperial edition of anthology of poems. A collection of his poems, Shūgyoku-shū, was compiled, too.
These two poems introduced in this article were made at a poetry party after a Hōon-e service. Hōon-e was a Buddhist service for Buddha’s relics and was held annually in December at Enryaku-ji temple on Mt. Hiei. Usually, this poetry party was held after the service when each participant composed two poems with motifs from the Hoke-kyō (Lotus sutra) and from Winter. Priest Jien’s poems are about the Juryō-bon chapter in the Hoke-kyō sutra and about yearning for the old days in the snow. As he wrote these poems quickly

Masterpieces of Nara National Museum. Nara National Museum, 1993, p.98, no.75.

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