Taigu Ryokan


Taigu Ryokan (1758-1831) was a late Edo period monk and poet. He was born in Echigo province (current Niigata Prefecture) under the name Eizo. He left home to train at Kosho-ji, a Soto Zen temple then underwent tutelage from the Entsuji temple Zen master, Kokusen. Following this, he spent 20 years independently and arduously pilgrimaging to various countries and studying. Not holding a position in a temple, it was said that he lived freely and selflessly, at times begging, playing with children, writing waka poetry and enjoying calligraphy. His Man’yo style waka poetry and calligraphy are highly valued for their flawless character.