Kūkai (空海), also known posthumously as Kōbō-Daishi (弘法大師, The Grand Master Who Propagated the Buddhist Teaching), 774–835, was a Japanese monk, civil servant, scholar, poet, and artist, founder of the Shingon or "True Word" school of Buddhism. Shingon followers usually refer to him by the honorific title of O-Daishi-sama (お大師様) and the religious name of Henjō-Kongō (遍照金剛).Kūkai is famous as a calligrapher (see Japanese calligraphy) and engineer.

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  • Kūkai (空海), also known posthumously as Kōbō-Daishi (弘法大師, The Grand Master Who Propagated the Buddhist Teaching), 774–835, was a Japanese monk, civil servant, scholar, poet, and artist, founder of the Shingon or "True Word" school of Buddhism. Shingon followers usually refer to him by the honorific title of O-Daishi-sama (お大師様) and the religious name of Henjō-Kongō (遍照金剛).Kūkai is famous as a calligrapher (see Japanese calligraphy) and engineer. Among the many achievements attributed to him is the invention of the kana, the syllabary with which, in combination with Chinese characters (kanji), the Japanese language is written to this day. Also according to tradition, the Iroha, which uses every phonetic kana syllable just once and is one of the most famous poems in Japanese, is attributed to him but again, this is a popular belief and nowhere attested to. His religious writings, some fifty works, expound the tantric Buddhist Shingon doctrine. The major ones have been translated into English by Yoshito Hakeda (see references below). (en)
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  • Founder ofShingon Buddhism (en)
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  • Kūkai (空海), also known posthumously as Kōbō-Daishi (弘法大師, The Grand Master Who Propagated the Buddhist Teaching), 774–835, was a Japanese monk, civil servant, scholar, poet, and artist, founder of the Shingon or "True Word" school of Buddhism. Shingon followers usually refer to him by the honorific title of O-Daishi-sama (お大師様) and the religious name of Henjō-Kongō (遍照金剛).Kūkai is famous as a calligrapher (see Japanese calligraphy) and engineer. (en)
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