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Ennin ( Japanese 圓 仁 / 円 仁 ; born around 794 in Shimotsuke Province ; died February 24, 864 ) was a Buddhist monk of the Tendai-shū . His famous diary about his travels in China during the Tang Dynasty ( 入 唐 求 法 巡礼 行 記 , Nittō Guhō Junrei Kōki , dt. "Notes of a pilgrimage to search for the teachings [Buddhas] in Tang China") was written by Edwin O. Reischauer translated into English.

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Ennin became a disciple of Saicho in 809 at the Enryaku-ji temple on Hiei-zan . After studying esoteric Buddhism in China from 838 to 847, he returned to the Hiei-zan and propagated the esoteric doctrine, which within a few years became the model of the Tendai school.

Furthermore, Ennin introduced the Nembutsu meditation (念 仏 三昧), based on the musical Nembutsu, which was cultivated at the famous Chinese monastery center on Mount Wutai in Shanxi at the time. The adoption of this worship of Buddha made the Enryaku-ji the center of the Jōdo direction of Buddhism in the late Heian period .

854 Ennin was elected third abbot of Enryaku-ji.


  1. Literally the "Triple Invocation of Buddha".

Ennin's travel report

  • Edwin O. Reischauer: Ennin's Diary. The Record of a Pilgrimage to China in Search of the Law . Ronald Press, New York 1955.
  • Edwin O. Reischauer: The journeys of the monk Ennin. Nine years in ninth century China . W. Kohlhammer Verlag, Stuttgart 1963.


  • S. Noma (Ed.): Ennin . In: Japan. An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Kodansha, 1993, ISBN 4-06-205938-X , p. 344.

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