Nampo Jōmyō

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Nampo Jōmyō (also Shōmyō, also Daio Kokushi) (1235–1308). Major figure in establishing Rinzai Zen in Japan. He started training under Lan-hsi in Kamakura, and in 1259 travelled to China where he studied under Hsü-t'ang Chih-yü, from whom he received the seal of recognition (inka-shōmei) in 1265. He returned to Lan-hsi, and then took charge of Kōtoku-ji, followed three years later by Sōfukuji. His teachings in this period are gathered in Kōtoku-ji goroku and Sōfuku-ji goroku, and emphasize that Zen is not a ‘foreign’ import: it is timeless and not confined to one place, since Bodhidharma is constantly ‘coming from the west’.