Toba Sōjō

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Animals sumo wrestling on the first scroll of Chōjū-giga
Creature taken from Bakemono-zukushi

Kakuyū (覚猷) (1053–1140), also known as Toba Sōjō (鳥羽 僧正, Bishop of Toba) for his priesthood, was a Japanese artist-monk, and the son of Minamoto no Takakuni.

Kakuyū was a high priest of Tendai Buddhism. He was advanced to sōjō (僧正, "bishop") in 1132 and then dai-sōjō (大僧正, "archbishop") in 1134. In 1138, he became the 48th zasu (座主, "head priest") (the chief of the Tendai school). He is commonly known as Toba Sōjō, because he lived in Shō-kongō'in (証金剛院), a temple funded by the imperial family and located at Toba, Kyoto.

Kakuyū was also an artist proficient in both Buddhism art and satirical cartoon and his work (confirmed to be authentic) includes Fudōmyō'ō-ritsuzō at Daigo-ji, an Important Cultural Property of Japan.[1] Perhaps the most famous one is the picture scroll Chōjū-giga, a National Treasure of Japan and one of the earliest manga—however, this attribution has no proof and may be spurious.[1]


  1. ^ a b Kokushi Daijiten - Kakuyū