Japanese, 8th – 9th century, male.
Born 774, in Boyobugaura; died 22 April 835.
Painter, calligrapher, poet.
Kukai was a priest and founder of Shingon (‘true word’) esoteric Buddhism in Japan. He is best known as Kobo Daishi (‘propagator of the Dharma’), his posthumous name. He founded temples in Nara on Mount Koya and the Toji temple complex outside Kyoto. After a lengthy visit to China, Kukai brought back techniques that were to have an important influence on the birth of Japanese art....