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Home » 8. Schools, Groups, and Personalities » Personalities
Hasegawa Kakugyō
(1541?-1646?)
Practitioner of Fuji shinkō, the devotional cult to Mount Fuji, who lived during the Azuchi-Momoyama into the early Edo periods. He is claimed as the original founder of the practices of the confraternity Fujikō and religious sects Fusōkyō and Jikkōkyō. His childhood name was Takematsu, and he later was known as Sakon Fujiwara Takekuni. He also had the religious title Shōō.
       Many details regarding Kakugyō's life remain shrouded in mystery, but according to the Gotaigyō no mak, a volume that records biographies of Fujikō figures, he was born in 1541 in the Hizen Nagasaki region. At eighteen years of age he set out on a journey to the provinces to pursue ascetic practice, and in Mito of Hitachi Province (present-day Ibaraki Prefecture) he undertook training in the Shugendō tradition. After this, he underwent austerities at Hitoana on Mount Fuji, and then traveled through the Kyūshū, Chūgoku, Hokuriku, and Kantō regions to perform similar ascetic practice.
       In 1563 he adopted the religious name Kakugyō Tōkaku and embarked upon proselytizing activities, praying for peace across the realm and the healing of all people suffering from illness. Beginning in Edo, he extended his activities to other regions as well. The text mentioned above contains a passage noting that Kakugyō met personally with Tokugawa Ieyasu when the warlord crossed into the Kantō region, and that the great leader recognized Kakugyō's spiritual power. It is also recorded that Kakugyō healed victims of an epidemic called tsukitaoshi ("knock-down disease") that swept Edo at the beginning of the Tokugawa era, through the transmission of a practice called ofusegi (a kind of exorcism).
       It is believed that Kakugyō died in 1646 at Hitoana on Mount Fuji. His teachings are referred to by the names ominuki and oden, or "honored transmissions." Though he was largely a figure of legend, what are held to be his teachings are passed down to successive generations of practitioners, and within the confraternities of Fujikō he is regarded as the founder of their tradition. Branches of Fujikō that developed into the religious sects Fusōkyō and Jikkōkyō also revere Kakugyō as the founder of their movements.

- Inoue Nobutaka
"Establishment of a National Learning Institute for the Dissemination of Research on Shinto and Japanese Culture"
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