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Jōki Kaisen

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Jōki Kaisen
Joki Kaisen (NAIT)
Character Information
Clan(s)/Alliance(s): Clergy
Weapon Type: Fists and magic
Unit Type: Monk
First Appearance: Samurai Warriors 2
Historical Information
Real name:
Kaisen Shōki
Japanese name:
快川紹喜
Born:
?
Died:
April 25, 1582
Jōki is an alternative reading of Shōki based on modern character readings and his given name. Kaisen is his alias as a monk and not a family name.

Jōki Kaisen is a Zen Buddhist monk who served as head abbot at Erin-ji. He is famous for his last words while being burned at the stake, "For a peaceful meditation, we need not go to the mountains and streams; when thoughts are quieted down, fire itself is cool and refreshing."

Role in GameEdit

He appears as an an optional officer Nobunaga can recruit in Kessen III by completing the Battle of Mikawa in chapter 6. He is a priest class officer who leads sword units and already possesses numerous supportive skills.

QuotesEdit

  • "My name is Joki Kaisen, to the focused mind, the flames are but a cool breeze."

Historical InformationEdit

Kaisen Jōki comes from unknown origins. He was thought to have been born in Mino Province to the Toki clan. Alternatively, he was said to have hailed from an unknown branch of the Saitō clan or was Minister Dōke's third son who was made a monk when his family fell into poverty. None of these claims have been verified. He was believed to have been taught Zen Buddhism at Myōshin-ji when he was eleven or twelve years old, and became the head priest to Sōfuku-ji when the previous head died to illness.

Some time after, Jōki is said to have been involved with a religious dispute with Saitō Yoshitatsu after the priest performed the funeral rites for Yoshitatsu's deceased infant. Yoshitatsu had been Nichiren Buddhist and began to favor Zen Buddhism, which conflicted with his Isshiki clan ties to remain Nichiren Buddhist. He disregarded his obligations to Zen Buddhism and sought to erect a Nichiren Buddhist temple close to his domain for his convenience. Jōki and the monks at Myōshin-ji repulsed the decision —since it would become a place of false worship— and refused to compromise. Shortly after, Jōki was excommunicated. Yoshitatsu's death put an end to the scandal and Jōki returned to Mino.

By 1564, Jōki was invited by Shingen to come to Kai; according to local historians, Jōki and Shingen befriended one another before the quarrel with Yoshitatsu, but the claims are difficult to verify. The duo respected one another soon afterwards and Jōki was made head abbot of Erin-ji. Using his previous knowledge of the Saitō, he allegedly acted as a mediator between the Saitō and Takeda peace treaty. Whether he truly did or not is left to speculation as he traveled back and forth between Mino and Kai for nearly a decade. The Takeda's trust in Jōki was noted at least since he became commonly referred to as Grandmaster Kaisen (快川大導師) or Reverend Kaisen (快川国師).

Jōki was in charge of Lady Sanjō's funeral and was ordered by Katsuyori to repeat the same honor for Shingen's funeral. Jōki's exact age is disputed, but eye witness accounts note that he did look elderly and wizened by 1582. During the ensuing warfare for the Oda's Takeda extermination, it was a social construct for temples to be considered sanctuary. It was suspected that Yoshiaki's conspirators —Rokkaku Yoshisada, Yamato Awajinokami, and others— were hidden within Erin-ji. Jōki and the other monks refused to open their doors for a search, even with Nobutada's urgency to comply. As punishment, Nobunaga ordered the entire temple to be burned to the ground. Jōki was said to have been very calm throughout the whole ordeal and did not show fear. His famous last words were uttered in the flames or written as his death poem that survived with acquaintances who knew him.

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