Enni Ben'en (圓爾辯圓, pinyin: Yuán'ěr Biànyuán; 1 November 1202 – 10 November 1280), also known as Shōichi Kokushi,[1] was a Japanese Buddhist monk. He started his Buddhist training as a Tendai monk. While he was studying with Eisai, a vision of Sugawara no Michizane appeared to him in a dream and told him to go to China and study meditation. Following this vision, he met the Rinzai teacher Wuzhun Shifan in China, and studied Mahayana with him.[2] When he returned to Japan, he founded Tōfuku-ji monastery in Kyoto, and practiced Zen as well as other types of Buddhism. His disciples included Mujū.

Enni Ben'en
Traditional Chinese圓爾辯圓
Simplified Chinese圆尔辩圆

Enni Ben'en is the possible author of the Shoichikokushi kana hogo (Vernacular Dharma Words of the National Teacher Sacred Unity). The text is also known as the Zazen ron (Treatise on Seated Meditation). It is a brief text, composed of 24 questions and answers.[2]

It is believed that he was the first to bring udon noodles to Japan from China.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Dumoulin 2005, p. 46.
  2. ^ a b Bielefeldt 1994, p. 481.


  • Bielefeldt, Carl (1994). "No-Mind and Sudden Awakening: Thoughts on the Soteriology of a Kamakura Zen Text". In Buswell, Robert; Gimello, Robert (eds.). Paths to Liberation: The Mārga and Its Transformations in Buddhist Thought. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 475–505.
  • Dumoulin, Heinrich (2005). Zen Buddhism: Japan. Zen Buddhism: A History. 2. Bloomington, IL: World Wisdom.