Benchō ［弁長］ (1162–1238): Also known as Ben’a or Shōkō. The second patriarch of the Japanese Pure Land (Jōdo) school and founder of the Chinzei branch of that school. At first, he studied the Tendai doctrine at Enryaku-ji temple on Mount Hiei. In 1190 he returned to his home in Chikuzen Province. There the death of his younger brother awoke him to the uncertainty of life, and he became interested in the idea of rebirth in the Pure Land. In 1197 Benchō went to Kyoto, where he met Hōnen, the founder of the Pure Land school, and became his disciple. Thereafter he returned home, but went again to Kyoto in 1199 to continue his study under Hōnen. In 1204 he went to propagate the Pure Land teaching in his home area of Chikuzen and in Chikugo, Higo, and other provinces. He is said to have built forty-eight temples. He wrote several treatises including The Doctrine of “The Nembutsu Chosen above All” and The Essentials of the Pure Land Doctrine. Ryōchū, the third patriarch of the school, was his most famous disciple.