Chōnen ［奝然］ (d. 1016): A priest of Tōdai-ji temple in Nara, Japan. A native of Kyoto, he studied at Tōdai-ji temple where he learned the doctrine of the Three Treatises (Sanron) school from Kanri, and the doctrine of the True Word (Shingon) school from Gengō. In 983 Chōnen journeyed to China where he was welcomed by the emperor and made pilgrimages to Mount Wu-t’ai and elsewhere. He also had an image of Shakyamuni Buddha sculpted after the Buddha image enshrined at K’ai-yüan-ssu temple. In China, it was believed that the K’ai-yüan-ssu image had been sculpted in Shakyamuni’s time by order of King Udayana of Kaushāmbī in India. In 987 Chōnen returned to Japan with his reproduction of this Buddha image and numerous Buddhist scriptures. In 989 he became the superintendent of Tōdai-ji temple. After his death, the Buddha image he brought from China was enshrined at Seiryō-ji temple in Kyoto, where worship of it became popular because it was believed to be the image transmitted directly from India to China, and then to Japan.