The first chief priest of Enryaku-ji, the head temple of the Tendai school on Mount Hiei, in Japan. Born in Sagami Province, he went to Mount Hiei as a child and studied there under Dengyo. When Dengyo traveled to China in 804, Gishin, who was versed in Chinese, accompanied him as his interpreter. In 806, the year after they returned to Japan, Dengyo established the Tendai school and in 822, prior to his death, designated Gishin as his successor. Dengyo had tried to obtain imperial permission for the building of a Mahayana ordination center on Mount Hiei in the face of determined opposition from the older schools of Nara. Permission was granted a week after his death. In 823 Gishin began performing ordination ceremonies. In 824, by imperial decree, he became the first chief priest of Enryaku-ji and in 827 established a Mahayana ordination center on Mount Hiei, thereby fulfilling Dengyo's wishes.