Iteian was a Buddhist temple in Fuchû castle-town (today, Izuhara Town) on the island of Tsushima. Established in 1580, the temple played a prominent role through the early modern period in providing Tsushima han with monk experts in reading and producing Classical Chinese documents for official communications with the Korean kingdom of Joseon. Iteian monks also regularly accompanied Korean embassies to Edo and played central roles in preparing for and effecting formal audiences (meetings), banquets, receptions, and other in-person interactions with Korean envoys.
Following the Yanagawa Affair in which top Tsushima officials were found to have been forging official diplomatic documents, Tsushima was permitted to retain its prominent role in facilitating relations with Korea. However, the Tokugawa shogunate determined that a system would be established in which monks known as sekigakusô 碩学僧, expert in diplomatic communications and Classical Chinese, would be granted special credentials from the shogunate and regularly dispatched from the Kyoto Five Mountains (Gozan) temples to serve in Tsushima for one-year stints.
- Gallery labels, Tsushima no gaikô 1: Iteian 対馬の外交Ⅰ 以酊庵 special exhibit, Tsushima Museum (Izuhara, Tsushima Island, Nagasaki prefecture), Apr-Jun 2022.
- Gallery labels, "Han sonzoku no kiki!? Yanagawa jiken," Tsushima Museum.