Shinran was born on May 21, 1173 to Lord and Lady Arinori, a branch of the Fujiwara clan, and was given the name Matsuwakamaro. Early in Shinran's life his parents both died. In 1181 and desperate to know what happens after dying, he entered the Shoren-in temple near present-day Maruyama Park in Kyoto at age 9. He wrote this poem on entering: "Like the cherry blossom, the heart planning on tomorrow is ephemeral indeed --what sudden storm may not arise in the middle of the night". Acutely aware of his own impermanence, he was desperate to find a solution. He then practiced at Mt. Hiei for the next 20 years of his life. Letters between his wife and daughter indicate that he was a Tendai dōsō (堂僧?, "hall monk"). Because of his devotion to the practices of the Lotus Sutra on Mt. Hiei, he became known as "the prodigy of Mt. Hiei."