He possessed great political and administrative ability and, while residing at such Kyoto temples as 'lenryu-ji and Daikomyo-ji, attracted many followers, including Emperor Gokogon. But he clashed with the Buddhists of the Tendai sect, who were jealous of the eminence that Zen enjoyed, and in 1371 he and his disciples retired to a temple in Tango Province called Ummon-ji. He had occasion during this period to meet Wu-i K’o-ch’in, Chung-yu Tsu-ch’an, and other Chinese monks who had come to Japan as envoys of the Ming dynasty. The poems and letters that he exchanged with them have been collected in a work entitled Umtnon ikkyoku.
In 1379 he returned to Kyoto and took up residence in Ungo-an in Tenryu- ji and later moved to Nanzen-ji. He was the first person to hold the post of soroku, or registrar of monks, an office that acted as supervisor of Zen temples of the Rinzai branch.