During the Bummei Era (1469-1486), he was initiated into priesthood at the Anyoji Temple in Ise Province (Mie Prefecture) in the palace at the command of Emperor Gotsuchimikado. The Emperor granted him a piece of paper on which the Emperor had brushed the two characters composing the name of Ryoan. The Emperor granted him (1506) the title of Zenji (which is reserved for Zen priests of high virtue).
The same year, he went to China (Ming Dynasty) and studied for six years. After he returned from China he resided at the Nanzenji Temple in Kyoto, and reconstructed its gate. In his last years he lived at the Tofukuji Temple.