Shunkan was a Buddhist priest. Priest of the Hoshoji Temple in Kyoto, he was trusted by Emperor Goshirakawa.
Shunkan was born in 1170 in Japan.
Shunkan plotted the overthrow of the powerful Taira family together with Nariehika Fujiwara and his son, Naritsune, at his mountain hideout at Shishigatani (1177). The three men were captured when Yukitsuna Minamoto informed the Tairas of their secret meeting. They were exiled to Kikaigashima Island (Iwo Jima). Although Nariehika and Naritsune were pardoned the following year, Shunkan alone was left on the island and soon died there. (He was said to have been 36 years old at that time).
The story is contained in Heike Monogatari, a historical romance relating the downfall of the Tairas. Shunkan, a Noh play, is based on the same story.