Guì Bóhuá 桂伯華 (1861－1915)
Guì and his family moved to Nánchāng 南昌 when he was young. Guì received a traditional education and took the regional exams, though he did not receive a degree like his brother Yuándù 元度, who won a jǔrén 舉人 degree. After the First Sino-Japanese War, Guì participated in the reform movements led by Kāng Yǒuwéi 康有為 and Liáng Qǐchāo 梁啓超. To this end, he moved to Shànghǎi 上海 to write for the cause. After the failure of the reforms, and the execution of Tán Sìtóng 譚嗣同 and other reformers, Guì returned to his home of Jiǔjiāng 九江.
In Jiǔjiāng, Guì became very ill. While sick he found a copy of the Diamond Sūtra 金剛經 on his shelf. Reading this book led him to have a conversion experience, and he began to immerse himself in the study of Buddhism. He recovered from his illness and moved to Nánjīng 南京, where he became one of Yáng Wénhuì 楊文會 early students and assistants at Yáng's Jīnlíng Scriptural Press 金陵刻經處. During his time studying with Yáng, Guì introduced Yáng to many of his future students, with the most notable of these probably being Ōuyáng Jiàn 歐陽漸, who hailed from the same geographic area as Guì. In fact, it was Guì who had convinced the younger Ōuyáng to study Buddhism in the first place.
In 1904 (Guāngxù 光緒 30), Guì and his brothers moved to Japan to study. In 1906 Guì invited the monk Yuèxiá 月霞 to come lecture in Japan. These lectures ultimately came to be seen as an important moment in the intellectual history of Republican China, as noted thinkers like Zhāng Tàiyán 章太炎 and Sū Mànshū 蘇曼殊 were first introduced to Buddhist thought at that time.
Guì's younger brother was unhappy living in Japan, and returned home, but died shortly thereafter. This affected Guì a great deal, and he made up his mind to seek supernatural powers that he could use to prevent such things from happening to those he loved. He gave up his previous studies and began studying Japanese Esoteric Buddhism 東密. When Guì's mother died in 1912, he gave up the idea of getting married or extending his family line. He continued to live in Japan in poverty. He became ill again in 1915, and Ōuyáng Jiàn sent one of his disciples to Tōkyō to look after him. That disciple was able to get him into a hostel, but Guì died within several days. It was March 5, 1915.