My Travels, Tokyo — June 3, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Kaifuku-ji Temple: Founded by Priest Ingen in 1658!

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Kaifuku-ji Temple: Founded by Priest Ingen in 1658!, a set on Flickr.

Kaifuku-ji Temple was founded by a Chinese priest Ingen in 1658. It was built in Fukagawa of Koto Ward but was transferred to the current site in 1910. This temple belongs to the Obaku-sect of Buddhism and was the only sect which was spread by the Chinese Buddhist priest Ingen.
The Yotsuashi Gate (four-legged gate) derives its name from the two parent poles in the middle of the gate and the two supporting pillars which are located before and behind them. It is famous for being a representative of Japanese gate-building of the Edo period.
In 1807 when Tomioka Hachiman Festival was held at Fukagawa, the Eitai Bridge over the Sumida River collapsed and more than 1,400 people died. A monument was built to mourn the victims and can be found to the left front of the mountain gate in Kaifuku-ji temple.
The bell located inside the temple premises was forged in 1683 by Masatsugu Fujiwara who modeled an old Japanese bell while adopting Chinese forging style.To the left of the bell you will see a nine storied stone tower which was said to be placed at Shingen Takeda’s mansion.

Priest Ingen

Ingen Ryūki (Chinese 隱元隆琦) (Fuqing, Fujian, 1592 – Uji, 1673) was a Chinese Linji Chán Buddhist monk, poet, and calligrapher.
Ingen’s father disappeared when he was five. At age 20, while searching for him, Ingen arrived at Mount Putuo off Zhejiang province, where he served tea to monks. At 28, after the death of his mother, he was ordained as a monk at his family temple – Wanfu Temple, Mount Huangbo, Fujian. Ingen’s teachers there were Miyun Yuanwu and Feiyin Tongrong. In 1633 he received dharma transmission from the latter, and in 1637 served his first term as abbot. His second term as 33rd abbot of the temple began in 1646 and at this time he is credited with helping Mount Huangbo to develop in to a thriving Buddhist centre. In 1654, after repeated requests of Itsunen Shoyu, he went to Nagasaki, Japan with around 30 monks and artisans, including his disciple Muyan. He founded the Ōbaku sect. He established the Ōbaku head temple Manpuku-ji at Uji in 1661.
Ingen was also a skilled calligrapher, introducing the Ming style of calligraphy to Japan. Along with his disciples Mokuan Shōtō and Sokuhi Nyoitsu, he was one of the Ōbaku no Sanpitsu (“Three Brushes of Ōbaku”). He is known to have carried paintings by Chen Xian with him to Japan.

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