Chushojima, Local Gems — February 7, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Genkuji Temple in Chushojima, Kyoto!


While walking around the Chushojima area a little while ago, I came across this small Buddhist temple, just a few meters of the main arcade in a small side street. Here a little more about its rich history:
Also known as Hokaizan, this Jodo shu (Pure Land school of Japanese Buddhism) temple numbers one of the 25 temples of Enko Daishi (Honen).
Tradition holds that Genkuji was first founded by the priest Ninku in 1195 at Sumiyama (the present-day city of Uji) as part of the Tendai school of Japanese Buddhism. It was subsequently converted to Jodo shu and moved to its present location by the second and third Tokugawa shoguns Hidetada and Iemitsu between the years 1596 and 1615.
The rare two-story main gate is said to consist of the part of the remnants of Fushimi castle. Beneath and on either side of the gate are the Sokuitsu Rokutai Jizo and Aizen Myoozo statues, as well as a statue of Asahi Daikokuten, who is said to have granted Toyotomi Hideyoshi the fortune of Unifying the country. Because the Daikokuten statue, originally Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s personal devotional Buddha, had been kept in the Tatsumi Tower at Fushimi castle and came to the temple after being temporarily stored in the Daikoku-cho district of Kyo-machi, the site of the temple used to be called “New Daikoku-cho”. The temple’s main hall houses a seated figure of Enko Daishi.

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