Kongo-ji Temple (Kameoka City) (金剛寺 (亀岡市))
Kongo-ji Temple, a Buddhist temple of the Tenryu-ji school of the Rinzai sect, is located in Kameoka City, Kyoto Prefecture. Its sango (literally, "mountain name," the title prefixed to the name of a Buddhist temple) is Fukujusan; the founder was Bukkoku Kokushi, and the principal image is Shakamuni-butsu. It is also known as Kongozen-ji Temple or Okyo-dera Temple.
The prototype of today's temple was restored by Gyokudo (chief priest) in 1738.
The temple's buildings and precincts
Sanmon (temple gate) or Shomon (temple gate with a bell tower) built in 1771: Designated as being among the 100 selected Kameoka Treasures of Nature
Hondo (main hall) and Kuri (the priest's living quarters or the kitchen of a temple), rebuilt in 1999
Thirteen-story stone pagoda
A white-blossomed ume tree, more than 200 years old, has been selected as one of the 100 old trees of historic interest in Kameoka City.
Okyo MARUYAMA, a leading artist of the Edo period who was born here in 1733, lived in this temple as a trainee priest from eight years of age. The death of Gyokudo, the chief priest who encouraged him to pursue a career as an artist, led him to study painting in Kyoto at 15 years of age.
After he acquired a reputation as an artist, he visited this temple in 1788, painting 'Sansui-zu' (picture of a landscape), 'Hato-zu' (picture of swirling waves) and 'Gunsen-zu' (picture of hermits), on 53 fusuma (sliding door) panels and on the surfaces of four walls in the six rooms of Hondo. These three kinds of paintings are extant and designated as a national important cultural property.
In 2005, a Kakejiku (hanging scroll) in water ink on which Okyo drew a portrait of Gyokudo (the fourth chief priest of the temple) was found in the temple, as were Okyo's letters.
National important cultural properties
Light-colored painting on paper of swirling waves by Okyo MARUYAMA, were drawn on 32 panels of fusuma in the three rooms; they were refurbished as hanging scrolls, and were deposited in the Tokyo National Museum in 1904; reprints of eight paintings on fusuma are on display in the present Hondo. Monochrome ink painting on paper of a landscape by Okyo MARUYAMA; they were refurbished as hanging scrolls, and were deposited in the Tokyo National Museum in 1904. Light-colored painting on paper of hermits by Okyo MARUYAMA; they are kept at a repository and are open to public viewing on 'Culture Day,' November 3.
Information for nearby spots
Anao-ji Temple (stamp office for temple number 21 of the Saigoku Sanjusankasho (the 33 temples that are visited during the Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage))
Obata-jinja Shrine (a one-minute walk)
The Rakuraku-so inn