Dairen-ji Temple (Kyoto City) (大蓮寺 (京都市))

Dairen-ji Temple was founded by Senrensha Shinyo Shonin. This Jodo Sect (the Pure Land Sect of Buddhism) temple located in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City was the place of imperial prayer for the safe delivery of Emperor Gokomyo and is well known by the common name 'Anzan Kigan no Tera' (lit. Temple for the Prayer of Safe Childbirth). Its sango (honorific mountain prefix) is Mt. Injo. Its ingo (temple title) is Gokuraku-in. The principal image of Anzan Amida Nyorai is famous as a piece by Jikaku Daishi. Other statues include the Eleven-faced Kannon which is the eighth site on the Rakuyo Kannon Pilgrimage of 33 Temples in Kyoto City.

Kyoto is well known for the eccentricities and charity work of the temple's 'Hashiri Bosan' (Running Priest) who served from the Meiji period to the Taisho, and he was praised as 'a modern day Ikkyu' in a 1918 newspaper.

History
Dairen-ji Temple was founded by Shinyo on Gojo-dori Street, Shimogyo Ward in 1600.

It later became the place of imperial prayer for the safe delivery of Emperor Gokomyo before being inherited by the Arisugawanomiya family who worshipped there until the Meiji period. The temple crest is the Arisugawa crest.

During the separation of Buddhism and Shinto that took place in the early Meiji period, Buddhist statues including one of Yakushi Nyorai were moved to Dairen-ji Temple from Kankei-ji Temple of Gion-sha Shrine (now Yasaka-jinja Shrine). In the Showa period, the temple merged with Jonen-ji Temple that once stood in the current location.

Cultural Properties
Statue of the Anzan Amida Nyorai
Crafted by Jikaku Daishi, well known as the alter ego of the Amida Nyorai at Shinnyo-do Temple that helps women (Anzan Amida Nyorai).

Statue of the Eleven-faced Kannon
This Kannon statue from the Gion-sha Shrine Kannon-do Hall was carved from a single piece of wood during the 10th century. It is the eighth site on the Rakuyo Kannon Pilgrimage of 33 Temples in Kyoto City.

Standing Statue of Yakushi Nyorai (Important Cultural Property)
This statue was once the original Buddhist identity of the Gion-sha Shrine (now Yasaka-jinja Shrine) kami and was housed within the Yakushi-do Hall of Kankei-ji Temple which stood within the grounds of the shrine but was moved to Dairen-ji Temple after Kankei-ji Temple was closed during the anti-Buddhist movement/separation of Buddhism and Shinto that took place during the Meiji period. This gentle Jocho style statue exhibits a latter Heian period style and is assumed to be the piece that was produced directly after Gion-sha Shrine was destroyed by fire in 1070. There is also the theory that it was crafted by Kakujo who was the disciple of Jocho and the founder of the Inpa/Keiha Schools. The statue stands 192cm tall.

Yashashinmyoo
It is one of the strongest apotropaic Buddhist Statues of the Twelve Shrines of Rakuyo.

Pilgrimage Site

Rakuyo Kannon Pilgrimage of 33 Temples in Kyoto City
7. Choraku-ji Temple; 8. Dairen-ji Temple; 9. Seiryu-ji Temple (Kyoto City)

Address/Access
457 Shooji-cho, Higashiyamanijo-nishi-iru Hitosujime-sagaru, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City

Take the Kyoto City Bus to 'Higashiyama-nijo' or 'Higashiyama Niomon' bus stop and walk for three minutes.