Denko-ji Temple (伝香寺)

Denko-ji Temple is a temple belonging to the Ritsu sect, located in Ogawa cho, Nara City, Nara Prefecture. It does not have a sango (literally "mountain name", a title prefixed to the name of a Buddhist temple). The principal image is Shaka Nyorai (Shakyamuni), although it contains the Senju Kannon (Thousand Armed Avalokiteshwara). Chiri-tsubaki, a variety of camellia named for its characteristic of shedding petals one by one, is one of the "Three-famous camellia of Nara", along with nori-koboshi, a kind of camellia with spots which look like glue, found at the Kaisando Hall at Todai-ji Temple, and goshiki-tsubaki, the five-colored camellia of Byakugo-ji Temple.

History

This temple is said to have been founded in 771 by Shitaku Risshi, the disciple of Ganjin Wajo, but the exact time and circumstances of its foundation, as well as its subsequent history until medieval times remain unclear.

In 1585, the mother of military commander Junkei TSUTSUI, Hoshun Soei-ni Nun, rebuilt it to pray to Buddha for the happiness of Junkei after his death. This rebuilt hall remains today.

Buildings

The main hall (an Important Cultural Property) is a building with a hipped roof and a design element called hosangen which was erected during the restoration of 1585, in which the statue of Jizo Bosatsu is enshrined.

The front gate is a Cultural Property designated by Nara Prefecture.

Cultural Properties

Important Cultural Properties
Main hall
The wooden statue of the bodhisattva Ksitigarbha depicts a naked form and was popular among some parts of society in the Kamakura Period; also known as 'naked Jizo', it was usually seen with a kimono over the body of the statue. Several individual items which form a part of the statue, such as a glass bottle and a small Buddhist statue, have also been designated Important Cultural Properties. It is assumed that these items were made around 1228.

Cultural Properties Designated by Nara Prefecture
The wooden statue of the Prince Shotoku (Namubutsu Taishi zo)

Cultural Properties formerly held by Denko-ji Temple
The wooden statue of Sho-Kannon, Aryavalokitesvara was made a Designed Important Cultural Property (National Treasure at the time) in 1929. After World War II, it became private property and is now held by Hosomi Museum in Kyoto city. It is 113 cm tall. It was carved in around the tenth century in the mid Heian Period.

Access

Walk from JR Yamatoji Line Nara Station or Kintetsu Nara Station