Konin-ji Temple (弘仁寺)

Konin-ji Temple located in Nara Prefecture is a temple of Koyasan Shingon sect. Its sango (prefix of a Buddhist temple) is Kokuzo-san, and its principle image is Kokuzo Bosatsu (Akasagarbha Bodhisattva). The temple lies halfway up Mt. Kokuzo, a slightly high hill located almost in the middle of Yamanobe-kita-michi (northern road of Yamanobe road) closer to Tenri City situated on the south of Nara City. It is famous for the visits paid by the thirteen year old children (to pray for knowledge, happiness and health to become adults) on April 13 every year. The temple is commonly called "Kukozo-san of Takahi-cho."

History

It is traditionally believed that Buddhist priest Kukai founded it in 814 at the imperial order by Emperor Saga. It is believed that Kukai himself carved the statue of Kokuzo Bosatsu (Akasagarbha Bodhisattva) to enshrine it as the principle image. Or some suggest that ONO no Takamura founded it. Also it is said that, in 807 prior to foundation, the morning star (Venus) fell on this site, which made Kukai consider that this was a holy place, and he founded the temple there.

In 1572, most of the temple building were destroyed by a fire caused by Hisahide MATSUNAGA's army.

In 1629, Sozen YAMANA restored the building.

Complex of the temple

Hondo (main hall) (Cultural Properties designated by Nara Prefecture) - rebuilt in 1629
Myojodo (hall dedicated to the morning star)
Sanmon gate
Oku no in (inner sanctuary)

Cultural properties

Important Cultural Properties
Wooden standing statue of Myojo Bosatsu, the principal image of Myojodo
Early Heian period
Deposited in Nara National Museum

Important Cultural Properties: Wooden standing statues of Jikokuten and Zojoten (two of the Four Heavenly Kings); Tsuketari (accompaniments undesignated as the Important Cultural Properties): Wooden standing statues of Komokuten and Tamonten (another two of the Four Heavenly Kings)
Other cultural properties
Principle image; Wooden statue of Kokuzo Bosatsu (Akasagarbha Bodhisattva)

Statue of Jizo Bosatsu (Jizo Bosatsu)
Sangaku (Japanese votive tablets featuring mathematical puzzles): dedicated by Seihachi OKUDA in 1827.
Important Tangible Folk Cultural Properties designated by Nara City
It is set up in the main hall.

Sangaku: dedicated by Sanrakuken ISHIDA in 1858
Important Tangible Folk Cultural Properties designated by Nara City
It is set up in the main hall.

Address

46 Kokuzo-cho, Nara City 630-8412

Access

Take a bus bound for Maitani-cho from Nara Station (JR Line/ Kintetsu Line) and get off at 'Takahi-cho' after 25-minute ride, and walk 5 minutes.