Onjo-ji Temple (園城寺)
Sango (literally, "mountain name"), is a title prefixed to the name of a Buddhist temple: Nagarasan
Religious school: Tendaijimon sect
Jikaku (status of a Buddhist temple): Sohonzan (grand head temple)
Honzon (principal image of Buddha): Miroku Bosatsu (Maitreya Bodhisattva)
Founded: In the seventh century
Kaiki (patron of a temple in its founding): Otomo-no-Yota-no-Okimi
A formal name
Another name: Mii-dera Temple
Fudasho (temples where amulets are collected) and so on: Stamp office for temple number 14 of the Saigoku Sanjusankasho (the 33 temples that are visited during the Kansai Kannon Pilgrimage), Stamp office for temple number 48 of the Saigoku Yakushi 48 sacred places (Bessho (remote religious facilities from main temple facilities: Suikan-ji Temple), Stamp office for temple number 5 of the Omi 33 Kannon
Cultural properties: Kon-do Hall (main hall of a Buddhist temple), Kenbon Chakushoku Fudo Myoo zo (color painting on silk of the God of Fire) (Kifudo painting) and eight other works (National Treasures), and bonsho and other works (Important Cultural Property)
Kaiki (patron of a temple in its founding) is Otomo-no-Yota-no-Okimi, and honzon (principal image of Buddha) is Miroku Bosatsu. The temple is famous of its Kifudo painting which is one of the three most famous fudos in Japan, and its Kannon-do Hall (a temple dedicated to Kannon) is the stamp office for temple number 14 of Saigoku Sanjusankasho. Additionally, it is well known for its 'Mii no bansho' (the evening bell at Mii-dera Temple) which is one of the Omi Hakkei (Eight Views of Omi).
Incidentally, the name used in this article, 'Mii-dera Temple,' is its general name.
Mii-dera Temple was first established as a Uji-dera Temple (temple built for praying clan's glory) of Ouchi clan in the 7th century, then restored in the 9th century by Enchin, ryugakuso (a priest who studied abroad), who returned from Tang. Mii-dera Temple flourished by obtaining followers from a wide range of classes including the Imperial Family, nobles, samurai, and so on since the Heian period. However, conflicts with the Enryaku-ji Temple on Mt. Hiei intensified around the 10th century, and historically, Mii-dera Temple was attacked and burned by devotees of Mt. Hiei several times. It was once virtually an abolished temple in early-modern times due to its jiryo (temple estate) having been confiscated by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI.
Because Mii-dera Temple has been survived all these historical crises and restored every time, it is called 'Phoenix temple.'
Concerning the origin of Mii-dera Temple, there is the following tradition. The Emperor Tenchi, who established Otsu-kyo, wanted to establish a temple of which the honzon was the statue of Miroku-bosatsu (Maitreya-bodhisattva), however, he could not accomplish his wish during his lifetime. The emperor's child, Prince Otomo (Emperor Kobun) also died at the early age of 25 in the Jinshin War. Otomo-no-Yota-no-Okimi, who was a child of Prince Otomo, wished to build a temple for his father's bodai (pray to Buddha for the happiness of the dead) with Miroku-bosatsu statue of the Emperor Tenchi. The Emperor Tenmu, who was an enemy of Prince Otomo at Jinshin War, approved the restoration of this temple in 686 and named the temple 'Onjo-ji Temple' as jigo (literally, "temple name", which is the title given to a Buddhist temple). The jigo 'Onjo' was named by the Emperor Tenmu who was deeply impressed by the aspiration of Otomo-no-Yota-no-Okimi to establish a temple at the cost of his 'Shoen-joyu' (a private estate and a castle). Incidentally, it is said that the popular name of 'Mitsui-dera Temple' was derived from a temple of 'Mii' (a spring water for Emperors), because the sacred spring water was used for ubuyu (a baby's first bath) for three generations of emperors: Emperor Tenchi, the Emperor Tenmu and the Empress Jito. There is almost no relic left which dates back to the time of its establishment in the current Mitsui-dera Temple. However, because old roof-tiles dating back to the early Nara period were excavated from the area around Kon-do Hall, and the fact that the relationship between Otomo clan and the temple is supported by historical material, it is possible to consider that the inauguration tradition described above is not just a legend but a story in which historical fact was reflected to some extent.
In the Mii-dera Temple, a representative priest of Issan is called 'chori' (a chief administrator), whereas the post is called 'kancho" (a chief abbot) or 'betto' (administrator of a Buddhist temple) in other temples. The first chori of Mii-dera Temple was Chisho Daishi Enchin (859), who established the basis for the development of Mii-dera Temple thereafter. Enchin was born in Naka County, Sanuki Province (Zentsuji City, Kagawa Prefecture) in 814. His secular name was Hiroo WAKE and his mother, a Saeki clan, was a niece of Kobo-Daishi Kukai. Hiroo, gifted with academic ability from an early age, was called a prodigy, and ascended Mt. Hiei at the age of 15 and joined the first Tendai-zasu (head priest of the Tendai sect). At age 19, he became a priest officially recognized by the state, and changed his name to Enchin. After that, following accomplishment of 'Juni-nen-rozangyo' (ascetic practices without descending Mt. Hiei for twelve years) according to the rules of Mt. Hiei, he did ascetic practices at Mt. Omine and Kumano sanzan (three major shrines, Kumano-Hongu-Taisha, Kumano-Hayatama-Taisha and Kumano-Nachi-Taisha). Consequently, Mii-dera Temple is deeply connected with Shugendo (Japanese ascetic and shamanistic practice in mountainous sites). He went to Tang in 853 to study and trained himself in various places for six years. He received instruction on the esoteric points of Esoteric Buddhism from Hassen of Seiryu-ji Temple. Enchin returned to Japan in 858 with many scriptures, iconographies and hogu (Buddhist instruments). In the following year (859), he established 'To-in' at Mii-dera Temple, Uji-dera Temple (a temple for praying clan's glory) of Otomo clan. He stored Buddhist scriptures and hogu, which he brought from Tang, in To-in, and prepared them for use in ascetic practices. In 866, he was awarded kugen (official documents) of Enchin's denpo (teachings) from Dajokan (Grand Council of State). Enchin's denpo, which was combined with Esoteric Buddhism and Shugendo (Japanese ascetic and shamanistic practice in mountainous sites), had obtained official recognition by kugen, and that occasion is considered to be the foundation of the Sect by the Tendaijimon sect. Enchin was inaugurated as zasu (temple's head priest), the highest status of the Tendai sect, in 868. Since then, he kept the post for 24 years until his death.
After Enchin died, Mt. Hiei was diverted into two branch groups of Enchin school and Jikaku Daishi Ennin school, and the two groups came into conflict whenever the occasion arose. In 993, about a century after Enchin died, there was a commotion that priests of Ennin school had demolished the temple's quarters of Enchin school located in the area of Mt. Hiei, which cemented the conflict between the two, and Enchin school descended Mt. Hiei and moved to Mii-dera Temple. Because Enryaku-ji Temple on Mt. Hiei is called 'Sanmon gate' whereas Mii-dera Temple is called 'Jimon,' the conflict between them was termed 'Sanmon-Jimon battle' and so on. By the end of the mediaeval period, roughly 10 major attacks and burnings such as the one in 1081 by devotees of Mt. Hiei to Mii-dera Temple took place, with the number reaching 50 if one counts all minor skirmishes as well.
Mii-dera Temple was adored by the Imperial Court and nobles during the Heian period, and it is well known that FUJIWARA no Michinaga and the Emperor Shirakawa were especially deeply devoted. From the medieval period, samurai including Minamoto clan also became devotees. Successive Minamoto clans had paid adoration to Mii-dera Temple from the fact MINAMONO no Yoriyoshi had been prayed for victory to the temple, and the temple cooperated when MINAMOTO no Yorimasa raised an army to defeat the Taira family and MINAMOTO no Yoritomo who defeated the Taira family protected the temple in return. Immediately after Masako HOJO succeeded Yoritomo, she also followed this policy and ordered gokenin (an immediate vassal of the shogunate in the Kamakura and Muromachi through Edo period), including Koreyoshi OUCHI, Hirotsuna SASAKI, Rensho UTSUNOMIYA and so on in Kyoto, to restore Onjo-ji Temple which had been burned down by Enryaku-ji Temple in 1214. However, Onjo-ji Temple temporarily received cold treatment since Kugyo, a child of MINAMOTO no Yoriie and a priest raised at the temple, assassinated his uncle MINAMOTO no Sanetomo. However, after Ryuben, who had been deeply trusted by Tokiyori HOJO, assumed betto (the head priest), Mii-dera Temple was restored and, also was protected from the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) as a return for supporting Ashikaga clan of the Northern Court (Japan) during the successive domestic disturbance in the period of the Northern and Southern Courts. It is assumed that the handsome treatment for the Onjo-ji Temple from both bakufus resulted from the idea that a certain support was necessary to restrict Enryaku-ji Temple from being kenmon (an influential family) with great power.
In 1595, because Mii-dera Temple offended Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, it received kessho (confiscation of jiryo (temple estate), actual abolishment of a temple). Because there are various theories about what angered Hideyoshi, no one theory has been established. As a result, honzon (principal image of Buddha) and other treasures were removed to other places, and temple buildings including Kon-do Hall were also forced to be relocated. Kon-do Hall of Mii-dera Temple was relocated to Mt. Hiei and today exists as Enryaku-ji Temple Tenborin-do (Shaka-do Hall). In 1598, just before his death, Hideyoshi approved restoration of Mii-dera Temple. It is said that Hideyoshi feared the curse of Mii-dera Temple with miraculous virtue when he realized time of his death. With restoration approved by Hideyoshi, Docho, chori (chief priest) of Mii-dera Temple at the time, proceeded with the restoration. Jikan of the present Mii-dera Temple was almost completely prepared in those days.
Garan (Buddhist temple)
Daimon-gate (the great outer gate) (Important Cultural Property): It is called Nio-mon gate.
Romon (two-story gate) of irimoya-zukuri (building with a half-hipped roof) (Two-story gate without half-hipped roof between upper and lower stratums.)
It was is a gate donated by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA in 1601, which was originally located at Joraku-ji Temple in Omi Province (Konan City, Shiga Prefecture). It is assumed to have been erected in 1451 according to its bokushomei (ink inscriptions) and so on.
Shaka-do Hall (Important Cultural Property): It's on the right side on the way to Kon-do Hall after entering Daimon-gate (the great outer gate)
It is said Seiryoden (Literally "Limpid Cool Hall," an imperial summer palace) that was constructed in the end of the 16th century, was relocated and reconstructed after being granted as an Imperial gift.
Kon-do Hall (National Treasures): According to the will of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI who approved restoration of Mii-dera Temple, it was restored by Kita no Mandokoro in 1599. Irimoya-zukuri is a Japanese style Buddhist temple with hiwadabuki (Japanese cypress bark thatch).
Shoro (bell tower) (Important Cultural Property): It is located in front of the left side of Kon-do Hall, in which bonsho (a Buddhist Temple bell) known as 'Mii no bansho' (the evening bell at Mii) is hung. This bonsho was founded in 1602 and is one of the three most famous bells in Japan, along with the ones of Byodoin Temple and Jingo-ji Temple.
Akaiya (Important Cultural Property): It is a small pagoda adjoining the left side of Kon-do Hall, which was erected in 1600 by Kita no Mandokoro as well as Kon-do Hall. There is a sacred fountain which is the origin of the name of Mii-dera Temple.
Issai Kyozo (Rinzo) (Important Cultural Property): Architecture during the Muromachi period
It is said to be Kyozo (sutra repository) of Kokusei-ji Temple in Yamaguchi City which was relocated and reconstructed in 1602 as a contribution by Terumoto MORI.
Rinzo (a warehouse to store Buddhist scriptures)
Sanju-no-to (three-story pagoda) (Important Cultural Property): An architecture from the end of the Kamakura period to the early Muromachi period. It was a pagoda of Hiso-ji Temple in Nara Prefecture which was first relocated and reconstructed in Fushimi-jo Castle by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, followed by Ieyasu TOKUGAWA (1601).
Kara-mon gate: Kanjodo (The hall for holding the ceremony to pour holy water on the head of a monk) (Important Cultural Property), Kara-mon gate (Important Cultural Property), Daishi-do Hall (hall for the Great Teacher) (Important Cultural Property), 長日-goma-do Hall and so on. It is said to be where Chisho Daishi Enchin stored Buddhist scriptures, hogu and so on after he returned from Tang. Currently, this is the most important place in the temple precincts as byosho (mausoleum) of the founder Enchin and dojo (training hall) of kanjo (a consecration ceremony by pouring water onto the top of monk's head) (a ceremony of Esoteric Buddhism).
Kannon-do Hall: It's located in the southern part of temple site and stands on high ground, commanding a view of Lake Biwa, and it is known as the stamp office for temple number 14 of Saigoku Sanjusankasho. Kannon-do Hall was restored in 1689.
Bishamon-do Temple (Important Cultural Property): It is a small pagoda nearby Kannon-do Hall. It is said to have been erected in 1616.
Goho zenjin (good deities protecting dharma) (sen-dango-sha): The statue of Goho zenjin (Kishimojin (Goddess of Children)), a guardian god of Mii-dera Temple is worshiped here.
Shinra Zenjin-do Hall (National Treasures): Located about 500 meter north from the central Buddhist temple of Mii-dera Temple. Shinra Myojin, a guardian god of Mii-dera Temple, is worshipped. Although the name contained 'do' (hall), it is architecturally Honden (main shrine building) of Nagare-zukuri style (the front roof extends in a gentle curve into a projecting eave over the entrance). The current structure was donated by Takauji ASHIKAGA in 1347. It is said that Shinra Myojin is a deity who appeared in the boat when Enchin returned to Japan after studying in Tang, and the deity swore to safeguard the 経法 which had passed down to Enchin. The storage of Buddhist scriptures and hogu of Enchin obtained from Tang was said to have been decided by the oracle of Shinra Myojin in a dream. It is well known that Yoshimitsu began to be called 'SHINRA Saburo' after his father MINAMOTO no Yoriyoshi celebrated his third son Yoshimitsu's genpuku (celebrate one's coming of age) before this deity.
Kangakuin Kyakuden (guest hall) (National Treasures): It stands on the place adjoining the south side of To-in. It was erected in 1600. It is said to represent architecture of the Shoin-zukuri style during the Momoyama period. The shohekiga (paintings on the walls of fusuma of a building; pictures on partitions) is a work of the Kano school led by Mitsunobu KANO.
Kojoin Kyakuden (reception hall) (National Treasures): It stands on the place adjoining the north side of Kon-do Hall. It was erected in 1601 one year after the erection of Kangakuin Kyakuden (guest hall). It resembles Kangakuin Kyakuden in scale and design. The shohekiga is also a work of the Kano school.
Enman-in Temple: It stands in the north side (right) of Daimon-gate. It is also called Enman-in Temple monzeki (successor of a temple), which was erected in 987 by Cloistered Imperial Prince Goenho who was the third son of the Emperor Murakami. It is also known as a temple associated with Okyo MARUYAMA, a painter during the Edo period. Shinden (Important Cultural Property) is a structure relocated and reconstructed Mitsubone of Tofukumon-in among goshos erected during the Keicho era, and it is an important posthumous architecture in Shinden-zukuri style during the early Edo period, along with Kon-do Hall of Ninna-ji Temple. Sumiyoshi Shato-zu' roku men (6 surfaces) (Important Cultural Property) and 'Fuzoku-zu' yon men (four surfaces) (Important Cultural Property) of shoheki-ga of shinden, were purchased by the Ministry of Education from 1974 to 1975, and they are now possessed by Kyoto National Museum. Besides those, seven important cultural properties including 'Shichinan-shichifuku-zu' (the Seven Misfortunes and Seven Fortunes) by Okyo MARUYAMA were possessed by Enman-in Temple, however, all of them are displaced out of the temple at present.
Homyoin: It is a branch temple located in the northernmost area in precincts. It is known that there is a grave of Ernest Fenollosa, who was an American that was well known for spreading Japanese Art during his long stay in Japan in Meiji period. There are shohekiga by Okyo MARUYAMA, IKE no Taiga and so on in shoin.
The designated national treasure is 'Kenbon Chakushoku Fudo Myoo zo' (color painting on silk of the God of Fire). It is one of the three most famous Fudo in Japan from ancient times, along with 'Aka Fudo' (Red Fudo) of Myoo-in Temple in Mt. Koya and 'Ao Fudo' (Blue Fudo) of Shoren-in Temple.
This image, which is also called 'Konjiki Fudo Myoo' (Golden God of Fire), appeared suddenly in front of Enchin (he was 25 years old at that time), who had been doing ascetic practices at Mt. Hiei, in 838 and said, 'I am Konjiki Fudo Myoo.'
It is said that the god told him 'I showed up to protect thou (Enchin) who transmits the essence of Buddhism.'
It is said that the Fudo Myoo was a kind of a guardian deity for Enchin and appeared in times of crisis, such as when he was attacked by pirates on the way to Tang.
A 178X72 centimeter painting. It is assumed to be the work from around the 9th century, during the early Heian period. Fudo zo is expressed by its widely opened eyes, naked upper part of body, powerfully built form. The figure fills the whole screen without any background painting. There is no pedestal under the figure, and it stands in an empty space. It is very different from other ordinary Fudo Myoo zo such as it lacking a benpatsu (a long rope of hair hanging down the left side of the face and the left shoulder of a sculpted figure).
This statue is recognized as a strict hibutsu (Buddhist image normally withheld from public view) originating from the founder of the religious sect by Mii-dera Temple, and publication of the picture is strictly controlled. Although only those who had gone through the ceremony of Esoteric Buddhism named denpo-kanjo were allowed to have the honor of seeing Kifudo painting, the ceremony 'kechien-kanjo,' in which ordinary believers were able to participate, was held several times, and those believers were able to see the Kifudo painting on those occasions from the Showa period,. The opportunities that Kifudo painting were opened to the public since the late 20th century are as follows.
1954: Kechien-kanjo (to have a good relationship with Buddha) and a commemorative exhibition of treasured articles were held at TAKASHIMAYA, Tokyo.
1973: Kechien-kanjo and a commemorative exhibition of treasured articles were held at TAKASHIMAYA, Yokohama.
October 1989: September 1990: 'A commemorative exhibition of treasured articles of Mii-dera Temple on the 1100th anniversary of Chisho Daishi's death' was held at four halls including the Tokyo National Museum.
1990: 'Daihoe (great Buddhist memorial service) on the 1100th anniversary of Chisho Daishi's death' was held at temple precincts, and only those who received kechien-kanjo were allowed to have the honor of seeing the Kifudo painting for seven days from November 6th to the 12th.
May 1995: Kifudo painting was exhibited for only a week at 'exhibition of treasures of Japanese Buddhist art' during the 100th anniversary of the opening day for Nara National Museum. Incidentally, the Kifudo painting was not inserted in the pictorial record of the special exhibition.
From November 2008 to May 2009: Kifudo painting was exhibited at 'exhibition of National Treasures of Mii-dera Temple of the 1150th anniversary of Chisho Daishi's return from abroad' (circulated Osaka Municipal Museum of Art, Suntory Museum, Fukuoka City Museum).
Hibutsu of Mii-dera Temple
Although Mii-dera Temple historically suffered from attacks and burnings set repeatedly, many Buddha statues, Buddhist paintings, documents and so on are preserved. Additionally, there are many excellent architectures and shohekiga since the early-modern times.
Incidentally, among cultural properties other than architectures, only bonsho (Important Cultural Property, common name is 'a bell which had dragged by Benkei') of Nara period is exhibited to the public. From the Kifudo painting on down, two statues of Chisho Daishi (Chuson Daishi, Okotsu Daishi) and a wooden standing statue of Kifudo of Daishi-do Hall; a statue of Shinra Myojin of Shinra Zenjin-do Hall; a painting of Nyoirin Kannon statue of Kannon-do Hall; a statue of Kishimojin (Goddess of Children) of Goho zenjin-do Hall, and so on are all hibutsu. Additionally, many Buddha statues, Buddhist paintings and so on except for hibutsu are placed in national museums in Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara Prefectures.
In 'A commemorative exhibition of treasured articles of Mii-dera Temple on the 1100th anniversary of Chisho Daishi's death' at four halls including Tokyo National Museum held from October 1989 to September 1990, and 'Daihoe (great Buddhist memorial service) on the 1100th anniversary of Chisho Daishi's death' at temple precincts held from October to November 1990, and exhibition of National Treasures of Mii-dera Temple of the 1150th anniversary of Chisho Daishi's return from abroad exhibited at three museums including Osaka Municipal Museum of Art from November 2008 to May 2009, all hibutsu described above were opened to the public for a certain period of time. Incidentally, the statue of Maitreya (or Miroku-nyorai) of Kondo honzon was said to be nenjibutsu (a small statue of Buddha kept beside the person) of the Emperor Tenchi and also it is shorai-zo (bring in the scriptures or the statues of Buddha from a foreign country) from Tang, however, it had not been opened to the public and there is no picture, accordingly, the statue itself remains totally unknown.
Shinra Zenjin-do Hall
Kangakuin Kyakuden (guest hall)
A wooden Chisho Daishi Zazo (the seated statue of Chisho Daishi) (Chuson Daishi) (the Great teacher of the principal statue of in a group of Buddhist statues): The statue is enshrined in zushi (a miniature shrine) placed in the middle of To-in Daishi Do. It is hibutsu, and is opened to the public on the anniversary of Enchin's death, on 29 October, every year. The characteristic features are an egg-shaped head and narrow eyes common to other statues of Enchin in all areas of the country. It is said that this statue had been initially placed in Sanno-in Temple (Senju-in Temple) in Mt. Hiei, then transferred to Mii-dera Temple in 993 by followers of Enchin who descended Mt. Hiei due to intensified struggle between the followers of Ennin (Jikaku Daishi). However, based on the method that it was made, it could be dated to around the late 10th century, and there is another opinion that it was newly made at Mii-dera Temple around 993. Besides the exhibition of 'A commemorative exhibition of treasured articles of Mii-dera Temple on the 1100th anniversary of Chisho Daishi's death' from 1989 to 1990, it was also opened to the public during the exhibition of 'Art of Mt. Hiei and Tendai sect on the 1200th anniversary of the foundation of the temple' in 1986.
A wooden seated statue of Chisho Daishi (Okotsu Daishi): It is enshrined to the left of Chuson Daishi in To-in Daishi Do. It is hibutsu and not opened to the public except for special rites or festivals. It is called 'Okotsu Daishi' and worshiped for the reason it contains remains of Enchin by cremation, and publication of its photographs is limited. The statue is assumed to have been made before Chuson Daishi-zo, around the 9th century, shortly after the death of Enchin.
A wooden shinra myojin zazo (seated statue of Shinra Myojin): It is enshrined in Shinra Zenjin-do Hall. It is hibutsu and is not opened to the public except for special rites and festivals. It is said that the deity appeared in the boat when Enchin returned to Japan. It is a peculiar statue with a long beard, eyes slanting down outwards, strange thin long fingers and so on, and stands out prominently among the history of sculpture in Japan. It is assumed to have been made during the late Heian period, around the 11th century. Besides the exhibition of 'A commemorative exhibition of treasured articles of Mii-dera Temple on the 1100th anniversary of Chisho Daishi's death' from 1989 to 1990, it was also opened to the public during the exhibition of 'Art of Mt. Hiei and Tendai sect on the 1200th anniversary of the foundation of the temple' in 1986.
Two Gobushinkan (Painting of the five parts of the Mandala): It is a Hakubyo plain sketch representing shoson (persons or things to be respected, such as Buddha) of Diamond World Mandala among Ryokai Mandala (Two World Mandala) (Hakubyo refers to a plain picture depicted by only lines black ink without shadow or thick-and-thin lines). One of the two was made during the Tang Dynasty, and was endowed to Enchin from his mentor, Hassen. Another one was copied in Japan during the Heian period.
Books of documents related to Chisho Daishi: 46 kinds of materials related Enchin are all designated as National Treasures. As main works, genealogy of Enchin, admittance to Tang, manuscript in his own hand, Buddhist scriptures obtained from Tang and so on.
Important Cultural Property
A wooden standing statue of Fudo-myoo - It is enshrined in a zushi on the right in To-in Daishi Do. It is hibutsu and is not opened to the public except for special rites and festivals. It was carved during the Kamakura period based on the kifudo painting of original book.
Bonsho (a bell which had dragged by Benkei): It is placed in a sacred bell tower behind Kon-do Hall.
It is different from the 'Mii no bansho.'
Although it is unsigned, it is a prominent old bell in Japan dating back to the Nara period. According to tradition, it is said that FUJIWARA no Hidesato was given from the dragon god of Lake Biwa as a token of his gratitude for exterminating a scolopendrid. Some time later, Benkei dragged it up to Mt. Hiei during a battle between Mt. Hiei and Mii-dera Temple, Benkei was offended by the sound of 'Inoo' (I want to go back home) that the bell made, and he threw the bell to the bottom of a valley. The existing scratches and cracks on the bell are said to have been made on that occasion. Historically, this bell was robbed from Mii-dera Temple when it was attacked and burned by Mt. Hiei in 1264, and returned thereafter.
The following is a list of Important Cultural Property which are owned by Onjo-ji Temple (some of them are cited again). Most of the paintings, sculptures and so on are in national museums in Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara Prefecture.
Daimon-gate (Nio-mon gate)
Akaiya (a well)
Issai-kyo (Complete Collection of Scriptures)
Jikido (dining hall) (Shaka-do Hall)
To-in Daishi Do, Kara-mon gate, Kanjodo (The hall for holding the ceremony to pour holy water on the head of a monk), Yotsuashimon Gate
Kenbon Chakushoku Shinra Myozin zo
Kenbon Chakushoku Tendai Daishi (Chigi) zo Futano (double width)
Kenbon Chakushoku Fudo Myoo zo
Kenbon Chakushoku Fudo Myoo Nidoji zo
Kenbon Chakushoku Fudo Myoo Hachidai Doji zo
Kenbon Chakushoku Shakyamuni (Buddha) and sixteen Zen-shin Buddhist deities
Kenbon Chakushoku Nehan zo (an image of the Buddha immediately after his death)
Kenbon Chakushoku Sonjo-o zo
Kenbon Chakushoku Tamonten zo (statue of Vaisravana Buddhist deity)
Kenbon Chakushoku Enmaten zo
Kenbon Chakushoku Suiten zo (Varuna)
Kenbon Chakushoku Kongodoji zo (child acolytes of Buddhism)
Kenbon Chakushoku Ryokai Mandala (Two World Mandala)
Kenbon Chakushoku Sonsho Mandala (Mandala composed of holy spirits of Mahavairocana's parietal region) Mandala
Kenbon Chakushoku Hachidai Buccho Mandala (Mandala composed of holy spirits of Mahavairocana's parietal region) Mandala
Kojoin Kyakuden shohekiga: 1 surface of a pine tree and waterfall painting, 5 surfaces of chrysanthemum paintings, 7 surfaces of mountains paintings, 12 surfaces of flowers and birds paintings
Kangakuin Kyakuden shohekiga: 3 surfaces of waterfall paintings, 4 surfaces of paintings of ume trees and hinoki cypresses, and paintings of flowers and grasses, 4 surfaces of paintings of cherry trees and Japanese cedars, and paintings of flowers and grasses, 4 surfaces of hinoki cypresses paintings, and flowers and grasses paintings
Kangakuin Kyakuden shohekiga: 16 surfaces of paintings of copper pheasants, wild ducks and mandarin ducks, and paintings of bamboos and Japanese sparrows, 8 surfaces of paintings of bamboos and Japanese sparrows and paintings of reeds and snowy herons
A wooden seated Nyoirin Kannon (enshrined in Kannon-do Hall)
A wooden seated statue of Aizenmyoo (enshrined in Kannon-do Hall)
A wooden standing statue of Goho zenjin (good deities protecting dharma) (enshrined in Goho zenjin Hall)
A wooden standing statue of Kifudo (enshrined in To-in)
A wooden standing statue of Laksmi, Buddhist deity (deposited in the Museum of Cultural Art, Shiga)
A wooden standing statue of Eleven-faced Kannon (deposited in Kyoto National Museum)
A wooden standing statue of Thousand Armed Kannon (deposited in Nara National Museum)
A wooden seated statue of Chisho Daishi (deposited in the Museum of Cultural Art, Shiga)
A wooden statue of Fudo Myoo (deposited in Nara National Museum)
Kariteimoizo (seated statue of Kariteimo) (kept in Goho zenjin-do Hall)
(Calligraphy, Historical materials)
Daizo-kyo Sutra (the Tripitaka) 592 jo (176X176 cm)
Color painting on paper of Onjo-ji Temple, five width
Onjo-ji Temple Shaku (ruler)
Goeika (a Buddhist hymn)
the moon reflected in the lake (the moon indicates Boddisattva's heart)
ripples in the moonlight (carnal desire aroused)
bell's sound (Zen's spirit)
makes the whole lake shone bright (regain stability and a bodhisattva's way in the search for truth.)
Fudasho in front and behind
13 Ishiyama-dera Temple: 14 Mii-dera Temple (Onjo-ji Temple): 15 Kannon-ji Temple (Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City)
Keihan Electric Railway Keihan Ishiyama Sakamoto Line, 10 minutes walk from Mii-dera Temple Station・12 minutes walk from Bessho Station (Shiga Prefecture)
West Japan Railway Tokaido Main Line (Biwako Line), Otsu Station, change to Keihan Bus, 0 minute from Mii-dera Temple Stop
JR West Japan Railway Company Kosei Railway Line, Otsukyo Station, change to Keihan Bus, 0 minute from Mii-dera Temple Stop