Onosan Jokoji Temple and Chichinashi Nio
Onosan Jokoji Temple
is an old temple that stands on the north of Onojo
Castle that Masakado Taira
had built in late Heian period
. In fall, leaves fallen down from gingko trees spread on the ground like
golden carpets and they light up the Niomon Gate built in Taisho Era. Behind
the gate, the main hall stands and a small lovely sculpture named 'Otomodachi
Kannon (a friendship kannon)' is dedicated in front of it. It gives visitors
peace in mind.
Onosan Jokoji Temple in Ono Ichikawa City
belongs to Nichiren Shu
. It is famous for a sculpture called 'Chichinashi Niozo
(the Deva King without his nipple) carved by Unkei
that has been believed by many mothers having little milk to have plenty
milk and to have their children healthy. Moreover, Jokoji Temple is one
of the temples having stone statues of Shichifukujin
(Seven Deities of Good Fortune) in Ichikawa.
It is said that the origin of Jokoji Temple that a small shrine dedicating Bishamonten
built by Masakado Taira in his Onojo Castle in late Heian Period. The
venerable Nichiben, one of Nichiren's disciple, converted from Shingon Shu
to Nichiren Shu when Nichiren
visited Nakayama later in Kamakura Period.
Onosan Jokoji Temple dedicates the statue of Chichinashi Nio registered
as a municipal asset by Ichikawa City and deserves its history as dedicating
the stone statue of Bishamonten that belongs to Ichikawa Shichifukujin
The Statue of Chichinashi Nio
The heights of the statue of Chichinashi Nio is 24.3 cm tall, and this
small Ungyo style sculpture (with a closed mouth) is 31.1 cm tall with
the base like a stone, this statue of Nio is an outstanding work carefully
carved with brawny face, muscles and well-proportioned physique. It was
constructed by assembling pieces of wood with crystal eyes, and it was
colored, the upper body is naked, and its bottom is worn Mo (classical
Japanese clothes) with dramatic patterns of gold painted hemp leaves. It
little bit twists its body at the waist with a vajra in its right hand.
But the vajra had lost and the right hand was fixed recently.
This sculpture is said to be carved by Unkei
, one of the most outstanding artist in Kamakura period
. The Nio does not have his nipple (chichi). Once upon a time, Unkei carved
a sculpture for his mother's memorial service. When he has almost completed
carving it, his mother appeared in front of him, he was very surprised
at that so he cut the Nio's nipple. He once gave up and he would try destroying
it. But his mother stopped him and said that it could be the god for easy
delivery. Then Unkei completed it.
This sculpture is called 'Chichinashi Nio (the Deva King without his nipple) because of the legend, and many mothers having little milk believed it.
Bishamonten / Vaishravana; the God of Treasure and War
Bishamonten is a god protecting Buddhism and one of guardian deities protecting
four directions, and it is also called Tamonten. He stays on the halfway
up to Mt. Sumeru, Jikokuten is in the east, Zochoten in the south, Komokuten
in the west and Tamonten (Bishamonten) is in the north to protect his direction.
He serves Taishakuten and he controls Hachibushu to protect people believing
in Buddhism. Tamonten (Bishamonten) is differed from other three gods,
he is believed in Japanese as a unique god. When he is a single god, he
is called Bishamonten. He has a treasure club (a weapon) in his right hand,
has a pagoda in his left hand. Especially the pagoda is his symbol. And
he joined to Shichifukujin
with his amours. Bishamonten is believed as a god of industrial promotion
and match making.
Jokoji Temple has been called 'Tamonbo' for several hundred years. It might imply 'Tamonten', so the word 'Tamonten' changes to 'Tamonbo' then 'Tamanbo'. Jokoji Temple is on the north of Onojo Temple, so it could be a guardian deity of the castle. Bishamonten had lost when Onojo Castle had lost, only the word 'Tamonbo' would have remained.
Later, Jokoji Temple has been famous for Chichinashi Niozo, and mothers having little milk to bring up their babies deeply worshipped it.
In this time, the stone statue of Bishamonten that is the origin of the word 'Tamanbo' rebuilt.
Nikkei, The 38th chief priest of Onosan Jokoji Temple
Shichifukujin (the Seven Gods of Good Fortune) In Ichikawa City
Onosan Jokoji Temple
- Onosan Jokoji Temple has accessibilities from both Narita and Haneda International Airport.
- From Narita International Airport, take JR Sobu-express line, transfer the line at Nishi-funabashi to Musashino Line bound to Fuchuhoncho or Higashi Tokorozawa, get off Ichikawa Ono Sta. And also take Hokuso Line, transfer the line at Higashimatsudo to Musashino Lline, get off Ichikawa Ono Sta. It takes minimally 50 minutes from Narita Airport.
- From Haneda International Airport, take Keikyu-line bound to Narita, transfer the line at Takasago Sta to Hokuso Line, and transfer the line at Higashi Matsudo Sta to Musashino Line, get off Ichikawa Ono Sta. It takes almost 1 hour from Haneda Airport.
- From Tokyo Sta, take Musashino Line bound to Fuchuhoncho or Higashi Tokorozawa, get off Ichikawa Ono Sta. It takes about 28 minutes from Tokyo Sta.
- From Akihabara Sta, take Sobu line bound to Chiba, Tsudanuma or Nishi Funabashi, Ttransfer the line at Nishi Funabashi to Musashino Line bound to Fuchu Honcho or Higashi Tokorozawa, get off Ichikawa Ono Sta.
- Take 7 minute walk from Ichikawa Ono Sta.
- 3-1917 Ono-cho, Ichikawa-shi, Chiba-ken
The Landmarks near Onosan Jokoji Temple
Omachi and Ono have many pear gardens, pears are their special products.
It has the Rose Garden and the Village of Maple Trees.
It has a legend connecting to Masakado Taira and it dedicates him.
It was built by Norinobu Soya and has a legends of Masakado Taira and
Komagata Grand Shrine.
It was built by Masakado Taira, one of the mot famous samurai heroes in
Onosan Jokoji Temple
It was famous for the statue of Chichinashi Nio and it belongs to Shichifukujin
The shrine of Gozu Tenno, the god giving children to faithful couples, is dedicated in it.
It dedicates Daikokuten, the god of wealth, belonging to Ichikawa Shichifukujin.
It is an old temple with 650 years history and it has Ono Tenmangu Shrine built by Masakado Taira.
Many Flowers written in the Myriad of Leaves are exhibited with tanka poems
Swans and some waterfowls go on the pond surrounded by cherry trees in spring.
Many attractive landmarks stand along it.
The sacred temple covered with holy cherry trees is famous for the legend of Seven Sutra Mound and Shichifukujin in Ichikawa.
The first nunnery of Nichiren Sect built by the Princess Tokiwai, the legend said ther daughter of the Emperor drifted to Ichikawa.