Nakayama Daibutsu (The Great Buddha in Nakayama)
Nakayama Daibutsu (The Great Buddha in Nakayama Hokekyo-ji)
The Great Buddha in Hokekyo-ji, the statue of the seated Shaka-Nyorai,
shows the figure of Buddha becoming enlightment. It is the largest Daibutsu
in Chiba prefecture
It is told that its height is jo-roku, so the height is 356 cm and the width is 279.5cm. The Daibutsu has gentle expression on its face. It expresses to visitors that Buddha has gentle mind to help them.
Nichizen, the twenty-eighth abbot of the head temple Honpo-ji Temple
in Kyoto succeeded the fifty-ninthe abbot Nakayama of Hokekyo-ji Temple
in 1717, enthusiastically propagate Nichiren Sect teaching to people and
collected donations to construct a Daibutsu in Nakayama Hokekyo-ji Temple
He asked Masayoshi Fujiwara
of Ota-Suruga-no-kami living in Nabe-cho, Kanda, Edo
) to construct it, and the construction was accomplished in September 1719.
Nakayama Daibutsu was constructed to pray for peace, good harvest, happiness and flourishing Nichiren Sect, these wishes are carved on its lower back.
Now Nakayama Daibutsu was repaired in 2018 and it could stand forever.
The Head Temple of Nichren Shu, Eishozan Honpouji Temple in Kyoto
Honpou-ji Temple was bulit by the venerable Nisshin
of Kuonsaiin at Ayanokoji, Higashitoin,Kyoto in 1436.
The venerable Nisshin presented his masterpiece 'Risshochikokuron' to Yoshinori Ashikaga
, the sixth Shogun of Muromachi Shogunate
to resort to a petition of the peace to him directly. However this offended
Yoshinori's sensibilities, he was put into a jail and his temple was fired.
In addition, the punishment that the Shogun Yoshinori inflicted on Nisshin
gradually became severe, they were so cruel that nobody could not watch.
One day he put a baked pan on his head. This incident gave him 'Nabekaguri
Nisshin-jonin' (the venerable Nisshin with a pan). Although he suffered
several inhuman persecutions, his missionary work continued enthusiastically.
Finally, the Emperor, Gohanazono was interested in him and gave him a land
at Shijotakakura, then he rebuilt his temple there in 1455.
In 1460, it moved to Sanjomadenokoji, then it moved to near the Ichijo-Modori-bashi
bridge (Now there is Seimei-jinja Shrine) in Tenppo Ages. In 1587, it fainally
moved to the present site due to the land planning. At that time, the tenth
abbot of the venerable Nichitsu was given a thousand koku (1koku is 157
kg of rice; it meant that 1 koku could be harvest a land), and the father
of Koetsu Honami, Koji rebuilt the buildings in the temple, they stood
on magnificently and they became the credits to believers of NIchiren sect.
The buildings now in the site has been rebuilt by the believers of Honpouji Temple after it had got fired in 1788.
The Caster Masayoshi Hujiwara Of Ota Suruga-no-Kami
Masayosi Hujiwara was a famous caster lived in Kandanabecho
(Tokyo). He worked actively from Hoei Ages to Kyoho Ages (the first half
of 18th century). Edo-roku-jizo (the six Jizo in Edo) ordered by Shogen
Jizobo in Fukagawa (Tokyo) and Suiban (a basin) in Tomioka Hachimangu in
Edo Roku Jizo (The Six Jizo In Edo)
The Six Seated Statues of Jizo were constructed at the six gateways of
Edo (the old name of Tokyo) in 1706 by the order by Shogen Jizobo in Fukagawa
Edo with much donations by thousands people in Edo. While Shogen had prayed
for recovery his diseases, he became well, then he ordered to construct
the Jizos like Kyoto Roku Jizos (the six Jizos in Kyoto).
The caster, Fujiwara Masayoshi of Ota Suruga-no-kami
in Kandanabe-cho constructed them. Their heights are about 270cm. First
, they were guild with gold (The second Jizo in Tozen-ji Temple was coated
by Bengal), there are few marks on them. And there were some small seated
statues of jizo and lists of the contributors in each Jizo. And also there
are carved names on them and on their lotus pedestal, so the total of them
were over 72,000.
Edo Roku Jizos stands in the six temples; Shinagawa-ji in Sinagawa, Tozen-ji in Asakusa, Taiso-ji in Shinjyuku, Sinsho-ji in Sugamo, Reigan-ji in Sirakawa and Eitai-ji in Tomioka (The Jizo in Eitai-ji was stood near the second Torii in Tomioka-hachimangu, but Eitai-ji was ruined due to the anti-Buddhist movement in Meiji era 1868, so the Jizo was disappeared). Now the five Jizo of the six are designated by Tokyo Metropolitan Government as the tangible cultural properties.
The Venerable Nisshin（1407-1488）
The venerable Nisshin was a priest belonged to Nichiren Sect, he was famous
for the name of Nabekaburi-Nisshin.
Nisshin was born in the Hanitani family at Hanitani in Kazusa-no-kuni
(Hanitani, Sanbu city, Chiba prefecture
). He became a pupil of the venerable Nichiei of the superior of Hosen-ji
Temple that is one of sub-temples of Nakayama Hokekyo-ji that the Hanitani
family faithfully believed in. In 1427, he went to Kyoto and started missionary
work, so he first preached at Ichijo-Modoribashi bridge
After missionary woks in Kyoto, he went to Kyushu. He taught the members
in the sect at Kosho-ji Temple in Matsuo, Ogi, Hizen-no-kuni (Ogi city
in Saga Prefecture). Since then, the superior in the temple had held the
superior (the abbot ) of Nakayama Hokekyo-ji Temple, but this time he got
the post, and he became the first abbot of Kosho-ji Temple, and he contributed
to development of Nichiren Sect at Hizen in Kyushu. In Saga prefecture,
so there are not only Kosho-ji Temple but also many temples that Nisshin
had built, and converted from other sects to Nichren Sect, so there are
so many historic associations of him. Although Nisshin expressed strong
faith along Nichiren Sect and he severely criticized the lord the Chiba Clan
, he was excommunicated in 1437 and he leaved Kyushu.
In the next year, he appeared in Kyoto again, he expressed a petition to the sixth Shogun Yoshinori Ashikaga to believe in Nichiren Sect and to forsake his faith in other sects, but Yoshinori had never turned to for him. Then he wrote 'Risshochikokuron' to try petitioning the Shogun again. While he was writing it, he was put in jail. He had got several cruel punishments in the jail. A punishment that he was put a baked pan on his head to be given up him, but he did not give up his faith. This incident was very famous, then he would be called 'Nabekaburi Nisshin' (Nisshin with a baked pan on his head) Next year of 1441, he was freed by amnesty due to Kakitsu-no-ran (Kakitsu Incidents) that the Shogun Yoshinori was assassinated by his fellow Mitsusuke Akamatsu.
After that, Nisshin built Honpouji Temple
in Kyoto as his base to engage missionary work throughout Japan. However
he suffered persecutions everywhere he had gone to since he demanded for
people to believe only the words of the founder Nichiren severely and he
also attacked to the other Buddhism sects.
In 1462, the government of Muromachi Shogunate put Nisshin in jail again as a punishment for him because of his strong mission. Next August, he was freed by amnesty again. Since then, he seldom travel to propagate, he worked on restructuring his believers at his base Honpouji Temple in Kyoto.
The venerate Nisshin passed away in 1488, he finished his missionary work through his life of 82 years.
Yoshinori Ashikaga（1394-1441 Reign:1429-41）
Yoshinori Ashikaga was the sixth shogun of the Muromachi Bakufu
(Muromachi Shogunate). His father was the third shogun Yoshimitsu, and
his mother was Yoshimitsu's concubine, Keiko Fujiwara. In 1403, he was
put into the Buddhist priesthood at Shorenin in Kyoto, he named Gien. In
November 3rd of 1419, he became the Tendaizasu ( the chief abbot of Tendai
His elder brother, the fourth Shogun Yoshimochi had lived longer than his son the fifth shogun Yoshikazu, therefore when his elder brother died, there was no successors. In January 17th of 1428, the senior statemen of the shogun held a conference who should be the sixth shogun, then they adopted a lottery, and they decided Gien by the lottery in front of Iwashimizu Hachimangu in Kyoto.the shogun. Next day of January 18th, Yoshimochi passed, he went out of Shorenin to succeed the post of the sixth Shogun. Therefore he was called ‘Kuji Shogun’( the shogun of the lottery).
He was appointed the Jugoinoge (Junior Fifth Rank, Lower Grade) the Samanokami (the head of the section taking care of imperial horses) in March, and he changed his name Gien to Yoshinobu, then he cerebrated his attainment of manhood. In March 15th, he became Sangi (Councilor), Sakone-no-Chujo (lieutenant general of the left), and he was appointed Shogun, then he changed his name Yoshinori. March 29th, he promoted to Jusanmi (Junior Third Grade) Gon-no-Dainagon (the chief councilor). In November 13th, he was in Junii (Junior Second Grade). In October 17th of 1429, he reached at Juichii (Junior First Grade). Moreover, he was the Nidaijin (the minister of the center) in July 25th, Sadaijin (the minister of left) in August 28th, Denjyo-betto (the supervisor of all members serve at the Imperial Palace) and Ujichoja (the chief of all clans in Japan) in December 9th.
He was very strong, so he tried to build up the authority of the Muromachi
Bakuhu and the power of Shogun. In 1439, he ruined Kamakura Kubo (Kamakura
Shogun) in Sagami-no-kuni (Kanagawa Prefecture
)Mochuji Ashikaga who tried to build an independent authority from the
Bakufu in Kanto (Eikyo-no-Ran; the Eikyo War). He attacked to Yoshitsura
Isshiki and Mochiyori Toki in 1440. And he forced priests in Kofuku-ji
and Eizan to submit by his military power. They had excitingly strengthened
the authority. However, his attempt was so severe that his retainers had
complaints and fear in their mind. In June 24th of 1441, Mitsusuke Akamatsu
who was his important retainer held the party to celebrate of the victory
of the battle at Yuki at his mansion, and he invited Yoshinor ito the party
to kill him(Kakkitsu Incident). He was assassinated at last.
June 29th, he was appointed Daijyo-Daijin (the prim minister) for the repose
of his soul. He was buried at Tojiin Temple in Kyoto in July 6th. His Buddhist
name was Fukodenzenzandoe.
The Location of Nakayama Daibutsu (The Great Buddha)
Nakayama Daibutsu (The Great Buddha ) In Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple
- Nakayama Daibutsu (The Great Buddha) in Nakayama Hokekyouji Temple has great accessibilities from both Narita and Haneda International Airport.
- From Narita International Airport, take Keisei-line and get off Keisei-Nakayama Sta, take minimally 40 minutes from Narita Airport.. And also take JR Sobu-express line, transfer the line at Funabashi to Sobu-Local line, get off Shimousa-Nakayama Sta.
- From Haneda International Airport, take Keikyu-line bound to Narita, and get off Keisei-Nakayama Sta.
- From Tokyo Sta, take Sobu-Express line bound to Chiba or Narita, transfer the line to Sobu-Local line bound to Chiba, Tsudanuma, or Nishi-Funabashi at Ichikawa Sta, get off Shimousa-Nakayama Sta.
- From Akihabara Sta, take Sobu line bound to Chiba, get off Shimousa-Nakayama Sta.
- Take 5 minute walk from Keisei-Nakayama Sta, and take 8 minutes walk from Shimousa-Nakayama Sta.
- 2-10-1 Nakayama, Ichikawa-shi, Chiba-pref, Japan
The Landmarks in Nakayama Hokekyouji Temple
Takikyakuden is the main hall of Hokekyoji and it has the business office and Kishibojindo Hall dedicated to the goddess of children on the end of the long corrido of the main hall.
In spring, there is millions of cherry blossoms in Hokekyoji and in summer, lotus blooms on ryuo-ike pond. In fall, there are beautiful colored leaves. Every season, visitors could enjoy seeing the sights.
It is characterized the twin hip-and-gable roof structure (hiyoku-irimoya-style), and hengaku written by Koetsu Honami hangs in front.
It was built in early Edo period (1622) by request of Koshitsu Honami supported by Maeda Family in Kaga.
It was built in Kamakura period.
It was moved from Aizen-dou in Kamakura 700 years ago.
It was designed by the famous architect Chuta Ito, it stores many scripts
written by the Founder Nichiren.
It enshrines Kiyomasa Kato, one of the most famous daimyo in Sengoku period.
From Nov 1 to Feb 10, hundreds of Buddhist priests practice severly every year.
The henguku hunged in front of the gate was written by Koetsu Honami, famous artist in Momoyama Period.
It was built for worshipping Jurasetsunyo, Kishibozin, Daikokusama.
It is also called Sou-mon (the main gate).
The founder Nichiren built the small shrine to dedicate the dragon god to pray for rain.
It enshrins Ugazin who is the guardian deity of Hokekyou-ji Temple.
It dedicates Hokushin Myouken Star that the Chiba Family deeply believed in, Hokekyoji traditionally succeeds. In November, Tori-no-ich is held in the site to dedicate the star.
The founder Nichiren preached first time at the Toki's castle called Wkakamiya Yakata. And Toki built a temple 'Hokkeji', it is the origin of Oku no In.
It was built in 1719 by famous caster Ota Suruga-no-kami in Kanda. It is the bigest great Buddha in Chiba prefecture.
Nichijo was the first abbot of Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple and Naki Icho is a gingko tree having a sad legend.
There are some other landmarks in Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple.
Koetsu Honami specially remained his calligraphy in Hokekyo-ji Temple, and Shiki Masaoka, Kafu Nagai discribed it well.
Some tacchue temples are introduced in this page.
There are some noted spots, Kaii Higashiyama Memorial Hall and so on, near Hokekyoji.
Cherry blossoms in Hokekyoji are amazingly wonderful.