Thursday, February 2, 2012

Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage Temple 6 Anrakuji

Anrakuji, which can be translated as "Temple of Present Joy and Peaceful Death" is located in Kamiita Town and is now the sixth temple on the 88 temple pilgrimage.

Originally with a different name and located about 1k north of its present location, legend says it was founded by Kobo Daishi in 811.

The main hall is a modern concrete construction as it replaces an older one that burnt down in 1955. There are 33 deity statues in the grounds and a shrine to Benzaiten.

It belongs to the Shingon sect and the main deity is Yakushi Nyorai, supposedly carved by Kukai himself.

Historical documents say it was built in 1598 by order of the Lord of the province, Hachisuka Iemasa, as an ekiroji, roadside temple, to provide lodgings for travelers and pilgrims. He ordered 8 ekiroji to be built and while he may well have had some altruistic motives it seems they may have been used to spy upon travelers. Prior to this date, the temple was not part of the 88 temple pilgrimage.


  1. The statue of the demon is great. The last time I was in a Japanese temple, the colour of the demons were not so bright.


  2. I'd love to see a count of how many statues were supposedly carved by Kukai... the man can hardly have time left over for his proselytising!

  3. Kukai and Kobo Daishi are 2 very different kettles of fish :)