Monday, January 11, 2016

Zenkakuji Temple 30 on the Shikoku Pilgrimage

Located north of Kochi City, Zenrakuji was not temple number 30 for almost 100 years. It was/is located right next to a big shrine, now called Tosa Jinja, and when Shinto and Buddhism were seperated the temple was damaged. The honzon, Amida Nyorai, was moved to Anrakuji which then became temple 30.

In 1929 Zenrakuji was re-established but no buildings were erected until 1938, however Anrakuji refused to return the honzon. Later Zenrakuji changed to the same sect as Anrakuji with the same priest presiding over both, but Anrakuji stayed as temple 30. At some point in the 1970's the honzon moved back to Zenrakuji and it once again became temple 30.

The original temple  is credited to Kobo Daishi but it was built under orders of Emperor Shomu and re-established by Kobo Daishi.

The current temple is made of concrete and is architecturally not interesting. Neighboring Tosa Shrine however does have a lot of nice, traditional architecture.


  1. Can you describe the top photo? What are all those hanging gray pouches with faces?

    1. They are all stones.... each one is a Jizo, probably the most popular bodhisatva in Japan.