Saturday, July 10, 2021

Rengein Tanjoji Temple


Rengein Tanjoji Temple is a very large and relatively new temple in Tamana that I discovered by accident while walking the Kyushu Pilgrimage. I previously posted on the large gate housing the biggest Shitenno statues in Japan.

After passing through the gate a long, lantern-lined promenade leads to a statue of the founder and the main buildings. In 1930 the priest Zeshin Kawahara was instructed in a vision by Saint Koen to rebuild the temple that had previously stood on this spot. The first building was completed in 1937.

Saint Koen, who is enshrined here, was born on this spot in the late 11th century. He went on to become a monk and rose to be abbot of the great Tendai complex on Mount Hie. His most famous disciple was Honen, the founder of the Pure Land sect.

The original temple was built under orders of Shigemori Taira in the 12th century but was destroyed at the end of the 16th century. The new temple has grown with a 5 storied pagoda being built in 1997 and more recently a Tahoto pagoda.

Later an Okunoin was constructed a few miles away in the mountains. It is also a large complex with impressive buildings and also houses what is said to be the biggest bronze bell in Japan. It is part of the Kyushu Fudo Myo Pilgrimage that I walked a few years ago. Rengein Tanjoji Temple is the head temple in Kyushu of the Shingon Risshu sect.

1 comment: