Sunday, October 3, 2021

Jyokoji Temple 8 Shodoshima Pilgrimage


I reached Jokoji, number 8 temple on the 88 temple Shodoshima Pilgrimage, after coming down from the mountains visible in this first photo where I had visited the amazing mountain cave temples of Dounzan and Goishizan high up in the mountains.

The large, walled compound and belfry gate was quite a contrast, and I think this was the biggest temple I had visited on my first day walking the Shodoshima Pilgrimage.

The temple was founded in the mid 8th century by Gyoki, though it was located furter up the side of the mountain. It was destroyed in the 16th century when a Christian daimyo held sway over the island and destroyed many temples.

The temple was rebuilt in the mid to late 17th century. The small Yakushi-do in the precincts dates to 1665 The main hall was rebuilt in 1986. The honzon is a Yakushi Nyorai and the temple belongs to the Shingon sect.

Flanking the Yakushi statue is a statue of Fudo and one of Kobo Daishi. The ceiling is covered in paintings done by members of the temple. They seem to be mostly fruit, vegetable, and flowers..

It seems it was once a very rich and poerful temple. In the mid 19th century a Christian believer was found in the parish and the temple was punished by having the tax-free status of its lands rescinded. In the Meiji Period with Shinbutsu Bunri, it lost control of several shrines, and in the postwar land reforms, most of its properties were confiscated.

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