Thursday, June 29, 2023

Tanjo-in Temple 62 Kyushu Pilgrimage


Tanjo means "birth" in Japanese, and Tanjo-in Temple in Kashima, Saga is built on the spot where Kakuban, known posthumously as Kogyo Daishi, was born in 1095.

The temple was founded in 1405 at the request of the Shogun Yoshimitsu. Nearby is Rengon-in, a temple connected to where Kakuban first studied the Dharma as a child.

At the end of the 16th century, the temple was destroyed during the Warring States Period. At the end of the 17th century, the local Daimyo of the Nabeshima clan tried unsuccessfully to revive the temple.

In 1913 a descendant of the Nabeshima and influential local people succeeded in getting the temple rebuilt. The grounds are quite large and planted with a wide variety of flowering shrubs and trees including Cherry, Wisteria, Azalea, etc.

The honzon is a Fudo Myoo and it has a statue of Kakuban in front. The Fudo came from Negoro-ji Temple in Wakayama which is where Kakuban died and has his tomb.

He is credited with being a reformer of Shingon and his disciple officially set up a "new" branch called Shingi. For a while he controlled Koyasan. He also was a cause of conflict which is why he left Koyasan for Negoro-ji.

The Kondo, built in 1929, enshrines a statue of Kakuban. Tanjo-ji has a reputation as a place to pray for safe childbirth.

It is number 62 on the 108 temple Shingon Kyushu Pilgrimage, and I visited on the 59th day of my walk. A few minutes earlier I had visited Rengon-in, number 63.

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