Sunday, July 23, 2023

Jodoji Temple 49 Ohenro Shikoku Pilgrimage


Jodoji Temple is just a couple of kilometers from temple 48, Sairinji, as the pilgrimage route approaches Matsuyama City centre from the south. It is situated at the base of some hills.

To the right of the main hall is the obligatory Daishi-do, but to the left stand an Amida-do and an Aizen-do.

There is a fine pair of Nio in the gate, though they are missing their eyes, said to have been stolen.

The temple was founded in the early 8th century. There is some confusion as some sources say it was a monk named Emyo who founded it, whereas other sources claim Gyoki. Gyoki is climed to be the carver of the honzon, a Shaka Nyorai.

Kobo Daishi came here in the 9th century and rebuilt the temple and converted it to Shingon.

In the middle of the 10th century a famous, itinerant, philanthropist monk, Kuya Shonin, spent three years here helping the local people. Before he left he carved a statue of himself that is now an Important Cultural Property.

In the late 12th century Yoritomo Minamoto prayed here and funded some reconstruction of the temple. The temple propspered and at one point controlled more than 60 sub-temples.

In the early 15th century much was burned down and was later restored by the local Kono Clan.

The main hall, with Ming features, was built at this time though was dismantled and extensively repaired and renovated in 1965.

A graveyard is set among the trees and bamboo on the hillside behind the temple and a path takes you up to an observation platfrom with some far-reaching views.

The previous temple was number 48 Sairinji.


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