Thursday, September 28, 2023

Hanta-ji Temple 50 Shikoku Pilgrimage


Just 1.6 kilometers from temple 49, Jodoji, temple 50, Hanta-ji is located on the hillside to the east of southern Matsuyama City.

Said to have been founded around 750 by Gyoki who is also said to have carved the honzon, a small Yakushi Nyorai.

Later Kobo Daishi visited and changed the name to Hantaji.

In the late 13th century Ippen Shonin studied here and later went on to found the Jishu sect.

The ceiling of the bell tower is decorated with paintings depicting Chinese scenes which I believe represent the 24 Paragons of Filial Piety.

The temple is probably most well known for its statue of Kangiten housed in the Shotendo which is fronted by a torii.

The crossed daikon is one symbol connected to Kangiten. It is said to represent marital harmony, one of the many wishes that Kangiten is known for.

Kangiten, like so many of the deities in Japan, has a long and complex history and identities but is closely connected to the Hindu deity Ganesh.

The statue of Kangiten was donated by Ietsuna, the 4th Tokugawa Shogun.

From the late 14th century the temple prospered due to a connection with the imperial temple of Sennyuji in Kyoto and grew to include over 100 branch temples.

The previous temple on the Shikoku Ohenro Pilgrimage was Jodoji, number 49.


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