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The oldest temple in Miyoshi, preserved for a long time.

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The oldest temple in Miyoshi, preserved for a long time.

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Kisshoin Temple on Mt. Yuki (the Omuro school of the Shingon sect)

Address: 1059 Miyoshimachi, Miyoshi, Hiroshima 728-0021 Call: 0824-62-3682

Founded in 834 by Kobo Daishi, also known posthumously as Kukai, with support of the Emperor. Kisshoin is the oldest temple in Miyoshi preserved for over 1,200 years.
The temple area was built at the foot of Mt. Higuma. Here you can experience the historic connection Miyoshicho has with faith. One example is the stairs leading up to the ‘Daishido’ (a small temple in Shingon Sect temples where a statue of Kobo Daishi is housed), sand from all 88 temples of Kobo Daishi’s Shikoku Pilgrimage is embedded into the steps, from the Daishido you can get a view over of all of Miyoshicho.

The 60th priest, Kobayakawa Juri is an active person who has an unusual background; He used to be a Formula 3 racer who even participated in a world tournament. "It was a sudden succession, but the supporters of the temple were all nice to me and have been supporting me." With a gentle smile and young, resilient heart, we felt a strong determination from the one whose shoulders an entire age of the Kisshoin temple will rest.

When Kisshoin was founded, the temple grounds were equal to about 40,000m2 and the land that was once the temple gate is now Miyoshi Junior Highschool.
As history passed, by order of Asano Nagaharu, the first feudal lord of the Miyoshi-Asano domain, Hogen temple and Myoei temple were built on the same temple grounds and Kisshoin became considered as a prayer temple praying for Asano domain's continued luck in battle.

The main temple was destroyed at some point, and in 1837 by order of the Emperor, a Houkyouintou (type of stone pagoda) engraved with the crest of the Emperor was placed where the temple once stood. After the war they wanted to reconstruct the main temple but couldn’t and so the temporary main temple became the current main temple.
In the center of the main temple there is a statue displaying the dignified Kobo Daishi. The altar and its fittings give off a historic, elegant atmosphere.

In the temple a book written by Kukai and a portrait drawn by Sugawarano Michizane are preserved as treasures of the temple.
They also have a collection of yokai stories called "Ino-Mononoke Roku" which features Miyoshimachi as the setting. They preserve many historic treasures of Miyoshicho.

Also on the temple grounds are the stairs embedded with sand from the 88 temples of Kobo Daishi’s Shikoku Pilgrimage. Since the temple was made for people who can't go to Shikoku they can visit the temple steps and stand on the sands, this is called "Osuna Fumi". When climbing the stairs stop and chant the mantra that is written on the plaque at each step three times, after climbing all 88 steps you’re permitted to climb the rest of the slope and see the Daishido, all of which is said to have the same effectiveness as going on the actual Shikoku pilgrimage.

There is also a statue of the bodhisattva "Hakuju Kanzeon Bosatsu" near a spring that is often called “Bokefuji Kannon” and visited by many people. “Bokefuji Kannon” translates to “the statue of Kannon who seals poor judgement”, it is said if you visit this statue it will save you from exhibiting poor judgement.

On the right of Mt. Higuma there is Mt. Kagara. On Mt. Kagara the Kagara shrine was built in 1331 enshrining the kami(spirit) of archery, Kisshoin has been preserving the shrine ever since. It is said a Tengu, a type of mountain spirit, lives around the shrine which people respect as a kami of battle so a lot of soldiers prayed there before they went to battle. This Tengu legend is still handed down to this day.

Kisshoin has been watching Miyoshicho change for over 1200 years. When you pray with the image of the past 1200 years and the people who came before us in mind you’ll feel impressed and relieved to be standing in the same place.

Information

スポット名 Kisshoin temple in Mt. Yuki (the Omuro school of the Shingon sect)
所在地 1059 Miyoshimachi, Miyoshi, Hiroshima 728-0021
電話番号 0824-62-3682