2018/05/04

Keisokuji Temples

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. sennin 仙人と伝説 Legends about Immortals .
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Keisokuji 鶏足寺 Keisoku-Ji Temple of the chicken legs

There are at least three temples with this name, each with a different legend about the naming.


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................................................................................. Hyogo 兵庫県 

鶏足寺 Keisoku-Ji



The temple was once located on mount 峰相山 Mineaiyama (244m) in the North-West of Himeji.
The temple was founded in 1348. Its history is written down in the records of Mineai-Ki 峯相記.
In 1348 a mendicant priest came here, heard the story from the old head priest of the temple and wrote it down.
It relates to Empress Jingu Kogo 神功皇后 and a prince from 新羅 Shinra (Shiragi), Korea, who wanted to promote Buddhism in Japan and founded the temple.

同書によれば、神功皇后が三韓征伐の際に連れてきた新羅の王子が草庵を建立したのが当寺の始まりで、その王子は3世紀ほど後の敏達天皇10年(581年)に没したという。
伝承によれば、「皇后が新羅の王子を連れ帰ることにした。王子は皇后に渡海を無事に終えて日域(日本のこと)に着けば、伽藍を建てたいと願い出たが、仏法の是非のわからない皇后は明答しなかった。皇后は帰国後、西域の不安に備えて副将軍の男貴尊を播磨にとどめおき、王子を預けた。その後、王子は、峯相山に草庵をつくって、千手陀羅尼を唱えた」とある。
鶏足寺には空也や書写山圓教寺の開山・性空も来山したと伝わる。『峯相記』が書かれた1348年頃には寺勢はすでに往古にくらべて衰退していたという。
天正6年(1578年)、中国攻めの羽柴秀吉に抵抗したため、全山焼き討ちにあい滅亡し、廃寺となった。
- reference source : wikipedia -


. shinkei 神鶏 sacred rooster .
- Nagata Shrine Kobe 長田神社  神戸 and Empress Jingu Kogo 神功皇后

According to the Nihon Shoki history, Nagata Shrine was founded by Empress Jingu Kogo 神功皇后 at the beginning of the 3rd century, when she came back from her war with Korea and was on her way to Kyoto.
Her boat suddenly came to a halt near the estuary of Buko river, now near Kobe port 武庫の水門 (Buko no suimon). When she prayed for an answer to this event, the deity appeared to her and asked to be venerated in this region. This happened through the oracle of the rooster, which sounded like the voice of the deity

鶏鳴の聞こゆる里は、吾が有縁の地なり
The place where the voice of the rooster is heard
shall be my home.




................................................................................. Shiga 滋賀県 

Keisokuji 鶏足寺 Temple Keisoku-Ji "Temple dedicated to the legs of a chicken"
Chicken Foot Temple.

This temple dates back to the Nara period. It is located in the North of Lake Biwako, on Mount 己高山 Kodakamiyama (923 m).
Priest Gyoki Bosatsu had build the temple Todai-Ji in Nara.
And then came the priest Taicho and founded the temple 飯福寺 Hanpuku-Ji in the direction to protect Todai-Ji from evil influence (kimon 鬼門).

The main statue of this temple is 十一面観音 Juichimen Kannon with 11 heads. It was placed in a temple named 観音寺 Kannon-Ji, founded by Gyoki in 735).
Next there was priest Saicho, founder of Mount Hieizan. He traveled in the footsteps of Gyoki for a while and came to this temple.
On his way he heard the voice of a bird (rooster - kei) and saw footprints (soku) of the animal.
He followed the footprints and found a run-down temple with a statue of Kannon. Now the name of the temple was changed to
Keisoku-Ji.
It seems the original temple was on top of the mountain, but Keisoku-Ji is now at the food of Mount Kodakamiyama.
The old temple building was lost to fire in 1933.
In the area is also the Shinto shrine 与志漏神社 Yoshiro Jinja with a 薬師堂 Yakushi-Do Hall.



Now the temple is famous for the red autumn leaves.

- quote -
The temple was closed and abandoned after the end of Edo Period, however it’s been managed and maintained by local residents, and it’s now one of most important cultural properties and popular tourist attractions in the prefecture.
- source and photos : jw-webmagazine.com/keisoku-ji... -

滋賀県長浜市 Shiga Nagahama


. Taichoo, Taichō 泰澄上人 Saint Taicho Shonin .
and a legend from Shiga

. Gyooki Bosatsu 行基菩薩 Gyoki Bosatsu (668 - 749).

. Saicho, Dengyo Daishi 伝教大師最澄 (766 - 822) .





................................................................................. Tochigi 栃木県 


鶏足寺 Keisokuk-Ji "Temple dedicated to the legs of a hen"
本尊:七仏薬師 Shichibutsu Yakushi
足利市小俣町2748-1 // 2748 Omatachō, Ashikaga-shi, Tochigi

. Shichibutsu Yakushi 七仏薬師 / 七佛薬師 Seven Yakushi Statues .


source : .city.ashikaga.tochigi.jp/site/bunkazai...

The statue is 52 cm high. End of Heian or beginning of Kamakura period.
In the compound of Keisoku-Ji was a hall dedicated to the Buddha of Medicine, 医王堂本堂.

- quote -
Keisokuji Temple
Over 1,100 years ago, this temple was opened by Joe Shonin (a Buddhist priest of Todaiji Temple in Nara Pref.).
At first,
the name was Sesonji Temple (Shakyamuni Temple). During the Tengyo-no-Ran (Tengyo War) (939-940), Hidesato Fujiwara (the head of a powerful family of the Heian period) overthrew Masakado Taira (a general of the Heian period) using a curse and the emperor gave this temple the name Keisokuji.

- - - - - The legend of Keisokuji Temple
In 939, Masakado Taira( a general of the Heian period) started the war that betrayed the Imperial Court.
During the next year, Hidesato Fujiwara fought with Masakado, obeying the emperor's instructions.
At this time, the highest Buddhist priest of the Sesonji Temple prayed for Hidesato's victory. Using Buddha's teaching, he offered the neck of Masakado which was made of clay. He kept praying every day and every night.
Finally on the eighth day, he fell asleep.
In his dream, he found a hen who had three legs treading on Masakado's bloody neck.
When he awoke to the hen's laughing voice, he saw Masakado's clay neck had three footprints clearly stamped in it.
In the 17th day of the full moon, Hidesato beat Masakado.
The name of Sesonji Temple has thus changed to Keisokuji Temple.
- source : japanguides.net/tochigi...-

. Yakushi Nyorai 薬師如来 - Legends .


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. sennin 仙人と伝説 Legends about Immortals .


. Japan - Shrines and Temples - Index .


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