Jissetsu (十刹)

Jissetsu is a form of Zen temple in China and Japan, below the Gozan (Zen temples highly ranked by the government) and above the Shozan (zen temples other than Gozan (five great zen temples) and Jissetsu (ten important temples of the Rinzai sect)).


Originally, the origin of the Jissetsu is that Neiso (Ningzong) of the Southern Sung dynasty imitated the tradition of India's five Shoja (a hall where priests practice asceticism, like a temple) and ten pagodas, decided the 'Gozan' and 'Jissetsu' and protected them.

In Japan, it is clear that during the Kenmu Restoration Nanzen-ji Temple, Jomyo-ji Temple (both temples were later elevated to Gozan), Manju-ji Temple (Oita City) were already designated as 'Jissetsu,' it is accepted that the 'Jissetsu' were established during the late Kamakura period.

Although the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) decided the 'ten great temples in Japan,' but the temples and their rank were subject to change depending on the occasion. On August 13, 1386, together with the reform of the Gozan system, the Jissetsu system was reformed and divided into the 'Kyoto Jissetsu' and the 'Kanto Jissetsu' (Kamakura Jissetsu), and ten temples were decided respectively in Kyoto and the Kanto region (including temples outside Kamakura). However, among the regional temples there were some that had been included in the 'ten great temples of Japan' but had eventually been deprived of their designation and therefore protested strongly, and subsequently these temples were added to the 'Jissetsu' as exceptions. Therefore, in 1490 their number increased to 46 and later to 60 temples.

The ten great temples
Ryakuo Era (1338 - 1342)
Jomyo-ji Temple: First rank (afterwards elevated to Gozan)
Zenko-ji Temple: Second rank
Shofuku-ji Temple (Fukuoka City): Third rank
Manju-ji Temple: Fourth rank (afterwards elevated to Gozan)
Tosho-ji Temple: Fifth rank
Manju-ji Temple (Kamakura City): Sixth rank
Choraku-ji Temple (Ota City): Seventh rank
Shinnyo-ji Temple: Eighth rank
Ankoku-ji Temple (Kyoto City): Ninth rank
Manju-ji Temple (Oita City): Tenth rank
Temples added afterwards
Seiken-ji Temple
Rinsen-ji Temple
Toji-ji Temple

Kyoto Jissetsu
Toji-ji Temple: First rank
Rinsen-ji Temple: Second rank
Shinnyo-ji Temple: Third rank
Ankoku-ji Temple (Kyoto City): Fourth rank (temple subsequently abandoned)
Hodo-ji Temple: Fifth rank
Fumon-ji Temple: Sixth rank (temple subsequently abandoned)
Kogaku-ji Temple: Seventh rank (temple subsequently abandoned)
Myoko-ji Temple: Eighth rank
Daitoku-ji Temple: Ninth rank
Ryusho-ji Temple: Tenth rank

Kanto Jissetsu
Zenko-ji Temple: First rank
Zuisen-ji Temple: Second rank
Tosho-ji Temple: Third rank (temple subsequently abandoned)
Manju-ji Temple (Kamakura City): Fourth rank (temple subsequently abandoned)
Daikei-ji Temple: Fifth rank (temple subsequently abandoned)
Kosho-ji Temple: Sixth rank
Tozen-ji Temple (Yokohama City): Seventh rank
Zenpuku-ji Temple: Eighth rank (temple subsequently abandoned)
Hosen-ji Temple: Ninth rank (temple subsequently abandoned)
Choraku-ji Temple (Ota City): Tenth rank (afterwards converted to the Tendai sect)

[Original Japanese]