Shingon Sect Daikakuji School (真言宗大覚寺派)

The Shingon Sect Daikakuji School is one of the schools of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism in Japan and is part of the Kogi Shingon (Old Shingon) Sect. The head temple is Daikaku-ji Temple.

Founder: Kobo Daishi (Hiken Daishi)


Daikaku-ji Temple crest

Temple Ranks (in no particular order)

Daihonzan (head temple): Daikaku-ji Temple (Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City)

Jun Daihonzan (sub-head temple): Oyama-dera Temple (Isehara City, Kanagawa Prefecture)

Bekkaku Honzan (special head temples): Kakusho-in Temple (Ukyo Ward, Kyoto City), Kozan-ji Temple (Tanba City, Hyogo Prefecture), Yakuo-ji Temple (Nishi Ward, Hiroshima City), Daisho-ji Temple (Mimasaka City, Okayama Prefecture), Kozan-ji Temple (Ibara City, Okayama Prefecture), Hagiwara-ji Temple (Kanonji City, Kagawa Prefecture), Kannon-ji Temple (Kanonji City, Kagawa Prefecture), Hoju-ji Temple (Kanonji City, Kagawa Prefecture), Gokuraku-ji Temple (Sanuki City, Kagawa Prefecture), Jizo-in Temple (Tokushima City), Kogan-ji Temple (Shikokuchuo City, Ehime Prefecture), Daihio-in Temple (Maebaru City, Fukuoka Prefecture), Daichi-in Temple (Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture)

Jun Bekkaku Honzan (sub-special head temples): 215 temples

Other temples

The history of the Shingon Sect Daikakuji School began with the founding of Daikaku-ji Temple. Kukai carved statues of the Five Wisdom Kings and founded Gokaku-in Temple on the site of Sagain, Emperor Saga's villa. During the spread of plague throughout Japan, Kukai recited the Heart Sutra written by Emperor Saga and housed it within Shinkyo-do Temple. Daikaku-ji Temple was founded in the year 876 by the command of Emperor Junna's wife, Imperial Princess Masako, and granted to the emperor's second son, Imperial Prince Monk Gojaku, who served as head priest and oversaw the construction of a complex of temple buildings.

In the year 918 Emperor Uda underwent ordination at Daikaku-ji Temple and in 1268 Emperor Saga assumed the position of 21st monzeki (head priest of aristocratic or imperial lineage) followed by Emperor Kameyama who served as 22nd monzeki. Between 1307 and 1321, Emperor Gouda exerted cloistered rule from Daikaku-ji Temple and created the Sento Imperial Palace at the Rengefu-ji sub-temple. As the construction of the temples was already complete at this time, Emperor Gosaga was named as chuko-no-so (restoration founder). The temple has a deep connection to the Daikakuji lineage emperors of the Southern Court. In 1336, the temple was completely destroyed by fire. The temple witnessed the upheaval of the Northern and Southern Courts period and in 1392 was used as the venue for peace negotiations between the Northern and Southern courts.

Daikaku-ji Temple was again completely destroyed by fire during the Onin War but the protection of the Toyotomi clan and Tokugawa clan meant that it was rebuilt and flourished as a monzeki temple until its decline at the end of the Edo period. At the beginning of the Meiji period, the temple came to no longer be served by a resident head priest but was revived thanks to the effort of the 47th monzeki, Gyokutai, and 48th monzeki, Ryucho.

The Takano and Toji schools of the Shingon Sect unified in 1925 and became part of the Kogi Shingon Sect but during the Second World War, the government amalgamated the Kogi (Old) Shingon Sect and Shingi (New) Shingon Sect into the single Daishingon Sect as part of its policy on religion. In 1949, the Daishingon Sect was dissolved and the Shingon Sect Daikakuji School, which survives until today, was created.


Kancho (Chief Abbot) (also serves as the monzeki of Daikaku-ji Temple)
Shumucho (General Affairs Department) (located at the Daikaku-ji Temple)
Training (a head chief is appointed)
Head Office (oversees the following departments)
General Affairs Department
Education Department
Finance Department
Administration Department
Publishing Department
Sect Council (appoints the Shingon Sect Daikakuji School assembly) consisting of 20 members (each member is appointed for 3 years and composed of 9 parish chiefs, 9 elected members and 2 members selected by Daikaku-ji Temple elders)
Regional Administration (administration over the 47 prefectures of Japan is conducted by dividing the country into the following nine parishes: Kanto region, Tokai region, Kinki region, Awaji Island, Tokushima Prefecture, Shikoku 1st, Chugoku region, Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu 1st)
A parish chief is appointed to each parish. There are instances in which a deputy parish chief (parish chiefs and deputy parish chiefs are appointed by the chief abbot for a period of 3 years) or managers within a parish (delegates and bosses are appointed by the parish chief) are appointed at the discretion of the chief abbot.

Priest ranks (15 in total)/missionary ranks

The level, rank and number of years served is indicated.
1. Daisojo
2. Gon Daisojo: 7 years
3. Chusojo: 5 years
4. Gon Chusojo: 5 years
5. Shosojo: 5 years
6. Gon Shosojo: 5 years
7. Daisozu: 5 years
8. Gon Daisozu: 5 years
9. Chusozu: 3 years
10. Gon Chusozu: 3 years
11. Shosozu: 3 years
12. Gon Shozozu: 3 years
13. Dairisshi: 1 year
14. Risshi: 1 year
15. Gon Risshi: 1 year

Missionary Ranks


Head priest qualifications

Head priests have the qualification of teacher (undergone ordination rites, certification, shidokegyo (four trainings) and the Dharma-transmission initiation) and are appointed by the chief abbot.

Educational institutions

Saga Dento Gakuin (located within Daikaku-ji Temple. Headed by the monzeki of Daikaku-ji Temple. Conducts the ascetic training of Shingon Sect Daikakuji School monks.
Training takes one year)

Shuchiin University (partnership)
Rakunan Senior High School and the attached junior high school (partnership)
Saga Goryu Kado Soshisho
Sagakado Senmon Gakko
Saga Shodo Gakuin
Kyoto Saga University of Arts


Memorial service for the sect founder (held once every 50 years)


Conforms to the teachings of the Kogi Shingon Sect.

[Original Japanese]