Shobo-ji Temple (Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City) (正法寺 (京都市東山区))

Shobo-ji Temple, located in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, is a temple of the Ji sect. Its sango (literally, "mountain name"), which is the title prefixed to the name of a Buddhist temple, is Ryozan or Ryojusen. Its ingo, title given to a Buddhist temple, is Muryoju-in Temple. Its honzon (principal image of Buddha) is Shaka Nyorai (Shakyamuni).

It is said to have originated as a temple of the Tendai sect, having been built by Saicho, the kaisan (a founder of temple as the first chief priest). Initially it was called Ryosen-ji Temple and became the place of imperial prayer for the emperors Koko and Uda. It is believed that Honen studied Betsuji Nenbutsu in this temple during the early Kamakura period. Subsequently it was ruined, but when Kokua, a monk of the Ji sect, revived the temple in 1383, it came under the Ji sect and was renamed at Shobo-ji Temple. The temple's fortune rose by accepting the conversion of Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA, the third shogun of the Muromachi bakufu, to Buddhism. In the Edo period, it was given Shuinjo (shogunate license to conduct trade) by the Edo bakufu and had approximately ten tatchu (sub-temples on the site of the main temple); however, it has declined since the Meiji period, and today it has only a hondo (Shaka-do Hall) and a kuri (the priest's living quarters or the kitchen of a temple), etc.

Additionally, the Ofuda (paper charms) provided at Shobo-ji Temple at that time were called 'Ofuda of Kashiwa Oak,' whose shape was that of a Kashiwa oak leaf, and words, such as '伊勢熊野参詣輩' (visit to Ise and Kumano) and '許永代汚穢' (forgive the impurity of Eitai), were printed on the Ofuda.

35 Seikanji Ryozan-cho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture

[Original Japanese]