To-ji Temple Shingon Sect (東寺真言宗)

The To-ji Temple Shingon sect is a Buddhist sect in Japan classified into the Kogi Shingon (Old Shingon) sect. The Sohonzan (the head temple of a Buddhist sect) is the To-ji Temple. The founder of the sect is Kukai (also known as Kobodaishi). It is different from the To-ji School of the Shingon Sect.

Shumon (the crest of the sect)

Clouds (the clouds of the To-ji Temple)

Jikaku (the status of the temples) (random order)

Sohonzan: The Kyoogokoku-ji Temple (the To-ji Temple) (Minami Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture)

The grand head temple: The Ishiyama-dera Temple (Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture)

Bekkaku-honzan (special head temple): The Kanchi-in Temple (Minami Ward, Kyoto City), the Hobodai-in Temple (Minami Ward, Kyoto City), the Unsho-ji Temple (Shibuya Ward, Tokyo Prefecture), the Tairyu-ji Temple (Chuo Ward, Kobe City)

The Chuhon-ji Temple (Ittokaku-in, literally, 'the first rank temple')

The Shohon-ji Temple (Nitokaku-in, literally, 'the second rank temple')

The Magomatsu-ji Temple (Santokaku-in, literally, 'the third rank temple')

The history of the To-ji Temple Shingon sect began from the foundation of the Kyoogokoku-ji Temple. In 823 the Kyoogokoku-ji Temple was given to Kukai from the Emperor Saga, and became the konpon dojo-seminary of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism.

After that, until the Edo period, the Kyoogokoku-ji Temple had played a role as the head temple of the Shingon sect, and during the Meiji period, various schools of the Kogi Shingon sect and the Shingi (new) Shingon sect were integrated in accordance with the religious policy of the government. The chief abbot was selected from the four temples of the Kogi school (the Kongobu-ji Temple and the Kyoogokoku-ji Temple) and the Shingi school (the Chishaku-in Temple and the Hase-dera Temple), and the To-ji Temple was one of the four head temples which selected a chief abbot.

However, this framework did not last long and they split repeatedly. In 1901 the Kyoogokoku-ji Temple formed a union with Yamashina school, Ono school and the Sennyu-ji Temple (Kogi Shingon sect) and they began to use the name of the To-ji School of the Shingon Sect in public in 1907.

During the Pacific War, the government tried to integrate the Kogi Shingon sect and the {Shingi Shingon sect} again, and they were integrated into the Daishingon sect. After the war, it gained independence, using the old name of the To-ji School of the Shingon Sect, from the Daishingon sect on February 1946. It became certified as a religious corporation on September 3, 1952.

In 1963 the To-ji Temple Shingon sect separated from the To-ji School of the Shingon Sect and gained independency for the purpose of returning to the framework centered around the To-ji Temple. It became certified as a religious corporation on October 25, 1974.

School organization

The chief abbot (the chief abbot of the To-ji Temple Shingon sect, head of the Kyoogokoku-ji Temple)
The school assembly of To-ji Temple Shingon sect
Head of the temple office (appointed by the school assembly)
Department of general affairs
Department of finance
Department of religious services
Department of education and learning
(A department director, a secretary and an amanuensis are assigned in each department of general affairs, finance, religious services and education and learning)
Priesthood and sokai (rank of priests, similar to a hierarchy.)
1st rank Daisojo (The highest priest)
2nd rank Gon-daisojo (Deputy Daisojo)
3rd rank Chu sojo (Middle ranked sojo)
4th rank Gon-chusojo (Deputy middle ranked sojo)
5th rank Sho-sojo (Junior sojo)
6th rank Gon-sho-sojo (Deputy junior sojo)
7th rank Dai-sozu (Major prelate)
8th rank Gon dai-sozu (Deputy prelate)
9th rank Chu-sozu (Middle ranked sozu)
10th rank Gon chu-sozu (Deputy middle ranked sozu)
11th rank Sho-sozu (Junior sozu)
12th rank Gon-sho-sozu (Deputy junior sozu)
13th rank Dai-risshi (Major discipliner)
14th rank Risshi (Discipliner)
15th rank Gon-risshi (Deputy discipliner)
Annual events
The new year's visit to a shrine (January 1-3): The first story of the five-storied pagoda in precincts of the To-ji Temple is open to public. Shushoe (New Year's Service) (January 3): The charms against bad luck named "ofunago" and "Gohoin" are given. Goshichinichi-mishiho (a seven-day New Year ritual) (January 8-14): Collaborated by the association of the eighteen head temples of the Shingon sect.
Kodo-Shushoe (New Year's Service at lecture hall) (January 28)
Hoshiku (a star festival) (February 3)
Nehan-e (Memorial service for the anniversary of Buddha's Nirvana) (February 15)
The spring Buddhist memorial service in equinox times (from March 18)
The Spring Ohidaki (a ritual of burning rice straw) in Hachiman Shrine (March 15): Gomaku (fire rituals) at Chinju Hachiman-gu Shrine
Kenmai-Hoyo (Buddhist memorial service presenting rice) (the second Sunday of April)
Shomieku (memorial service for Kobo-Daishi) (April 21)
The Inari Kanko Festival (May 3): A memorial service for Inari Daimyo-ji deity at the Keiga-mon Gate on the To-ji Temple.
The Birthday ceremony of Kobodaishi (June 15)
Urabon-e festival (a Festival of the Dead or Buddhist All Soul's Day) (August 13-15)
Mandoe (Buddhist lantern festival) and Bon Festival Dance (August 15)
The autumn Buddhist memorial service in equinox times (from September 20)
The Autumn Ohidaki in Hachiman Shrine (November 15): Gomaku (fire rituals) at Chinju Hachiman-gu Shrine.

The daily and monthly events

Shojinku (meals for Kobodaishi) (from 6 a.m. every day) at the Miei-do hall
Daihannyae (the first of every month)
Fusatsue (a ceremony for confession) (the fifteenth of April, May, July, September, October and December)
Otaiya (memorial service on the previous night of the Miei-ku - memorial service for Kobodaishi) (the twentieth of every month) at Miei-do hall
Miei-ku (the twenty-first of every month) at Miei-do hall

Educational institutions

To-ji Temple Denpo Gakuin (in the Kyoogokoku-ji Temple)

The Shuchiin University (partnership)

Rakunan High school and Junior High school Attached to Rakunan High school (partnership)

Nishikyogoku Kindergarten (To-ji Gakuen school corporation)


To-ji Temple Homotsu-kan (in the Kyoogokoku-ji Temple)

It opens in spring (from March 20 to May 25) and autumn (from September 20 to November 25).

The Rakunan Hall (dorter)

The creed
It adopts the creed of the Kogi Shingon sect.

[Original Japanese]