Remains of Kokusei-ji Temple (国清寺跡)

The remains of Kokusei‐ji Temple are remains of a temple of the Kegon Sect in Noshiro City, Akita Prefecture.


Kokusei‐ji was built around 1504 by Tadasue ANDO as the family temple of the warrior Hiyama-Ando clan, however it was abandoned when Ando clan (then called Akita clan) changed the territory to Hitachi Province. In 'the letter to Morisue AKITA from Sanesue AKITA', held by the Tohoku University Library, it is recorded that Kokusei-ji was the Buddhist name of Tadasue and built as Ryuonin Temple on Mt. Akita, together with the Chokyo-ji (長亨寺) which was the Buddhist name of Tadasue's father Masasue ANDO.

Now, a single Gingko tree is all that remains on the site presumed to be the location of the remains, and it is surrounded by rice paddies. In 1980, it was designated a national historic site together with the Castle Ruins of Hiyama-Ando clan. Furthermore, old Chinese style doors which were said to have been brought from Kokusei-ji Temple can be found in the main building of the nearby Tahoin Temple.

Masumi SUGAE recorded in his work "Akita Fudoki" (a topography of Akita), that the Rinsho-ji Temple in Niida, Noshiro City is the remains of Kokusei-ji Temple. Both temples are said to have been built by Zaiten Monryu (在天文龍) however it is not known for sure whether Rinsho-ji Temple is in fact the remains of Kokusei-ji Temple.


Aza Kanisawa (蟹沢), Hiyama, Noshiro City, Akita Prefecture


15 minutes by car from Higashi Noshiro Station on the Gono Line, Ou Main Line, JR East Japan Railway Company

[Original Japanese]