Genku-ji Temple (in Kyoto) (源空寺 (京都市))

Genku-ji Temple is a Jodo (Pure Land) sect temple located Setomono-cho, Fushimi Ward of the city (and prefecture) of Kyoto. Its full name is "Hokaisan Honenin Genku-ji Temple." This temple is the fifteenth of the Twenty-Five Sacred Sites associated with Honen Shonin.

History of the Temple

According to temple legends, Genku-ji Temple used to be the thatched hut where Renjobo Ninku was chief priest. At first, Ninku criticized Honen's 'Senchaku-shu' (Passages on the Selection of the Nenbutsu in the Original Vow), but later came to regret such criticism and ended up devoting himself to Senju Nenbutsu (single-minded recitation of the Nenbutsu). When Honen was 63, he exerted himself as the officiating monk at the ceremony celebrating the rebuilding of the Great Buddha Hall in Todai-ji Temple in Nara City, and afterwards, on his way home, upon being invited by Ninku, he accepted, taking up lodging with Ninku and giving Buddhist lectures and sermons there. On hearing this news, the people of Kohata village wept tears of joy, devoting themselves to the doctrine of the Nenbutsu. The people wanted a holy image of Honen, so Honen, using some paper on which he had transcribed several of his sermons, created the 'Harinuki Statue' (a statue made of papier-mache) and gave it to Ninku. In 1195, Ninku renamed the thatched hut the "Nenbutsu Meditation Hall" and installed the statue of Honen there. In 1612, Banzuii asked for permission from Ieyasu TOKUGAWA and then moved to the area of the hall. Thereafter, in 1848, the hall was destroyed in a fire.

Features of the Temple

The Sanmon (mountain (i.e., main) gate): a dual-layered bell tower gate, considered to be part of the remains of Fushimi-jo Castle.

Within the temple grounds: confederate roses (Hibiscus mutabilis), rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), and hurricane lilies (Lyroris) all bloom.

Treasures of the Temple

The seated statue of Enko Daishi
The standing statue of Amidabha (Amida Butsu)
The harinuki no goei (papier-mache statue of Honen)
The statue of Asahi Daikokuten: this was the Jinenbutsu of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, and is thought to be the item that had been enshrined in the Tatsumiyagura Hall of Fushimi-jo Castle. It is also called the Shusse Daitokuten.

The statue of Aizen Myoo (Ragaraja, the love god)
The Sokuitsurokutai Jizo (Sokuitsu Jizo the Six-Bodied, also known as Ksitigarbha (a bodhisattva)).

The fifteenth Goeika (hymn in praise of Buddha).

Of all those who cry out "Namu Amida Butsu" every single one will achieve rebirth on a lotus blossom'

Specific Location of the Temple

745 Setomono-cho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture

[Original Japanese]