Honkoku-ji Temple (本圀寺)

Honkoku-ji Temple is a Daihonzan (head temple) of the Nichiren Sect located in Yamashina Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. Its sango (literally, "mountain name"), which is the title prefixed to the name of a Buddhist temple, is Daikoan. The temple is referred to as 'The Grand Head Temple of the West' in contrast to the sohonzan (grand head temple) of the Rokujo lineage on Mt. Minobe in the east which has approximately 700 branch temples. It is one of the 21 Hokke Sect temples in central Kyoto.


September 1253: Honkoku-ji Temple is founded as a Hokke-do hall of Matsubagayatsu in Kamakura.

1263: Converted to Daikomuryozan Honkokudomyo-ji Temple.

June 23, 1345: Acting on the order of the Emperor Kogen, the temple is relocated to Rokujo-dori Street in Kyoto by Nichijo who left the Uesugi clan to enter the Buddhist priesthood, and the name is changed to Honkoku-ji Temple. The temple serves as a holy place to protect the Imperial Family from the unlucky southwest direction of the imperial palace.

1536: Destroyed by fire in the Tenbun Hokke Disturbance and followers flee to Joju-ji Temple in Sakai City.

1547: Followers are allowed to return to Kyoto and the temple is rebuilt at Rokujo-dori Street in Kyoto.

1568: Becomes the temporary residence (Rokujo Palace) of Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA who returned to Kyoto with the support of Nobunaga ODA.

1569: Yoshiaki attacked by the Miyoshi Sanninshu (Miyoshi Triumvirate) (Honkoku-ji Temple Rebellion) and Nobunaga ODA constructs the more defensive Nijo Palace (Nijo-jo Castle) into which Yoshiaki ASHIKAGA moves.

1591: Temple territory ceded due to the construction of Nishi Hongan-ji Temple.

1685: Mitsukuni TOKUGAWA grants the temple the use of the alternative "Kuni" character from his name and this is incorporated into the name of the temple.

1788: Destroyed in the Great Fire of the Tenmei era.

1863: Gonnosuke KUROBE and others, grand chamberlain of the Tottori Domain, who are residing at the temple are attacked and assassinated by Kagetomo KAWADA's twenty samurai of Inaba
(Honkoku-ji Temple Incident).

1921: Komori school founded (present-day Meitoku Gakuen educational corporation)

1971: Relocated to its current site by 63rd chief priest Nichizui ITO.

The present head of the temple is 102nd chief priest Nikko YOSHIDA.

Cultural properties

Important Cultural Property

Sutra repository: Constructed in 1607

Temple treasures

Standing statue of Shakyamuni (Three Sacred Treasures)
3 letters of pardon (Three Sacred Treasures)
Rissho Ankoku Ron (On Securing the Peace of the Land through the Propagation of True Buddhism) (Three Sacred Treasures)
Commands of successive emperors
6 principal objects of worship written by Nichiren himself
Shinsei-byo mausoleum


6 Goryo Oiwa, Yamashina Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture

The graveyard remains at the old site in Horikawa.

16 sub-temples remain at the old side in Horikawa (Shorin-in, Zuiun-in, Ichion-in, Senryo-in, Ryoen-in, Kanji-in, Shoyo-in, Rinsho-in, Honmyo-in, Chimyo-in, Honjitsu-in, Shinnyo-in, Ryoko-in, Chiryo-in, Chiko-in, Kyusei-in).


15 minutes walk from Goryo Station on the Kyoto City Subway.

[Original Japanese]