Honzen-ji Temple (Yoshino-cho) (本善寺 (吉野町))

Honzen-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple of Jodo Shinshu Hongan-ji school located in Yoshino-cho, Yoshino-gun, Nara Prefecture. The sango (literally, "mountain name"), which is the title prefixed to the name of a Buddhist temple, is Mutsuozan, and it is also known as Iigai gobo temple.


Rennyo founded this temple in Iigai in 1476. Rennyo's son 兼継 entered the temple and became its patron in 1495. However, this temple was home to frequent conflicts because the Yoshino region was originally under the control of Kinpusen-ji Temple, so a fortress was built on Mt. Mutsuo behind the temple due to constant skirmishes among warrior monks.

Later, the temple flourished to the extent of controlling 86 branch temples of Hongan-ji Temple in the Yoshino region, and when Hongan-ji Temple clashed with Nobunaga ODA in the Sengoku period (Period of the Warring States), Honzen-ji Temple also leading its followers into battle against the Ishiyama Hongan-ji Temple. Nobunaga ordered Junkei TSUTSUI to destroy the Honzen-ji Temple, and the majority of the temple buildings were destroyed by a troop led by TSUTSUI in 1578. At that moment, Gangyo-ji Temple in Shimoichi was also burned down.

The temple building was restored in the Edo period (around 1670), and the temple became 崇敬寺院 in Yamato region as the Bekkaku-Honzan (quasi-head temple) of Rengikaku.

At present, the grounds house a sanmon gate (temple gate) made of Keyaki (zelkova), a Taikoro tower, as well as the main hall, behind which the Rennyo's grave is located. In addition, there is an ossuary in which the ashes of head priests succeeding Rennyo have been inurned.

[Original Japanese]