Hoshaku-ji Temple (宝積寺)

Hoshaku-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple belonging to the Chizan School of the Shingon Sect located on the side of Mt. Tenno in Oyamazaki-cho, Otokuni-gun, Kyoto Prefecture. Its sango (literally, "mountain name"), which is the title prefixed to the name of a Buddhist temple, is 'Tennozan' or 'Sengensan' (formerly Fudarakuzan) and the principal image is a statue of the Eleven-faced Kannon. The temple was founded by Gyoki in the year 724 under the order of Emperor Shomu.

It is also known as 'Takara-dera Temple' and 'Daikoku Tenpo-ji Temple' as it also houses the 'uchide' and 'kozuchi' magic hammers that Emperor Shomu is said to have received from the dragon god in a dream.

According to temple legend, Hoshaku-ji Temple was founded by Gyoki on the order of Emperor Shomu in the year 724 on the southern face of Mt. Tenno (270 m), which is located on the boarder between what was once Yamashiro Province (Kyoto Prefecture) and Settsu Province (Osaka Prefecture), and has been a key transportation and military location since ancient times. Gyoki was a monk who engaged in social work such as the construction of bridges and the introduction of irrigation during the Nara period and he also built many temples.

In the year 725, he worked on the 'Yamazaki-bashi Bridge' (between Yamazaki and Hashimoto) over the Yodo-gawa River. According to "Gyoki Nenpu," he also established Yamazaki-in Temple in Yamazaki, Otokuni County in 731. The ruins at Oyamazaki Uenoda, Oyamazaki-cho on the southern base of Mt. Tenno are believed to be those of 'Yamazaki-in Temple' and are where fragments of Japan's oldest wall painting were unearthed.
It is certain from the above evidence that the area surrounding Mt. Tenno holds a deep connection to Gyoki and there is a theory that Hoshaku-ji Temple is the successor to 'Yamazaki-in Temple.'

Hoshaku-ji Temple was destroyed by fire in 1232 and the items such as Buddha statues that survive today date from after this year. The history of the temple after this time is unclear but it is known to have been restored by Jakusho between the year 995 and 999. Jakusho's secular name was OE no Sadamoto, and he is known from a tale included in "Konjaku Monogatarishu" (The Tale of Times Now Past). This story tells that he left his old life behind and entered the priesthood after the love of his life died when he was appointed governor of Mikawa Province.

The work entitled "Zoku Honcho-ojo-den" (Sequel to the Accounts of Rebirth into the Pure Land) (written by OE no Masafusa) believed to have been written from the late 11th century to the early 12th century contains early references to the temple as 'Ho-ji Temple.'
FUJIWARA no Sadaie recorded in his diary, 'Meigetsuki,' that he visited Hoshaku-ji Temple in 1202.

When Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI and Mitsuhide AKECHI fought at the Battle of Yamazaki on Mt. Tenno in 1582, Hoshaku-ji Temple served as Hideyoshi's headquarters. When Yamazaki-jo Castle was constructed on Mt. Tenno directly after the conflict, it enveloped the temple and for this reason became known as 'Hoji-jo Castle'. During the Hamaguri Rebellion in 1864, the temple served as a base for the seventeen patriots including Maki Izuminokami of the Sonno joi (lit. Revere the Emperor, Expel the Barbarians) faction.
In the Meiji period, Soseki NATSUME wrote of Hoshaku-ji Temple in his diary 'Soseki Nikki.'

Main hall: Restored in 1606 and topped by a formal tile hip-and-gable roof. Nio-mon Gate: Topped by a gable roof and stands three bays wide with the middle bay serving as an entrance. Three-storey pagoda: This Important Cultural Property that was constructed during the Momoyama period is topped by a formal tile roof, consists of circular pillars, and houses a seated statue of Dainichi Nyorai.
Enma-do (hall dedicated to Enma-o)
Fudo-do (hall dedicated to Fudo Myoo)
Kozuchino-miya (Daikoku-tenjin) Shrine

Cultural properties

Important Cultural Properties

Three-storey pagoda
Wooden standing statue of the Eleven-faced Kannon Bosatsu: The temple's principal image measures 181.8 cm in height and was created by the Buddhist sculptors Hoin Inpan and Hokyo Inun
Wooden seated statue of Enma-o: Stands 160.8 cm tall.
Wooden seated statue of Shimyo: Stands 124.6 cm tall
Wooden seated statue of Shiroku: Stands 143.5 cm tall
Wooden statue of Gujojin in the half-lotus position: Stands 114.2 cm tall
Wooden statue of Ankoku-doji in the half-lotus position: Stands 110.8 cm tall

Wooden statues of Kongo-rikishi: The colored yosegi-zukuri style agyo (open-mouthed) statue (Naraen Kongo-rikishi) stands 284.2 cm tall and the ungyo (closed-mouthed) statue stands 277.5 cm tall
Color on panel portrait of a god

The Enma-o, Shimyo, Shiroku, Kushijin and Ankoku Doji statues, which are enshrined in Enma-do, were formerly owned by Nishi-Kannon-ji Temple on the western base of Mt. Tenno in Shimamoto-cho, Osaka Prefecture but were transferred to Hoshaku-ji Temple after this temple closed during the anti-Buddhist movement at the beginning of the Meiji period. These statues were all created during the Kamakura period and are the oldest and some of the best quality statues of the Enma family in Japan. Shimyo' and 'Shiroku' are judges of the underworld who serve as Enma-o's assistants.
There is some confusion regarding the names of the statues other than that of Enma-o, with the statue of Kushijin holding a scroll and the statue of Ankoku Doji holding a writing brush originally being identified as 'Shimyo and Shiroku.'
The temple refers to these statues as 'Shimyo Bosatsu' and 'Shiroku Bosatsu' but these deities do not ordinarily carry the title 'Bosatsu.'

Other cultural properties

Standing statue of Bishamonten: Cultural property designated by Oyamazaki-cho, stands 169.0 cm tall, a flanking attendant of the principal image
Standing statue of the Thousand-armed Kannon: Cultural property designated by Oyamazaki-cho, stands 169.0 cm tall
Standing statue of Fudo Myoo: Created during the Kamakura period
Seated statue of Gyoki Bosatsu: Created during the Kamakura period
Seated statue of Kobo Daishi: Created during the Muromachi period
Standing statue of the Prince Shotoku: Created during the Edo period
Standing statue of the Thousand-armed Kannon: Created during the Edo period
Temple bell: Created during the Muromachi period and named 'Yoimachi-no kane'

1 Oyamazaki Zenihara, Oyamazaki-cho, Otokuni-gun, Kyoto Prefecture. 618-0071

10 minutes walk from Yamazaki Station (Kyoto Prefecture) on the JR Kyoto Line
15 minutes walk from Oyamazaki Station on the Hankyu Kyoto Line

Nearby attractions
Ruins of the Battle of Yamazaki
Graves if the seventeen patriots
Rikyu Hachiman-gu Shrine (Abura-za)
Myoki-an Temple
Tai-an Teahouse
Oyamazaki Villa Museum
Oyamazaki-Cho Historical Archives
Dainen-ji Temple
Yamazaki Shoten Temple
Sakatoke-jinja Shrine
Ruins of Oyamazaki tile kiln (nationally designated historic site)
Suntory Yamazaki Distillery

[Original Japanese]