Joko-ji Temple (Kyoto City) (城興寺 (京都市))

Joko-ji Temple is a Shingon Sect Buddhist temple located in Minami Ward, Kyoto City, Japan. The temple's name was historically written using an alternative character for the word "jo." Its sango (literally, "mountain name"), which is the title prefixed to the name of a Buddhist temple, is Zuihozan. The current principal image is a statue of the Thousand-armed Kannon that is thought to be the work of Ennin.


Joko-ji Temple was founded in 1085 during the latter part of the Heian period. The temple site was formerly Kujo-tei, one of the estates of the Fujiwara clan, and temple originates from the Kujo-do Hall (or Kujo-in) that was operated by FUJIWARA no Michinaga's grandson FUJIWARA no Nobunaga. In 1113, FUJIWARA no Tadazane converted this hall into a temple for which a religious service was held in 1123. At the end of the Heian period, Prince Mochihito took the temple's estate as his territory but it was confiscated by the Taira government in 1179. This event is believed to be one of the triggers that led to the Rising of Prince Mochihito. After the destruction of the Taira clan, Joko-ji Temple was inherited by Prince Mochihito's son Shinsho and it is known from 16th century records that the temple's estate was under the control of Fudo-in Temple on Mt. Hiei.

At the time of its founding, Joko-ji Temple possessed a vast estate but this was gradually eroded and, as of 2006, only the Kannon-do hall (main hall), kuri (monks' living quarters) and Yakuinsha (Shinto shrine) remain.
Since the Edo period, the temple has been famous as a place of Kannon pilgrimage and it is recorded in "Miyako Meisho zue" published in 1780 that 'Joko-ji Temple is located in Kujo Karasuma and its principal image statue of Kannon was created by Giko Daishi.'
Joko-ji Temple is the 22nd temple of the Rakuyo 33 temple Kannon pilgrimage.

The Yakuinsha Shrine that stands within the temple precinct originated from the Seyaku-in Temple of Heian-kyo City that stood in this area during the early Heian period and was revered for the Shinto kami Yakuin Inari but was later merged with Joko-ji Temple's Dakiniten-do hall in 1877.


7-1 Higashi-Kujo Karasuma-cho (Karasuma dori Kujo dori-agaru), Minami Ward, Kyoto City
Take the Kyoto City Subway to Kujo Station (Kyoto Prefecture) or take the Kyoto City Bus to Oishi bus stop.

[Original Japanese]