Seigan-ji Temple (誓願寺)

Seigan-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple located on Shin Kyogoku-dori, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City. It is a Sohonzan (grand head temple) of the Seizan-Fukakusa school of the Pure Land Sect. The principal image is Amida Nyorai and the dependent sutras are the Three Pure Land Sutras.


Seigan-ji Temple began as a temple constructed by Enku (1213-1284), disciple of the Buddhist priest Shoku (also known as Seizan), in Fukakusa in Kyoto from which he preached the teachings of Buddhism. It has over 400 branch temples throughout Japan including those not served by a priest. A large number of these are in Shikoku, Hyogo and Kyoto and concentrated in the Mikawa area of Aichi Prefecture. Many of the successive heads of the branch have come from the Mikawa region. The head temple is located on Shinkyogoku-dori street in the center of Kyoto. Its close proximity to the Imperial Palace meant that it had a great deal of interaction with the Imperial Court. The Noh song entitled "Seiganji" refers to this temple. As a temple with an ogi no tsuka (monument with a fan motif), it is well known by those in show business. The temple is known as a place to pray for the success of those engaged in the traditions of kodan (storytelling), rakugo (comic storytelling) and manzai (comic dialogue) that developed from Buddhist sermons. It is also said to be the birthplace of rakugo. Even now, performers from the Kansai region hold practice performances at the temple. Before the World War II, the three Seizan schools of Fukakusa (Seigan-ji Temple), Zenrin-ji (Zenrin-ji Temple (Kyoto City), commonly known as Eikan-do) and Komyo-ji (Komyo-ji Temple (Kamakura City)) of the Pure Land Sect were all administered as a single body. It was after the World War II that the branches separated and disseminated teachings independently. The Sohonzan (grand head temple) of the Seizan-Fukakusa school of the Pure Land Sect is Seigan-ji Temple. The Seizan Senmon Gakko (a professional school for training monks) that was established before the three schools became separated was renamed 'Kyoto Seizan College' after the World War II and continues to operate as a university for the training of leaders for the three schools of the Pure Land Sect.

Cultural properties

Important Cultural Properties
3 color painting on silk Seigan-ji engi
Wooden standing statue of Bishamonten: Heian period. Stands 91.5 cm tall. Deposited at Kyoto National Museum.

Pilgrimage site
15th temple on the 33 Temple Shin-saigoku Pilgrimage
2nd temple on the Rakuyo 33 Kannon Sacred Sites Pilgrimage
20th temple on the Honen Shonin 25 Sacred Sites Pilgrimage

[Original Japanese]