Yobo-ji Temple (要法寺)

Yobo-ji Temple is a head temple (Honzan) of the Nichiren Honshu Sect located in Hokoji-cho, Shintakakura Street Magobashi Street-agaru, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. Its honorific mountain prefix is Mt. Tahofuji. The temple continues the Buddhist teachings of Nikko, is dedicated to the Shoretsu school's Fuji Faction that believes Nichiren to be the true Buddha, and is one of the Komon Hachi-honzan (the eight head temples of the Fuji Faction) along with the Fuji Gozan (five head temples of the Fuji Faction) in the Sunto region of Shizuoka Prefecture, Hota Myohon-ji Temple and Izu Jitsujo-ji Temple.

It was founded by Nisson. In 1308, Nisson made a pilgrimage to several countries and constructed a Hokke-do Temple in Yamashiro, Kyoto. Nisshin merged it with Jogyo-in Temple and Juhon-ji Temple to establish Yobo-ji Temple in 1550. Nisson was the fourth founding member of the Nichiren Honshu Sect after the original founder Nichiren, Nikko the second and Nichimoku the third. The temple precincts occupy an area of 13,500 square meters in the city and contains a lot of historical architecture.

Origin and History
1308: After being excommunicated by Nikko, Nisson sets out on a pilgrimage that takes him to various countries and establishes the Hokke-do Temple (later to become Yobo-ji Temple) in Yamashiro, Kyoto.

Spring of 1333: Nisson, wishing to succeed his master Nichimoku as Tenso (responsible for preaching Buddhism to the Emperor), is heading for Kyoto when Nichimoku passes away in Tarui, Mino Province.

Spring of 1334: Nissson becomes the Tenso of Emperor Godaigo. In reparation for his achievements, the Imperial Family donates to him a temple site on Rokkaku-dori Street Aburanokoji-dori Street.

1336: Nisson opens the Hokke-do Temple (later to become Jogyo-in Temple) at Rokkaku-dori Street Aburanokoji-dori Street.

October 13, 1342: Nisson invites his disciple Nichiin from Jutsujo-ji Temple and grants him Jogyo-in Temple.

May 8, 1346: Nisson, founder of Jogyo-in Temple in Rokkaku, Kyoto, dies. 1362: Nichidai, another of Nisson's disciples, establishes a Hokke-do Temple on Reisen Nishinotoin-dori Street. This became Juhon-ji Temple later.

Jogyo-in Temple and Juhon-ji Temple were both served by head priests who were disciples of Nisson but had been on bad terms with one another from the outset.

1536: Jogyo-in Temple and Juhon-ji Temple are burned to the ground in the Lotus Uprising in which the armed warrior priests (Sanmon) of Mt. Hiei destroy the 21 head temples of the Hokke Sect. Hokke Sect followers are expelled from Kyoto and flee to Sakai City.

1548: Hokke Sect followers are permitted to return to Kyoto and set about rebuilding the temples that were previously destroyed. Kozo-in Nisshin of Juhon-ji Temple proposes merging Jogyo-in Temple and Juhon-ji Temple and creates a 15 article new-temple provision which would lead to the reconstruction of Yobo-ji Temple.

1550: Yobo-ji Temple is rebuilt on Gojobomon Horikawa-dori Street. Nisshin is rewarded for his efforts by being appointed head priest.

1583: The temple is relocated to Kyogoku Nijohigashi (in present-day Teramachi-dori Nijo-dori Streets) by order of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI.

1708: Set ablaze in a great fire.

1759: Great fire of the Horeki era.

1783: Yobo-ji Temple's Gifu branch-temple abolishes its Buddhist statue.

1795: The bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) denounces the temple as a "Shingi Iryu" from a Nagoya sub-temple of Honkoku-ji Temple. "Kansei Honan" (religious persecution of the Honan era).

1797: Yobo-ji Temple asserts that it is not of the Shingi but a form of the Fuji Faction. Taiseki-ji Temple reports that 'It has no relationship to the doctrine and rites of the Fuji Faction'.

1807: An agreement is finally made with the 15 honzan temples under the Hokke Sect in Kyoto on the condition that Yobo-ji Temple enshrines a Buddhist statue.

1876: Yobo-ji Temple participates in the formation of Komon school of the Nichiren Sect unified Fuji Faction religious group along with 84 branch temples.

1899: Komon school of the Nichiren Sect changes its name to Nichiren Honmon Sect (Honmon Sect).

1915: Yobo-ji once again abolishes its Buddhist statues.

1941: The Nichiren Sect is formed when the Honmon Sect merges with the Icchi school of the Nichiren Sect and the Shoretsu school of the Kenpon Hokke Sect.

December 1950: Yobo-ji Temple becomes independent from the Nichiren Sect with 50 former branch temples to form the Nichiren Honshu Sect (the other 34 former sub temples remain part of the Nichiren Sect).

Precincts and Buildings
The public are permitted to visit the precincts.

Omote-mon gate (Front gate) : Relocated from Fushimi-jo Castle in 1724
Bell tower: Completed in 1737
Main hall: Completed in 1774
Yakui-mon gate (A gate where one roof covers both the main front pillars and the rear support pillars) : Erected in 1779
Kaisan-do hall (Founder's hall) : Reconstructed in 1830
Nishi-mon gate (West gate): Relocated from Fushimi Momoyama-jo Castle in 1857
Shoryo-chi pond
Myoshu-in Temple
Shinnyo-in Temple
Hinji-in Temple
Hongyo-in Temple
Kenju-in Temple
Jitsujo-in Temple
Hossho-in Temple
Shingyo-in Temple

Annual Events
February 16: Shuso Nichiren Seijin Tanjo-kai (celebration of the birthday of sect founder Nichiren Shonin)
April 28: Rikkyo Kaishu-kai (celebration of the sect's founding)
May 8: Gokaisan-kai (celebration of the temple's founding)
October 13: Shuso Oeshiki (anniversary of the death of Nichiren Shonin)

Three minutes walk from exit 1 of Higashiyama Station on the Kyoto City Subway
Car parking available

[Original Japanese]