Zuiryu-ji Temple (Omihachiman City) (瑞龍寺 (近江八幡市))

Zuiryu-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple which stands at the top of Hachimanyama, Omihachiman City, Shiga Prefecture. It is a nunnery. Its religious school is the Nichiren sect. The founder was Nisshu (secular name, "Tomo"), a sister of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI.
Murakumo-Zuiryu-ji Temple

Tomo gave her eldest son, Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI to her younger brother Hideyoshi who had no children as an adopted son. Yet, in 1596, Hidetsugu was ordered Seppuku (suicide by disembowelment), his wife and children also were executed at Sanjo-ohashi Bridge, and Yoshifusa MIYOSHI, the husband of Tomo was condemned to exile. Tomo, who had been left alone, became a nun to pray to Buddha for the happiness of the dead children and grandchildren. She established a temple of the Nichiren sect which she had long believed at a place called Murakumo (in the vicinity of Nison-in Temple at present), Saga, Kyoto City. Then, the temple land in Murakumo, the jigo (the name of a Buddhist temple) of "Zuiryu-ji Temple" and 1000 koku of temple estate was given by the Emperor Goyosei. For this reason Zuiryu-ji Temple became the only monzeki temple (a temple of high rank where members of imperial family and nobility enter the priesthood) among temples of the Nichiren sect, and was designated as "Murakumo-gosho". After that, it accepted Princess and daughters of Court nobles successively as chief abbots of a Buddhist temple. In the Edo period, it moved from Saga to Nishijin (at present, in the vicinity of Horikawa-dori Street and Imadegawa-dori Street).

After the Showa period began, Zuiryu-ji Temple declined and moved to the site of Hachimanyama-jo Castle, Honmaru (the keep of a castle) in connection with Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI in 1961 at the time of Kujo Nichijoni, the 11th of monzeki (temple formerly led by founder of sect, temple in which resided a member of nobility or imperial family), but she died before the new temple has completed. Then in 1968, it was Nichieini, the 12th of monzeki from the Ogasawara clan, who entered a monastery. Nichiei, who was compelled to become a nun due to domestic misfortunes, gave her following life for the reestablishment of Zuiryu-ji Temple.

Nichioni (Eihoni), who had been a member of Takarazuka Revue as a stage name of Hisako SAKURA, succeeded her. Nichioni became the 13th monzeki and had devoted herself to reestablish the Zuiryu-ji Temple until March 20, 2002 when she died at the age of 89.

At present, the monzeki is the 14th, Washizu Nichoni.

Kuyo (A memorial service for the dead)

On July 15 every year, for the anniversary of Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI's death, his kuyo is carried out by chief priest of Zuiryu-ji Temple at Hachiman-yama Mountain. Incidentally, Hidetsugu's Kubi-zuka (burial mound for heads) and Nisshu's graveyard are in Zensho-ji Temple (Kyoto City). There is graveyard for the 39 of Hidetsugu's wives and young children and 10 of his vassals who offered their lives, as well as Hidetsugu's Gorin Tower (a memorial gravestone for the dead) in Zensho-ji Temple (Kyoto City). Furthermore, in Koya-san Mountain where Hidetsugu committed Seppuku, there is Hidetsugu's graveyard.

Jikan (The temple)
There remains Hondo (main hall) which was reconstructed when moved from Kyoto. A view of Omihachiman City and Lake Biwa from there is said to be superb.

19-9 Miyauchi-cho, Omihachiman City, Shiga Prefecture
A ropeway runs to the top of the mountain.
Entrance fee: \300
Opening hours: 900-1700

[Original Japanese]