NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/4/16


川越 喜多院 Kawagoe Kitain Kawagoe Kitain Temple

Jp En

Kitain Temple, located in Kosenba-machi, Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture is a temple of the Tendai sect. It is the 28th temple of the Kanto 36 Fudo Pilgrimage Route. It is popularly called “Kawagoe Daishi.” The main object of worship is Amida Nyorai.
The temple was founded in 830 by the priest Jikaku Daishi Ennin under the order of Emperor Junna. It was originally named Muryojuji Temple. The temple was destroyed by a battle fire in 1205 but was reestablished by the priest Sonkai under the order of Emperor Fushimi to worship Jie Daishi Ryogen, a chief abbot of Enryakuji in the 10th century. The temple buildings including Kita-in (the north temple), Naka-in (the middle temple) and Nan-in (the south temple) were constructed but the middle and south temples were ruined at the end of the Warring States period (1493-1573). In 1588, when the priest Tenkai became a resident priest of Kita-in (北院, the north temple), he changed the characters of its name to the present “喜多院.” In 1638, all the temple buildings except the gate were destroyed by fire. In the following year, Tokugawa Ieyasu orderd to move a pert of Edo Castle to this place and reconstruct it as the temple building.
The temple is visited by a lot of people all through the year. Some of them come to see the temple’s cultural properties; others to worship 500 Rakan (disciples of Buddha) statues. Especially on January 3rd, when Hatsu-Daishi Festival (the first Daishi festival of the year) and Daruma Market are held in memory of Jie Daishi, the precinct is filled with New Year’s visitors.
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