NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉


興禅院 Kouzen-in Kozenin Temple

Jp En

    Kozenin is the temple where Zenkai, famed for singlehandedly building the Ao-no-Domon (Blue Tunnel), became a priest.  His appearanced in the best-selling novel by Kikuchi Kan, 'Beyond Love and Hata' furthered his fame.
    In 1370, during the Muromachi period, Muchaku Zenshi founded Kozenin at the foot of Mt. Tsurumi (located in Beppu).  In 1469, the temple was moved to its present location.  There were 29 branch temples by that time.  In 1596, a big earthquake destroyed the temple, but just four years after, Hosokawa Tadaoki, the local feudal lord, rebuilt it.  Following that, three fires destroyed the wooden temple buildings.  In 1973,  another fire occurred and the next year, the main building and priests living quarters were rebuilt out of nonflammable materials.
    Kongo-rikishi statues stand on both sides of the gate, protecting the sacred space from enemies.  These statues bring an unique atmosphere to the area.  In addition to this pair of guardians, there are historical stone Buddha statues that are also worth seeing.  This entire area is surrounded by the peaceful calm of Yufuin's nature.

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144-1 Kawaminami, Yufuin-cho, Yuhu, Oita Prefecture, 879-5103
Kouzenin Temple

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