Kikyozan Hokoin (Buddhist temple)
Daiganji Temple or Kikyozan Hokoin belongs to the Koyosan Branch od the Shingon denomination of Buddhism. The founder of this temple is not known though it is said that the temple was reconstructed by Priest Ryokai between 1201 and 1203 in the Kamakura period.
Prior to the decree of Shinto-Buddhism separation by the Meiji government, this temple was in charge of the repair and construction of Itsukushima Shrine, Hakozakigu and Usahachimangu Shrines in Kyushu and many others.
In the main hall, there are four Buddha statues which are designated as a National Important Cultural Property. One of the four is Yakushi Nyorai Zazo, a seated statue of Medicine Buddha and is said to have been made by Kobo Daishi or Kukai, the founder of the Shingon school of Buddhism.
Under the decree of Shinto-Buddhism Separation, three statues were moved from Senjokaku to this temple. They are Shaka Nyorai Zazo, a seated statue of Buddha Gautama, said to have been made by Gyoki, Anan Sonjazo, and Makakasho Sonjazo. Anan Sonjazo and Makakasho Sonja are of the main ten disciples of Buddha.
Also three statues (Shaka Nyorai Zazo, a seated statue of Buddha Gautama, Monju Bosatsu, or Wisdom Buddha, and Fugen Bosatsu or Mercy Buddha) were moved from the Five Storied Pagoda to the temple. At the entrance of the main hall is enshrined Binzuru Sonja, known as Nadebotoke. Visitors rub the Buddha for medical cures.
Daiganji Temple is dedicated to Benzaiten, the Goddess of eloquence, music, wisdom and wealth, and is known as one the the three most famous Benzaiten Temples, along with those in Enoshima, in Kanagawa and Chikubujima in Shiga. The Benzaiten is opened to the public only once a year on June 17.
In April 2006, Gomado Hall was reconstructed for the first time in 140 years, and was served at the setting for the rededication ceremony of Fudo Myo-o Hanka Zazo, wich is 4 meters in height and is made of sandalwood.
In 1538, during the period of Civil War, Priest Sonkai went to Korea to get Issaikyo or the total volume of Buddhist Sutras with the aid of Yoshitaka Ouichi, lord of Yamaguchi. His travel was recorded on the rear side of the Shosho hakkei Byobu folding screen, which is one of the precious documents used to understand the state of Korea at that time. His travel “Sonkai kokai nikki” is designated as a National Important Cultural Property.
In 1866, during the second Choshu war, the peace conference was held by Kaishu Katsu of the Shogunate and members of the Choshu Clan such as Masaomi Hirosawa in a room of this temple.