History of Daizenin Temple
Located in the cenEleven-Faced Kannon
Ekadasamukha (Mahakarunika)tral part of the Chita Peninsula facing the Bay of Ise, Tokoname city is well-known as one of the six oldest ceramic-producing towns in Japan. In the hilly area of the city lies the Daizenin temple where the eleven-faced Kannon is worshipped. Well respected as Kannon's holy ground, and one of 88 pilgrimage sites on Chita Shikoku, the Daizenin is officially called Fudarakusan Kanrenji Daizenin. It preaches the teachings of Kobo Daishi Kukai, the founder of Shingon or esoteric Buddhism in Japan, to lay believers. The Daizenin's history dates back to the Hakuho period (683) when shichido-garan, (seven main temple buildings) and three hundred monasteries were erected on Mount Mitake south of Tokoname village on the orders of Emperor Tenmu. In later years, in order to save the temple and faith from devastation, the monk Yoshun moved a venerated image of the Boddhisattva Kannon, namely the eleven-faced one, from one of the monasteries to the current location, which was considered suitable as a paradise for Kannon.
The paradise of Kannon is known as Fudarakusan. or Mount Fudaraku (Potalaka in sanskrit). It is said to exist somewhere on the Southern Coast of India. According to tradition, there is a looking-glass-like pond of crystal clear water on top of the mountain, and this water is said to run down the steep mountainside until it reaches the sea in the south. In 1469 during the Muromachi period, the first lord of Tokoname castle, Mizuno Kenmotsu Tadatsuna, reconstructed six monasteries as a prayer for the peace and tranquility of his territory. He also had two Fudo myoo Bishamonten (Vatsravana) placed alongside the eleven-faced Kannon in the Daizenin. On these renovated premises, the monk Kogaku then paved the way for the revival of the Daizenin temple, which has since been handed-down over successive generations to the 29th abbot of the present day. Located to the north-east of the castle, blocking a direction which was believed to be a pathway of evil. the Daizenin was seen as a protector to the territory, and Nakanomiya(Gozu-Teno), one of the three shrines in Tokoname, was dedicated to the Daizenin in 1494.
A pair of foxes
holding a gem
clay work sculpture
dedicated by Shogun Ieyasu
Folding screen of twelve defenders
over 500 years old
Going through a reed ring in Nakanomiya (Daizenin)