Temple 64, Maegamiji

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History of the temple

Maegamiji is located at the foot of Mt. Ishizuchi (elevation 1982 m), one of the seven sacred mountains of Japan. It is the head temple of the Ishizuchi School of the Shingon Sect and the fundamental center of Shugendo. The temple was founded during the reign of Emperor Temmu (673-686) by En no Gyoja Ozunu, the founder of Shugendo. Ozunu, who had trained himself on Mt. Ishizuchi, saw Shaka Nyorai and Amida Nyorai appear as the Great Gongen to relieve the suffering of mankind. He carved statues of them which he enshrined in the temple. Emperor Kanmu (reigned 781-806) prayed to be healed from an illness, and his wish was granted. The emperor built seven main buildings and named the temple Konjikiin Maegamiji. Since then, the temple had been worshiped by many successive emperors including Emperor Montoku, Emperor Takakura, Emperor Go-Toba, and Emperor Juntoku. Kukai/Kobo Daishi later visited Mt. Ishizuchi twice, where he is known to have practiced the Kokuzo Gumonjiho and the Goma fire ritual, and also fasted.

During the Edo period (1603-1868), the temple became a temple of the Matsudaira family, the feudal lords of Saijo, Ehime, and the temple flourished, as evidenced by the conferral of the three-leaf hollyhock crest on the temple. However, due to the edicts ordering the separation of Shinto and Buddhism in 1868, the temple's territory was confiscated and the temple was forced to close for a time. In 1889 the temple was restored, and it continues to pass on Buddhist teachings as the head temple of the Ishizuchi School of the Shingon Sect.

The annual Oyama-biraki (mountain opening) on July 1 is held at the temple, and believers dressed in white gather to chant "Nammai-da" to the accompaniment of blowing conch shells.

Highlights

Shugyo Daishi


Gotaki Gyoba Fudo

Located on the right after crossing the Jodo Bridge at the right end of the Daishido. In the past, waterfall ascetic practices were held here.

Oku-Maegamiji

Located in the middle of Mt. Ishizuchi and there is a ropeway that allows visitors to make a pilgrimage during the Oyama-biraki period.

Annual Events

January 1 to 3 Shushoe (New Year's Prayer Ritual)
February 3 Setsubun-e/Hoshi Matsuri(Star Ritual for Warding off Evil)
Outdoor Goma Fire Ritual, Gogen sama open to the public and Fuku Nage will be held
May Kanbutsue/Hana Matsuri (Buddha's Birthday)
Sweet tea will be served at the entrance of the temple residence hall
May Sand stepping
June 30 Summer Mountain Training Opening
Outdoor Goma Fire Ritual
July 11 Summer Mountain Training Closing
Outdoor Goma Fire Ritual, Gogen sama open to the public and Fuku Nage will be held
December 31 Shushoe (New Year's Eve Prayer Ritual)
New Year's Eve bell and offering Gongen-sama's talismanwill be held. As well as Goma Fire Ritual at Fudodo and Gogen sama open to the public at Gongendo)

Details

  • Names: Ishizuchisan, Konjikiin, Maegamiji
  • Denomination: Shingon sect, Ishizuchi school
  • Principal Image: Amida Nyorai
  • Founder: En no Gyoja Ozunu
  • Founded: Late 7th century
  • Mantra Of Amida Nyorai: oṃ amṛta-teje hara hūṃ

Access

Location: 1426 Sunouchi-ko, Saijo-shi, Ehime 793-0053
Phone: 0897-56-6995
Parking: Available (free)
Lodging: None
Official website: None