Temple 84, Yashimaji

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History of the temple

Yashima is a peninsula on a volcanic plateau 293 meters above sea level, east of Takamatsu City. It was the site of the Battle of Yashima (22 March, 1185) a famous battle of the Genpei War, and of the legends of Nasu no Yoichi and Minamoto no Yoshitsune. Yashimaji is located on the southern edge of this peninsula. The first temple here was founded by Ganjin Wajo during the Tenpyo Shoho era (749-757). Ganjin was a Tang Dynasty scholar. At the request of the Chinese Imperial Court, he sailed to Japan five times, but he lost his sight due to storms and shipwrecks. After suffering many hardships, on his sixth attempt managed to land in Kagoshima, Japan in 753. The following year, while on his way to Todaiji by ship, he saw a beautiful light rising from the summit of a hill at Yashima, and climbed its northern ridge. There he built a temple which he named Fugendo and enshrined therein a statue of Fugen Bosatsu (Bodhisattva of Buddhist Practice) that he had brought with him from China. Later, Eun Risshi, a disciple of Wajo and a member of Todaiji's Kaidannin, built a temple here and named it Yashimaji. He became the temple’s first head priest.

In 815, Kobo Daishi visited Yashimaji by order of Emperor Saga (reigned 809-823). He moved the temple from the northern ridge to the southern ridge, where it now stands, and carved a statue of Juichimen Senju Kannon (Eleven-faced Thousand-armed Bodhisattva Who Hears the Sounds of the World), which he enshrined as the principal image. Since then, Kobo Daishi has been considered the re-builder of Yashimaji. Yashimaji also flourished as a sacred site for Mountain Buddhism. During the Tenryaku era (947-957), Myotasu Risshi visited the temple and dedicated a statue of the Four Heavenly Kings. The present principal image, a seated statue of Juichimen Senju Kannon, was created around this time and is a National Important Cultural Property. The Hondo, also a National Important Cultural Property, was built in the Kamakura period (1185-1333). The temple's fortunes later declined due to warfare; however, it was rebuilt with the help of feudal lords including the Ikoma clan.


Temple Bell

The bell was made in the Kamakura period and is called The Bell for the Souls of the Heike Clan. It is a Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property.


This modern museum is to the left of the Hondo. It displays a wealth of temple treasures including the principal image, scrolls of the Genji and Heike, the White Flag of Genji, and a folding screen with a painting of the Battle of Yashima.

Minoyama Daimyojin

To the right of the Hondo is a statue of a local deity named Minoyama Daimyojin. This deity is the head of the tanuki (raccoon dogs) of Shikoku and is called Taisaburo Raccoon. It has power over childbearing, marriage and family happiness.


  • Names: Nanmenzan, Senkōin, Yashimaji
  • Denomination: Shingon sect, Omuro school
  • Principal Image: Juichimen Senju Kannon Bosatsu
  • Founder: Ganjin Wajo
  • Founded: Tempyo-shoho era (749-756)
  • Mantra of Juichimen Senju Kannon Bosatsu: oṃ vajra-dharma hrīḥ


Address: 1808 Yashima Higashi-machi, Takamatsu-shi, Kagawa 761-0111
Phone: 087-841-9418
Parking: Available
Lodging: None
Official website: None