Temple 87, Nagaoji

第87番札所 補陀落山 観音院 長尾寺
【History of the temple】
Following the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the temple grounds of Nagaoji were used for public facilities such as schools, a police station, and county offices. The local people refer to the temple as Nagao no Kannon-san or Temple of Chikaramochi and Shizukagozen Tokudo. Although some say the temple was founded by Shotoku Taishi, the more common theory is that it was founded by Gyoki in 739. When Gyoki was walking in this area, he had a vision by a willow tree along the roadside and carved a statue of Sho Kannon Bosatsu from the tree. This became the principal image of the temple. Later, Kobo Daishi visited this temple. He prayed for seven nights at the beginning of the year for a successful journey to China, while also praying for the safety of the nation and a good harvest. These prayers have been passed down to the present day, and the Daieyo, an event to pray for warding off evil and having good harvest, is held yearly on January 7th.

After returning from China, Kobo Daishi once again visited this place. He copied the Dainichikyo (the Vairocanābhisaṃbodhi Sūtra), one character per stone, established a memorial tower, and converted the temple to the Shingon sect. The temple was venerated by many emperors, but was burnt down during the Tensho era (1592-1598) except for the Hondo. During the Edo period (1603-1868), Matsudaira Yorishige, a feudal lord, repaired the temple. At that time, the temple was converted to the Tendai sect.

・Nagao Tenman Jizentenjingu
During the Heian period (794-1185), there was a famous monk named Meiin at Nagaoji. He was a friend of Sugawara no Michizane, the Lord of Sanuki (Kagawa). In 902, when Sugawara no Michizane was demoted and sent to Kyushu, Meiin consoled Michizane by sending him a poem. Michizane in return gave Meiin a poem with a self-portrait as a farewell gift. Based on this story, Tenman Jizentenjingu was built in 1710 for the worship of Sugawara no Michizane as a guardian deity of this mountain.
In 1683, Matsudaira Yorishige, a feudal lord, rebuilt the temple. Because the principal image has survived multiple fires, it is said to be the best among the seven Kannon of Sanuki, and is hidden from public view.

・Daieyo Chikaramochi
・Shizugozen Shaved Hair Mound -- Mound where Shizugozen is said to have buried her hair after she and her mother, Isonozenji, became nuns.

【Annual Events】
・Hatsu Tenjin (Sugawara no Michizane Day and Writing Brush Prayer Ritual): January 25 
・Autumn Grand Festival: 2nd Sunday in October
Address 〒769-2302 香川県さぬき市長尾西653
Telephone Number 0879-52-2041
DirectionsFrom the Shido Interchange, drive to Nagao, about six kilometers.
Website Official website