Temple 82, Negoroji

第82番札所 青峰山 千手院 根香寺
【History of the temple】
Negoroji stands on Mt. Aomine, the main peak of Goshikidai. It used to be a gigantic temple with spacious grounds. Kobo Daishi noticed the presence of the Gochi Nyorai ( the Five Wisdom Buddhas) on the five peaks of Goshikidai, designated the temple as a place for esoteric Buddhist practice, and built a temple which he named Kezoin on Aomine. Later, when Kobo Daishi's nephew Chisho Daishi visited the temple, Chisho Daishi met Ichinose Myojin, the mountain's guardian deity, who told him to build temples in Bishamondani Valley, Rengedani Valley, and Goyadani, and to make a statue of Kannon Bosatsu (Bodhisattva Who Hears the Sounds of the World) from a tree in Rengedani Valley. Kobo Daishi carved a statue of Senju Kannon Bosatsu (Thousand-armed Bodhisattva Who Hears the Sounds of the World) and built Senjuin to enshrine the statue. Because the stump of this sacred tree emitted an aromatic fragrance, the names Kezoin and Senjuin were collectively called Negoroji (Fragrant Root Temple). Negoroji was a favorite of Emperor Go-Shirakawa (reigned 1155-1158). Later the temple was rebuilt by the feudal lord of Takamatsu and others, and at that time it was converted to the Tendai sect of Buddhism.

The legend of the temple is as follows: a long time ago, there lived on Mt. Aomine a terrible monster, the Ushioni (Bull Demon), which ate people. The villagers asked Yamada Kurando Takakiyo, a master archer, to kill it. However, no matter how many times Takakiyo went into the mountains, the Ushioni did not appear, so Takakiyo prayed to the principal image of Negoroji for twenty-one days. On the last day, the Ushioni appeared and the archer hit him with an arrow in the mouth. He chased the fleeing Ushioni and found it dead in Jogafuchi, about two kilometers to the west. Takakiyo cut the horns off of the Ushioni and dedicated them to the temple. The horns are still preserved there. Images of the Ushioni are popular as amulets to ward off evil.

・Godai Myōō
On the left side of the Nokyocho. The statues represent the Five Great Myōō (Wisdom Kings -- Fudo Myōō, Gozanze Myōō, Gunjari Myōō, Daiitoku Myōō, and Kongoyasha Myōō) associated with the founding of the temple by Kobo Daishi.
・Statue of the Ushioni
In the bushes near the temple gate. The Ushioni from the legend stands with a terrifying look on his face.
・Mantai Kannon
About 33,000 statues of Kannon Bosatsu dedicated by worshipers from all over Japan line the corridors in front of the Hondo.
Address 〒761-8004 香川県高松市中山町1506
Telephone Number 087-881-3329
DirectionsFrom the Takamatsu West Interchange, follow the signs toward Goshikidai on Prefectural Route 180. They lead to the parking lot in front of the temple gate.