Temple 4, Dainichiji

第4番札所 黒巌山 遍照院 大日寺
【History of the temple】
The Kurotani River flows southward from the Asan Mountains on the border between Tokushima and Kagawa Prefectures. A ridge of about 70 meters in elevation rises up against the Kurotani River, and the temple is located by the ridge.

The name Dainichiji comes from the fact that in 815, Kobo Daishi saw Dainichi Nyorai (Mahāvairochana) here and carved a 5.5 cm statue of this Buddha. The Shikoku Henro Reijoki (Shikoku Pilgrimage, 1689) says, "There used to be a row of splendid halls and pagodas, but they fell into disrepair as time went by.” Later, according to Awashi (History of Tokushima, 1815), the temple was restored in the Oei period (1394-1428) by a man named Shoboshi, in response to a vision. The temple fell into disrepair again, but in 1649 Hachisuka Tadahide, the second lord of Tokushima, built a hondo (main hall) and then rebuilt it during the Tenwa and Jokyo eras (1681-1688). The temple was restored by Hachisuka Tsunanori, the fifth lord of the province, in 1692, and again by Hachisuka Haruaki, the eleventh lord of the province, in 1799.

The site of the temple is sometimes known as Kurotani (Black Valley), because it’s a valley surrounded by mountains on three sides. The temple was sometimes called Kurotanidera (Black Valley Temple) by the locals. The formal name of the temple, Kokuganzan (Black Rock Mountain), also seems to be derived from this. The temple is currently a branch temple of Toji Temple in Kyoto, but that is only since 1887. Before that it belonged to the Omuro school of the Shingon sect of Buddhism.

The temple's crest of sixteen chrysanthemums can be seen on the noshi tiles of the Sodo and on the openwork transoms at the entrance.

・ Shoryomon (…….. Gate)
The gate is made of zelkova wood and has two stories, with an East Asian hip-and-gable roof. The crest of Toji Temple is attached on the highest ridge. It is located on the south side of the temple.

・Saigoku Sanjusan Kannon
This is a set of 33 statues that are related to the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. They were carved around 1790 with donations from followers not only in the area around this temple but also from people in other parts of western Japan.

・Seated wooden statue of Dainichi Nyorai (height 56 cm)
This seated statue of Dainichi Nyorai is the principal image of the temple. It is usually concealed from public view. In the past, the case holding this statue was never opened for the public. According to an inscription on the back of one of the knees of the statue, it was carved in 1407.

・Dainichido (Hondo, the main hall)
This was built in 1649 and restored in 1799. It is an eclectic building based on the Japanese style, but with Zen Buddhist style elements such as chimaki pillars and kagami ceilings. It is treasured because it has the form of a main hall of esoteric Buddhism. It has another prestigious feature -- it bears the crest of the Hachisuka family, the former Lords of Awa (the old name for Tokushima Prefecture).

・Daishido (Hall dedicated to Kobo Daishi)
The Daishido was built in September 1863. The style is typical of the end of the Edo period (1603-1868).

・Seimen Kongo Sonzo (Blue-Faced Vajra-kumāra)
This wooden statue was donated in 1812 by a person from Tamba Province (current central Kyoto, east-central Hyogo, and northern Osaka).

・Miroku Bosatsu (Maitreya)
This statue was carved in the Edo period (1603-1868) to commemorate the recitation of the Komyo Shingon (Mantra of Light) one million times.

・Hamagurimizu (Clam Water)
The Hamagurimizu is a temizuya (hand-washing water purification stand). The water basin is made of sandstone and was dedicated in 1822. The water used to be drawn from a spring.
It was called "clam water" because it was cloudy.

Located on the west side of the pond in the precincts of the temple, this shrine is believed to be the same as the one depicted in Shikoku Henrei Meisho Zukai (Illustrated Guide to Famous Places in Shikoku, 1800).
Address 〒779-0113 徳島県板野郡板野町黒谷字居内28番地
Telephone Number 088-672-1225
DirectionsFrom the Aizumi Interchange, take Prefectural Routes 1 and 12 toward Itano town and Kamisaka town. Turn right at the intersection with Prefectural Road No. 34. Go straight under the bypass and expressway.
Parking20 cars, 5 medium-sized buses (only for pilgrims), 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
free of charge
Website Official website